Vinyl building products often can struggle fitting in where a certain architectural design is preferred.
This has always been true for exterior cladding in markets such as Florida and the Southwest, where masonry products like stucco dominate.
Valley Forge, Pa.-based CertainTeed Corp. does not believe that has to be the case.
At the fencing industry's annual trade show, Fencetech, held Feb. 5-7 in Las Vegas, CertainTeed introduced that audience to its newest creation - a vinyl privacy fence with a faux-stucco finish. CertainTeed officials are hopeful the benefits of vinyl can win over those in the traditional stucco markets.
To build a stucco wall - commonly found around homes, office parks and multifamily complexes in the South - installers must dig and pour a foundation, the wall must be painted, and owners must deal with maintaining cracks resulting from settling. CertainTeed's vinyl version removes all that from the equation.
It's a low-maintenance replacement for a high-maintenance product, said Chris Bourque, marketing director for CertainTeed's fence products, in an interview at Fencetech.
The vinyl stucco fence has potential in the high end of the market, said Steve Van Kouteren, a principal with Exton, Pa.-based building products consulting firm Principia Partners.
Because of heat displacement issues, CertainTeed must keep the colors light, but he expects the product line to expand and mature over time.
``Like all first-generation products, you'll see it evolve,'' he said.
The stucco market is healthy through Florida, California and the Southwest, which bodes well for the CertainTeed product, Bourque said.
To him, the equation is a simple one - real stucco requires hard work; vinyl does not.
``All of the sudden, you have a better, low-maintenance alternative,'' he said. ``It's a fundamentally good market that we're targeting.''