Sandbox forum: How to choose siding for my house... what do you like?

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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Mar 1, 2016 12:10 PM CST
Just wondering what everyone's thoughts are on siding. SO many options, and yet so few. I have a small house, built in 40's then later added on twice or three times. One story, MO weather- 105 top temp in the summers-humid, -10 F in the winter, wet springs and falls, occasional tornado. ( I typed that so casual as if it is no big deal Sticking tongue out ) We are needing to add some insulative value to our house as the walls are only 2x4 and the insulation is not that great.

Basically, in a nut shell


1. vinyl This seems to be the most popular and from what I can tell greatly varies in price depending on what you choose. I assume the pricier stuff is better, I am certain the cheapy stuff IS cheap. Considering the type that has the insulation on the back already. But with install labor it is quite pricey. (will be getting some quotes in the next week or so, and will add those details later) Does need an annual washing to keep mold/algae off. Termite resistant. Does not weigh much on the house which is good for our situation. Cannot install ourselves, we have no idea how to install this.

2. Cement fiber. this comes in 4x8 sheets or long horizontal planks. Have been told there is quite abit of install waste as the product is very brittle and breaks easily so you have to account for that. It must be installed very particularly or it will crack over time and pieces fall off. There is a 104 MILLION $ lawsuit with certainteed brand because of various issues. Of course there are off brands. It does have to be painted about every 10-15 years. It is termite resistant. It is extremely heavy to work with so I assume labor to install will be pricey as we cannot handle that ourselves.

3. Engineered treated wood siding panels http://www.lowes.com/pd_55897-132-27874_1z11pro__?productId=...
lightweight compared to cement, though heavier than vinyl. Needs painted every 10 years. SO SO much more affordable, and since it is common material and not too heavy, could be installed by DIYer. It IS wood product so I would think even though treated MAY attract termites after it ages some. (?)

4. Faux stone/brick This stuff looks so nice and you can't tell it isn't real unless you are standing next to it, from the driveway/street it is nice. Dresses up the house and adds a little curb appeal, interest. VERY expensive the more real it looks. There are cheaper versions at Lowes, but they don't look as real, but are still pretty nice and I would consider it. Wonder how long it lasts?

5. aluminum, steel siding. I am confused about this and tried to google w confusing results. Is aluminum and steel siding the same product? I understand that it still needs painted after a length of time although factory finishes should last for years. Does this cause problems with receiving wi-fi or tv reception? (we still use antennae) I think definately have to pay labor, this is not a DIY product. I have read that aluminum siding dents easily. I suppose some top of the line quality may not, but then we surely couldn't afford that anyway. So I am thinking this metal stuff is out, unless ya'all think otherwise?

SO did I miss any major type of siding? I really only see these as viable options for residing an older house. Shrug! I very much covet any advice, personal experience w a product, what you have-love-hate ect. What he have now is asbestos siding and it will be removed and disposed of. And how dangerous is it to remove asbestos siding? I am told a homeowner can remove their own siding without special permits, training ect. The product is then put in special bags and taken to landfill where you pay price per ton. It is my understanding that it is dangerous only when breathed as a dust, such as cutting w a saw, so just removing nails and bagging would not be an issue ? I know some people put siding over them, but I don't see how. Ours is so brittle it just cracks and falls off when you try to drive a nail through it. Some of it is just falling off anyway. We changed some windows out and some came off then. I would like it to be gone anyway so that I wouldn't have to disclose asbestos siding if we ever sell in the future as some people are just scared of the word.

okay I'm all ears I'm all ears!



Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
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Dutchlady1
Mar 1, 2016 2:05 PM CST
First of all, if you remove the asbestos do so wearing a good quality dust mask. And yes, I would certainly remove it. Like you say, there is that resale-thing to consider.

Then for what you choose I'm going to go all out on a limb: how long do you intend to be in that house? If it's a long time, go for a better quality option. If you say - well, I can see us moving in 5 or 10 years, I would not spend a lot of money on it; leave that improvement to the next owner.
We have something on our house that looks just like that engineered wood and it has been here a long time.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Mar 1, 2016 3:02 PM CST
well two things. First we bought the house 'maybe' not really realizing just how much work it needed or the cost it would involve. So we plan to stay here forever but on the other hand, if it just flat out gets too costly, we may sell later. If we can choose products/labor that are reasonable and afford to stay we'd like to do that. So with that said, yes even planning on staying here forever I know there are products that last but we can't afford that type of quality, but deciding if we want to wait until we can and just live with the old stuff for now. Or maybe put on something cheapy that will last 10-15 years before splurging on nicer kind. ? oh, what to do! ?

