Author Topic: What siding to use  (Read 13216 times)

Leftside

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What siding to use
« on: September 11, 2015, 09:21:52 AM »
Hi there folks,

This isn't the most mustachian question, but I yall seem to have a good noggins on your shoulders, so I want your input.

What siding type should I put on my house?  I live in Minnesota so please consider the freezing and thaw + snow that we experience.

I currently have vinyl, and I just don't like the look.  All that channel running everywhere looks bad, and it is ready to be replaced.  I have gotten bids for new vinyl, fibercement (hardie board), LP Smartside, and steel siding.

What should I go with?  Would you do hardie board or LP smartside if it came down between those two?

Thanks for your input!

Gone Fishing

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Re: What siding to use
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2015, 09:30:38 AM »
Not familiar with all the choices, but why don't you list out all the pros and cons of each, including costs.  You may just come to your own conclusion. 

Spork

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Re: What siding to use
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2015, 09:35:24 AM »
I don't know LP Smartside.

We went with Hardie for all exterior wood.  That includes fascia, soffit, some amount of trim and some amount of lap siding.  (House is mostly brick, so lap siding is only on gables and gable ends.

I can't say how it compares to LP... but I'm happy with it.  One thing I didn't know (and wish I had) was that you can order it prefinished in custom colors to save painting.

2Cent

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Re: What siding to use
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2015, 09:43:07 AM »
Vinyl is the cheapest to buy and maintain. Metal is second and is actually easier to install. One modern consideration is that it can reduce reception of radio signals a bit. So if your cell coverage is already bad, you may want to think again. For the cold, you should add separate insulation.

BlueMR2

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Re: What siding to use
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2015, 10:07:27 AM »
As someone with rotting wood siding who has been looking at replacements...  All siding is horrible.  Just in different ways.  You'll really have to sit down and consider your environment to see which one is least evil for you.  Regretting now not buying that brick house (that's what I grew up in, didn't realize siding was so horrible, so didn't know to stay away from sided houses).

BDWW

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Re: What siding to use
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2015, 11:30:22 AM »
Vinyl is the cheapest to buy and maintain. Metal is second and is actually easier to install. One modern consideration is that it can reduce reception of radio signals a bit. So if your cell coverage is already bad, you may want to think again. For the cold, you should add separate insulation.

Not true in my experience at all. Perhaps modern vinyl is better, but i've lived in two homes now with vinyl siding. It gets brittle, can fade unevenly, and is very susceptible to incidental heat*. We regularly get hail storms, most are pretty mellow, but vinyl gets holes punched in it very easily. Even wind storm debris can crack or damage vinyl. I find the air gaps and general looseness annoying to work with if you ever want to remodel( add a window, door, awning, dog door, whatever). and because it will fade, good luck getting any new pieces to match if you need to patch.

/anti-vinyl rant

Metal will most likely be the most durable, but it's a bit trickier to work with if you ever want to modify it. Hardie works well and is pretty easy to modify. Never worked with/seen smartside.

*Probably easy enough to avoid, but make sure you place your BBQ at least 10 feet from a wall, or you'll have saggy siding.

This should probably be in the DIY section.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2015, 11:37:15 AM by BDWW »

RWD

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Re: What siding to use
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2015, 11:50:21 AM »
I would stay away from vinyl just for the health concerns (not necessarily for yourself, but for those involved in production)
http://www.epa.gov/airtoxics/hlthef/vinylchl.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Vinyl

cheddarpie

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Re: What siding to use
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2015, 12:25:26 PM »
Great question, long answer. TLDR version: No vinyl, go Hardie or fiber cement

I agree with the sentiments against vinyl -- in my experience it doesn't hold up well, it looks cheap, and it's probably the worst choice environmentally speaking. Also, in many cases vinyl is installed over the original siding, and moisture trapped between the layers can cause all sorts of problems (rot, mold, structural issues) that you don't see because it's covered up -- then creating even bigger problems to address when you finally realize what's happening.

One side of my (1902) house is the original wood -- it's the most attractive by far, but requires more maintenance and regular (every 5-10 years) painting. The other three sides are cement plank on top of two layers of other siding, including a rubber asphalt "brick" pattern, which is kind of hilarious -- it's basically a time capsule of what siding trends have been over the last 100 years. The previous owners removed the cement plank from the back of the house and restored the original wood, but then decided that was too much work and expense to do the other three sides. I've thought about doing it myself and looked into various options, but also come to the same conclusion.

My existing cement plank siding is 20% asbestos, so it's not something you are going to find on the market again (and it's fine/safe as is as long as it stays in place), but I've replaced a few shingles in connection with repairing the front porch and was able to find an exact match (but without the asbestos!) here: http://www.gaf-weatherside.com/

I would and will use these again. They are pricey, but easy to work with and extremely durable. Painting was really easy and as I understand it I shouldn't have to paint them again for years (decades?) -- certainly not before I change my mind and want to repaint just for color choice. If you are a DIY type, they are easy enough to install and you can get all the necessary supplies from that website.

