Vinyl Siding and Polymer Shingles Create Classic Cottage Home Look
Ole Miss Students Return to New Housing
Yost Home Improvement Wins CertainTeed's Coveted Award of Excellence
VSI: A Rich Green Resource
Design Trends Favor Vinyl Siding and Trim
Accessorize, Accessorize
Install Matching Accessories for Custom Look
Opening the Closed Prospect
New CedarBoards Ads Promote Its Energy-Saving Role
The Winner Is...
Previous Issues
 Fall 2008

  Vinyl Siding and Polymer Shingles Create Classic Cottage Home Look
New Hampshire development takes inspiration from 1900s cottage homes.

Absent the steam engines and stockyards, Exeter, NH, has taken on the look of early 1900 Chicago. Durham, NH-based Chinburg Builders charged CJ Architects (Portsmouth) with the task of crafting designs for eight two-story, single-family homes in a style similar to early 1900s cottage homes built in the Chicago suburbs. A different take on the traditional New England cottage, the design features large lower-level walkouts with garage access from the rear by way of a service road. The streetscape is free to showcase the cottage style architecture, with garage doors and driveways shielded from view.

To give the homes the classic look of wood clapboard siding and shakes, the architects specified a combination of CertainTeed Monogram 46™ Vinyl Siding, Cedar Impressions® T5 Perfection Polymer Shingles, and Vinyl Carpentry™ Universal Triple 4-inch vinyl soffit. CertainTeed's mix of quality products and a vast color and profile selection proved to be a huge selling point.

"CertainTeed offers a great variety of siding colors, textures and profiles," says Carla Goodknight, Principal Architect of CJ Architects. "The Monogram and Cedar Impressions siding fit very well with the architectural look we are trying to achieve." The products are excellent for projects involving architectural styles of yesteryear, as they authentically replicate the look of traditional wood clapboard and shakes without the ongoing maintenance that wood requires.

Installed by siding contractor Lajoie's Aluminum & Vinyl, of Somersworth, NH, the CertainTeed vinyl siding has already received rave reviews from potential homebuyers as well as Chinburg Builders for its realistic, wood-like appearance. "One of the benefits of the CertainTeed vinyl siding is that it doesn't look like vinyl," says Jennifer Chinburg, Marketing Director of Chinburg Builders. "It looks more like authentic wood siding than any other vinyl siding products I've seen out there, and they give our cottage homes a really classic look. We're very pleased." The Cottages at Forest Ridge are slated for completion this fall.

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Ole Miss Students Return to New Housing
Off-campus cottages bring fresh look to student housing

Back to school at the University of Mississippi features more than eager students and Rebel football. New off-campus housing at the University of Mississippi in Oxford includes the newly built Keystone Cottages. Part of Old Miss Rentals, the new cottages feature CertainTeed Cedar Impressions® Double 9-inch Staggered Rough-Split polymer shake siding, Vinyl Carpentry™ Value Triple 4-inch soffit and Landmark™ roofing shingles in Weathered Wood.

"The student renters seem excited about the concept of having their own individual cottage as opposed to living in an apartment complex environment," said Rick Cardwell, partner and builder of Old Miss Rentals. CertainTeed's products and their large color selection help individualize the cottages. Each cottage will feature a different Cedar Impressions color, including Pacific Blue, Barn Red, Terra Cotta, Hearthstone, Flagstone, Spruce, Natural Clay, and Suede.

Keystone Cottages are available in one bedroom/one bathroom and two bedroom/two bathroom floor plans. Amenities include patio/front porch, walk-in closets, washer and dryer, 9-foot ceilings, ceramic tile floors and ample parking. ABC Supply provided the siding and roofing products, and Robertson Services in Pontotoc, MS, installed the vinyl siding at the cottages.

CertainTeed's roofing shingles and polymer siding give student housing developments like Keystone Cottages a unique design edge. Both products give the look of wood through alternative materials, which makes these cottages virtually maintenance free.

Yost Home Improvement Wins CertainTeed's
Coveted Award of Excellence

Award acknowledges outstanding creativity and craftsmanship

George Yost, Co-owner of Yost Home Improvement, LLC, of Waterford, CT, recently won CertainTeed's Award of Excellence for a residential remodeling project that features CertainTeed® polymer siding.

The remodeling project was chosen from among other national entries for its craftsmanship and overall presentation. Yost Home Improvement's winning entry featured 25 squares of CertainTeed Cedar Impressions™ Double 7-inch Staggered Perfection Shingles in the color Spruce. Perfection Shingles feature 1/100-inch thick, durable polymer, with a sturdy, rigid structure and a natural cedar-style texture. Using the Cedar Impressions panel, Yost Home Improvement was able to recreate the unique shingled look of the 1800s home, yet give it a virtually maintenance-free exterior.

