As homeowners balance aesthetics and performance, some are looking to new—and old materials and mixing and matching styles to personalize their project.
BY: CRAIG A. SHUTT
Personalization has become the key to homeowners’ buying choices, and that extends to significant investments such as siding. Customized curb appeal dominates the decision to the extent that consumers are mixing and matching more colors and styles. They’re also considering products that require some maintenance to provide the exact appearance they want.
“Homeowners are trying very hard to differentiate their homes,” says Brian Kirn, senior marketing manager for the Siding Products Group at CertainTeed. “That’s the most important factor in the siding decision. They don’t want to look outlandish for their neighborhood, but they do want to stand out. They want a personal touch.”
That has led to more variety, even on the same home, says Jonathan Wierengo, vice president of marketing for The Tapco Group. “We’re seeing more products used overall on the home’s exterior,” he explains. “It used to be one or two types, but now it’s not uncommon to see four styles. They’re using gable accents and other decorations, and that’s really accelerated in the last year. It’s gotten to the point that homeowners will use something highly decorative on the front of the home and then do something different on the sides and back.”
Mark Nowotarski, vice president of marketing at Style Crest, agrees the options are expanding. “As the market rebounds, people are willing to spend more on a personalized, unique look.”
Products that require more maintenance aren’t dissuading them as they once did, adds Tom Zimmerman, director of sales and marketing for Boral North America. “Appearance and low maintenance are the two keys, and homeowners want to find the best balance between them.”
The market is definitely rebounding, according to research by Principia. The company forecasts the siding market to grow by more than 40% between 2011 ($6.3 billion) and 2015 ($8.9 billion), with all types of materials rising with the tide.