New Siding TrendsNew technology and fresh ideas are making vinyl siding not just practical but aesthetically appealing.

  • By E.L.
  • Publication date: 2004-10-01

Vinyl siding has long been a sensible choice for consumers who want to refurbish the exteriors of their homes. Now, new technology and fresh ideas are making vinyl siding not just practical but aesthetically appealing, as well. More and more, homeowners are choosing vinyl based on color and trim options, says Jeff Landon, of Atlantis Building Products. Manufacturers have responded to this trend with gusto.

Vinyl siding makers are finding ways to spin “wood” from PVC. The new grains and textures on vinyl siding panels look realistic — and not just from afar. This means more choices for homeowners who don't want the high maintenance required with wood but fear “artificial” siding will make their house look like plastic. It's simply not the case anymore, and consumers should be made aware of the advances in the industry.

Another wood imitator that's improving all the time is fiber cement. Contractors are happy with this composite of cement, sand, cellulose fiber, and other additives because it can be worked like wood — you can nail it and paint it easily — but it lasts much longer. Installers should note that fiber cement generates a lot of dust and is hard on saw blades. In the long run, however, it's a good choice because it resists termites and doesn't rot.

Siding colors are getting richer and deeper, in response to consumer demands for more selection. Vivid forest greens and intense red-browns are showing up in sample palettes all over the industry. Trims and accessories are showing more detail, and corner posts, scallops, cornices, and other accents are now part of the siding package.

Even the best siding won't look right if it's installed improperly. Most manufacturers have explicit instructions on how their siding should be installed and are happy to provide technical help.

Atlantis Building Products

Atlantis Building Products. Cedarway's Hand Split Shake siding is designed to combine the look of authentic cedar with low-maintenance performance.The panels are available in a half-round and a shingle version. Atlantis regularly runs production on more than 90 colors. 888.501.9879. Circle 1.


CertainTeed. For homeowners who want siding with a more rustic appearance, Cedar Impressions Triple 5-inch Perfection Shingles offer an authentic look. Molded from real cedar boards, the shingle panels are available in 12 colors. Each 15-by-60-inch panel consists of three rows of 5-inch shingle exposure. The PanelThermometer system displays the panel temperature so that the panels can be accurately installed at the correct temperature-line indicators. The shingles are 0.100 inch thick and come with a lifetime limited warranty. 800.233.8990. Circle 2.


Georgia-Pacific. The Board & Batten siding collection has the look of painted wood in eight colors: Beige, Clay, Cream, Gray, Mist, Pearl, Tan, and White. Its 7-inch vertical profile — 5½-inch face and 1½-inch batten with a ½-inch projection — is 0.048 inch thick. 800.284.5347. Circle 3.


Reynolds. The Cedar Reflections line offers a variety of options, with a Double 4½-inch Horizontal, Double 4½-inch Dutchlap, and Vertical Double 5-inch panel. Designed with a low-gloss random grain to resemble natural cedar, the panels have a ¾-inch projection and a rolled-over reinforced nailing hem. The panels are offered in a variety of colors. Circle 4.


Alside. The Charter Oak Energy Elite siding line is insulated with Fullback, a contoured foam support and insulation system from Progressive Foam Technologies. It fills the space between the siding and the exterior wall, providing increased energy efficiency. It also provides up to five times the impact resistance of conventional vinyl siding, says the maker. The siding is available in clapboard and Dutch lap profiles in 20 colors. 800.922.6009. Circle 5.


Nichiha. Sierra Premium Smooth lap siding is 60% thicker than average fiber-cement lap siding and is able to resist 111-mph winds when blind-nailed. Sealed on six sides, the ½-inch-thick panels are available in 7-inch and 8¾-inch profiles. According to the maker, the panels will not crack, rot, or delaminate and resist fungus and termite infestation. 866.424.4221. Circle 6.


Crane. Part of the Solid Core Architectural Essentials series, Band Board makes for an effortless and attractive transition between separate siding products. Easily installed with a special back plate, each panel is 7½ inches wide and 20 feet long. Featuring the CraneBoard Performance Purple backing, the band board is available in 13 colors. 800.733.8469. Circle 7.