Hardie makes similar products and also has a great reputation -- I know a few friends here in Seattle who have it and are happy with it. We don't have the harsh winters you do, but there is a lot of rain and moisture in the winter and very hot, dry, sunny summers so siding does tend to take a beating. As someone else noted, you can also get pre-colored planks so you don't have to paint at all if you don't want to, though the color choices are somewhat limited.

You will spend more up front on Hardie/fiber cement than vinyl, but it will last you 50+ years, and I think looks nicer. Depending on your market, it may also help significantly with resale -- when I was house shopping, I ruled out pretty much every house with vinyl siding (unless priced way under market) because I knew I would want to replace it almost immediately and there was a risk of what problems I would find underneath.

Good luck!





Cadman

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Re: What siding to use
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2015, 01:52:25 PM »
Another vote here for Hardie/Cement Board. If you go this route, do NOT have them caulk the board gaps. A butt joint without gap with a strip of tar paper behind is what you want.

Some of the LP Smart Siding products aren't bad but you need to be aware that some of those trim pieces are nothing more than a sawdust core with a textured surface. -C

TaxChick

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Re: What siding to use
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2015, 06:51:02 PM »
I had Hardie board put on two sides of my house 4 years ago. It was more expensive that some of the other options, but I don't have any regrets. It looks good and I haven't had any issues.

geekette

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Re: What siding to use
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2015, 07:44:15 PM »
We resided our house with Hardiplank 8 years ago.  Love it.  (I think they used PVC for trim.  So far it looks fine as well).  Paint sticks for good to Hardi, but I do wish we'd had the option of prefinished.  The pressed cardboard (Masonite) that was on it before required frequent painting and repairs due to rot. 

Our first home (a townhouse) had aluminum siding.  It faded and bent - even the yard guys' weed whackers put dents all along the bottom. Really didn't like it.

bacchi

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Re: What siding to use
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2015, 11:03:19 PM »
You can't go wrong with either fiber cement or LP. If the LP is cheaper, I'd use it instead -- it apparently resists water better. If you go with Hardie, get the HZ5 formula.


2Cent

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Re: What siding to use
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2015, 04:22:21 AM »
Vinyl is the cheapest to buy and maintain. Metal is second and is actually easier to install. One modern consideration is that it can reduce reception of radio signals a bit. So if your cell coverage is already bad, you may want to think again. For the cold, you should add separate insulation.

Not true in my experience at all. Perhaps modern vinyl is better, but i've lived in two homes now with vinyl siding. It gets brittle, can fade unevenly, and is very susceptible to incidental heat*. We regularly get hail storms, most are pretty mellow, but vinyl gets holes punched in it very easily. Even wind storm debris can crack or damage vinyl. I find the air gaps and general looseness annoying to work with if you ever want to remodel( add a window, door, awning, dog door, whatever). and because it will fade, good luck getting any new pieces to match if you need to patch.

/anti-vinyl rant

Metal will most likely be the most durable, but it's a bit trickier to work with if you ever want to modify it. Hardie works well and is pretty easy to modify. Never worked with/seen smartside.
Won't metal get dents in a hailstorm?

Anyway, Vinyl is not really one category as there is a whole range of it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=076qNz_Gnhs
« Last Edit: September 12, 2015, 04:27:49 AM by 2Cent »

2Cent

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Re: What siding to use
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2015, 04:33:54 AM »

MsPeacock

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Re: What siding to use
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2015, 06:21:25 PM »
A former house that I owned had the cement board w/ asbestos mixed it. The stuff was indestructible and hadn't needed to be painted in something like 20+ years. We renovated the garage and the closest match to the cement board was cedar shakes.

Recently resided my current home from gross original plastic siding. It was dirty white and mildewed when I moved it (as are most of the unrestored houses in my neighborhood). I initially had in painted as a "make do." Replaced it all w/ double stained ( stained on both sides before installing, grey opaque stain, oil based) cedar shakes. Love the look and my experience has been that properly installed shakes take and hold stain or paint for a very long time. Trim, soffits, etc. were done w/ hardy plank.

Many years ago lived in a house w/ wood siding - it was a nightmares that needed painting every 4-5 years to look decent. Awful, falt good facia boards. Eventually had vinyl siding put on because that was all I could afford at the time. That was 20 years ago and the siding is still there and looks alright.

wienerdog

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Re: What siding to use
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2015, 07:45:41 PM »
Another vote for Hardie plank.  I sold a house that had brick on the front and sides.  The siding on the back was the cheap pressed wood that was starting to bubble from moisture intrusion.  Was very happy with the replacement Hardie plank and it helped sell the house.

BDWW

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Re: What siding to use
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2015, 10:10:09 PM »
Vinyl is the cheapest to buy and maintain. Metal is second and is actually easier to install. One modern consideration is that it can reduce reception of radio signals a bit. So if your cell coverage is already bad, you may want to think again. For the cold, you should add separate insulation.

