We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Homeowners are increasingly investing in ways to make their existing home designs work better for them since many owners are deciding to stay put rather than move.

But good design doesn’t stop at the kitchen, the bathroom, the clever under-stairs storage, or the creative shifting of room functions. Exteriors must also work hard. More than offering safety from the elements, siding boosts curb appeal and, when done well, wraps the house like a gift that homeowners get to open every time they pull into the driveway.

Siding programs such as Ply Gem’s Designed Exterior http://www.designedexterior.com and Exterior Portfolio by Crane http://www.exteriorportfolio.com have had great success in giving contractors and remodelers easy access to siding design ideas and the products to bring those ideas to life.

Here’s a range of products currently available. —Lauren Hunter, associate editor, REMODELING. http://www.remodelingmag.com

Structure EPS

Get an R-value boost from insulation behind 16 colors in standard or long lengths. Mastic by Ply Gem | 800.788.1964. | mastic.com


A range of new darker colors makes for a bold design palette. Exterior Portfolio by Crane | 800.366.8472 | exteriorportfolio.com


Available in three edge profiles and 27 colors to offer texture to designs.

James Hardie | 888.542.7343 | jameshardie.com

Laurel Cavern Ledge

Accent an array of siding with four region-inspired color blends.

StoneCraft | 888.580.6448 | stonecraft.com


Three color options let users lend a dry-stacked linearity to any project.

Eldorado Stone | 800.925.1491 | eldoradostone.com


A unique backing system helps stones install like color-by-number. Simply stack and grout. Oldcastle | 877.506.2745 | suretouchusa.com


A weighty 8x8-inch column size was introduced to meet customer demands. Versatex | 724.857.1111 | versatex.com


Choose from 18 profiles of PVC molding for that finishing touch. Kleer Lumber | 866.553.3770 | kleerlumber.com

IQm Trim

An itegrated fin and J-channel help boards work hard in all 17 colors. IQm | 888.289.1169 | iqmtrimboard.com