This week many families in Schuylkill County experienced a big first: The First Day of School. So many of our friends have texted me absolutely adorable photos of their kids with their backpacks and big grins waiting to start kindergarten, 5th grade, and beyond. 

I love it!

Let me be one of those “embarrassing moms” for just a moment…

It’s so sweet to look back at old photos from years past and compare them. I love looking at baby pictures of all our kids. It’s crazy how small they once were- and now some of them are out on client jobs with their dad. 

It’s also crazy to see how the trends have changed. We don’t notice them on the day to day, but looking back in the photos you see things like this couch:

Everyone alive in the 90’s knew someone who owned this couch. 

There’s so many things that were popular 30 years ago that you’d never recreate now. And although some trends have crept back into mainstream, most stay buried in photo albums. 

That’s the thing about trends: they’re only popular for a short period of time. But the same can’t be said about siding trends. And thank goodness too! Can you imagine if your siding started looking dated just a few years after you had it replaced?

That’s the great part about exterior trends: style isn’t everything. Instead, a smart homeowner chooses products rooted in durability and quality. 

Take vinyl siding for example. It’s been in fashion since the 1950’s. And it’s only gotten better! Siding trends are based on strength and home protection, and the benefits don’t go out of style. Still, many of our clients want to know their exterior choice will protect their home and freshen its appearance.

Today, we’re going to look at three siding trends that might seem modern- but are sure to look great decades down the road. 

From Log House to Chic Siding: Board and Batten

Board and Batten Siding

Do you remember reading “Little House in the Big Woods?” 

I love the narrative of the Wilder’s cabin construction; of Pa cutting down trees to form into the siding of the home. In those times wood was the easiest choice for siding. Trees were in abundance, most of the time you had to clear them anyway to make space for the home, and building a log cabin only took a few weeks at most.

But over time this style of construction just didn’t stand up in most weather conditions, especially in places of high precipitation like here in Schuylkill County. 

We needed better material to protect our homes from the rain and snow. 

The response? 

Board and batten siding. 

With the help of saw mills, logs were cut into boards to form siding. A house’s frame was built and the boards were attached to it. Gaps between the boards were filled in with a much thinner cut of wood, known as battens. 

Barn styled board and batten

As time went on, the style grew in popularity. Now, in 2021, board and batten is more popular than ever. Though most often we install a vinyl style rather than traditional wood. 

The change in material also means the function of each piece is different from its original purpose. Instead of the batten being used to fill the gaps, it serves a more decorative purpose. Check out this home, for example: 

white batten striped home

The white batten on white boards give the style a textured look. The wood accents complete the look, transforming the style into a chic but rustic home. 

Board and batten also has European influences. Before its time in America, the siding was popular in many Scandinavian countries. You can still see these influences in today’s homes where Scandinavian and German immigrants settled in America: 

European Board and Batten home

The great thing about board and batten? It’s so versatile! If you like the design, there’s a customizable style fit for every home. It even looks great with mixed facades, like on this home: 

Mixed facade home

The benefits to this siding don’t stop there. Besides versatility, board and batten is also: 

    • Durable. Vinyl board and batten lasts for 25+ years
    • Increases home value and boosts curb appeal
    • Low maintenance

Installing board and batten style vinyl siding is a great way to take advantage of vinyl’s durability while still choosing a look that blends perfectly with the Pennsylvania hills. It’s charming, beautiful, and very reminiscent of a simpler time here in our beautiful countryside.  

2021: The Year of Green and Grey 

Moss covered stones

Grey siding is the color for 2021. 

Funny enough, it was also the siding color for 2020, and 2019, and so on. In fact, if they had the internet when vinyl was invented, it would probably list grey as 1950’s color of the year.

What am I getting at? 

Grey siding is timeless. Its popularity has stayed relevant for decades. It’s one of many siding trends that’s aren’t going anywhere. But this year, grey isn’t the only color in the spotlight. 

2021 is the year of grey… and earthy greens. 

earthy green siding

Why is green siding in the spotlight this year? Let’s look at the psychology behind the color green.

