The siding industry has seen an incredible evolution. Thanks to amazing technological advancements, today’s siding options combine practicality with aesthetics for products that look just like real wood but offer far superior performance. Manufacturers are now able to create vinyl and fiber cement sidings that mirror the positive attributes of wood while eliminating the many hassles associated with it.

As customer demand for individuality grows, so does the number of available options. Siding manufacturers offer a wide breadth of choices with a color to suit nearly any need. But beauty is only one selling point. Homeowners seek for the benefits associated with energy-efficient, green products and fortunately siding manufacturers have developed attractive claddings that speak directly to these concerns.

“Vinyl siding is a great choice for a durable low-maintenance home exterior since it does not require painting or staining,” says Jerry Blais, vice president, marketing for Ply Gem siding group. “There is really no limit to where vinyl siding makes sense. It is being used in entry-level starter homes as well as high-end properties in both new construction and remodeling applications. The ease of maintenance makes it attractive to all audiences.

“Vinyl cladding is available in traditional horizontal styles with varying widths and lengths, insulated panels, and board and batten styles,” he adds. “Plus, we have polymer shakes, scallops and shingles. We are seeing customers use combinations of all these options on one elevation for a distinct look.”

“Vinyl siding is available in a broad palette of colors, profiles and architectural trim to assist architects, builders and homeowners in customizing their new construction and renovation designs, and can complement historical restoration projects,” says Brad Johnson, vice president, marketing for Style Crest Building Products. “Individuality is key. People want to differentiate their homes. With vinyl, they are able to create a truly unique look with trim and accessories to match or accent.”

Style Crest has added North Cape simulated cedar board siding to its line of polymeric siding. The siding requires no painting, no caulking or sealing, and is available in 16 colors. As an injection molded product, North Cape simulated cedar board can recreate the detail of mill sawn cedar boards in both a single 8-in.exposure and double 6-in. exposure profile. The panels are stack locked with overlapping joints.

“With the ability to withstand high winds and resist heat, cold and moisture, vinyl siding retains its original appearance and performance capabilities over time,” adds Johnson.

Exterior Portfolio by Crane has added Portsmouth Perfection Shake to its Portsmouth Shake line. This cladding features a deep wood grain texture for bold shadow lines and promises a low-maintenance shake cladding option. The product line also includes Hand-Split Portsmouth Shake and the scalloped straight-line shingles of Portsmouth Shake Half Rounds. Each siding panel has a reinforced nail slot and perimeter locks to ensure a strong surface without seams. Portsmouth Perfection Shake has a wind load rating of up to 160 mph and is available in 13 shades.

DuraPlank from Royal Building Products features a traditional wood clapboard appearance, thick profile and straight, clean finish. This reinforced siding has a rigid foam backing that insulates, repels moisture and maximizes rigidity.

DuraPlank is available in a variety of standard colors as well as the company’s UV-resistant Colorscapes shades.

End-User Savings

As the word “green” has come to mean more than a color choice in today’s society, demand for energy-efficient, environmentally friendly products has increased exponentially. The promise of tax credits and lower energy bills has significantly fueled the green fire.

According to Joe Klink, director of corporate relations for Provia Door & Heartland Siding, “with consciousness toward energy efficiency being at an all-time high, more homeowners are choosing to clad their home with insulated siding.”

Heartland’s CedarMax Insulated Siding is a complete wall system that integrates the company’s Super Polymer Formulation with rigid foam insulation for a solid, contoured, fitted installation. The siding provides insulation and energy efficiency and delivers up to five times greater impact resistance than regular siding. CedarMAX features SPX-2000 UV Blocker that is melded into the siding surface to fight exposure to the elements and the sun’s UV rays. Heartland offers several profiles and a wide array of color choices to suit design styles.

“Energy efficiency continues to be top of mind and vinyl siding has a role to play,” says Drew Brandt, director of product marketing for CertainTeed Corporation. “While insulated vinyl siding was not included in ARRA tax credits, it was added to the HomeStar legislation as a qualified home improvement. Even though HomeStar stalled in Congress, the inclusion of vinyl siding is a signal that making homes more energy efficient goes beyond traditional improvements.

“Vinyl siding also features several key green attributes,” he adds. “Life cycle analysis tools, such as Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability (BEES), show that vinyl siding has a lower environmental impact than a majority of cladding options. In most manufacturing processes, scrap material can be reworked into the production process, resulting in virtually zero waste at the plant and alleviating the burden on local landfills.”

CertainTeed’s CedarBoards Double 6-in. insulated vinyl siding improves energy efficiency by insulating continuously over framing. CedarBoards breaks the thermal bridge created by the wood studs of a traditionally insulated wood framed wall and increases the overall thermal performance of the wall by up to 30 percent. CedarBoards vinyl cladding allows builders and designers to qualify for LEED-H, LEED-NC and NAHB green building credits for environmentally preferred products with recycled content.

“People don’t always think of vinyl siding when they want to choose an environmentally favorable product, but, in reality, it has excellent environmental performance compared with other exterior cladding,” explains Ply Gem’s Jerry Blais. “Vinyl siding and soffit products within all the Ply Gem siding brands are Green Approved by the NAHB Research Center.

