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Embracing Modern Design: The Rise of Metal Siding in Contemporary Homes

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A well-designed modern home looks clean and almost minimalist in its finished form. This clean simplicity can sometimes hide the hours of intensive thought that went into each line, curve, and surface. Designers have to balance aesthetics, performance, longevity, and often most importantly, the surrounding landscape. New technologies have improved metal siding panel systems, allowing designers more flexibility in their designs, knowing that the performance and longevity of the product is up to their standards.

Challenges Facing a Modern Facade

For a designer, one of the biggest challenges in a design is incorporating the natural aesthetics of materials seamlessly into the landscape. While the initial design may take the landscape into consideration, often as a project gets closer to completion performance and technical challenges alter available materials, and slowly take away from the visual appeal of the project.

In addition to aesthetics, performance during the lifespan of the home, and a need to build homes in an energy efficient and responsible manner add technical challenges to any contemporary build. Because of its ability to perform in all of these areas, metal siding is quickly becoming a popular option in contemporary residential designs.

The Aesthetics of Metal Siding

One reason metal panels are being used in new and creative manners in modern designs is their visual appeal. Using steel, aluminum, zinc, or copper, panels can be molded and shaped into a range of finishes that when in the proper hands, can direct sight lines, create unique shadows, and allow the designer to get creative without the normal restrictions of traditional residential siding.

Complementary Finishes

While some contemporary designs exclusively use metal siding as their exterior façade, others use the natural cooler finish of steel to complement other materials on the exterior of the building. Combining natural steel colors with products like concrete or wood highlights the textures of each material in a minimal and complementary manner.

Types of Metal Panels Being Used in Contemporary Homes

While metal panels offer a nearly unlimited range of panel profiles, in current designs a few styles are standing out from the pack. Panels traditionally used for commercial projects like box rib panels, all-purpose panels (like Tuff Rib or Delta Rib), and industrial looks like Platte River are being used in creative manners, most new designs fall within a few key panel types.

Standing Seam Panels: Standing seam, or standing rib panels, have traditionally been used in roofing applications due to their high performance and clean lines. Standing seam panels use concealed fasteners that hide the screws beneath the panel, making them especially appealing for the detail-oriented designer. What began as a roofing panel has recently morphed into a vertical siding panel because of the same features that drew attention to it on the roof. The clean lines and hidden fasteners make it a perfect siding panel, and give the added bonus of allowing the lines from the roof to continue through the facade in a waterfall effect.

Shiplap Panels: Another popular option for residential siding is the metal shiplap panel. With more subtle lines than the standing seams, shiplap combines the appeal of traditionally wooden siding with the performance and aesthetics of a modern metal siding panel system. Shiplap is the most subtle in appearance and often used in areas where detail will be most noticed, like entryways and patio accent walls.

Batten Panels: Among the most popular panels at Bridger Steel, the Ultra Batten wall panel is a big favorite with designers looking for a bold statement in their facade. While the shiplap and standing seam provide a subtle look, the Ultra and Snap Batten panels are chosen for their dramatic lines. Emulating a traditional board and batten look, the use of this panel in a facade can influence sight lines like no other, making it very appealing to designers and homeowners alike.

Corrugated Panels: While traditionally thought of as an agricultural or commercial panel, corrugated metal siding has seen increased interest due to its ability to cast shadows uniquely among metal panel systems. When combined with darker finishes, the corrugated panel offers an extremely durable panel that becomes very refined for an external fastener panel system. Ran both vertically and horizontally, this panel is often seen in contemporary homes as a complementary finish to brighter wood materials.


As modern home designs continue to evolve, metal siding has emerged as a versatile and aesthetically pleasing option that meets the high standards of contemporary architecture. Its combination of durability, low maintenance, and unique visual appeal makes it a preferred choice for designers and homeowners looking to create striking and sustainable living spaces. With various styles and finishes available, metal siding provides endless possibilities for enhancing the beauty and performance of modern homes.

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