"We used Cedar Impressions to restore the house's original flair," Yost said. "With the combination of a bowing technique and the CertainTeed products, we were able to give the homeowners the look they had in mind. For this project, we bowed Cedar Impressions siding around a shingled, bow window to create the desired retro look."

Yost Home Improvement has serviced southeastern Connecticut for 48 years and has earned a reputation for exceptional residential remodeling work. The Award of Excellence salutes the country's best builders, contractors and remodelers for a job well done. The program acknowledges outstanding CertainTeed products and projects and is based on creativity, craftsmanship, attention to detail, and overall presentation.

Sustainably Speaking

VSI: A Rich Green Resource
VSI has put a "colorful" twist on the typical white paper. The new "green" paper, A Dozen Things You Might Not Know That Make Vinyl Siding Green, explains how vinyl siding scores well on tough environmental measures through all life-cycle stages, including raw material acquisition, manufacture, transportation, installation, use and waste management. The downloadable document provides everything you need to present a knowledgeable case for vinyl as the "greenest" cladding choice.

Additionally, the September issue of the Vinyl Siding Institute's electronic newsletter, "SideLines" also features extensive information about the sustainability of vinyl siding. It provides specific reasons why vinyl siding is "green"; a comparison to silica-based fiber cement siding; how vinyl siding acquires points for resource and energy efficiency per the National Green Building Standard; how VSI certification supports sustainability and durability, and much more. Check it out on the VSI website, and while you're there, take a look at all the other helpful information VSI offers, including installation, code compliance, technical information, promotional and sales literature, case histories, contractor certification and more. Among the wide range of available publications is the new 86-page Designing Style: A Guide to Designing with Today's Vinyl Siding. Developed in collaboration with experienced architects, designers, builders and manufacturers, the guide is a valuable reference tool showcasing the design possibilities of vinyl siding. A visit to the VSI site to review its available resources is well worth the time.

SideLines Newsletter

Green Building, New Urbanism, and Aging in Place favor durable, low maintenance cladding.

Since the 1960s, vinyl siding and trim have been the products of choice for residential projects. Now, however, three new trends—Green Building, New Urbanism, and Aging in Place—are increasing demand for these durable, low maintenance materials.

Going Green
The move to sustainable building and design has increased the demand for building products that are recyclable, long lasting, and made with recycled content. Vinyl cladding meets these requirements. A recent study by Sustainable Solutions Corporation demonstrates that vinyl emits much lower levels of carbon dioxide than other common building materials. Plus, properly installed vinyl and polymer siding create an efficient building envelope that does not conduct heat or cold. And insulated vinyl siding products like CertainTeed's CedarBoards® contribute to energy efficiency by increasing the R-value of the building envelope. This can reduce energy consumption and related carbon dioxide emissions.

New Urbanism
Because of its design flexibility, vinyl has become the darling of New Urbanists, who strive to revitalize urban neighborhoods and create walkable communities like those found in American cities before World War II. Vinyl can be shaped and formed to emulate classic wood siding profiles such as clapboard, dutchlap, beaded, and board and batten panels, as well as cedar shakes and shingles. Using colored vinyl panels eliminates the need for painting and offers the opportunity to create endless combinations of looks within the same community. Vinyl siding's wide variety of classic profiles and accessories allows builders to renovate older homes with cladding that emulates the original, while polymer siding and shake can be used to produce more elaborate architectural designs like Victorian or Craftsman, where texture and shape are prominent.

Aging in Place
The Aging in Place movement addresses the growing number of active, healthy retirees who prefer living out their lives in their family homes rather than moving to retirement communities. The movement provides solutions for renovating homes to make them more accessible and easy to maintain. Vinyl siding, trim, railing, decking, and fencing provide a big advantage to retirees because they are low maintenance, do not need to be painted, and will not rot, warp, crack, or split. While there are some die-hard DIYers among them, most retirees are happy to enjoy their low maintenance vinyl-clad homes and spend their free time on other, more enjoyable activities.


Accessorize, Accessorize
In a sluggish economy and soft housing market, high margin vinyl accessories can go straight to your bottom line.

As your costs increase and tight credit keeps homeowners skittish about building or remodeling, what can you do to make the most of the work you have? One thing you can do is turn a good siding project into a great siding project and increase your profit by recommending vinyl accessories. Accessories transform an ordinary siding job into a custom look. Restoration Millwork® and Vinyl Carpentry trim and accessories include more than 70 trim pieces, corner systems, and decorative accessories that allow you to add distinctive touches to windows, doors, and corners; soffit and gables; frieze boards; porches and columns—anywhere exterior trim can enhance the curb appeal of a building.

Vinyl trim and accent pieces create the look of wood craftsmanship with the convenience of low maintenance vinyl. Our Vinyl Carpentry trim and accessories come in a wide a variety of colors and finishes, so homeowners can choose coordinating or contrasting accents. Vinyl Carpentry trim and accessories are suitable for new construction and remodeling applications, and can be installed by any experienced siding contractor.

