Planning for Your Year in Siding & Trim

LOOKING AHEAD: Continuing expansion of cladding color and profile options help fuel ongoing growth in home exterior remodeling activity.


Though new home construction is beginning to rebound, the industry is also noticing steady increases in remodeling. MetroStudy’s recent Residential Remodeling Index reported 4.5% more home remodel projects in the third quarter of 2016 than in the same period of 2015. This increase stands as the 18th consecutive quarter of year-over-year gains in residential remodeling projects. 

What’s more, MetroStudy is forecasting that such activity will increase another 4.4% in 2017 and 3.3% in 2018 as a product of rising mortgage interest rates and homeowners’ resulting decisions to stay put. 

Given that most improvements made to create a more vibrant exterior and increase weather resistance garner a significant return on investment, it’s likely many of these remodels will involve new siding and trim products. 

Today’s homeowner understands the advantages of alternative cladding materials like vinyl, polymer and cellular PVC over traditional materials, such as wood, stucco and stone. In addition to being low-maintenance, weather-resistant, lower priced, and easier to install, their ability to replicate the classic, time-honored appearances of traditional cladding materials continues to improve. Let’s look at some of the trends in more contemporary exterior cladding materials we can look forward to this year.

More Design Options Allows Better Mixing, Matching
Due to emerging new color and texturing technologies, exterior contractors and their customers can expect to find even more classically-styled vinyl, polymer and cement-based cast stone veneer cladding and trim options in 2017. This growth in options will allow building professionals more tools for creating the more striking, vibrant exteriors today’s homeowners want by mixing and matching different siding colors and styles. 

For instance, with the current selection offered by top building product manufacturers, a contractor could mix horizontal and vertical vinyl siding, smooth or woodgrain textured, in a wide array of different colors. Most smooth textured vinyl siding authentically replicates the classic look of painted wood siding, but with the color incorporated into the product. This ensures fade resistance and eliminates the need for repainting every few years. 

Woodgrain textured vinyl and polymer siding continues to look more and more like the real thing, as products are often manufactured in molds that were pressed against real rough-cut wood lumber. These products can often have the pigment of stained wood and are now increasingly available in color blends that emulate aged wood. But, with the coloring technology used for vinyl and polymer siding, this color blend will weather just as well as the solid colors. Homeowners will have virtually the same aged wood color in their siding after 10 years as they did day one.

For homeowners wanting some contrast in the gables and other higher areas of the home, building professionals can draw from an ever-growing variety of cedar-style polymer shake, shingle and half-round profiles in various painted and wood stain colors and sizes. For example, some homeowners might like a rough-split staggered shake pattern, while others may prefer a more uniform look. Demand is growing across the country for the “sawmill look,” straight edge shingles with a smoother cut and increased uniformity, creating what will likely become a popular siding accent trend this year.

Stone Veneer Cladding
Another growing exterior cladding trend stems from the introduction of stone veneer products, which allow the average siding contractor to tap into the profitable stone masonry market. These cement-based products are molded from hand-picked stones and colored to authentically replicate natural stone color and texture at a significantly more economical price. 

The mechanically-fastened panels are easier to install than real stone, using techniques, tool and accessories common to the average siding contractor. And rain screens are now available that offer the latest in moisture management technology, for enhanced weather protection. Homeowners are sure to take to the stone veneer style siding for its beauty, low-maintenance and high return on investment.

More Trim Design Options & Easier Installation
The product selection in cellular PVC and vinyl trim has also grown in the past year. Most consumers prefer to use white as a vinyl accessory color to ensure an absolute complement to other exterior colors and make windows and doors stand out, but manufacturers are now giving consumers more accessory color options, such as darker colors that boldly complement a lighter siding color. 

Manufacturers are addressing the industry’s need for more trim profile options with product introductions such as wider window corners, water table profiles and New England window sill profiles. This trend will allow trim to have an even greater role in sprucing up exteriors. 

Contractors seeking an even smoother trim installation will be happy about the recent introduction of engineered trim systems, which decrease labor by including more prefabricated corners and other trim pieces in the initial shipment. 

The Options Are There— Choose Wisely
This year is bound to be a great one for building professionals, and the new product options now available to them are sure to make it even better and more profitable for dealers. The best advice is to seek out a brand that can offer a one-stop shop for exterior building product needs, with a wide selection of low-maintenance materials, colors, styles and profiles that will truly get homeowners excited about the goal of a revived home exterior.

– Matt Gibson is marketing director for CertainTeed Siding. Reach him via 

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