IN DEPTH: Siding

All Substrates Growing
The range of materials continues to grow as homeowners mix and match, especially as the growing economy has allowed budgets to expand. Fiber-cement and engineered-wood products are seeing strong growth, as are other products, according to Principia’s market forecast. “We see consumers looking at the exterior appearance, finish and substrate material,” says Mike Maddern, segment manager for LP Building Products. “They want to learn all they can about how each substrate will perform.”

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Mixing sometimes occurs to meet code needs, notes Novik’s Bruno. Some siding products need to be elevated off the ground, so some contractors use Novik’s polymer siding as a decorative base, with other siding products used above. “We’ve positioned Novik products as a mainstream complement to all siding products.”

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Alternatives to vinyl remain strong contenders. “We’ve seen a significant shift to fiber-cement products, as well as to engineered wood products,” says Allura’s Frazeur. “That share is being taken mainly from the vinyl-siding industry. The Midwest used to be a heavy aluminum siding market, and I’m not sure anyone is using aluminum siding any more.”

Some of the growth comes at the expense of traditional materials. “Fiber-cement siding is growing but not necessarily at the expense of vinyl,” says Novik’s Bruno. “Especially in the South, it’s more often displacing brick, stucco, stone and wood options.” Adds Frazeur, “Those markets will always exist, because some people want natural materials and will pay for them. But we are seeing a shift to doing the front of the home with those materials and doing the sides with fiber cement. It’s a way to cut costs.”

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