Restoration Millwork Exterior Trim will customize the look of any exterior. This PVC trim looks and feels like top-grade lumber. Installers like working with Restoration Millwork Trim because it cuts, shapes, routs, and mills with traditional woodworking tools and fastens with nails or screws. A low-maintenance material that is guaranteed for 25 years, Restoration Millwork comes in a Natural White smooth or TrueTexture™ rough-sawn cedar finish that is ready to install.

Ask your CertainTeed distributor today for more information about Vinyl Carpentry and Restoration Millwork trim and accessories, or log on to If you'd like some great ideas for using trim and accessories, ask your distributor for CertainTeed's Decorative Trim brochure (CTS 160) or download it at Click on "Siding," then "Literature."

Install Matching Accessories for Custom Look
by Bob Werner

As you read earlier in this newsletter, specially designed accessories can make any siding installation a custom job. This is particularly true when installing one of our super premium or premium sidings styles. Clearly, customers who choose these panels are trying to either make their homes stand out from others in the neighborhood or match a style appropriate for the surroundings. Also, because most accessories come in a choice of colors that contrast or complement the siding, homeowners are more likely to recognize accessories as an opportunity to customize.

In addition to our Decorative Trim brochure (CTS 160), you'll find a complete list of accessories in our Product Catalog (CTS002). Installation instructions for all CertainTeed accessories and trim are at

Like cornice and crown molding, corner blocks and rosettes are high impact accessories that, with just a bit of extra work, can transform the trim around windows and doors into a custom look.

Installing Corner Block
Install a 1/2" J-channel as a starter strip. Measure and cut the side lineals to the exact size of the window or door opening. Cut the top and bottom lineals 1/4" longer than the window.

Using vinyl snips, make two 1" long cuts in the pocket areas on both sides of each lineal. These cuts allow the lineals to connect with the corner block and help provide proper drainage. It may be helpful to put the corner block in place before securing the lineals.

Position the corner block by inserting the top lineal into the corner block's receiving area—making sure the pocket of the lineal is inside the pocket of the corner block. Position the vertical (side) lineal into the corner block by inserting the pocket of the corner cover into the pocket of the lineal. This will ensure proper drainage.

Installing Corner Block with Rosette
Locate the small dimple, which is marked by "+," on the back side of the block's face. If you cannot locate the dimple, mark a spot 2-5/16" from the side and bottom of the block. Drill or punch a 3/32" - 1/8" diameter hole through the face of the block. The hole must not be larger than 1/8".

Apply the rosette clip from the backside. If you prefer, you can apply a small amount of caulk over the hole before you attach the rosette.

Opening the Closed Prospect
Questions keep homeowners engaged.

"," an online magazine that features solutions for sales management, recommends a "probing" process to keep reluctant prospects engaged in your presentation.

Selling Power editors explain, "A successful probing process includes a few preliminary steps before you can ask the questions that lead to a close." They suggest:

  • Break the ice. Make small talk and ensure that you and the homeowners are comfortable with each other.
  • State the purpose of your meeting and get permission to ask a few questions. "I'd like to help you find the best solution for your siding needs. Would you mind if I asked you a few questions?"
  • Focus your information-gathering efforts. "What problems are you experiencing with your home's exterior?"
  • Get the homeowners to talk about problems they choose. "What are your concerns about remodeling the outside of your home?"
  • Bring the conversation to a point you want to discuss. "What is your time frame for making this decision?"
  • Redirect the prospect back to the presentation. "Let's get back to the maintenance issue."
  • Get the prospect to expand on an earlier comment. "I think I know the look you are trying to achieve. What colors are you considering?"
  • Bridge differences of opinion. "Could the real problem be that you are concerned about service?"
Selling Power also recommends that you not give your presentation until the homeowner is ready to hear it, and use the answers you received to highlight the areas the homeowner is most concerned about.

New CedarBoards Ads Promote Its Energy-Saving Role
As we move into the home heating season with historically high energy costs forecasted, we've developed a newspaper ad and radio script designed to capitalize on the energy saving attributes of CedarBoards™ Insulated Siding. CedarBoards has a strong story to tell about how it can help reduce energy bills, not to mention that it's a great looking product.

The Winner Is...
Lisa Spriggs of M & J Construction, Moorhead, MN. As our thanks for sending us the following sales tip, Lisa will receive a 120GB iPod Classic.

Lisa writes, "At the end of a job, I send our customers a thank you note, along with "before" and "after" pictures of their home. I got phone calls from the homeowners thanking us!"

Thanks, Lisa. Referrals from happy customers are the best way to generate new business, and, as you have demonstrated, a small extra step goes a long way to keeping homeowners pleased about our products and your service.

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