Dressing your home with designed exteriors

(ARA) – Whether you’re building a new home or remodeling for a different look, one of the first things you need to consider is your home’s curb appeal. Common curb appeal updates include landscaping, walkway and patio renovations. Another remodeling practice that can lead to major curb appeal is updating the surfaces of a home’s exterior walls.

A designed exterior is one of the hottest trends in the exterior cladding category, and it’s one of the most dramatic upgrades you can make to a house. Adding flair to your home by mixing a variety of materials on your exterior wall surfaces, including siding, stone, brick and shingles, can considerably boost resale value.

Builders and remodelers pull these solutions from textbooks as well as portfolios of some the world’s most creative designers. Designed exteriors combine several looks and styles to create a unique and eye-catching first impression. Mixing materials gives a home character and sets it apart from other homes in the neighborhood.

The hottest home fashions
Buyers are always looking for the biggest return on investment. Technological advancements in home exterior materials allow builders to decrease installation time and use products that can stand up to harsh weather conditions. Stone veneer products — the fastest growing home exterior category — offer customizable cut and color options, and they’re growing in popularity across the nation. Michael E. Nelson, founder and president of Nelson Design Group, LLC, uses stone veneer products in many of his designs.

“In new homes, 90 percent of projects use stone veneer when considering mixing exterior materials,” says Nelson. “The material is rapidly replacing the previous choice of brick.”

Armed with huge product catalogs, companies like United Stone Veneer by Ply Gem create stone veneer products made of cement that weigh a fraction of actual stone and are simple to install. According to Dave Barrett, president of United Stone Veneer by Ply Gem, the company offers eight different styles of stone in more than 38 different colors to meet custom building needs. “We offer a wide variety of stone styles because stone preferences vary around the country,” says Barrett. “The variety ensures that all customers can find a combination of stone veneer styles and colors that will match the style in their area.”

“The rustic look of mixed materials using stone is taking over across the U.S. and replacing traditional brick-styled homes,” says Nelson. These materials are often used around the bottom quarter of a house or on accent walls in combination with vinyl siding or polypropylene shakes and shingles.

A vintage look
Another building material used in creating designed exteriors that promotes the popular rustic look is board and batten siding. Unlike traditional siding that attaches horizontally across a home, the board and batten look creates vertical lines. According to Jerry Blais, vice president of marketing for Ply Gem, a building products company, the board and batten look is growing in popularity.

“Many of our customers are using vertical board and batten siding to differentiate their home from neighbors,” says Blais. “We are also seeing customers use board and batten in the main area of a wall and then accent it with shakes or shingle looks in accent gables, or peaked areas just below a roof.”

Blais recommended Cedar Discovery Hand Split Shakes and Quest Signature cedar-look siding, both from Mastic Home Exteriors by Ply Gem, as two options that have a real wood look with the benefits of durable vinyl siding.

According to Nelson, housing developments that previously did not allow vinyl siding are beginning to permit products like this because of their realistic and aesthetically-pleasing designs.

Increased value
Value and upkeep are two important advantages to keep in mind when building a home with a designed exterior. Blais offered some key points for those considering designed exteriors.

“Although the initial cost of a designed exterior may be higher than purchasing siding alone, the increase in curb appeal translates to higher sell-value and competitive differentiation,” says Blais. “The key is to deliver a high-quality product that requires little to no maintenance and will continue to look great for years to come.”

For more information about designed exterior products and options, visit www.plygem.com.

Courtesy of ARAcontent



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