Mastic Home Exteriors by Ply Gem offers its Quest Super Long Length premium vinyl siding in 25-ft 6-in. panels. Quest vinyl siding is now available in three lengths for efficient installation: 25-, 16- and 12-ft. panels. Available in 22 colors, this vinyl siding is sustainable and easy to maintain. It has been Green Approved by the NAHB Research Center National Green Building Certification to comply with specific green practice criteria in the National Green Building Standard, and can be used by builders to earn points toward National Green Building Certification to the Standard.

“Not only is vinyl siding an environmentally friendly choice, but it is also superior to other exterior products because of its long-term durability and lack of timely and expensive upkeep,” says Jenny Ball, marketing communications analyst for Mitten. “Vinyl siding rarely requires more than simple cleaning with a garden hose.”

Clad in Color

Exterior color can drastically affect a home’s value in a positive or negative way. Choosing a color that enhances the architectural style of the structure is the key to increasing a home’s value and curb appeal. While traditional white remains popular, homeowners enjoy choosing from the full color spectrum.

“Dark colors are all the rage and are in high demand. Across the country, everyone is requesting the dark colors; homeowners are looking for a way to differentiate themselves from their neighbors, and the rich dark colors allow them to do so,” says Ball.”

To enhance its existing line of dark siding colors, Mitten has recently undertaken a reformulation of its Advanced Color Technology. This “second generation” color technology promises better color performance and impact resistance. Mitten’s dark colors include khaki brown, chestnut brown, Richmond red, aviator green, grenadier green and Annapolis blue. Additionally, Mitten will offer its Fortress Premium Siding which features the company’s Secure Lock technology. The new locking system ensures optimum holding power for the life of the siding.

“For homeowners, color continues to be an important way to differentiate a home,” says CertainTeed’s Drew Brandt. “Color can create different feelings, match different styles, add to historical significance, or promote the homeowner’s personality. White can be modern or historical depending on other design choices. Natural tones can help soften a home into its landscape.

“In addition, new color technologies are allowing the vinyl siding color palettes to expand significantly with deeper, more vibrant shades,” he adds. “This gives homeowners the ability to create distinctive curb appeal to distinguish their projects in a neighborhood. Vinyl siding is also durable and often backed by lifetime warranties.”

“Dark colors on vinyl siding are gaining popularity,” says Jerry Blais. “Years ago, manufacturers were unable to produce darker colors because of stringent performance requirements in the field. Now, technological advancements and our ability to infuse color into the siding during the extrusion process are resulting in lasting color performance, even after years of exposure to sun and weather.”

Variform by Ply Gem has expanded the Ashton Heights collection to include four dark ScenicScapes hues, all with ultra-low-gloss finish. The new shades include willow, river bend, granite and canyon. These new ScenicScapes colors are made with Permahue color enhancer during the color process for long-lasting color. The Ashton Heights collection is available in Double 4-in. Traditional Lap, Double 5-in. Traditional Lap and Double 4.5-in. Dutch Lap and includes a double-staggered nail hem.

“Although the whites and earth-tones remain extremely popular, homeowners are increasingly wanting the option to select from a palette of warmer and cooler color choices,” says Joe Klink. “This year Heartland Siding introduced new colors, and categorized our colors into three collections: Lifestyle, Americana and Signature.

“Mixing technology of vinyl siding today is far advanced from when it was first introduced several decades ago,” adds Klink. “For example Heartland Siding incorporates Tri-Pigment Reflective Technology which reflects heat away from the surface of the siding.”

Nailite’s RoughSawn Cedar features 6-1/2-in. shingle exposure for the look of rough-cut
individual shingles. This vinyl cladding is available in the company’s Weathered, Coastal and Classic designs. Available colors range from sunset cedar and coastal brown to canary yellow and forest green.

Fiber Cement

“Fiber cement siding provides an unmatched combination of benefits to homeowners — durability, protection, sustainability and return on investment,” says John Dybsky, product manager for James Hardie Building Products.
“There are two very popular trends in fiber cement siding — houses with a complete fiber cement exterior and factory-applied color,” adds Dybsky. “Both of these trends are about durability and aesthetics. Homeowners and builders are now relying on James Hardie Building Products for siding, fascia, trim and crown moulding, which achieve a finished, polished look and the protection from termites, swelling and rotting.”

James Hardie Building Products offers fiber cement siding with ColorPlus Technology — a fade-resistant, baked-on finish that won’t peel or chip and is designed to withstand the specific hazards of the climates in which they are installed. The low-maintenance finish maintains its beauty and has superior fade resistance as well as resistance to high-moisture conditions. The finish has a 15-year warranty that covers both paint and labor, and it is available in 24 colors.

Nichiha USA, producer of fiber cement siding and accessories, now offers Sierra Premium Shake Plus boards, a longer version of its shake siding. These 1/2-in. boards are 9 in. in height and 9-1/4 ft. long for installation ease and a clean look. The siding has a deep cedar grain and is factory primed and sealed on six sides. Sierra Premium Shake Plus boards are available in colors including sequoia, moss, saddle, Nantucket, honey and dusk, and macadamia. The boards come with a 15-year warranty.

MaxiTile’s MultiShake comes in 4-ft. panels designed to decorate large accent areas or to use in full wall applications with the look of six individual shingles all in one single panel. The large size panel provides fast and simple installation. MaxiPrime factory priming is available on all MaxiSiding products.

The siding industry continues to evolve in order to match the whims of homeowners. Manufacturers are being aggressive, progressive and proactive with their innovations in order to stay ahead of changing trends.

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