Green makes you think of nature. It’s representative of renewal and growth, and has a calming effect. In our particular part of the country, green blends in well with your home’s environment- allow the focus to fall on your land and landscaping. 

There’s a calming and restful feeling to a green home. When paired with a cool grey, these colors create a serene and welcoming feeling. 

Take this home for example:

Moss green vinyl siding

The home feels cozy and inviting. Plus, the grey asphalt roof and cream colored accents pair perfectly with the mossy green cedar-look-alike siding. 

And look how beautiful these colors are on this board and batten siding: 

Green board and batten

The rustic and earthy shades create the perfect cabin retreat. I can just imagine sitting on the porch with a good book!  

Choosing a new color for your vinyl siding can seem like a big commitment. If you like the idea of green siding but aren’t sure if it’s the right color for your home, we can help. We offer resources like “How to Choose Vinyl Siding Like a Pro,” and our design team can show you exactly what a color choice will look like on your home using our visualization software.

How does it work?

We upload photos of your home into GAF’s software. From there, we can modify your color choices and match the right hue to your home. We can even show what your home would look like with a new roof color. It’s so much easier than holding up a tiny product sample on the side of your house! Plus, our clients love the confidence of being able to “see” it before we place the order. 

Get Rustic Cedar Shake Without the Cost

Cedar shake siding

Imagine this. 

Your neighbors just installed new siding, and they opted for cedar shake. 

As you look at the new siding, you can’t help but feel a little jealous. You had considered making the switch yourself but it’s completely out of your budget. It’s costly to keep up with new siding trends, and wood prices are crazy right now! Plus, you just don’t have time for all the extra maintenance. 

Then you find out their secret: It’s not cedar!

Instead of the costly and high maintenance material, your neighbors opted for look-alike cedar shake vinyl siding. 

It might sound unbelievable, but check it out: 

Lookalike cedar shake siding

Looks just like authentic cedar shake siding, right? 

And the cost difference between the two is vast. We discuss this briefly in our Ultimate Guide for Facades, but let’s break that down further.  For materials alone, cedar shake’s starting cost is $10, and prices only rise from there. 

On the other hand, look-alike vinyl costs between $3.50-$8 per square foot. 

And the maintenance difference is unbelievable! Vinyl occasionally needs hosed and scrubbed down but you’ll never need to reseal it. 

On the other hand, wood is infamous for being high maintenance. Besides spraying and scrubbing it regularly, wood needs to be resealed and repainted every five years. You’ll also need to apply an insect repellent yearly to keep termites from chewing through your siding. 

The difference between the two is substantial! It’s no wonder that look-alike cedar shake is such a popular style this year! 

And similar to board and batten, look-alike cedar shake comes in a great selection of styles. Check out this home’s mixed facades: 

lookalike cedar shake

The stone facade paired with the look-alike cedar offer a timeless look for a fraction of the cost. 

Prefer the weathered look of cedar shake? This vinyl does a perfect job of mimicking that look:

Weathered vinyl cedar shake

On top of aesthetics, cost difference, and easy maintenance, lookalike cedar shake is also more durable than authentic cedar shake. 

A common concern with vinyl siding is that it will decrease your home’s value. Vern addressed this worry in a previous “Ask Vern” post, but here’s a quick refresh. 

Adding new siding of any kind to your home brings an average return on investment of 78%.

And with a beautiful style like this? Look-alike cedar shake is one of many siding trends that just keeps on giving. 

Martin Roofing & Siding Installs Exteriors Guaranteed to Last

When choosing new siding, one of the biggest concerns is choosing the right style. But more so than that, working with the right contractor is top of mind. 

You want siding trends that will be popular for decades to come and will last just as long. Our team at Martin can guarantee that. We’re proud to be Schuylkill County’s top choice for exteriors. 

When you work with us, you’re working with professionals dedicated to installing the right siding for your home. But more than that- we only work with the highest quality siding. Our siding distributor, Ply Gem, designs siding that’s both low maintenance and stands up to the harshest weather conditions. 

Want to talk more about new siding for your home? Give us a call at 570-345-0406 and schedule your project estimate.