For those who might not know, building facades are the exterior walls of a building—they're important not just for their architectural and aesthetic significance, but because they're built to withstand the elements and preserve the underlying structure.
According to Steve Gallagher, directing manager of Tractel Ltd.’s Swingstage Division, facades are usually attached directly to the frame of a building, but some can also be welded or embedded.
Brian Hauschild of Apex Exteriors Inc. in South Elgin says that there are many types of facades found in Chicago area buildings, including vinyl siding, cement fiber board, aluminum, cedar, stucco, and systems like Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) covering, often called foam siding.
Some materials are more popular than others, of course. Hauschild says that many builders have gradually moved away from aluminum siding because of its high cost and limited durability. “It bends fairly easy, and people are going to newer products like vinyl that look more natural and cost less,” he says. “Insurance companies also want to stay away from aluminum due to hail storms and other risks.”
Types of building facade can also vary with the level of pricing of a home. Many homes throughout the Chicagoland area are built using vinyl as the structure’s primary facade material.