Do you have a pic of yours? I see alot of that used around here. Dh thinks it looks cheap, but I kind of like the looks of it myself. I think it depends on the style of house, oh btw ours is what I would call a cottage style. or that is the plan!
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Mar 1, 2016 3:45 PM CST
I'm in a 70's style ranch. The siding does not look cheap to my eye. This is the closest picture I have at this time. The bottom is wearing a tad but can be (and has been since this picture was taken) repaired.
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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
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ShadyGreenThumb
Mar 1, 2016 3:56 PM CST
We have very different climates. But here's some thought. We used Hardi Plank towards the bottom and other areas on the house where there is water exposure and also on our chimney where siding replacement would be hard to get to. It matched our wood/pressed board siding that has been there since 1988. So? Mix and match according to your needs??
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Mar 1, 2016 4:50 PM CST
Hetty, that 'wear' along the bottom edge is what I was referring to when I said they recommend the cut edges be painted before installing. Any cut edge that is not painted can wick moisture causing peeling, swelling, ect. I do think it looks nice on your house there, I like the wood grain pattern too.

Cheryl, theoretically, yes mixing would be nice. But the house is only 1 story and is more long than tall, so I am afraid of making it look 'squatty' by suing two materials horizontally. I think it would have an appearance of height if we used vertical pattern and ran it from top to bottom in one solid piece. Would be nice to mix it though, and we may be forced to anyway because of the house sitting so close to the ground.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Mar 1, 2016 6:52 PM CST
Or maybe you should emphasize the horizontal line. Mid century modern is back in..... Whistling (big fan here).
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Mar 1, 2016 7:42 PM CST
you don't think that would look chopped in half Shrug!
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Mar 1, 2016 7:46 PM CST
http://www.todayshomeowner.com/images/article/fiber-cement-s...

this house is smashin' cute
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Mar 1, 2016 7:50 PM CST
http://www.upsidetosmartside.com/wp-content/uploads/Tues-08-...

This house has three types of siding on one side. (one on top, middle and a lower-skirt type)
It looks ok I guess. i would be chicken to do it though nodding
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
Region: Missouri Cat Lover Dog Lover
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pepper23
Mar 1, 2016 7:59 PM CST
We have Smart Siding on our house and my grandma's My grandma has had hers for close to 10 years now. It needs repainted but we have the paint already and will eventually get to it. We liked the price of it and how it looked on both houses. I'll get a picture of it tomorrow if I get a chance. We also used the Smart trim for around the windows and a few other places. You can use this siding for the main body and if you have any eaves or roof pitches you can use a decorative siding like fish scale for interest.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/SmartSide-48-in-x-96-in-Composite...
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Mar 1, 2016 8:04 PM CST
I just looked up the website for LP Smartside and they have a video regarding installation.

http://lpsmartside.com/Products/Panel/




I did read somewhere that metal siding (steel? aluminum?) would have to be painted eventually with oil based paint, they do not recommend using latex based paints on the metal. So for the record that was another reason I am not considering metal. Does anyone have experience painting it?

Amanda, I am definitely going to check out Home Depot and see what they have. Thanks for the link!
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
Region: Missouri Cat Lover Dog Lover
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pepper23
Mar 1, 2016 8:07 PM CST
You're welcome!! Thumbs up
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Mar 1, 2016 8:34 PM CST
Looks like HD has a siding the same but in off brand (not LP Smartside) wonder if it is the same thing? Ratings are good for either one. The brand is twice the price Blinking
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
Region: Missouri Cat Lover Dog Lover
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pepper23
Mar 1, 2016 8:41 PM CST
I'm not sure. I don't know what brand we have. We actually bought ours years ago and stored it until my dad had time to work on the house. Then it took 3 years to do the house because he also replaced the windows as he went along. House isn't very big but the paying jobs had to come first. Hilarious!