Not true in my experience at all. Perhaps modern vinyl is better, but i've lived in two homes now with vinyl siding. It gets brittle, can fade unevenly, and is very susceptible to incidental heat*. We regularly get hail storms, most are pretty mellow, but vinyl gets holes punched in it very easily. Even wind storm debris can crack or damage vinyl. I find the air gaps and general looseness annoying to work with if you ever want to remodel( add a window, door, awning, dog door, whatever). and because it will fade, good luck getting any new pieces to match if you need to patch.

/anti-vinyl rant

Metal will most likely be the most durable, but it's a bit trickier to work with if you ever want to modify it. Hardie works well and is pretty easy to modify. Never worked with/seen smartside.
Won't metal get dents in a hailstorm?

Anyway, Vinyl is not really one category as there is a whole range of it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=076qNz_Gnhs

Not sure what you're trying to show here, those are pretty much the same thing, one just has insulation bonded to it.

Metal is a whole range. First, most metal siding is fairly elastic. Meaning it will absorb the impact, and bounce back. Big enough hail will dent it, but even then, it will most likely retain it's integrity. Meaning, you can replace at your leisure rather than it being a major issue.

Attached a photo of my old house after a hail storm. The house right next to us had metal siding, and suffered no damage.

*Edit interestingly enough here was the next video youtube suggested after that one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vtkd_CtjMsU. Heat damage and no BBQ. Also, just remembered, we had slight sagging under our dryer vent too.

« Last Edit: September 13, 2015, 10:13:44 PM by BDWW »

Fishindude

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Re: What siding to use
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2015, 07:48:49 AM »
a. Metal siding will look pretty bad on a nice home.  It's much more suited to agricultural, garage and commercial applications.
b. I would stay away from the stuccos, have seen lots of problems with cracking, water infiltration and mold development.
c. Nothing at all wrong with vinyl.  It is your cheapest option, and they make some pretty high quality, heavier vinyl anymore.  The comments about health concerns are bunk, and you'll never have to paint it.
d. Hardie board is OK, but I've seen a number of problems with paint and caulk issues on this product, plus it quite expensive.
e. I'm a big fan of using pre-primed, then painted cedar lap siding.  I think it looks the best by far, you just have to paint periodically.  Just repainted my cedar siding home, original paint job lasted seven years.



dcheesi

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Re: What siding to use
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2015, 09:07:03 AM »
FWIW, my vinyl siding is nearly fifteen years old, and it looks as good as new. Only problems were wind damage in one spot due to improper installation (easily remedied), and I had to hose down the north side with a cleaner once to remove mold/mildew spots.

The only things that haven't fared well are the cheap plastic decorative shutters, which are darker and have faded far more than the siding itself.

Trudie

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Re: What siding to use
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2015, 10:22:06 AM »
Hardie board.  Looks great!  Impervious to bugs, woodpeckers, and has a nice look.

Dicey

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Re: What siding to use
« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2015, 12:27:56 PM »
I fucking hate vinyl siding (and love that this forum allows me to say it the way I see it, lol. Fortunately, I live in CA, where it is a very unpopular choice. If I lived in area where it was prevalent, I would still avoid it at all costs. My two cents is to consult a couple of local realtors. Ask them how siding choices affect resale value.

Cedar is nice, but the problem with a neighborhood of cedar homes is that people tend to under maintain them, dragging property values down when the crappy ones go on the market. Ask me how I know. I vote for properly installed Hardie plank.

When my sister and her DH were rehabbing their forever home they'd purchased via a nasty foreclosure sale, their budget was really tight. They found Hardie plank on CL from a local contractor, who was selling off all his odds & ends from a subdivision project. They got six different colors. When they finally finished installing it and painted the house all one color, they were surprised at how many people told them they loved the crazy-quilt effect. lol. (They live on acreage out in the country and the house is visible from a distance.)

Leftside

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Re: What siding to use
« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2015, 12:50:34 PM »
Thanks for all of the input so far.  I was leaning towards Hardie board before, and will likely pursue that option.

I have a followup question for anyone who has experience dealing with insurance companies. 

I received a check from them to replace the roof and (according to the paperwork) one side of the houses siding.  The check seems like it would cover both the roof and the entire house based on some of the bids I have received.  One contractor suggested that  I go back to the insurance company and convince them that all of the siding on the entire house needs to be redone - and ask for more money.

Is it too greasy to allow this company to go to bat for me against my insurance in order to get more money - even though I may not go with them to do the repairs (they may not have the best options/bid)?

Is it bad form to ask for more money from the insurance company, when it looks like what I have will be enough money to do the whole house (although their paperwork says one side)?



attr

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Re: What siding to use
« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2017, 01:00:58 PM »
Hey LeftSide, this is in my line of work so I thought I could be of assistance. I am a siding contractor in Nashville  and have a lot of experience replacing vinyl siding as it is widely used in this region. I would recommend fiber cement as it is extremely stable and low maintenance. Most manufacturers offer a 30-year warranty, which proves its durability. As far as the insurance check goes, probably not worth the risk of investigation of it is all covered. It might say one side, but the materials list will show otherwise. Anyways, that's my 2 cents while waiting on my crew to return from lunch! Good luck!