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A home of a different color

Darker toned siding trending in southeast Iowa
Sep 21, 2017

By Karyn Spory, Mt. Pleasant News


BURLINGTON — Standard of Beaverdale owner and president Ken Schwenker has seen it all when it comes to home trends, the latest being dark colored siding for homes.

“This is what we send them home with,” said Schwenker as he lugs a three-by-two foot siding display onto the counter. The typical siding swatches, which are reminiscent of paint swatches, are much too small to get a good idea of what a home will look like completely clad in a new shade, according to Schwenker.

“You think, ‘yeah, I like that’ but once you get it up there it doesn’t really look anything like what you think it’s supposed to. This gives you a much better idea.”

Schwenker says in Iowa white still is the most popular siding color, but he’s seeing more and more homeowners eying cooler, darker tones when it comes to picking colors for their homes.

“There are so many more colors available nowadays and darker colors is what a lot of (homeowners) are going to,” he said. “Just every day it seems like more and more people are looking for darker colors.”

Schwenker said in the past, dark colored siding was produced, but homeowners soon learned the colors would fade, and often not evenly. “We used to have a big problem with the darker colors always fading, but these are designed to do a minimal amount of fading,” explained Schwenker. And if the siding does fade, it’s designed to fade evenly.

Many driving around the Mt. Pleasant area have likely noticed a number of new buildings in a dark, blue hue. That, Schwenker says, is the most popular color right now — Regatta Blue. “It seems everyone is getting it,” he added.

As for siding material, Schwenker says vinal still is his best seller. However, his store sells its fair share of fiber cement siding. Schwenker says there is also an LP SmartSide, which is an engineered wood composite, that mimicks the look of traditional wood siding, but more weather and damage resistant.

It’s not just new homebuilders who are craving a rich tone for their home, many homeowners are updating their home’s exterior with new siding. “Most likely, if they’ve got something that’s been on there for many years, like vinal or aluminum (siding), it might be necessary to change it,” he said. “And the technology today is (much better).”

Schwenker said siding today stands up much better against Iowa’s drastically changing weather.

One thing to keep in mind, Schwenker warns, is darker colors will attract and absorb heat. “If you put a thermometer on the face of these dark colors, they’re probably going to be 130-140 degrees in the summertime.”

When it does come time to update a home’s siding, Schwenker says homeowners should also take into consideration any other updates to the home’s exterior. “If you’re going to replace windows you want to do that before the siding.”

Schwenker continues saying upgrading a home’s siding is also the perfect time to add more insulation and make the home more energy efficient.

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