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Five Ways Builders Can Boost Home Exteriors with Siding and Trim

April 1st 2016 in Wood Products - #distribution

Many consumers view the outside of a home as an indication of its overall quality. By investing more attention on the exterior details, builders can greatly enhance the curb appeal of a home and get potential buyers in the front door.

With so many siding and trim options available in the marketplace, Weyerhaeuser Distribution offers these five tips for how builders on a budget can enhance the exterior of their homes:

Tip #1 – Break things up.
Homeowners don’t want a cookie-cutter look. Use of horizontal elements, such as a bellyband, breaks up the view. This gives a builder a natural place to change materials as they move up the façade.

The type of siding materials used varies widely across the country, but oftentimes lap siding, brick or stone can be used on the lower portion of the house. Narrower lap or shingles can be incorporated into the home’s upper portion, as well as staggered or straight-edge shingles in the gables of the home.

Tip #2 – Use siding to add texture and depth.
Texture is difficult to appreciate until it’s not there. A quick glance at photos of attractive homes shows how siding and trim, like the fiber cement products from James Hardie®, can be used to add depth and variety in texture.

While some areas of the country are seeing a growing trend toward smooth siding, other markets are favoring more rustic finishes, like those engineered wood products offered by TruWood®. Builders can differentiate themselves by mixing up trim and siding products and being inventive in how they’re combined on a home exterior. For example, a straight or staggered edge shake on gable ends can look impressive with horizontal plank siding.

Tip #3 – Mix it up.
While some builders prefer to use the same material for both siding and trim, it is not necessary to match the two. An inventive builder can try mixing different types of siding and trim products together on a single home, combining materials to meet customer or market needs. Oftentimes these materials can come from single manufacturer, like those available from Ply Gem®, to make a home exterior more interesting.

For a unique idea, builders can mix vertical board & batten panel-type engineered wood siding with stucco-style panels. There are no rules; let your market be your guide.

Tip #4 – Use trim to make a statement.
Even a starter home can pop off the page with good trim; it is easy for builders to add visual sophistication with a few tricks. For example, using thicker trim at the windows make them pop. Or, builders can mix trim widths to emphasize windows and doors by using 4-inch trim for verticals and 6- or 8-inch trim on horizontal edges to exaggerate the size of the opening.

For a unique window look, builders can treat windows that are close together as a single assembly; trimming them as a unit instead of breaking them into smaller elements. For the home entryway, adding a decorative element atop the door jamb or adding a mitered backband to the door trim can make the entry appear extra large and inviting.

Tip #5 – Be creative with color.
While many siding and trim products can usually be stained or painted (cedar stains particularly well, creating shadows due to texture for a customize look), many of these products are now available prefinished, like ColorPlus® products from James Hardie. Builders can also consider two-toned prefinished products, such as those in the Deeptone Collection of TruGuard Siding, to get a distinct look not available with paint or stain.

While complementary colors are easy on the eye, a mish-mash of hues should be avoided. Color over-kill can offensive to potential homeowners. An easy solution is to think in color levels. If the home has multiple levels, builders can use darker-colored siding below and lighter colors above to give the home extra presence.