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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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)?
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?
(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?
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.
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.
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.
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....
*All opinions are those of the author of this post*
"Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug"
to reply take your PANTS off
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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