IN DEPTH: Siding

Performance Needs Rise
As critical as aesthetics are to the decision, consumers also are aware of the performance characteristics that can be achieved, especially regarding low maintenance. “Homeowners basically want worry-free homes,” says Style Crest’s Meek. “It’s a generation is used to working longer hours, and they want to relax at home and not worry about having to do upkeep. Maintenance-free is a selling point.”

That’s true for all product types. “A key point with siding selection is low maintenance, and cedar is not as high maintenance as many people think,” says WRCLA’s Mackie. “Certainly others, like fiber-cement, have to be kept up too, and cedar offers a unique look that is natural. We see more high-end houses using cedar.”

Long-term performance also is important. “Consumers are looking for durability,” says LP’s Maddern. “They are coming out of the recession and looking at their homes and wanting to re-side. We’ve seen a real shift to homeowners who want to invest in siding that will recoup the cost with added value and that will last a long time without needing repairs or updates. There’s a shift in willingness to pay for more premium products to ensure they get one that lasts.”

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“Performance is a basic expectation today,” adds Tapco’s Wierengo. “Homeowners are doing more legwork and looking at more options before making a choice. They’re seeing what performance features are offered and then using tools at manufacturers’ sites to be creative in putting everything together.”

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