Story at a glance:
- Vicwest’s metal cladding offers up maintenance-free solutions that can stand up to extreme weather events while providing curb appeal that lasts a lifetime.
- True Nature metal roof tile has been designed to look like a shake, slate, or wave tile roof that accommodates any home designs, whether it be contemporary or traditional.
- Bellara siding collection emulates wood while offering a long lifespan of up to 40 years.
In any building process, you face some big decisions. If you’re deciding on the very roof that will go over your head, for example, you’ll want to know you’re investing in something that will survive the next big storm—that you won’t have to replace loose and worn out shingles year after year.
It’s also important that the look of your roof reflects your home’s architectural style. Vicwest’s metal roofs and wall systems provide homeowners, builders, and specifiers with a more durable and more sustainable solution—and curb appeal that lasts a lifetime.
For nearly a century Vicwest has been an innovator in metal building products. Founded in 1930, the company produced metal roofs for the agricultural market. Today Vicwest products are seen on commercial and residential buildings across North America. Their commitment to products that last alongside their drive to act with environmental consciousness has transformed Vicwest into one of the leading metal roofing manufacturers today for residential and commercial projects alike.
While roofing options like asphalt and wood shakes can cost building owners a heavy price over time, metal has provided a sturdy and low-maintenance alternative. The versatility in the Vicwest product lineup gives homeowners the flexibility to design their roofs with options that mimic natural materials without ending up in landfills.
Vicwest’s metal roofing is fire-rated, hail-rated, and can withstand hurricane force winds. While extreme weather patterns are changing across the globe, building with Vicwest gives homeowners peace of mind without sacrificing style. We recently spoke with Geoff Bernstein, director of marketing at Vicwest, to discuss the benefits and applications of the company’s diverse product line.
What are the benefits of metal roofing and siding?
As a homeowner you really need to look at a number of elements when choosing a new roof: Lifespan, energy efficiency, and sustainability are among the most asked about while weighing the decision to invest in metal.
Sustainability is a primary benefit of metal roofing and siding. Steel contains a significant amount of recycled content, and all steel is 100% recyclable at the end of its life. That makes metal the ideal environmentally friendly alternative to asphalt roofing, wood siding, or vinyl siding—all of which have negative environmental impacts.
Unfortunately 11 million tons of asphalt shingles end up in landfills every year. An asphalt roof has a 10- to 12-year life cycle before you re-roof your home. Metal roofing is a long-term solution and can last for 50 years. Our True Nature collection carries a lifetime warranty, so it will be the last roof you ever own. And because metal roofs are maintenance-free, you won’t be going out after a storm to clear debris or replace shingles.
Steel roofs perform in the most extreme weather. We have put True Nature through the most rigorous testing available, and it has proven to perform against extreme conditions like wind uplift, wind-driven rain, hail damage, fire, and corrosion. Plus we are certified for use in Miami-Dade County—the gold standard in this industry for protection against heavy rains, winds, and saltwater. So no matter what part of the country you live in, our products are a great solution for whatever weather you may face.
How have Vicwest’s solutions evolved—and why does that matter?
We started in the agriculture sector; barns and farm buildings across the landscape were built using Vicwest products because they use a low-maintenance, high-performance material. We’re very proud of that heritage and the fact that so many of those buildings are still operational decades after they were built. And it’s for those same reasons why farmers have trusted Vicwest for generations that we adapted our metal building materials so homeowners can see the same benefit.
There are many misconceptions that metal roofs are noisy and limited in terms of their architectural appeal. So our design team worked tirelessly to introduce new profiles, new styles, and on-trend colors to demonstrate how well-suited metal roofing materials can be in the residential market.
Is that the origin of the True Nature product line?
True Nature is a collection of metal roof tiles designed to look like shake, slate, or clay tiles. With True Nature homeowners can have the exact roofing design that not only suits their architectural taste but also blends stylistically with other homes in their neighborhood.
With True Nature you no longer need to have a modern or contemporary looking home to suit a metal roof; it fits very well with any style of home—even a more traditional design style.
Through our partnership with Sherwin-Williams we have developed a color palette for each True Nature metal roof tile collection, making it incredibly difficult to distinguish it from natural materials. Our unique ability to print in multi-tonal colors really brings the shake and slate tiles to life by creating the illusion of texture.
We recently installed True Nature at a lakefront golf club in Central Ontario, including the restaurant, lounge, and event center. It was specifically selected because of its visual appearance and durability given that the facility is positioned in a high-wind zone.
Is this what makes your Bellara Siding is so realistic?
Yes, and with our Bellara metal siding, our steel coil painting technology allows us to imprint hyper-realistic wood graphics onto the steel. Even if you’re standing mere inches in front of the product, you can’t tell the difference between the steel siding and natural wood. The resolution of the image we’ve captured makes it indiscernible until you reach out and touch it.
Bellara is not only beautiful to look at, but it’s also easy to install and lasts 40 years with zero maintenance. On the other hand, wood siding needs so much care, it has such a short lifespan, and it requires painting and retreatment every few years.
How does the cost of metal roofing or siding measure up?
Although metal is often less expensive than luxurious materials like slate, shake, or clay, it does cost more than asphalt. However, the overall life cycle cost makes it a wise financial decision when you add up the low maintenance, durability, and energy efficiencies offered by a metal roof or siding product. In a nutshell, yes, there is a higher upfront cost, but if you amortize that cost over the life of your home, metal is not only economical; it can add value when it comes to your resale potential down the road.
The other factor to consider is future building material costs. For instance, lumber prices have skyrocketed in recent years, and labor shortages have been increasing overall installation costs and don’t seem to be slowing down. So although asphalt shingles and wood siding may be cheaper now, they may not be in 10 years when they need to be replaced.
How does metal roofing contribute to energy efficiency?
The pigments in the paint actually reflect the sun’s rays away from the home hence the term “cool roof,” keeping the home cooler in the summer months. On the flip side, it retains the heat generated within the home from escaping. That’s why we’re seeing local utilities offering rebates for buildings that use metal roofs in many regions. In fact, homeowners regularly report seeing a reduction in their heating and cooling bills after installing a metal roof.
You’re seeing in all markets an increasing interest in products that are environmentally friendly, green, and made in a way that’s conscious of the environmental impact. You see it in electric cars and efficient lighting. We were in a unique position to fill a market demand that is only increasing.
Through our Planet Passionate initiative, Vicwest committed to be net positive by 2030 across all our manufacturing facilities. We are already running our facilities at net zero today, and we’re continually making efficiency and energy improvements across each of our manufacturing plants. That includes everything from adding carbon offsets to installing solar panels on our roofs to converting forklifts to all-electric and, one I’m most proud of, we are implementing a new rainwater harvesting program to be in position to donate up to 50,000 gallons of water annually back into the farming communities where our manufacturing facilities are located.
It’s not just about a company with a product that meets a market demand but also about the corporate citizenship and awareness to know that this is something we need to lead on. If we want our customers to expect efficient and environmentally friendly products, we should also take steps to improve our operations. That’s been critical to our business in the last number of years, and it’s not going away.