No builder wants to waste time on products that won't hold up and will result in frustrating callbacks. That's why peer recommendations are so powerful when it comes to siding selection. "Obviously the salesperson is going to give a stellar review of his products, so that must be discounted versus somebody who has real-world experience with it," notes Dennis Shriver, owner of Kansas City-based Hearthside Homes.
Marc Sloot, senior associate at SALA Architects in Minneapolis, emphasizes that recommendations from his colleagues hold more weight than online opinions. "Referrals from trusted sources who have used a product in a similar way to how I am considering using it would carry the most weight for me over online reviews," Sloot explains. "The reason is that it is more directly applicable to my unique situation and therefore a better predictor of my likely experience with the product."
When looking for building products, Shriver and his team do their research. "We'll listen to our trade partners and get their input from experience, product literature and an evaluation of what other builders are using, as well as internet reviews and insight from manufacturer's reps," he explains.
Sloot follows a similar approach when determining which siding product to specify for a project. "I start by asking around my own office for good or bad experiences anyone has had with a product. I search the internet for any articles, good or bad," he says. "I also ask builders with whom I have worked, and specifically the builder on the specific project in question."
After evaluating word-of-mouth referrals, nothing beats hands-on testing for a builder. “A visit with installers at the Home and Garden Show helped influence me to use LP® SmartSide® siding on the Minneapolis Net Zero Victorian,” says Sloot. Some other siding products we considered that would have achieved a similar aesthetic would not have met the sustainability/green certification requirement for the project.”
“For my personal home, I was deciding between LP® SmartSide® Lap Siding and James Hardie® fiber cement,” explains Shriver. “Ultimately, I decided on LP SmartSide because of the warranty, my familiarity with LP already, the durability, and a video where both products were left in a bucket of water.”
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It's a new year-and perhaps also time for new siding! The start of a new year always brings resolutions and goals, and when it comes to your home it's the perfect time for an exterior refresh. Whether your current exterior material is worn or you're just looking to try new siding trends, updating your siding can transform your home with a longer-lasting, premium aesthetic.Continue Reading
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