More for Your Money: Home Renovators Turn to Copper Products for Beauty, Function, Sustainable Value

May 28, 2009


In This Tough Economy, Homeowners Who Can't Afford to Sell or Buy New, Choose Copper Products to Update and Add Value to Their Homes

NEW YORK, NY— Want to make your house the best-looking one on the block both inside and out? Copper products are an increasingly popular alternative for home remodelers looking to add value and beauty to their homes, according to the Copper Development Association (CDA). Copper not only adds a long-lasting aesthetic element to homes, it's also good for the environment. Some facts about copper:

  • Copper has the highest recycling rate of an engineering metal and rarely ends up in a landfill.
  • Naturally corrosion-resistant, copper products have a protective patina, a film that occurs when copper is exposed to the elements, adding to its durability, sustainability and beauty.
  • Copper roofs can last 100 years or longer. Copper also is fire-resistant and has the ability to withstand heavy snow, rain and high winds.
  • The average single family home (2,100 square feet) uses 439 pounds of copper.

Americans' love of copper products has seen a revival in recent months as homeowners search for ways to add value to their homes in a difficult economy. The residential remodeling market showed signs of improvement during the first quarter of 2009, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) Remodeling Market Index (RMI).The current market conditions measure rose to 34.5 from 25.5 in the fourth quarter of 2008. Future expectations jumped to 30 from a historic low of 18.6 the previous quarter. The RMI measures remodeler perceptions of market demand for current and future residential remodeling projects.

roof of the house with copper claddingWall cladding is a widely used method for Zappone shingles. This house has a vertical wall shadow of copper on the side.

For Mark Stratton, national sales manager of Zappone Manufacturing in Spokane, Wash., copper vertical walls, bay window kits, shingles and other accessories have grown increasingly popular as consumers look to upgrade their homes with a material that will last a lifetime. The company, which has manufactured copper roofs and other accessories since 1969, has found resurgence in the popularity of copper as homeowners seek a building material that sets their homes apart from others in their neighborhoods. "Copper is the best bang for your dollar," Stratton says. "It looks great; it's durable and can last for hundreds of years."

Dino Rachiele, owner of Rachiele, a sink designer and manufacturer in Altamonte Springs, Fla., near Orlando, has had the most profitable first quarter in copper sink sales since the company was started 10 years ago. "We've seen an increase in sales from people who would rather remodel than move," Rachiele says.

Large copper sink

Custom-made sink with patina stencil on copper apron. Natural copper sinks are easy to maintain and will not show scratches over time. All of Rachiele's copper sinks are manufactured in the USA.

Erin Tomazic of Louisville, Ky., purchased an apron copper sink this year from Rachiele to remodel her kitchen and also plans to use copper accents throughout her home. "I've loved copper since I've been a little girl," says Tomazic, adding that it reminds her of the good times she had at her grandmother's house, where copper pots and pans hung in the kitchen. Tomazic also is concerned about the health of her two toddlers and says the "antimicrobial properties of copper are important to me and my family."


Here's a copper range hood and sink created by The Metal Peddler. Copper range hoods can be hand-rubbed to give a rustic copper finish. A copper backsplash adds a warm accent and can be less costly than wall tiling.

Danielle Fannin, co-owns The Metal Peddler, a family-owned company in West Sunbury, Pa., which creates hand-crafted copper products. She says customers are flocking to mid-priced items, such as range hoods and copper pot racks.

"Copper pot rack sales are high because they're an inexpensive way to add storage to the kitchen." In this tight economy, consumers are looking to enhance their living space, rather than purchasing a larger home, she says. "Today, people are going with simpler, less extravagant items," Fannin adds.

Sock Woodruff, president of, based in Lake Bluff, Ill., just north of Chicago, says copper rain chains are growing increasingly popular. Rain chains replace traditional downspouts from gutters. A rain chain installation kit provides a copper tube that connects to the gutter, allowing the rain chain to work. An attachment pin holds the rain chain in place and helps guide the water from the gutter down the chain. "Rain chains are a great solution for people who want to refresh the exterior of their home or to enhance the entrance of their front porch or garden - all for a reasonable cost," says Woodruff, adding that copper is the ideal material for rain chains, because it's hardy and resilient in all weather conditions.

Rain Chains
Rain Chain Colseup

Rain chains like these from, come in a variety of designs and provide a functional alternative to a traditional downspout.

For more information on the uses and benefits of copper, see the Copper Development Association website.