SLIM FAST: Thin Brick looks and feels like a handmade brick, but the product is a fraction  of the size of a traditional brick. Measuring ¾ of an inch thick, the  product's lightweight concrete body weighs less than one pound per piece, so  it does not require wall or foundation reinforcements. A variety of  colors are available. Boral Bricks. 800-5BO-RAL5. www.boralbricks.com.
SLIM FAST: Thin Brick looks and feels like a handmade brick, but the product is a fraction of the size of a traditional brick. Measuring ¾ of an inch thick, the product's lightweight concrete body weighs less than one pound per piece, so it does not require wall or foundation reinforcements. A variety of colors are available. Boral Bricks. 800-5BO-RAL5. www.boralbricks.com.
HIGH FIBER: Who says fiber-cement siding has to look like clapboard? Cembonit cement-based  cladding sheets come in large sheets measuring up to 4 feet by 10 feet  so a variety of installations are possible. The product is made of cement, cellulose  fibers, and fillers, so it is still lightweight, weather resistant, and  low maintenance like other fiber-cement products. Cement Board  Fabricators. 800-366-5378. www.cbf11.com.
HIGH FIBER: Who says fiber-cement siding has to look like clapboard? Cembonit cement-based cladding sheets come in large sheets measuring up to 4 feet by 10 feet so a variety of installations are possible. The product is made of cement, cellulose fibers, and fillers, so it is still lightweight, weather resistant, and low maintenance like other fiber-cement products. Cement Board Fabricators. 800-366-5378. www.cbf11.com.
STEEL DEAL: The company says that, unlike other siding materials, stainless steel lasts  an eternity and contains at least 70 percent recycled content. Tiles measure 15 inches  by 9 1/8 inches and are angled at the edges to eliminate glare. Products  come in a natural finish or in amber bronze, slate, and custom colors. Millennium  Tiles. 866-842-8585. www.millenniumtiles.com.
STEEL DEAL: The company says that, unlike other siding materials, stainless steel lasts an eternity and contains at least 70 percent recycled content. Tiles measure 15 inches by 9 1/8 inches and are angled at the edges to eliminate glare. Products come in a natural finish or in amber bronze, slate, and custom colors. Millennium Tiles. 866-842-8585. www.millenniumtiles.com.

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.