Nitti Development has been building upscale custom homes in the northwest suburbs of Chicago for many years. With a reputation for quality craftsmanship and innovative design Nitti Development quickly developed a diverse portfolio of projects, the most recent being the Berteau Development.
In early 2014 Nitti Development started work on the Berteau Development, a neighborhood of 56 single-family modern homes with a timeless, classic aesthetic. They used LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding products, including the LP SmartSide Cedar Texture Shake Siding because of its proven durability and vast variety of paint colors.
In planning, Nitti Development co-owner Joe Nitti identified three priorities for the Berteau Development—workability, durability and design. Before using LP SmartSide products Nitti used fiber cement, which he says is “very difficult to touch up and shows a lot of waves when you install it.” He explored LP SmartSide products as an alternative, having heard about their exceptional durability and workability from other trusted builders.
One architectural challenge Nitti faced was making the development’s narrow houses look different on the outside. Nitti set out to solve this with a variety of paint colors and workable trim and siding to create homes with different styles. Says Nitti, “I have a lot of color variations I can choose from and was able to achieve different architectural styles and elevations due to the durability of the LP SmartSide products. It makes my life easier and the homes a lot prettier.”
Nitti emphasizes, “Making the switch [to LP SmartSide products] was a really big deal. I had meetings with different companies, spent a lot of time looking at LP homes, and did in-house testing.” When it came time to start the job, Nitti felt confident that LP SmartSide products were the best materials for the job.
In June 2014, Nitti Development purchased an 11-acre tract of land for the 56-home development. Nitti says that the variety of paint color options made the homes unique and added homebuyer appeal. Additionally, the workability of LP SmartSide products led to his ability to implement different architectural styles and elevations to create a diverse development.
Nitti also benefited from the workability of LP SmartSide products with time and labor savings. Comparing LP SmartSide engineered wood siding products to fiber cement ones, he voiced his preference for LP. “Cutting is so much easier and cleaner,” he explains. “It’s lighter, so easier for the guys to lift, and it’s easier to touch up paint.” Nitti put LP SmartSide siding’s durability, strength and resistance to the test against fiber cement siding by conducting a water test. While the fiber cement expanded drastically, LP SmartSide siding “held its own.”
In addition to the LP SmartSide Cedar Texture Shake Siding Nitti used many LP SmartSide products on the Berteau Development, including LP SmartSide Lap Siding, LP SmartSide Perfection Shingle, Trim and Soffit to create a classic board and batten look. The combination of products is one he says he’ll definitely use again.
The Berteau Development is expected to be complete by Fall 2018, with all 56 homes built with LP SmartSide Trim & Siding products. The homes’ unique colors, architectural styles and elevations are differentiators and a draw for preferential homebuyers, and Nitti has personally proven the durability and strength of the building materials to surpass competing products.
Christine Hornik of Hornik Construction, the siding installer for the Berteau Development and an LP® BuildSmart® Program member since early 2016, says this project was a great opportunity to work on an impressive subdivision. She said, “Nitti used a lot of different designs you don’t see on normal homes.” For this reason, she said, the Berteau Development was a unique opportunity that Hornik Construction was proud to be a part of.
Nitti plans to use LP SmartSide in future projects, saying, “It gives an added value.” And after his experience he is confident in the building process, saying he believes the installation and inspection was a “very simple process.” He summed it all up when he said, “LP made my life really easy in being able to turn around [to the homebuyer] and say, ‘You’re good, everything is covered!’”