Robert Lamoureux | Looking for the inside scoop on exterior siding

Robert Lamoureux

Question: Hi Robert, I look forward to your articles weekly. I’ve been reading them for years. What a great tool for those of us who need sound advice, since we aren’t contractors ourselves. Thanks for what you do. I am in need to replacing the siding on my home and would like to invest in something less weather-sensitive than the current wood siding that is ancient and failing in many areas.  

I do know that the paper below also needs to be replaced and I am prepared for the big ticket ahead of me. I bought this home years ago on foreclosure in “as is” condition, and have been slowly working on getting it back into its best condition. It’s been a slow go, but we are getting there. I probably should have begun with the exterior since it keeps the weather out, but live and learn, right?  

So with all of that said, what product do you recommend for me to use that will give longevity and be maintenance-free?  

— Jimmy B.  

Answer: Jimmy, ah the lessons we learn. Sounds like you’re doing OK, and good to know you’ve learned a thing or two along the way.  

Yes, exterior soundness is of utmost importance, and I always recommend beginning there. With that said, you have options to accomplish the goal of choosing products for longevity and maintenance-free living. Your choice will depend on the look you want to achieve.  

I recommend two different products: either Hardy Board siding or stucco. First, my guess is that you are not in an association, because you’d likely had to have upgraded already. If you are, check your CC&Rs for any requirements and adhere to those, or you may have to redo — I’ve seen this.  

Hardy Board siding will maintain the style you likely have with wood siding — not much will change in the appearance, other than of course, a crisp, new look. Hardy Board siding is a concrete-based product, is easy to install and offers great weather resistance and insulation.  

Stucco is a bit more to do for installation and is more expensive, but is modern and again, weather resistant. Either of these will serve you well so I would base the decision on your preference for aesthetics. Good luck.  

Robert Lamoureux has more than 40 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected].          

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