Alternatives to UGLY vinyl siding

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I am looking for alternatives to UGLY vinyl siding. I can not stand the look of vinyl siding, and will not live in a house covered with this garbage. I considered brick, but its too costly. I would not mind aluminum siding, but it seems that few people use it anymore, and it's hard to find. Redwood or Cedar boards are far too costly these days, even though they used to be the most common siding. I dont want the sheet plywood with grooves because it tends to delaminate in a few years, even though I do like the look of that stuff. More so, I like the look of individual pieces. The old asbestos siding (in short strips) had an appealing appearance, as did cedar shingles. But asbestos is banned and cedar is (again) too costly. I am currently checking into these boards that look like logs, and really like their appearance. However, I am looking for other alternatives and suggestions, and must keep the cost down.
The house is a standard stud frame covered with plywood. and house wrap.
Thanks
George
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Have you looked into Hardy Board siding?
I have a house in Texas in an area that now will only permit Hardy Board or vinyl siding in areas not covered with brick. Of the two Hardy Board looks better than vinyl. I prefer cedar but so do termites.
RB
snipped-for-privacy@myhouse.com wrote:

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While you may find some alternatives; keep in mind the reason vinyl is popular is it is very practical. It is inexpensive and without many of the problems of many other sidings. If there was another cheap better siding, you would see a lot of it.
For example Aluminum is going out due to fading and denting problems.
Another thing to keep in mind. If you are having a hard time finding a siding in your area, it is likely because it does not work well there. It also will mean you are not going to find a crew that knows how to handle it, so the application is more likely to have problems.
I notice you did not note stucco.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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Amen to everything said by Joseph. I will add that woodpeckers attack cedar but leave vinyl alone. Since you said cedar is way too expensive, and you don't like T1-11 (grooved plywood), and brick is way too expensive, and aluminum is not all that available anymore, you don't have a lot of options left.
I think you will find the log siding look to run towards cedar in terms of cost, but you should look into that if it is attractive to you.
There are a couple other kinds of siding I can think of. Hardboard (blechhh), and there is also a fiber-cement siding that looks sort of like painted cedar siding, and stands up to weather better than hardboard.
So, you should check into fiber-cement in terms of cost, appearance and performance. It's not for everyone, but you might like it.
Steve Johnson

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How about some of the better vinyl siding? Yes, the cheap stuff is ugly, but there are some good grades available that if you did not know it was vinyl you would not guess it. The problem now is to re-open you mind to check it out fairly. Ed
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I never liked Vinyl, once on your stuck with it, and I live on the Atlantic coast, right on it, the ocean is my backyard. So, do you know what salt water driven rain does to a cedar shingled painted house? I had to paint my entire house and trim every three years.
Then I looked into vinyl, and to my surprise some of the higher end stuff is quite attractive, they even have it to look like older cedar shingles.
So that is what I did, two years ago. I didn't have then cover everything, like soffits and trim. That way if I want to make a change in the appearance of the house I can paint the trim a different color. I can do it in a day.
But if you like the log sided look, then go with that because you're not going to find that look in vinyl.
Dave
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On Sat, 27 Dec 2003 14:17:09 GMT, "David Babcock"

You mean they make vinyl siding that looks different than the (too narrow) 3 or 4 inch horizontal overlapping boards?
I just cant stomach that look. Every (and I mean EVERY) new home they build today uses that ugly stuff. In my opinion, these new homes are all BLOATED. They build them way too large, then use that narrow siding look to make them look even bigger. (BARF)....
If they made the boards in 8" to 10" "boards", it would at least look better. However, I can just imagine the amount of warpage on that stuff. I have seen so many of these walls where the siding is all warped and distorted, loose ends, and just plain BUTT UGLY !!!!
I built a small rural farmhouse. I want it to look like a farmhouse, not an ugly modern condo. So, the 3 to 4" horiz. boardlook is a definate NO. However, I would consider vinyl if it looks like cedar siding, or has other looks..... I highly doubt that there is any vinyl that does not warp, no matter how expensive it is, but at least I would think it would be less noticable if the siding looked more "rustic" like cedar, because at least that way there is not such a smooth surface.
Of course, the fiber-cement is one I am not familiar with, and want to look into. Like I said I liked the old asbestos siding look, and this may be similar.
Thanks for everyones advice.
(where can I find these vinyl siding alternatives to that boring 3 - 4" horiz. board look)?
George

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snipped-for-privacy@myhouse.com wrote:

