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Manufacturers extol virtues of vinyl, composites as building materials

Las Vegas — DaVinci Roofscapes invested in a press and eight-cavity mold at its Lenexa, Kan., manufacturing plant that has opened the door to two new building products: its fourth shake profile for roofing and its first shake for composite siding.

After 20 years in the roofing business, DaVinci is shaking things up at the 170,000-square-foot facility it moved to in 2014 as well as the siding market, where it will compete against wood, fiber cement and vinyl with a product that replicates hand-split cedar shake.

The new products launched Feb. 19-21 at the International Builders' Show in Las Vegas. DaVinci's roofing shake and siding shake should be available nationwide in March.

Michael Cobb, president and chief marketing officer, said the new injection molding machine increases DaVinci's capacity by about 20 percent while the eight-cavity mold provides customers with the new products.

Cobb said it made sense for DaVinci to add siding to the product offering. The company makes its composites from virgin high and low density polyethylene, fire retardants, pigments and UV stabilizers.

"We've taken all our composite roofing manufacturing expertise and created a durable, aesthetically pleasing siding product that will not deteriorate like real wood," Cobb said. "It's a natural progression for our company's capabilities to provide low-maintenance composite siding to the marketplace."

Each tile of DaVinci's hand-split shake siding is 18 inches tall with a 5/8-inch thickness. The tiles come in 8- or 10-inch widths. The 10-inch pieces have a simulated keyway to give the appearance of 4- and 6-inch width shakes placed together, which provides a multiwidth appearance.

DaVinci's ability to mold different size and color composite tiles should catch the attention of builders, Aaron Adams, a regional sales manager, said at IBS. The production crew can vary the color of the tiles from a solid color to multiple colors within each tile or replicate weathered-wood shakes, he added.

"That gives us the variety that no one in this category has," Adams said. "A refinement to the proprietary color process allows for an easy transition of colors during the production process. The color is randomly dispersed and the tiles are made with color throughout each piece so they require no painting."

Cobb said DaVinci's siding has advantages over wood because it does not warp, rot, burn, blacken from mold or need painting; over fiber cement because it does not swell from water absorption, need painting, or require a face mask or respirator when cutting; and over vinyl siding or vinyl shakes because it does not "feel thin or wimpy to touch" and won't be perceived as cheap or low quality.

DaVinci's hand-split shake siding products are undergoing testing and are expected to meet the same testing classifications as with other company's roofing products. The siding product line also is backed by a lifetime limited warranty. When removed, DaVinci products are recyclable.

DaVinci Roofscapes DaVinci's production crew can vary the color of tiles to make siding look like weathered wood. Weathering the West

As it competes against other materials, DaVinci will find itself in a residential market dominated by Ply Gem Building Products, the Cary, N.C.-based company that has about 40 percent of the vinyl siding market through its multiple brands.

Ply Gem merged last July with NCI Building Systems, becoming what it says is the largest building products manufacturer in the U.S. At IBS, Ply Gem introduced a new premium product with a wood grain texture for its Mastic brand called Western Extreme siding, sold nationwide, although it was developed for western regions of the U.S. which face different environmental issues.

"Mastic Western Extreme Siding is for markets where it goes from really hot to really cold very quickly and there is a lot of sun and [higher] altitudes," John Stephenson, a Ply Gem vice president, said at IBS. "We wanted to a create product to meet these needs."

Stephenson said he couldn't go into much development detail but the Western Extreme siding uses proprietary elements to stand up to conditions from extremes in temperatures and altitude specific to the region. Its SolarDefense brand, meanwhile, has light-reflecting properties and contributes to a strong heat-resistant base layer, which are important for dark colors.

Ply Gem says the new product resists warping from fast temperature swings, has a unique Dutch lap cove design with interlocking panels to protect against harsh weather and contains specially formulated pigments that help rich colors stand up to high heat.

Ply Gem also brings vinyl siding to the market under the brands of Mastic, Variform, Napco, Ply Gem and Georgia-Pacific. With $1.99 billion in annual sales, the company is the No. 2 pipe, profile and tubing extruder in North America, according to Plastics News' latest ranking.

Listening to architects

Royal Building Products launched a 7-inch, smooth-finish clapboard made of cellular PVC at IBS and showed two new colors of vinyl siding.

The Woodbridge, Ontario-based company blazed a new cladding trail eight years ago when it introduced its Celect brand of composite siding, which is made of PVC with an insulating foam and a water-based Kynar coating for durability.

"It's not just new to the market. It's new ​ to the world," Scott Szwejbka, vice president of exteriors, said of the relatively young Celect line, which was designed to replicate wood while being low maintenance.

Celect products feature a patented interlocking seam to keep out moisture and hide seams.

Royal invests in the brand regularly and consults with architects about how to improve products and what to offer next.

"We're always trying to innovate on the Celect side," Steve Booz, vice president of marketing for exteriors, told Plastics News. "We utilize that product line for an upscale delivery of an unmatched look for a house. We work with architects to make the product even better. They have a vision, and they look for what product categories provide it."

