Today the United States has just over 400,000 home builders, an increase of 3.7 percent since 2021. Standing out in a crowd isn’t easy. One way to help do it is to specify building materials that enhance the home’s curb appeal, reduce energy costs and maintenance, as well as minimize challenges and expense years into ownership.
A good place to start is to ask: Why do homeowners update siding? A home builder who knows the answer could install a product that eliminates downstream issues up front and sell more homes as a result.
The Harris Poll recently asked homeowners this question, and the response provides great insights as most Americans do replace the siding on their homes at some point.
The survey, commissioned by Alside, a leading manufacturer of residential siding, reveals four important reasons homeowners update siding (in order of importance):
- Damage from storms and everyday life, like being hit by a ball.
- Aesthetics to upgrade the home’s curb appeal.
- Energy efficiency for more comfort and savings.
- Maintenance to reduce the time, trouble, and expense of upkeep.
Checking all four boxes
The opportunity for builders? Find a siding that meets all four conditions. Popular choices like vinyl and fiber cement do a fine job of solving for some of the reasons, but not all. Answering the bell for energy efficiency and maintenance is another story. Consider its insulating qualities for example. Vinyl siding has a slightly higher R-value than fiber cement, at R-0.61 versus R-0.50 for fiber cement.
Aesthetics can be a concern with vinyl due to shorter profiles. Fiber cement may require the maintenance expense of repainting every seven to 10 years, costing up to $4,000 for most homes.
Offering home builders a competitive differentiator, Alside has engineered a 4-in-1 solution with patented composite materials. Found in Ascend Composite Cladding, this (GP)2 Technology is a glass-reinforced polymer and graphite-infused polystyrene composition that offers strength, dimensional stability, a Class A Fire Rating, high windload resistance and an R-value of 2.0, which represents up to four times more insulating effectiveness than fiber cement or vinyl, according to the manufacturer.
“It makes sense for homebuilders to differentiate themselves with siding choices homeowners care most about,” suggests Shawn Hardy, senior vice president and general manager of integrated products at Ohio-based Associated Materials, the parent company of Alside.
Ascend is not only generating buzz over its 4-in-1 capability but also its lifetime warranty. Ascend is moisture resistant to help prevent rotting, warping, shrinking, or swelling and also offers a flat face, 7-inch profile with embossed cedar mill grain for authentic wood look; 20 low-gloss, low-maintenance colors with no need to seal, touch-up, or caulk; and compatibility with high-end trim options for a crisp, elegant appearance.
As you consider ways to outflank competitors, think critically about all aspects of the business. One area that merits serious consideration is siding that checks all the boxes for durability, curb appeal, energy efficiency, and maintenance.
Learn more on how siding with (GP)2 Technology offers unmatched benefits.