Industry insiders reveal the top design trends in roofing and siding
Like icing on a cake, a home’s good-looking exterior makes an impression and hints at great things on the inside, too. Of course, roofing and siding products’ primary role is to protect, but well-designed options can also go a long way toward ensuring a home looks polished, cared-for and up to date.
Contractor Advantage reached out to some of the country’s top roofing and siding providers to find out what’s new, what’s trending, and how homeowners get the performance and curb appeal they’re looking for.
BIG AREA, BIG IMPACT
“Curb appeal has always been important to homeowners—it’s a source of pride and it increases resale value,” says Rob David- son, Vice President, residential sales in Canada for IKO. In recent years, Davidson points out, curb appeal projects have gone beyond investing in good lighting and manicured landscaping. “We’re seeing an even greater priority placed on the roof’s value in curb appeal, because the roof accounts for up to 40 percent of a home’s visual exterior,” says Davidson.
ADDING INTEREST AND INDIVIDUALITY
It might be the proliferation of design shows, social media sites or just the ease of internet research, but homeowners tend to be more informed than ever about options and possibilities. They’re looking for high-impact design, as well as performance, and they have a good sense of what’s out there.
“Customers are demanding a more high-end product and manufacturers are responding by developing high definition blends, using multiple contrasting hues within one shingle,” says Davidson. IKO, for example, offers a shingle that replicates the shadow band of wood shake shingles, so homeowners have the look of a wood shingle but with the price and performance of an asphalt shingle.
Often, home owners are looking to add individuality to their home. “One design trend that seems to be catching on in shingle roofing is tridimensional hip and ridge,” says Marie- Hélène Roussel from Building Products of Canada. “It allows homeowners to add a touch of personality to their house for a very marginal cost,” she explains.
“Traditionally, hips and ridges have been done using a single layer of shingles,” says Roussel. But that design feature is beginning to evolve. “In recent years, we’ve started to see more and more roofs with multiple layers of shingles for hip and ridge,” says Roussel. “As a response to that trend, you can now find pre- formed and precut hip and ridge shingles on the market.”
NOT YOUR PARENTS’ STEEL ROOF OPTIONS
Another steadily growing trend is steel roofing, and they’re a far cry from options on the market back in the 1980s. “Not only do you have the option to have the exposed and hidden fastener standing seam profiles, but metal roofing is also available as shingle. And they’re all beautifully made from metal,” says Steve Brooks, Residential Development Manager for Vicwest.
Photo courtesy of Building Products of Canada
Photo courtesy of CanWel
For a more traditional look, Vicwest also offers a stone-coated steel shingle. “It gives the look and feel of shingles but with the security of steel roofing,” says Brooks, adding that it’s an ideal solution for customers living in a high-density area who’d like their roof to blend with their neighbours’.
MIXING HIGH-END AND ECONOMICAL PRODUCTS
Brooks points out that the most popular colours (including graphite and espresso) are available across his company’s product lines— something that’s proven popular with homeowners and builders trying to manage costs. “When you’re investing in a property you can put a higher-end product on your main building then look at going to a more economical product for something like a shed or outbuilding,” says Brooks.
DESIGN CHOICES BUILT TO LAST
Many consumer choices today are driven by long-term think- ing. “These days you’re seeing homeowners look for quality, longevity and the sense of doing it once and never having to worry about doing it again,” says Brooks. That’s likely why classic but still modern shades such as espresso, dark greys and even black are so popular; they’re meant to last a lifetime.
Metal roofing products support that long-term thinking, as well. “Metal roofing lasts much longer than asphalt and other roofing materials,” says Patric Saint-Denis, General Sales Manager, Ideal Roofing Company. “It retains its beauty, and doesn’t curl, crack, rot, break, chip, peel, streak or perforate under normal use.”
“Our shingles are manufactured with a stucco-embossed finish,” says Saint-Denis, creating a finish that’s both attractive and strong. Technology advances have allowed the company to colour-match in-demand residential cladding materials, something that’s helped boost the product’s popularity, as well.