Royal came out with its new 7-inch Celect in two colors called Coastline and Castle Stone. The Celect line now is available in 15 fade-resistant colors. The siding was designed to offer the appearance of painted wood.

"The architects want a certain look," Booz said. "One might want an old wood-grain pattern and we have Cedar rendition in aluminum that provides that look, but the architect across the street wants a very smooth finish. It's their vision of what a home should look like."

Architects in the New Urbanism movement, in particular, prefer smooth siding products."We estimate the architectural community could be 15-20 percent of our sales at some point," Booz said.

Royal Building Products is a unit of Westlake Chemical Corp., which ranks No. 4 among pipe, profile and tubing producers in North America, according to PN's latest ranking.

CertainTeed/Emery Photography Inc. CertainTeed has released two new colors, including this one called Melrose, to its Monogram line of vinyl siding. Deck the walls

At last year's IBS, Fiberon LLC showed how its composite decking made from recycled polyethylene and wood scraps could be used as cladding for rain screen systems to manage moisture in walls.

This year, the New London, N.C.-based manufacturer of the Symmetry- and Horizon-brand decking lines kept focused on how those products can be used in vertical applications. Fiberon featured two more sizes: a 5½-inch narrow deck board and a 12-inch fascia board.

"On the cladding side, we're busy," James Gunning, sales director, told Plastics News. "We've seen architects take these design elements and create featured walls for not only commercial properties but residential as well. We're all taking it to a whole new level. We have various widths that we didn't have last year, and a lot of architects are taking multiple colors and mixing them within the walls. That's a very popular design trend."

In the last year, Fiberon's estimated sales were $215 million, putting it at No. 21 among pipe, profile and tubing producers in North America, according to PN's latest ranking.

Certainly colorful

At IBS, CertainTeed Group featured individual polypropylene composite shingles in various sizes that are stapled in place and come in three shades of each color for blending on the wall.

The Malvern, Pa.-based company manufactures injection molded PP shakes and shingles for the Cedar Impressions brand and extrudes vinyl siding for several brands.

The different size PP shingles, which are produced with micro ingredients for performance and color, create a random look as opposed to a patterned look, according to Robert Clark, marketing manager for CertainTeed Siding.

"We're out with four color blends and each has a light, medium and dark," Clark said. "We also launched five popular solid colors this past year that replicate the look of freshly painted cedar shingles. Most contractors mix the various shades randomly in a bin to ensure that they do not create a pattern. The key to the finished look is to be consistently inconsistent."

Introduced two years ago as a niche product, the individual shingles are becoming more popular.

"It grabs people's attention," Clark said. "Architects have started to specify it because they want to do a cedar shake but the person doesn't want the upkeep and maintenance."

CertainTeed's original target audience was builders and contractors of high-end custom homes that would have used an alternative premium-performing cladding with their focus on aesthetics, Clark said. The secondary target was wood enthusiasts.

"But the positions switched," Clark added. "The wood enthusiasts were quick to adopt because it is exactly what they were looking for. The look is genuine without the maintenance. Installation is so similar to traditional wood shingles that there is virtually no learning curve. It has been an unexpected, yet exciting, match that is opening doors that have been closed for decades."

CertainTeed representatives also said they won't be displaced as the color leader in the siding industry. The company is out with two new colors — a red called Melrose and a brown called Brownstone — to add to the 40-plus colors of Monogram-brand vinyl siding and 25 colors of vertical board and batten.

Monogram siding comes in 35 solid colors, eight wood tones and 45 coordinating trims, according to CertainTeed.

"Providing a wide array of selections — so homeowners can mix and match every single piece of their home's exterior perfectly — comes with the title of color leader, and we wear that badge proudly," Clark said.

The company's vinyl products come with a limited lifetime warranty and a Class A flame spread to meet tough building codes.

"Those codes are being enforced, and there are certain geographies where that becomes a big deal, like the Jersey shore, where houses are really close together," Clark said.

With an estimated $680 million in sales, CertainTeed ranks fifth among North American pipe, profile and tubing extruders, according to PN's latest ranking.

Derby Building Products Derby Building Products' TandoShake "Cape Cod Perfection" has the look of painted wood. Tando expands brands

Derby Building Products introduced a new TandoShake siding at IBS that has an enduring painted wood look — called Cape Cod Perfection — and added a composite stone texture under the TandoStone brand to its cladding line.

"This is the next level for TandoShake, taking our technology to Cape Cod Perfection to create authentic, rich colors applied to a popular, easy-to-install cladding profile," Toby Bostwick, Derby's senior vice president of business development, said in a press release. "Harsh weather and moisture are no match for Cape Cod Perfection's beauty and durability."

The Cape Cod-inspired shake features a 5-inch exposure, subtle wood texture and crisp edges to mimic painted wood shakes, Bostwick added. It is produced in panels and not individual shakes that need to be nailed. Because the shake won't split, one person can install it with a pneumatic nail gun.

Derby also debuted its TandoStone's TruGrit technology, which offers a matte texture that gives each panel a realistic low-gloss appearance and the rough, gritty feel of real stone.

TandoStone and TandoShake are made of polypropylene.

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» Publication Date: 07/03/2019

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This project has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° [605658].

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