Trending Products

High-Tech Spec’ing of Prefinished Building Materials

Goodbye, paint chips and color brochures. This year expect to see more LBM dealers, distributors, manufacturers and prefinishers turn to technology to aid homeowners in selecting the perfect color for their homes.

Goodbye, paint chips and color brochures. This year expect to see more LBM dealers, distributors, manufacturers and prefinishers turn to technology to aid homeowners in selecting the perfect color for their homes.

But it’s not just paint on walls—they can now spec the colors of prefinished siding, trim, doors, windows, flooring and cabinetry.

Just as many house paint manufacturers have done, building material suppliers are now using online color visualizer tools that give consumers and builders a photo-realistic preview of countless colors and combinations on their home.

“When making changes to their home, most consumers easily become overwhelmed with the number of colors, styles and options available,” noted Doug Krusenklaus, industry director for Sherwin-Williams. “Even the smallest tweak can feel daunting. (Our new Color Express Visualizer Program) gives building product manufacturers the ability to make the decision-making process easier for the consumer.”

The customizable tool includes a variety of sample images, and also offers an “upload your own” functionality, so consumers can see siding, doors, windows and more, blended with Sherwin-Williams colors on their home or one like it.

Manufacturers can fully brand the Color Express Visualizer and customize it to align with their core color strategy, so the tool can serve as an extension of their website. Vendors also have the option of extending the core color offering, providing access to the entire spectrum of Sherwin-Williams colors.

Universal Forest Products, Salisbury, N.C., uses a similar color visualizer from PPG. According to Patrick Hanulak, coating solutions manager for UFP, “Utilizing digital visualizer tools for building materials allows our customers to quickly get an idea of how their project could look. The functionality of dragging and dropping multiple substrate and color combinations can take a lot of the guesswork out of what project will it look like. Most customers will still want to see physical samples of products before making the final decision, but allowing them to see options before getting samples can reduce the overwhelming feeling of what to choose.”

In all, PPG offers three visualization tools. The Previews interactive portal allows customers to apply and view accurate color representations of how a project will look before actually painting. It contains PPG’s family of colors and on-trend color schemes. Colors can be changed and saved in real time and then generated into a PDF for future viewing.

PPG’s Color Visualizer allows end-users to quickly and easily “paint” their project online using their mobile phone or desktop computer. They simply select their colors and upload an image, and a new virtual room painter will intuitively detect the areas that need to be painted.

A third, more sophisticated tool—HomeBuilder—requires a login for B2B use. Builders click on materials to choose their color, as well as select colors to paint their surfaces.

The visualizers make color selection quicker, easier and more accurate for everyone.

David Koenig

David Koenig is the managing editor of Building Products Digest and The Merchant Magazine.

Join the discussion

Please Login to comment