Home exterior colors reflect style, personality and environment

Courtesy of ARA Content

Building or renovating a home is a decision-filled process. Some decisions, such as location, size and layout, tend to be more family needs-based than desire-based. But other decisions are based primarily on preference and offer the opportunity to express a homeowner’s design style. One such decision that can cause particular anxiety for people who are building or renovating is choosing an exterior color. After all, this element creates a home’s “curb appeal” and the first impression visitors and passersby will have of your home and you.

Identifying color trends

According to Pat Verlodt, president of Color Services & Associates—an organization that identifies color trends and educates consumers and manufacturers about those trends—one of the reasons that choosing a color for the exterior of your home is so difficult is because it is one of the longest-term decisions people make.

“The average length of time a homeowner will own a new car before buying another is shorter than the amount of time that the homeowner’s house will remain the same color,” says Verlodt.

Home colors follow various trends and begin years in advance before becoming mainstream.

“Siding color trends are slow to change because the trends themselves are long-term,” says Verlodt. “They often begin in fashion or accessory colors, then neutralize over time and become popular home colors.”

Some color trends are regional, such as sandy colors in the Southwest, or bright, tropical colors in Florida. Currently, a social movement is influencing the hottest home color trend nationwide. People throughout the United States are choosing shades of green siding and paint for their homes because of the color’s association with the environment.

Identifying color trends for homes involves investigating other industries such as fashion, cars and interior home colors. Within the last 10 years, the variety of home color options has grown immensely because of increased technological capabilities. And if you are looking for a low-maintenance solution, vinyl siding manufacturers can now meet this need with virtually unlimited styles, designs and color options.

According to Jerry Blais, vice president of marketing for Ply Gem, a building products supplier, manufacturers were unable to produce darker colors years ago to meet the stringent performance requirements in the field. Now, manufacturers such as Ply Gem use a co-extrusion process that combines a sturdy inner substrate with a weather- and fade-resistant capstock on the outside. The capstock layer is produced from acrylic polymers that hold their color and reflect ultraviolet and infrared light to increase the lifespan of the siding.

“Color is infused into the siding during this extrusion process. It is not painted or coated later,” says Blais. “These technological advancements have greatly increased the color palette available to homeowners, including darks, blends and even weathered cedar colors.”

Personalizing your home

Technological advances in siding colors allow homeowners to choose richer hues to suit their taste. No longer does vinyl siding need to come in bland beiges or grays. And because vinyl siding typically holds up to weather and sun better than paint, homeowners don’t need to worry about the need to re-paint every couple of years.

“People want to buy products that will last a long time,” says Verlodt. “But personalization is key.”

Color technology has advanced so much that the range of colors now available for vinyl siding, trim and accents is nearly limitless. Homeowners can actually customize their home to be almost any color they wish.

“We use a color customization process in our Mastic Home Exteriors by Ply Gem brand called DreamColor,” says Blais. “The DreamColor process offers over 700 colors in siding, trim and accents and allows homeowners to send in an item in a color they love, such as a favorite shirt, and we can customize a siding color to match that item.”

Add this capability with cedar shingle and stone veneer accents, also available from Mastic Home Exteriors, and homeowners can now create the designed and color-coordinated exterior they have always wanted, without the maintenance.

The most important aspects of choosing a siding color are picking something that you’re comfortable with and that makes a style statement about you, yet doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb from your neighbors. Take your time when choosing a color, and consult a color expert or siding manufacturer to learn about the latest trends. For more information about vinyl siding colors and options, visit www.plygem.com or www.mastic.com.

From the Jan. 6-12, 2010 issue

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