Qualified Remodeler Magazine

APR 2019

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

Issue link: https://qualifiedremodeler.epubxp.com/i/1107022

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Page 85 of 102

they hand it back to the customer to do all the re- search," Seims explains. "It's a major, major pain point—they're very confused." Many of the manufacturers in the market are working to address this pain point in multiple ways. Nichiha, for example, has expanded its architec- tural and engineering staff to provide more options for technical design reviews, according to Wueste. Other companies—including Boral, ProVia and Ply Gem—have online design tools that can help homeowners and remodeling contractors visu- alize how their different products might look on the home itself. And some companies are boosting their training opportunities for remodelers and distributors. In the end, Wueste notes, manufacturers need to make product information accessible where and when homeowners and remodelers are seeking it. "For us, it's putting our message out there, in their channels," he says. "We want to make our products easy to source and easy to buy." Design Innovations If there's a single word capable of describing all the "pins" homeowners are featuring in the Pinterest boards that they're sharing with remodelers, it's likely "variety." The old formula of solid color, clapboard walls with complementary hues for Material Advantages How to go about explaining the options that remodelers might be asked to work with? In broad terms, those old categories of natural wood (primarily cedar clapboards and shingles), metal, vinyl and fiber cement still hold true—mostly—but each, aside from cedar offerings, has become more complex. So perhaps a brief walk through each of the non-wood categories is in order: Metal Metal siding products—either aluminum or steel—remain traditional op- tions for many homeowners and remodelers. The material used in these products hasn't changed much over the decades, but improved finish technology and available profiles help make today's metal siding look more like natural cedar than previous generation offerings. Both are 100 percent recyclable. Ply Gem's aluminum siding—marketed under its Mastic, Variform and Napco brands—also incorporates up to 67 percent recycled material. Steel siding is a frequent choice in the tornado belt; Ply Gem's products are able to withstand winds up to 235 mph. Vinyl Vinyl siding has advanced in both its composition—look for lots of con- versation regarding advanced polymers in this category—and profile offerings. These improvements have boosted both looks and durabil- ity, with colors that resist fading and panels that can stand up to ex- treme weather shifts. Profiles now often include shingle looks, along with lap-siding designs with various degrees of reveal. Some makers, including CertainTeed, Ply Gem and ProVia, offer brands that incorporate foam-insulation backing, which creates a layer of continuous, exterior insulation when installed. Fiber cement and similar engineered offerings This category has advanced significantly in the last decade or so. For example, longtime fiber cement manufacturer James Hardie has devel- oped different formulations to address regional climate variations with its HardieZone system. Other companies have rethought the composition of the material entirely. Boral's TruExterior siding, trim and bead-board products are made from a mix of recycled fly-ash and polymers. LP's SmartSide trim and siding adds resin, wax and alum to a wood-fiber base to form its lineup of lap, panel, vertical and shingle-style products. Polymer/composite Highly durable composite materials include Derby Building Products' TandoShake and Beach House Shake; Royal Building Product's Celect Cellular lap siding; Grayne composite shingles from Boral; and CertainTeed's Cedar Impressions polymer shakes and shingles. These products can be hard to tell from natural, stained or painted cedar boards and shingles, but that real-like appearance comes with a price tag. As a result, homeowners may reserve them as accent options for gables, porches and other signature exterior locations. Smooth is the latest finish option from LP SMARTSIDE, blending both traditional lap siding's appeal with a streamlined appearance that works well in more contem- porary designs. The material is fabricated from a unique blend of wood fiber, resin, wax and alum. Circle 9 on inquiry card QualifiedRemodeler.com April 2019 83

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