by Eric Amos, Product Editor and Writer
Since most people only see the outside of your home, you'll want to make a good first impression by choosing an exterior product and style that has great curb appeal. Whether you choose natural or synthetic materials, your exterior should also compliment the interior design of your new home.
Just like all home building products, the materials used on the exterior of your home are subject to the latest trends. Here are some exterior products, which continue to remain trendy and stylish because of their durability, sustainability and beauty.
It's all about getting the right look, which is why many architects and designers are adding a stone or brick face to their home designs, particularly around the entranceway. Most materials can be found in both natural and synthetic versions. Economics generally prevents most from using real stone on the entire exterior, but thanks to new technology you can have your house covered in synthetic stone in less than seven days. After it is sprayed on, it is then carved to make it look authentic.
Vinyl siding is a favorite exterior finish, because it is cost-effective, low maintenance and is available in a wide variety of styles and colors. The latest styles in vinyl siding are perfect for any home design, even Victorian-style homes. Most siding companies are able to produce a wide range of realistic vinyl siding products, including clapboard panels, half-round shingles, and rectangular cedar shingles. These styles are all offered in a wide variety of colors that will never need repainting.
Fiber Cement Siding
Another popular house exterior is fiber cement siding. It is actually considered a "green" material because it is made primarily of cement. The latest styles in fiber cement siding include panels made to resemble stucco, wood clapboards, and cedar shingles. Fiber cement is much more durable than wood and is fire resistant. A huge plus in its popularity is that is closely resembles real wood siding and is virtually maintenance free.
Another trend that seems to be gaining momentum is Western Red Cedar. It is a contemporary, yet classic building material chosen for its natural beauty, versatility, and durability. It comes in a variety of styles, like bevel siding, tongue & groove, lap siding, and board & batten and can be easily stained to create different hues, so you can create a truly customized finish to your exterior.
Once you've chosen your materials, don't forget about adding color. There are so many exterior paint colors available that you can truly customize your home's exterior look. Don't be afraid to use more than one color. In fact, many homeowners are using four or five colors - one for the siding, one for the garage doors, one for the windows and trim and then one for the porches and decks. The impact of color (done right) can add great curb appeal and help create a distinctive look for your new home.