Case Study
Building a Modern Home on the West Coast

Custom home building on the West Coast requires an extra level of care and concern when it comes to exterior product selection. Large temperature swings, harsh sunlight and ocean sea spray can cause the look you want to require much more upkeep than you’re willing to invest. 

Homeowner Yumi Hacker had all these factors to consider when it came time to design her forever home on the stunning California coast. With wet conditions and a dream style in mind, she chose Nichiha to help her build her perfect home.

Starting out, Yumi had very specific design ideas. Her favorite architect is Tadao Ando and she really wanted to draw from his style, but not to copy it completely. So she selected specific aspects she loved best for a result that felt heavy, yet minimalistic and remained sensitive to natural lighting. 

Yumi long envisioned a home of solid concrete. Her original dream for the home was both monolithic and minimalist. Since concrete, as a cladding material, is not suitable for the West Coast climate or most homeowner’s budgets, Yumi had to look elsewhere to find the look she was after.

That’s when Nichiha was brought to her attention. 

“I received samples from Nichiha and compared them to my other options, specifically price-wise and what the installation process would look like,” Yumi told us. She requested samples from Ceraclad, HardiePlank and Equitone alongside Nichiha to ensure she was making the best decision possible for her home.

She also considered HardiePlank after her contractor brought it up as a suitable option — it was cheaper and can be a good cost-to-performance product — she had lived in a home with it before and wasn’t impressed with the look. Visually, it wasn’t high-end enough for her current requirements; plus, it would need to be painted, which was an additional cost and headache. 

In the end, Yumi’s decision to choose Nichiha over Ceraclad and HardiePlank came down to aesthetics. Nichiha’s product line looked more high-end and elegant than similar products from other companies, and they had more variety, too. Nichiha’s IndustrialBlock product was the most unique offering. A good balance of quality, cost and great representation by the Nicihiha sales representative made the decision to go with Nichiha a fait accompli.

“Nichiha did cost more than some of the other suppliers, but the style I used was so incredibly unique that no other company could offer anything that came close. The design, the color, the feel to it… I could not resist moving forward with Nichiha and I am still so very glad with my decision,” said Yumi.

It’s now been one year with her Nichiha product, and her exterior still looks like it was just installed. No dirt, no dust: It is still so beautiful. “It’s easy to maintain with a simple hose and so far, everything Nichiha promised me has been accurate, and I am very happy with my experience,” Yumi beamed.

“I am in the building materials industry myself, so I knew what I was looking for. Nichiha has met my needs perfectly. My house is protected and designed for the long-term. Long-term durability of a home, especially the exterior, is of the utmost importance to me. Nichiha nailed it.”

Yumi loved the simplicity of the ordering process with Nichiha: “Because of my experience, I probably could have gone directly to Nichiha to work with them. But, I wanted to go the route of ordering as a homeowner and not a building materials expert, so I reached out to their local sales representative through their sales rep locator on their website. I met with my rep Tim and, from start to finish, his service was fantastic. We worked together amazingly.”

Yumi's contractor had never worked with Nichiha before, so that left her a bit apprehensive about what the installation experience would be like. Even if you have a great product, the efficiency and accuracy of the installation process are key, especially with housing materials. 

With Nichiha's customized support, Yumi was able to get a technical installation expert to work with her architect and contractor on-site to ensure a smooth installation. It was a seamless process that inspired confidence in Yumi's purchase decision.

“I am in the building materials industry myself, so I knew what I was looking for. Nichiha has met my needs perfectly.”
Yumi Hacker
The Challenge

Yumi Hacker wanted a home that had long-term durability for the elements of the West Coast and matched her dream style of concrete minimalist.

The Solution

Nichiha was the perfect solution for Yumi. Even though it was priced higher than competitors, its industrial look and high-quality, paired with the personalized service, made it the right decision.

The Results

Yumi’s home is everything she hoped it could be. She is very happy and enjoying all the compliments she is receiving on her gorgeous, unique home — even from her Amazon delivery guy.

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