IN DEPTH: Siding

Laps Getting Wider
Widths of all products have remained regionally steady, with a few exceptions. “The product offering over the past 15 years has been pretty stable,” says Allura’s Frazeur. “Lap-siding width is driven by geography: wider widths in the South and West, more narrow widths further north to achieve a Cape Cod look.”

Adds Deborah Meek, product manager for Style Crest, “Lap profiles have gotten wider in some cases. Fiber-cement siding has influenced the trend toward wider panels. The D-5 panel historically wasn’t moving very fast, but now we’re seeing it being used more often.” ProVia’s Tybor agrees. “There has been growth in a wider panel. We’re seeing 6″ and 7″ panels being used. It seems to be in response to the gains made by fiber-cement siding, which offers a wider lap. Those wider faces are leading manufacturers to try some to be different.”

That’s also the case with the growth in varying shapes. “Horizontal siding is still the dominant preference,” says Royal’s Booz. “Shakes are important to have for some regions and as an accent, but they’re only about 10% to 15% of the market. There’s a high coastal-area usage for shakes.”

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Board-and-batten vertical siding has gained attention. “Board-and-batten sales have really taken off as an accent, in the gables or around the porch,” Style Crest’s Meek reports. “Some of it is regional. It’s hard to say why it’s popular. It could be local preferences or good sales people. But it’s being used more often everywhere.”

Adds ProVia’s Tybor, “Board-and-batten siding has been used a lot in the Midwest, but now it’s selling everywhere as an accent. Its vertical alignment can break up the horizontal runs of the siding and present a different look.” Royal introduced a board-and-batten product this year in response to demand. “It’s been a bit surprising how popular it has become,” says Booz. “We’ve seen it used for a whole house, but it’s mostly used for the garage and gable areas as complements.”

Grayne Engineered Shake & Shingle SidingGrayne Engineered Shake & Shingle Siding from The Tapco Group comes prefinished to simulate the look of aged cedar. Its color palette includes six pre-finished cedar colors matching cedar tones found in nature. The Plain Sawn Shingle profile features a realistic graining pattern that is visible on all surfaces, from butt edges to keyways.