Bethany Beach has been an idyllic beach escape on Delaware’s Eastern Shore since 1901, with its famous boardwalk, charming shops and attractions and a quaintness that echoes its founders’ charter as “a haven of rest for quiet people." In recent years, a surge in tourism created the need for more hotel rooms, but with designs that met the town’s goals for charming facades that blend seamlessly with the seaside environment. To meet this need, Marriott Hotels proposed a unique version of its Residence Inn brand – Bethany Beach Ocean Suites, a resort hotel with the same quaintness and cottage comfort that the shore town is known for.

The three-story, 112-room, beachfront hotel, which opened in late July 2015, offers ocean views from well-appointed suites. This includes hardwood floors, bead-board finishes and costal-inspired décor.  

All of these design elements came together to create a vintage coastal cottage atmosphere, so it’s no surprise that the hotel’s exterior also needed to deliver the same look but with the low-maintenance and durability that would stand up to coastal conditions such as intense sun, saltwater spray and moisture.   

That is when Garth Enterprises Ltd. of Frankford, Delaware, shared their latest discovery with the resort’s management:  an exterior product that provides the natural appearance of traditional shake without the continuous maintenance. Manufactured by Novik, NovikShake was chosen not only for its distinctive look, but also its ability to stand up to demanding oceanfront environments and temperature extremes. Laboratory test also showed that the shake exceeded industry standards for fire rating, wind/impact resistance and fading. In wind tests, it surpassed requirements of 160 miles-per-hour.

So, while the original drawings called for a different siding product, Garth Troescher Jr., Vice President, Garth Enterprises, decided to change the spec to the Rough Sawn Shake (RS8) in custom colors of blue, gray and yellow based on the company’s success with the product at other oceanfront properties. These included the Fairfield Inn by Marriott in Chincoteague, Va.; Woodward Crossing in Gaithersburg, Md.; and in Delaware at the Microtel Inn and Suites by Wyndham Hotels in Georgetown and the Ocean Hamlet in Bethany Beach.

Among the advantages cited by Troescher was the fact that the lightweight, but rigid shake available in 8-foot pieces installs similar to single-course siding and provides a lasting traditional look with authentic wood-like details.  “The single course works better than double-course siding on a 3/12 pitch cut because there isn’t a void behind the panel,” explained Troescher, whose 25-year-old company handles large projects and manages up to 450 trained construction carpenters, siding and decking specialists.

Other differences that won Troescher and his crew over were its realistic, natural looks, easy installation and reduced waste. “You absolutely will not find this shake’s rich texture, depth of shadow lines or natural appearance at this price point,” he said.  “This is a unique product that gives us convenience and a classic, rustic look that blends in well with this historic community.”

Installation advantages also helped his crew work smarter. He noted that the shake’s continuous lock system, which doesn’t use hooks and tape like typical siding brands. It features full locking tabs with easy-to-locate spacers that mitigate expansion and contraction.  Since the building was very cut up and had many angles, the easy-to-install lock system held the panels in place, so the workers could save the off-cuts to use in smaller spaces.  “With this product, there are extra nailing holes and you don’t need to pre-drill, which saves labor,” he said.  “It provided a simpler way to conserve waste with fewer panel top cutoffs.”  The crew ended up installing 32,500 square-feet of shake and brought the project in on time and on budget.

Along with speeding installation time and preventing wasted material, the shake also met the need for the classic, natural look the facility required.  The shake was also nicely complemented by the white PVC trim that Garth Enterprises used on the hotel, which further ensured low-maintenance and durability for the entire exterior.  “The two products work very nicely together,” said Troescher.  Now, the Bethany Beach Ocean Suites stands out with timeless charm, but at the same time fits in nicely with the other buildings and shops in the town’s center.

Garth Enterprises purchased the shake product from its supplier, Quality Roofing Supply in Lewes Delaware. The siding’s overall dimensions measure 96.1 inches by 8.45 inches, with 22 panels-per-box, covering approximately 100 square-feet.

Because the architect remained committed to the original colors specified, Novik color-matched the job, which was based on a three-color, seaside palette that looks completely at home in Bethany Beach. “You’ll never see these colors anywhere else,” Troescher says. “It’s unique and is a nice feature in our small, quiet beach town.  Another benefit is that these products are manufactured so color is present throughout the panels and all have superior UV inhibitors, a must on a beachfront installation. And, with reduced fading, it never needs to be painted or stained.   

The Bethany Beach Ocean Suites will remain a rare gem on Delaware’s shoreline-- without the extensive maintenance or deterioration that most seaside buildings endure.  “This shake product gives us more bang for our buck,” said Troescher. “We can provide the upgraded looks without the upgraded price.”