I highly recommend going to the store and looking at it. Find an associate who knows the product and they can tell you if there is a difference or not.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Mar 2, 2016 12:00 PM CST
So this is the front of the house, not a great pic but it gives an idea of what it looks like. We will be using a chocolate brown metal on the roof and the siding color we want to be a sage green.
I did notice on the Smartside website that they carry the same material in a lap board style (horizontal instead of up and down). There are some pretty rigid instructions when installing any siding I have noticed and I wonder if some of that is so they have lots of excuses for not honoring a warranty later. That seems to be the major complaint with the James Hardie brand, they tell everyone it was not installed right, but it would be near impossible to follow all of the details. A nail cannot be closer than 2 inches from any cut. It has to be driven a very particular depth and if they are over driven it voids he warranty, it must be within so many inches of the soil line (which is impossible on many homes, including mine because it is closer than that to the soil) ect ect.


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Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
Region: Missouri Cat Lover Dog Lover
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pepper23
Mar 2, 2016 7:00 PM CST
I showed the pic of your house to my dad (he does remodel, various handyman stuff) and he said the Smart siding sheets will be wasted on your house because of the shape of it basically. He said your best bet is Smart Lap siding or the cement fiber type, also horizontal. He also said to prime the bottom 3 rows top-bottom and on both sides to keep water out. The way your house sits you will eventually have issues but by priming the bottom 3 layers it will take longer for the problems to crop up.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Mar 3, 2016 1:11 PM CST
Amanda - Yes the front of the house sits smack ON the ground, even under it. I dug a trench around it to get the dirt off the siding and then I place large chunky rocks in the ditch to try to hold back the soil. I figure every 5 years or so I will have to move the rock out, re-dig and put them back as they soil does slowly fill back in with rains, shifting ect. I don't know what else to do short of large dirt work, regrade the entire yard basically (the front yard kind of slopes toward the front of the house. We thought about digging the area around the house down and then putting in actual cement/rock wall like a terrace to make it more permanent. But that costs alot, not sure what we want and so many other irons in the fire right now. For the time being I think it is under control. GREAT idea to prime the BACK sides, never would of thought of that. (tell your dad I said thanks!) I wonder how it would look to do vinyl on the front and then use the smart side on the rest of the house? The front is so choppy and lots of windows, so it is difficult. The rest of the house is more plain, flat and larger open spaces. Hmmm may do that. The smartside has a tongue and groove sort of feature that when cut, ruins the rest of the piece so that is why it probably would not be feasible for that front of the house.

here is a pic of the east side, more plain.


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Name: Rosie
HILLSBOROUGH, NC (Zone 7b)
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Region: North Carolina Bookworm
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MISSINGROSIE
Mar 6, 2016 11:03 AM CST
Frilly..another opinion.
This is our last house ( that is the plan anyway ) and we built it to age in place. We chose fiber cement way before it became commonplace because of its properties. Therewas no waste. Waste is brought on by the installer's plan or skills (or lack of) your long house lends itself to long runs so less cutting. You can get the long laps in different heights ( exposures ) We had no problem with splitting..it cannot be hammered ..it is drilled... A sharp bit and a drill is what is needed. Our house is 16 years new and even on sun exposed sides..the paint is like new - no kidding. Goiod paint on fiber cement LASTS..plus its insulating qualities wjill add to your needs. I see no reason why it cannot be drilled into your present siding BUT that needs to be certified by a contractor. I spoke tomthe James Hardie folks in austrailia trying to learn...I wanted a fiber cement " tile" roof...they will not do it in areas beyond a certain geography ( at least then ) because of failure..not sure if heat or cold.. Or what the issue was. Those tiles weigh also but we live in a SIP house and the walls support the roof in such a way that was no issue. I looked for easy care..log lasting...insulating ( our walls are solid core foam as ismthe ceiling anyway ) little need for painting ( technically the cement boards do not need to be painted ) No rot. At the time no trim was available so we used cedar and painted it. No termites. I am not sure what its burn factor is.. So I guess you see I am a fan of Hardiplank. No experience with other like brands. It pressure washes beautifully!

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Don't squat with yer spurs on!

People try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved
Name: Rosie
HILLSBOROUGH, NC (Zone 7b)
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Region: North Carolina Bookworm
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MISSINGROSIE
Mar 6, 2016 11:26 AM CST
Tried to find photo to show you how long line of house is similiar and also siding. Blowing up distorts somewhat but you get the idea.
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Don't squat with yer spurs on!

People try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved

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