Interest in durability and environmentally friendly exterior products is driving sales of steel siding and metal roofing at Quarve Contracting, in Spring Lake, Minn. Vice president Julie Quarve says that during the last five years, sales of vinyl have dropped from 50% in 2002 to 1% today. By comparison, seamless steel siding has grown about 7% a year and now accounts for 40% of Quarve Contracting’s total sales. Metal roofing increased from 2% of sales in 2002 to 30% today.

The siding, because it is seamless, contributes to a tighter building envelope, says company president Patrick Quarve. The product is 100% recyclable, and some products are made of recycled steel. Also, certain metal roofing colors reflect heat. Patrick estimates that the cost (including installation) of a metal roof is twice the cost of a standard asphalt product. Seamless steel siding has a price tag similar to foam-backed vinyl.

Though the green aspects of metal siding and roofing are gaining attention, some of the company’s clients are primarily interested in the products’ durability and low maintenance. “People who care about the environment know durable equals green and that metal means a more energy-efficient envelope, which saves money,” Julie says. “It doesn’t matter what side of the fence you are on — you always want to save money.”

—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.