Sam DeFrancesco was understandably skeptical of black as an exterior color for a home that spends much of the day in direct sunlight.

“The house sits at the top of a hill with nothing around it … So, the challenge we had is that it just bakes in the sun,” says Sam DeFrancesco, owner of Northford, Conn.-based Kingdom Ministry Builders.

That the color would arrive on prefinished siding raised his skepticism even more. Would black siding fade over time? Would heat buildup cause expansion issues? How much maintenance are we talking about?

These and other concerns were put at ease when DeFrancesco learned that AZEK Captivate Prefinished Siding & Trim features solar reflective coatings, ensuring even darker colors could withstand harmful UV rays while also minimizing the sun’s impact on the PVC substrate. That meant he could achieve his clients’ desired style while providing advanced durability.

From bland to bold

The sprawling house in Middlefield, Conn. had basic cream-colored siding in dire need of an upgrade. With its decorative pitched roofs and charming elevation, a designer saw how new bevel and board-and-batten siding could give the home a bold new look with a modern farmhouse aesthetic.

It was a big job. Thankfully, the workability of AZEK’s PVC material simplified the installation process. AZEK’s bevel siding installs like cedar minus pesky knots and finger joints. Plus, cut edges do not require sealer. That it arrives ready to paint without sanding or primer needed — or in DeFrancesco’s case, prefinished, requiring only one coat for consistency and to hide fasteners — helped speed things along.

His four-man team got the job done relatively quickly compared to installing and painting conventional siding.

“It costs a little more, but it does save you time,” he says.

AZEK Trim was used along the fascia. The trim was prefinished black on the front of the board. The backside was white, requiring his team to paint it black where there was overhang. It was an unexpected step, but he says it beat having to paint the entire board. He’s pleased with the results.

“I really enjoy the install of the AZEK corners,” he says. “Everything sits well together.

“Aesthetically, it’s beautiful. It looks classier in my opinion than vinyl on a corner,” he adds.

The only part of the project that gave DeFrancesco pause was the color. Not only could black lose its luster under the sun, but dark colors absorb more heat from sunlight and are therefore more prone to thermal expansion and contraction. But DeFrancesco was assured that the material could go the distance, thanks to both the substrate’s engineered polymers and the specially formulated paint coating that deflects the sun’s rays more effectively than standard paint pigments. The darkest Captivate colors produced in specialty PPG paints will lead to less heat buildup than many lighter colors in an ordinary paint.

“The reality of it is, it will maintain its color under the sun for years,” DeFrancesco says.

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