Exterior Siding Forecast Up 3.8%

Demand for exterior siding is forecast to climb 3.8 percent per year through 2010 to 5.1 billion square meters, valued at $69 billion.

The forecast, which is part of a new report from the Freedonia Group, says China will record the largest gains of any national market and will surpass the U.S. to become the largest cladding market in the world. Sales growth is also expected to be strong in India and Russia, as well as in lower-volume markets in the developing world.

Demand for siding in developed countries will rise too, although the rate of increase will be less robust than in developing parts of the world. Product sales in Western Europe will accelerate through 2010, and siding demand in Japan is expected to exhibit renewed strength following an extended period of decline. Market gains will be fueled by generally favorable economic conditions and higher income levels, leading to growth in both repair/remodeling activity and new building construction.

In the U.S., overall siding sales levels will remain essentially flat. Although nonresidential building construction expenditures will increase through 2010, new housing starts are expected to decline, preventing cladding sales in the nation from expanding at a faster pace.

Globally, masonry and concrete cladding products are the most popular, accounting for over two-thirds of all demand in 2005, with brick and tile being the single most widely used product type. Demand for metal, and concrete and stone siding will register the strongest market gains through 2010. Fiber cement siding demand will also rise at an above-average rate, driven by performance attributes, comparatively low cost, and the ability to mimic the appearance of other cladding materials.

Residential building applications, which currently account for 65 percent of all siding sales, will continue to dominate world demand through 2010, although advances will be limited by a generally weak sales climate in the U.S. and by a deceleration in residential building construction activity in a number of other areas. Demand for cladding used in nonresidential applications will expand at a faster pace, stimulated by a step-up in construction expenditures in Western Europe, Latin America and the Africa/Mideast region.

Kitchens & Baths

Cabinets Sales Impacted by Housing Slowdown

The softness in the nation’s housing market continued last month, impacting overall sales of key kitchen and bath products — particularly cabinetry — although forecasts are for the downturn to ease by mid-year and residential remodeling to continue its steady growth. Among the statistics and forecasts released by government agencies, research firms and industry-related trade associations in recent weeks were the following:

Sales of kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities declined sharply in February, continuing a four-month pattern of declines attributable primarily to ongoing softness in the market for new residential construction, the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association said last month. According to the Reston, Va.-based KCMA, manufacturers participating in the association’s monthly “Trend of Business” survey reported that overall cabinet sales fell 15.5 percent in February compared to the same month in 2006. Sales of stock cabinets decreased 21.1 percent for the month, while semi-custom cabinet sales fell 9.8 percent and custom cabinet sales declined 8.7 percent. Year-to-date sales through the first two months of 2007 were down 13 percent from the January-February time period of 2006, the KCMA said.

Franchise News

DreamMaker Poll Taps Consumer Trends and Sentiment

A recent survey of DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen remodeling franchises revealed the top trends and market conditions in the markets they serve across the U.S.

According to Doug Dwyer, president of DreamMaker Worldwide, the top design trends include: value-enhancing interior features like granite and other solid surfaces, professional quality kitchen appliances, luxury amenities, architectural detail and energy-saving appliances and materials.

The top three concerns when remodeling include: easy to maintain products/space, price and quality. The top frequently asked questions by homeowners revolved around time and cost. And the top demographic cohorts of those remodeling their homes today are, 55 and older, people looking to enhance value of homes, either for resale value or quality of living purposes, and new homeowners purchasing and remodeling older homes.

In the kitchen
Making use of all available kitchen space is essential. Change out the cabinetry and countertops to make space more versatile, while complementing the kitchen’s design and layout.
The use of specialty accessories is a great way to enhance the look and feel of the kitchen.

Master bathrooms

Large frameless enclosures with designer finishes and thick glass, multiple showerheads and dual controls are all top priorities on homeowners’ lists.

Baths have escalated in importance in the home with no signs that this trend is going to slow. Homeowners are also amplifying their desire for additional bathrooms throughout the home.

Flooring

DreamMaker forecasts cork, bamboo and Marmoleum, as strong choices for the year ahead. Cork is becoming popular because of its unique beauty, durability and ecological friendliness. Bamboo is uniquely attractive, resilient and moisture resistant and is being incorporated in a diverse range of applications. Marmoleum appeals to those “ecologically focused” homeowners because it is 100 percent biodegradable, recycled rubber, providing function and environmental responsibility.

Siding

CertainTeed offers Certified Siding Contractor Program

CertainTeed Corp., announced a certification program that provides contractors with training and tools to improve their installation skills and enhance product knowledge for its vinyl and polymer shakes as well as its exterior trim products.

“The requirements to achieve 5-Star status are challenging, but not insurmountable,” says Doug Nyberg, Director of Contractor Programs for CertainTeed Siding. “The program works to provide contractors with tools to run their businesses more effectively by elevating them to a demonstrated level of higher professionalism and proficiency.”

To attain certification, contractors must have proof of insurance and complete and pass the CertainTeed siding education programs, consisting of its Restoration Millwork Master Craftsman program, the Vinyl Siding Master Craftsman program, as well as the Vinyl Siding Institute Certified Installer Program.

Upon completion of the 5-Star program, contractors will receive business promotional materials, including a credentials certificate, customer quote folders, free trials of a customized direct mail program and a pre-employment screening tool, customer sales brochure and a premier Web site listing on both CertainTeed and VSI Web sites.

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