Again, pardon me if I'm being a clueless jamoke again, but a few things occurred to me while leafing thru this thread:
1. Maybe you're more avant-garde than our forefathers were, but I've seen a ton of actual rural wood farmhouses between Chicago and northwest Florida in the past 40+ years (and a few Sears catalog-type frame homes dating back to the early 1940s with the original wood clapboard in my current neighborhood), and I don't recall a single one having each course, or row, of clapboards almost a foot high, as you seem to be looking for. They're something like 4-6" high and really pretty much in line with the size of the vinyl getting slapped on today's new subdivision homes and condos. In fact, those individual early-1900s clapboards aren;t even anywhere near as high as a single course of the 1970s aluminum siding that's still on my parents' house.
So pardon me for being a pisher, but if you built yourself an actual rural farmhouse, wouldn't you want it to actually look like an actual old rural farmhouse?
2. I grew up in Chicago during the 1960s, and I remember the buildings that had that foot-high hard, slate-like stuff you seem to be rather partial to. However, those were frame 3- and 6-flat apartment buildings that could bear a row upon row of foot-tall siding and still look nifty because they were, uh, really wide or tall and by virtue of their sheer size could accept visual perspective like that. Otherwise, a lot of the residential homes in my neighborhood were sided with these giant sheets of asphalt siding so you ended up with your house looking like it had a big roof shingle nailed to the side of it. (BTW, we kids had a lot of fun standing in the gangways between houses peeling that asphalt stuff off. Pissed the neighbors off something fierce.) Consequently, and to reverse your "small siding making normal-sized house look bigger" argument, did you ever consider that your fine, apparently normal-sized house *may* end up looking extremely tiny -- and actually worse -- if you actually did find the size of siding you seem to be looking for?
Proportion seems to be what it is for a reason.
3. Dunno if I've been hallucinating, but I seem to recall the vinyl siding on just about every new house friends and acquaintances move into to be imprinted with some sort of wood look/texture engineered to it. You just can't see it from the street, is all. Maybe my friends and acquaintances are wealthier than they appear or something to afford this kind of stuff, but I've never seen smooth vinyl siding.
BTW just out of curiosity, since you you didn't say and nobody bothered to ask yet, is there siding on the house now or is it just basically standing out there naked until you find suitable siding?
AJS
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In fact, the narrow stuff is called "colonial". That certainly predates 1900.
Mike
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In article

Those silly colonial folk. Maybe that's why they didn't use concrete block much: Not narrow enough.
AJS
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wrote:

(sorry to jump in here but I thought this pertinent) How about a recycled material siding option? I have a couple samples of some imitation roofing slates that raise many eyebrows with their realistic look (then they pick it up!). These are allegedely made from recycled tires. If I coulda found an installer on Long Island (that didn't charge 'real' slate install prices), I'da done it.
Now we're looking at siding options for our 1-story ranch. I completely sympathize with the op regards vinyl. My feelings are more principle-driven and I could accept a siding made from recycled materials. Any ideas?
C.
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Chuck wrote:

My cabin has a siding made of recycled crushed paper juice boxes. Pre painted with 20 year warranty. Been 5 years since install. it is hard as rock and color is still same as when it was put up. Went thru couple heavy hail storms, winter cold, summer storm, nothing bothers it. Happy with the product. Tony
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Product name or URL?
C.
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Check this out http://www.owenscorning.com/around/exteriors_new/changelook.asp
Dave

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What about Novabrick? It's a mortarless brick siding which may fit your need.
Rob
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snipped-for-privacy@myhouse.com wrote:

Most siding seems to be a standard 4-5" exposed board height, though the narrower stuff is available and may well be popular where you live.

Seconded on the McMansion look, and you seem to be groping toward some sense of proportion, but maybe you could tone the vitriol back a bit. Most folks just don't know better.

Here's where you lose me. 8-10" is from the era of aluminum siding. Wooden siding this height would have been quite rare. The 1858 house I'm sitting in has an exposed original clapboard section on an interior wall which I just now measured; it's exactly 5" (and a very consistent 5" too).
However, I can just imagine the amount of warpage on that

Vinyl siding has different requirements. It grows and shrinks with temperature, so must be installed with "slack" to accept the expansion. We have a rental building that came with a not-so-great vinyl install, and there's obvious problems today at the 8-year mark.

Again, I think you're wrong here. 3-4" would be far more accurate than 8-10" for the 19th century look. But a standard 4-5" would not only be architecturally accurate, but is widely available.

There are a variety of vinyl "looks" available. I think the most important is the lap shape rather than any imitative graining (you can only see it close up anyway).
I'm not saying vinyl is best here, only that you seem to be using some strange, perhaps incompletely informed criteria to judge *any* solution. I do applaud your desire to have an historically accurate look; I love the disappearing architecture of the rural midwest, and especially hate it when a lovely Queen Anne (say) is buried beneath ugly mid-20th century siding such as asphalt.
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On Sun, 28 Dec 2003 02:01:20 -0600, Dan Hartung

Yeah... then they pull off the ugly asphalt that they put up 50 years ago and replace it with vinyl. :-(
I'll start by saying that I absolutely despise vinyl. Even the top end products look fake to me. Plus, they have those awful double-board seams. I'm not sure why no vinyl manufacturer has tried out single board installations. True, it might take a few more minutes to install but at least it would look a little nicer.
But, I'm a purist. So... back to the OP. Around the NE area, they did a lot of early houses with cedar clap board on the front and cedar shingles on the sides and rear. Since some of the new fake vinyl shingle products are not all that horrible (at least better than the siding) perhaps you could spring for cedar on the front and use vinyl shingles on the sides.
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most siding manufacturers offer a line of siding that is a beaded board look...usually about 8" overal with a rounded bottom "bead"...pretty good looking and "warpage" isn't an issue.... ------------------- Chris Perdue *All opinions are those of the author of this post* "Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug" http://hometown.aol.com/bugninva/MAINPAGE.html to reply take your PANTS off
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snipped-for-privacy@myhouse.com wrote:

cost.... the stuff you like cost too much, most of us feel this way.... but considering the house i am living in i had built 30 yrs. ago is still there and the bricks on my house look like they did when installed and never have been painted over the past 30 yrs and never will require any upkeep, and will not spinter or split like the T-111 stuff nor will termites eat it or rot get to it... i would take out a loan and go with brick, but you had to plan this before building the house....
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Hi, Just look at a house with Vinyl siding after fire. What a mess. I have stucco house with cedar shake roof. No vinyl on my house. Tony
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