Is everything in short supply today? Land, lumber, shingles, appliances, windows, lighting, you name it… hardly a day goes by without another disheartening report of shortage or higher cost of building materials.

Even vinyl, fiber cement and engineered wood siding are under the gun with lead times extending up to eight weeks or more in many markets.

Now add the other big shortage: labor. Combine the two, and you have the makings for another year with fewer new homes to build and sell. What’s a cash flow-minded builder to do? The recent virtual edition of the NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBSx) offers a clue.

2021 IBSx “Most Innovative” Solution

The 2021 show featured the Best of IBSx Awards. A jury of industry veterans and journalists honored five products, and the winner in the Most Innovative Building Material category was a siding product from Alside called ASCEND. The new composite cladding system is composed of patented glass-reinforced polymer and graphite-infused polystyrene, or (GP)2 Technology.

The fact the new product can be installed with as few as ONE person is a huge plus for builders and subcontractors facing labor shortages. “My vinyl installer had no problems and completed it easily,” reports Greg Rowland, owner of Georgia-based GR Exteriors LLC. “Plus, ASCEND looks great. Everyone thinks it’s fiber cement.”

The ease of installation is explained by ASCEND’s self-aligning stack lock, ideal for one-person hanging. No sealing, touching up, joint flashing, or caulking, either. Ditto for weight: An ASCEND plank weighs just 25% of a comparably sized fiber cement panel.

10 Reasons

There may be many reasons why this tall profile siding earned a top honor at IBSx this year. Those factors probably include some or all of these 10 builder and contractor benefits:

  1. Speed. Fewer steps, less work and time, faster completion, more jobs per week.
  2. Savings. Lowers total installed cladding cost by a minimum of 10 percent.
  3. Aesthetics. Tall 7” on-trend flat face and cedar mill grain texture with the look of real wood.
  4. Warranty. Lifetime, with labor included through the first five years.
  5. Installer Safety. No respirator mask or vacuum saws required.
  6. Color. 20 low-gloss and low-maintenance hues include darks that maintain “like-new” appearance with strong ultraviolet resistance.
  7. Fire Rating. Class A Fire Rating for both flame spread and smoke-developed.
  8. Wind Resilience. Reinforced and rated to resist wind speeds up to 180 mph.
  9. Impact Resistance. Guaranteed to resist up to 1-inch hail stones without damage.
  10. Thermal. R-2 for reduced thermal bridging and energy efficiency.

Peace of Mind

Shawn Hardy understands the stakes in a time of scarcity and delay. The senior vice president of integrated products at Alside says “ASCEND mediates two of the biggest issues facing builders: siding shortages and labor. The homeowner gets a maintenance-free product. It’s peace of mind for both.”

Learn more about how to accelerate home closings with award-winning cladding that’s available now and easier to install.