Vinyl siding leads residential cladding market by volume

Siding manufacturers overall saw a record year in 2021, driven by new construction and strong demand for repair-and-remodel projects with extruders of vinyl products gaining a bit of ground — er, wall — according to one survey.

Some 970,000 single-family homes were completed in 2021, compared with 912,000 in 2020, and vinyl siding was the primary exterior wall material on 26 percent (253,000) of them. That slightly lags the use of stucco, which was installed primarily on 27 percent (259,000 houses). Fiber cement was put on 22 percent (215.00) of the houses, followed by brick on 19 percent (181.000), wood on 4 percent (42.000) and “other,” which includes concrete block, stone and aluminum siding, on 2 percent (20,000).

The figures come from the US Census Bureau, which releases information about the characteristics of new housing every year in its survey of construction.

Overall, use of vinyl siding increased 1 percent. Great gains were made in the Northeast, where vinyl products were installed on 76 percent of exterior walls, up from 70 percent in 2020. Some 61,000 new houses were built in the region, which is also up from 57,000 in 2020.

“We continue to focus on that market. It’s always been a great vinyl siding market. Going to three-quarters doesn’t surprise me at all,” Steve Booz, marketing and product program management director for Westlake Royal Building Products, said in a phone interview.

With an estimated $2.4 billion in sales, Houston-based Westlake is the fourth-largest pipe, profile and tubing extruder in North America, according to Plastics News’ latest ranking.

Booz said many buyers are putting home equity into vinyl siding repair as a good return. He pointed to Zonda Media’s annual Cost vs Value Report, which shows exterior replacement projects on a multiyear streak of delivering the best return on investment for homeowners. Of the 22 remodeling projects in the report, 11 are exterior replacement projects, all of which rank within the top 12 projects.

Zonda says homeowners recoup 67.2 percent of their vinyl siding replacement costs, which are about $18,600.

“Vinyl siding brings people a lot of value in terms of resale and home appreciation,” Booz said. “We’ve added colors, and that keeps the market interested as well. We always try to stay on trend and even help create the trends with our vinyl siding.”

Westlake Royal Building Products added five new colors recently: a cool gray (Stone Harbor), a vibrant green (Spruce), a warm brown-gray (Smoky Ash), a light gray (Silver Mist) and a light blue-gray (Riverway ).

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