From the looks of things, many builders subscribe to a theory about the exteriors of their houses: Buyers can have any siding material they want, so long as it's vinyl. But vinyl isn't the only game in town.
The material accounts for almost 40 percent of the new-construction siding market in this country, but the other 60 percent uses a wide variety of options that include new materials plus some oldies but goodies.
Atlanta-based Boral Bricks, for example, recently unveiled Thin Brick, a product that looks and feels like handmade brick but is easier to install.
“Using molds crafted from handmade bricks, we perfected the look of a true brick in a thin, easy-to-install form,” says Shelley Ross, Boral's marketing director. It is available in flat pieces with matching corner pieces to complete the look of an installed brick wall.
Another option at your disposal—though not for everyone—is true stainless steel from Millennium Tiles in Elkhorn, Wis. Commonly seen on kitchen appliances, stainless steel is highly durable. The 15-inch-by-9-inch corrosion-resistant tiles are made from 70 percent recycled materials and come with a 50-year warranty. In addition to the usual stainless look, the company offers products that have undergone a process to create permanent chip-, fade-, and peel-resistant colors.
Some buyers may want a plastic-based siding because of the durability and low maintenance characteristics, but they may want something that feels more substantial on the house. There is something for them, too: PVC siding.
Chicopee, Mass.–based NuCedar Mills says its Classic Clapboard siding is the first clapboard siding milled from solid boards of cellular PVC.
“It's the milling process that makes our siding look so much like beveled Western red cedar, but without the maintenance or repair worries,” Tom Loper, president and CEO of NuCedar Mills, says. And because each board locks both at the top and bottom, the system creates a wind- and weather-resistance barrier.
For more product information, visit ebuild, Hanley Wood's interactive product catalog, at www.ebuild.com.