Stone and stone-like panels also are growing. “More manufactured-stone products are being used, which are easy to install,” says Ply Gem’s Blais. “They offer good aesthetics with a lower price point and go on quickly. It’s used as an accent on the front of the home, as well as along the bottom of the house. It’s also used inside around the fireplace or the kitchen. That can help tie the exterior and interior designs together.”
Wood products also are seeing more popularity. “Architects more and more desire to create a healthy home, and that emphasizes wood over alternative products,” says Mike Pidlisecky, vice president of sales and marketing at Woodtone. “Healthy-home designs definitely encourage the use of wood. Even when fiber-cement siding is used, they’ll use wood soffits or exterior structures like patios or porches. It creates a healthy, natural feel.”
LP’s Maddern agrees. “Vinyl is still dominant, but engineered wood is picking up steam.” Newer substrates’ longterm longevity has raised some concerns, helping some customers consider other options, he says.
Paul Mackie, western area manager for the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association, also sees growth in wood products. “There’s something of a trend toward more natural products,” he agrees. “Cedar is definitely a niche product for specific applications, but it’s now growing back in popularity after slowing down during the recession. Dealers are being rewarded for stocking cedar again.” The Northeast and Pacific Northwest remain the dominant markets, he adds, with usage continuing to be steady in other established market areas.
|RusticSeries composite siding from Woodtone uses a proprietary two-tone coating solution to provide a wide range of looks while offering more durability. Eighteen factory-applied colors, including Old Cherry (shown) are available, making it suitable for both residential and commercial projects. It comes with a 15-year coating warranty.|