A Recent Report from VERSATEX states PVC Architectural Trim is becoming an Accepted Solution for Maintenance and Historic Restoration for Builders

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In a new report recently published by VERSATEX on Findings from Residential Contractors: Issues and Trends in the Industry, it was reported that modern materials are reducing maintenance and can still compliment historic and traditional exteriors.

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In a recent VERSATEX-sponsored panel discussion conducted at the International Builders Show in Orlando, eight construction professionals shared their expertise on trends in the industry. Among their conclusions: Modern materials that reduce maintenance can still complement historic or traditional exteriors.

When professional renovators have to resolve client demands for both low maintenance and authentic looks, many recommend historically accurate cellular PVC trim — an easy-to-care-for alternative to conventional exterior components such as wooden mouldings and columns.

Maintenance? I’ve never met a homeowner who likes doing it,” says renovation contractor Joe Cracco. One of the ways he helps his clients avoid “the M-word” on residential exteriors is to show them how, with mouldings and other trim products made of modern materials, they can combine traditional curb appeal with long-lasting, trouble-free performance.

Cracco is the CEO of Modern Yankee Builders, a Cumberland, R.I., design-build firm serving clients across Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts. In his territory, traditional houses, historic landmarks, and traditionally-styled new homes all take a beating from the harsh elements of the New England coast. As a result, the wooden “gingerbread” that lends many of these structures their character needs repainting every couple of years, he says. And even frequent, labor-intensive refinishing is only a temporary defense against the elements.

One labor-saving alternative that Cracco recommends is authentic-looking, weather-resistant cellular PVC from VERSATEX Trimboard, a Pittsburgh-based company he praises for high quality, complete product line, easy availability and exceptional customer service.

“We're solving lots of problems with VERSATEX,” he said recently. “In areas where historic wood trim is exposed to a lot of water and then deteriorating, we come in, remove the rotten trim and install accurate new profiles made from PVC.

“I just finished a project that called for replacing some rake boards where a gambrel-roofed house had been dormered. The dormer rake along the upper gambrel sees a lot of splash-back. It became rotten, so we replaced it with VERSATEX PVC. Problem solved, and it will look great for decades to come.”

VERSATEX trim components, he said, are light in weight but sturdy enough to withstand wind, rain, hail and snow. Their high-density composition is impervious to rot, mold and moisture, and — thanks to VERSATEX’s design team — they come in dimensions and profiles that match traditional design features exactly. When a project calls for custom shapes, craftsmen find VERSATEX PVC is easy to form, using conventional tools.

“This fall we'll be replacing wood trim on a 13-year-old Greek Revival house. It’s a nice, architect-designed place, but the trim is rotting in areas where there's high water exposure — like where door trim contacts the wood deck, or where a lower roof spills water onto what was once a beautiful, built-up corner board. We’ll be able to duplicate that corner board exactly, and the homeowner can forget about it ever warping or rotting.”

“Remodelers spend a lot of time correcting problems, especially exterior issues, that wouldn’t arise if owners had time for, or interest in, upkeep — or if their homes were just easier to take care of,” Cracco said. “High-end clients start out wanting traditional materials because that’s what they see themselves paying for. Well, it’s a sad fact, but wood rots. And, eventually, they see that we can achieve a historical effect with materials like PVC trim — and bring the level of maintenance a lot closer to zero.”

To read more on this report: Findings from Residential Contractors: Issues and Trends in the Industry, visit http://www.versatex.com and click on News. VERSATEX Trimboard products are available from fine millwork distributors nationwide. They’re manufactured by Wolfpac Technologies, Inc., whose state-of-the-art facility produces cellular PVC trimboards, sheet, bead board, mouldings and prefabricated corners, as well as the innovative VERSATEX soffit system. VERSATEX products are 100 percent engineered, formulated and manufactured in the U.S.A.

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Pam Corn
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