THE SIDE SHADE
As for siding, shifting colour preferences are one important trend. “A neutral colour palette is still popular, but the shade range has changed,”saysDianaSousa, MarketingManager with Kaycan. She explains, “Today’s neutrals are far from subdued. Instead, they’re about creating am emotional and aesthetically pleasing experience. Once seen as accent colours, greys and blues are moving to the forefront.” Those colours, she adds, tend to complement a natural landscape and evoke a more contemporary look.
Chris Ladner, Product Manager, Aluminum, Shake & Stone, Ply Gem Building Products Canada / Mitten Siding & Accessories has seen a few different hues become popular in the past few years. “It’s a combination of dark and lighter colours that we’re seeing trending the most right now when it comes to vinyl siding,” says Ladner. “Rich bold colours like gunmetal grey and sapphire blue are among our top sellers but the lighter earth tones of Brownstone and Stratus are also very popular, as well.”
Photo courtesy of Kaycan
Photo courtesy of Royal Building Solutions
Classics, of course, never go out of style. “Black continues to be a big colour in the market. It’s mostly seen in accent pieces, but Mitten also offers a black vinyl soffit option that really stands out on a home,” says Ladner.
At Gentek, Marketing Manager Christine van Egmond has seen darker colours gain a lot of popularity. “Dark grays, browns and blues are hot right now,” says van Egmond, adding “Gentek’s new Marine Dusk, Hudson Slate and Rockport Brown are expected to be our hottest colours this year, and our Iron Ore has been our most popular colour for the past two years.”
“Dark and bold colors certainly continue to drive upgraded sales, particularly in the grey and blue tones, although browns remain equally popular,” says Steve Booz, VP of Marketing and Product with Royal Building Solutions. “Royal recently introduced Rockslide and Urban Bronze which are a medium blue- grey and rich brown colors. Along with these solid colors, we are also seeing an explosion in wood-tone or variegated colours,” says Booz.
GOOD LOOKS, MINUS THE MAINTENANCE
Steel products with faux wood finishes are increasingly in demand, too, says van Egmond. consumers are drawn to the product’s longevity and manufacturers have created attractive and authentic-looking woodgrain designs. Vicwest, for ex- ample offers a new steel siding that comes with five different mattes in each box, to more effectively create the look of real wood siding.
Wood isn’t the only natural material being imitated.
“Another trend we see right now is faux stone,” says van Egmond. “Homeowners often pair the stone-look product with darker accent colours like black.” It’s a look that’s polished and modern, but still very easy to maintain.
PROFILES IN PERSONALITY
When it comes to siding profiles, van Egmond says home- owners are increasingly choosing a wider option. “Single 8″ or single 7″ profiles are popular,” says van Egmond. She adds, “Board and batten vertical siding is also an in-demand look as an accent on a home; the wider the better.” Mixing multiple types of cladding on a home is a growing trend, too, notes van Egmond, “reflecting both the availability of new products and homeowners’ changing design preferences.”
Booz agrees, adding, “We’re seeing builders and home- owners choose to mix profiles to create a new look, like adding board and batton or even a shake panel in the gable.” He adds, “It breaks up the look of traditional siding and is a great way to make a project unique.”
Down the road, Sousa predicts homeowners will push the design envelope even further. “Darker, bolder shades will definitely be a top trend as well as incorporating contrasting materials to add depth and dimension to their home’s exterior,” says Sousa. “Think of the cool, sleek look of aluminum paired with a pop of warmth offered by engineered wood.”
EXTERIORS: DESIGN THINKING HAS ARRIVED
Changing up a home’s roofing or siding is an effective and relatively simple way to completely transform a look. “Whether it involves shades of the same material or mixing different types of material, creating that visual interest is key,” says Sousa. More and more, homeowners want to showcase their individuality and have a home that reflects their style. “The design process used to be limited to a home’s interior,” says Sousa, “but now it’s definitely moved on to include the exterior, as well.” —
Photo courtesy of IKO