No two homeowners are alike. Even in cookie-cutter neighborhoods, homeowners are looking for a unique look that will make their home stand out.
“With baby boomers starting to retire we’re seeing more and more that maintenance level is an issue,” says Phyllis Vail, director of marketing communications for CertainTeed. “Looking at the whole aging in place trend, people want something easy to care for and a virtually no maintenance product is a consideration in their choice. The green phenomenon and the sustainability of a product is also being asked about more and more by consumers. To what extent they’ll pay more for it, we don’t really know.”
What follows is a list of siding options for today’s home and some of the companies that offer these options.
Today’s vinyl has seen a lot of improvements. There has been an evolution from steel to aluminum to vinyl, which really started to hit its stride in the 80s and 90s is probably at its height right now. Within vinyl, other things have developed, such as polymer shakes, which are molded instead of extruded.
Alcoa Home Exteriors pairs its most advanced insulated product line, Structure, with is virtually unlimited color palette, DreamColor. With Structure in DreamColor, a home will have a freshly painted look for years with the added benefits of noise reduction, water resistance and energy savings. In addition to the 700 baseline colors, Alcoa offers a custom color matching system.
The Foundry’s vinyl shakes, shingles and shapes offer homeowners the authentic appearance of richly-textured cedar siding with the benefits of low maintenance. These products do not split, bow or rot and have a limited lifetime warranty.
Fiber cement is a composite material made of sand, cement and wood fibers. Often taking the appearance of wood siding or shingles, it is slow to burn in a fire and can stand up well in coastal areas dealing with salty air. Fiber cement siding does have its down sides though. It can be heavy, so don’t expect an army of one installing this product, and repairs can be difficult.
CertainTeed WeatherBoards and ColorMax fiber cement siding are made using a combination of recycled fly ash, Portland cement, wood fiber and specialty additives. The enhanced formula creates an environmentally friendly, lighter-weight, lower-density product with authentic-looking grains and textures.
The Canyon Brick line from Nichiha, USA is available in three color choices, Burnt Copper, Amber Wheat and Shale Brown, extending product options for builders and architects wanting a clean cut symmetrical surface style. The rough texture of Canyon Brick provides a natural brick feel that will give a dramatic, upscale façade to any structure. Panels are 18 in. by 6 ft. in length with a 5/8 in. thickness. Coverage is 9 sq. ft. per panel and the product weighs 31.9 lbs. per panel.
Metal and Aluminum
Metal and aluminum have seen their peak come and go but they are not out of the game yet. Today’s metal siding can look just as much like wood as other wood imitators. Offered in varieties of prefinished colors, today’s metal and aluminum siding can stand up to what the weather has to throw at it and requires little maintenance.
ABC Seamless steel siding is taking the home remodeling industry to a new level. The siding is different from the others, because it’s seamless. Other sidings must be overlapped every 12 ft. to reach the length of your home, creating a pattern of ugly splices. Each piece of seamless siding is custom fit to the exact measurements of the home.
Hardboard and Engineered Wood
Hardboard, made of pressed-wood fibers, is used less and less these days, particularly due to a rash of failures found in the product coming from different mills. Nonetheless, it is still used for its smooth grainless texture that some homeowners desire. Engineered wood is sometime preferred over solid wood because of the processing that takes place with resins to create the perfect boards and is generally treated to give it better protection against elements that can attack untreated wood.