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Digital Design Tools Elevate Home Exteriors


Whether you’re building a new home or looking to remodel an existing abode, the idea of picking out products for the exterior of a house can be daunting. The outside of a home is a major statement about the homeowner’s personality, yet it’s often a forgotten and overlooked piece of the building or renovation process. Perhaps because homeowners are overwhelmed, uninformed, or both.

For Heather Killie and Richard Ingraham, homeowners in the New Hampshire town of Windham, a modern approach to an age-old exterior problem helped make their process as easy as possible.

“We were looking for a maintenance-free exterior that was also visually appealing and different,” Killie said. A seemingly simple request has historically not been easy to fulfill, until Royal® Building Products, a building products manufacturer, stepped in. Royal offers several lines of premium building products, perfect for the home that Killie and Ingraham were planning.

Royal’s cellular PVC siding, decking, and trim products offer the unique combination of beauty and maintenance freedom the couple was in search of. The project began with Celect® Cellular Composite Siding by Royal®, which Killie discovered after discussions with building professionals and online research.

Killie was sold on Celect after Royal’s online visualization tool, HomePlay™ Prime, allowed her to see how different color and siding combinations would look on her home. “We wanted our home to resemble more of a Craftsman-style, so we liked the idea of adding Craftsman types of accents. However, in the Northeast, you don’t see a lot of Board & Batten, so we weren’t sure where we should put them.”

Royal’s virtual design tool allowed Killie to experiment with a variety of siding styles and color combinations before committing to the final decision for her home. “We turned to the Royal design team for help—they showed us all the colors and different options on our computer screen before we went through with installation,” Killie shared.

Today’s consumers deserve more than just tiny color swatches when deciding what the outside of their homes are going to look like for the next 20 or more years. Companies like Royal are investing in user-friendly technology that empowers the homeowner to not only experiment with style and color, but to take a more active role in the process of customizing their home’s exterior.

Recently, the company has taken the tool a step further. Homeowners can upload a photo of their home into HomePlay Prime, which can be mapped and custom designed with the software. The tool is then used to customize everything, including the color of their front door, garage, and trim packages with color options from Royal’s cellular PVC trim product, created to accompany Celect on high-end homes like that of Killie and Ingraham.

Royal Building Products’ suite of exterior products is rounded out by a premium decking product, Zuri®. Created through a similar process to Royal’s other cellular PVC products, Zuri’s differentiating feature is a photorealistic wood print and acrylic cap that provides enhanced beauty and durability. Available in a variety of colors, Zuri also has its own online visualization tool, allowing homeowners to view different colors of decking paired with a variety of railing options.

Killie and Ingraham installed Zuri on their front porch and have found that guests often mistake it for real wood. The decking matches the high-quality finishes selected for the rest of the exterior while offering the maintenance-free lifestyle the couple envisioned. “We couldn’t be happier with our decision to use Celect and Zuri,” said Killie. “The outcome was exactly what we were looking for—high-end, maintenance-free exterior products that look amazing.”