From the many new developments just outside of the Henday to the neighbourhoods closer to Edmonton’s core, inspiring possibilities for your home’s exterior are easy to find. Here are some styles to look for and consider on your next drive.
1. Gable accents
A gable is a triangular section of your exterior walls. If you have a front gable over a window or door, accenting it with a contrasting colour or product is one of the easiest ways to add visual interest to your home! Here are some of the most popular gable accents in Edmonton:
· Shingles: Shingle (also known as “Shake”) accents have been popular for decades. You can find gables all over Edmonton with cedar shake, Hardie Shingle fiber cement shakes, and vinyl shakes. Shingle accents are by far the most popular gable accent, but installation of these sections can cost up to 50% more.
· Board & Batten: Board and batten siding is simply a flat panel (the board) with vertical trims (the battens) installed overtop with finishing nails. Traditionally the trims would be selected to contrast the panels, but for a more contemporary look you could choose to colour match everything. A board and batten detail is typically more expensive than a traditional horizontal siding detail, but less expensive than a shake detail.
· Same siding, different colour: If you’re on a tighter budget but still want to make an impression, think about a simple change in colour! Many siding products can be purchased in job lots, which means you can buy just enough siding to finish your gable in an accent colour. For even more character, you can add accent trims too!
2. Stone accents
A simple brick or stone accent is one of the easiest ways to anchor the front of your home’s new exterior. Most people who choose a stone accent will “skirt” the front of the home, which means they will run the stone vertically up the first 3 to 4 feet of the home, and wrap it around the first few feet of the corners horizontally. Since the sides and back of your home aren’t usually visible from the street, it makes more sense to leave these areas as plain siding!
Here are some tips to keep in mind for designing your stone accent:
· Less is more: Not only is stone hard on the budget, it can be a bit of an eyesore if you use too much! They call it an “accent” for a reason.
· There are limited colours: There are many manufacturers of stone accent products, but there are only so many colours they have for you to choose from. In general, it is a good idea to pick your stone first, and then find a nice colour of siding to complement it.
· Durability: This may sound odd to say, but there are some “stone” products that look the part in a showroom, but are nothing more than painted foam bricks! If you want a beautiful accent but don’t want to pay for real or cultured stone, there are other options that will look better for longer than this fake “stone”.
3. Stained wood
It sounds funny to say, but stained wood looking siding is by far the most popular new trend in Edmonton today. Stained cedar siding had fallen out of favour over the last 20 years or so because it is an extremely high maintenance siding product. Luckily, in the last few years some new low maintenance products have been released in Edmonton that allow homeowners to get their dream design without worrying about re-staining their siding every two to three years.
For design purposes, wood looking siding works well as an accent for traditional and contemporary designs. If you drive around in the estates sections of most new neighbourhoods, you’ll see lots of acrylic stucco homes that feature sections of Longboard, an aluminum siding product with a wood veneer pattern and a clear powder coating for weather resistance.
Longboard is available in a number of colours, but its tongue in groove design keeps the “planks” flat to the wall. The flat-to-wall design combined with the glossy finish of the wood veneer is what makes Longboard siding look so contemporary.
4. Trim design
Whether you choose vinyl siding or James Hardie siding for your renovation project, your trim choices have a big impact on the overall design of your home. Here are a few things to think about when deciding on how to lay out your trims:
· When I first started working for James Hardie, over 70% of the trim they sold in Edmonton was white. Today they still sell more white trim than any other colour, but it’s closer to 50%. Black trims are far more popular today than they were 5 years ago, and that trend is likely to continue!
· Traditionally, you’d put trims at the outside corners of your home and around all your windows. If you live in a bungalow, having trims around all your windows might not work if your windows are too close to your soffit or eave area. You might be better off using a low-profile metal trim instead!
· If you are choosing James Hardie siding and you are thinking you might replace your windows in the next 10 to 20 years, I recommend that you choose a trim board that is face-nailed around the windows. This way when you do replace your windows, you can remove the trims around the window without damaging your siding. It will also be easier to tie your new windows in to the weather resistive barrier on your home.
· Use factory painted trim! If you choose James Hardie siding or vinyl siding with a painted wood trim, you will probably be repainting your trims within 7 to 10 years. If you are using a low maintenance siding product, make sure to use low maintenance accessories.
These are just a few of the most popular design trends in Edmonton today, but there are countless other ways to design your home so that you can showcase its unique character. Not every style will suit every home (or homeowner!), so when you're ready reach out and book a free design consultation with Blue Jay Exterior Renovations. We will go over all of your options for a new exterior design and show you a visualization of what they will look like on your home!