siding decision: hardi, nucedar (pvc) and apex (fiberglass)

tnag3March 7, 2013

I have been reading through the post regarding siding. There are a number of them but many are old.

We are remodeling our Colonial to add space on back and side and about doubling our square footage. One of the big decisions that we have is the type of siding.

We had spec'd Hardiplank. However, the building really doesn't want to install it because:

1. It is heavy
2. It comes in only 12 ft lengths making the butts more prevalent
3. The implications on "perfect" installations to remove the liklihood of water damage.

The cost of the overall remodel is close to $500k, so as the home owner, I'm very interested in a siding that looks fantastic but also one that has fewer maintenance items (the rest of my house is brick)

So here are the questions:

1. Other than the ones or twosies of problems hardiboard has had, is it a sound product which will work well in NE (I'm in Philly) with snow etc.?
2. We have considered using a NuCedar (PVC) product instead of hardiboard. It looks substantial, much lighter and has a very good line.
3. We have considered APEX (a fiberglass product) which has a look more like vinyl to me, but seems to be a good product (no expansion, solid color etc)

If 2 or 3 are good products, add to the house value and look (e.g. doesn't reduce price because it is vinyl), then the low maintence of these products is very appealing.

Any help on this would be great as we have to decide in the next week.

The cost seems to be like the following:

1. Hardiboard aroud $350 per square
2. NuCedar 30% more on materials, but slightly less on install
3. APEX I don't know yet.


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Take a look at the trim pieces. With fiber cement, you butt the siding to the trim like you would with wood.

With the nucedar, it's my understanding that the siding goes behind the trim, which makes it look more like vinyl. Even if the surface finish can be made to mimic wood, this detail is a deal breaker IMO, unless you're only seeking to move up from vinyl. It seems like nucedar has an insert that tries to mitigate this issue but I'm skeptical. Maybe others know of a way to install these with a real butt joint.

This post was edited by dadereni on Sun, Apr 21, 13 at 19:24

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 11:40AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

We went with Certainteed cedar impressions vinyl siding, and I don't see how it could reduce the value of the home since most people are surprised to learn it's vinyl as it looks that good, and it was very expensive. It is also low maintenance, easy to install, and durable.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 8:40AM
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These are good points. The Apex and the Fiber Cement look like real wood in that they butt up against the trim.

The NuCedar would require different trim and can't be used with brick molding around windows which we are planning to use.

We are likely going to go with Apex at a higher cost -- no maintence, no painting, good overall lines and easier to install. Or we will stick with fiber cement.

The cedar impressions won't work with what we have already started with. I have looked at the line and they look very nice, but it will require that we throw away some trim that we have already paid for. Becomes less cost effective.

I'll let you know what happens.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 1:13PM
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tnag, let me know what product you go with and how you like it. we are in the middle of a gut remodel of a brick-end colonial, also in the north east, and are having a difficult time deciding on a siding product. so far we have considered hardiplank, apex, pre-finished cedar clapboard, and everlast. we are doing our trim in azek.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 4:05PM
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We have decided to use the APEX product and go with the Clay color.

Here is what we have learned:

1. the NuCedar works, but due to its expansion/contraction, it requires different trim that allows for channels. This won't work well with my existing trim.

2. I do believe that NuCedar works well and is pretty resilient. It is PVC and unlikely to loose its shape, be dented etc

3. Hardiboard has been installed in over 4 million homes. That is its best selling point. I have found that where there is snow that rest near the board -- either at base or on roof where it butts against a wall -- there can be issues with water absorption.

This is one reason why the installation requirements have become so stringent over the past few years.

4. For us, the installation requirements on the butt ends, the joints and each of the areas mentioned above suggest a product that if done right works well, but there is real room for error.

5. the Apex which is a fiberglass has no expansion/contraction, is installed like real wood (same trim and process) and relieves us from having to put a rain guard on the house. This is going to save us a good deal of money.

6. The economics of it are something like the following:

Hardiboard: $230 per square (100 sq feet)
Apex: $400 per square
NuCedar: $400 to $450 per square. not sure of this because we didn't get that far.

The Apex is more expensive, but requires no paint and does reduce our installation by the rainguard which is about $60 per square.

I hope that helps.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 8:25AM
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tnag3, when are you building? I would love to hear about your experience and see pics of your house with the siding.

We have also decided to go with Apex. We are planning to use Rock Garden green with Clay trim. We were able to see these colors on a house being built a couple miles where we will be building. We loved it.

We are listing our present home in a couple weeks. When it sells, we will start building. I hope that happens late summer/early fall.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 5:22AM
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That sounds like a great combination. We have brick to match (and mortar) so we are going to go with Clay but Earl Grey was a fall back.

We are building now. All framing is done, roof on and windows in. So we are meeting with our building materials supplier today who is going to provide an overview of the product, how it is installed etc.

I'll post info when I get it and pictures.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 10:15AM
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We are also considering the Apex. Just wondering if you can explain why you don't need a rain guard? (is that the same thing as eavestrough?)


    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 12:54PM
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We are going to be doing Apex siding on our 100+ year old house in Boston. I did a ton of online research on the different siding products and ordered samples. We were seriously considering the Everlast composite siding, but they didn't have it in a smooth finish (without the cedar imprint) and it had a shine to it when the light hit it certain ways. So I just couldn't do it. Then I started reading about Apex. It has not been used in the Boston area, but we contacted the company and they put us in touch with the New England manager. He told us they were using it on Cape Cod Lumber's new building in Abbington. We drove down to look at it. They were using the Apex boards with Azek trim. It looked just like clapboard -- really! We LOVED it. So we got the name of a contractor that could install it for us -- Yeti (a new name for South Shore Exteriors). They're supposed to start May 1st -- can't wait!. Now the issue centers on the Azek -- I want gray trim and don't want to paint it. I found this product from Jain called EX-cel that is pvc trim board with the color right through it. Has anyone used this stuff? Can you tell me anything about it?


Here is a link that might be useful: Link to EX-cel color palette page

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 5:18PM
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Ribidibi, why did you decide against using apex trim?

This post was edited by dadereni on Sun, Apr 21, 13 at 19:27

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 7:25PM
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Ah... it looked like siding with that trim -- edges not sharp like wood would be, narrow trim boards (the ones on my hours now are 10" on each corner), etc. They just didn't look like wood. You do not have to use J-channels with Apex, fortunately, so the boards used with a PVC trim can look just like clapboard and wood.

I have my fingers crossed on the EX-Cel colored trim... hope Yeti (our contractor) can get it and use it for us.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 10:05AM
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Project still in process, but you can see how great the Apex looks. The contractor ran out of EX-Cel trim and started using Azek (not happy about that!) so they haven't finished painting all the trim gray. Comments from passers-by and neighbors, "What? That's not clapboard? That's not wood?" Love it!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 7:39PM
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Thanks for the input in this thread! We're planning a remodel in the next 12-18 months (also in Philly), and there are such mixed reviews for Hardi that I'm feeling spooked. I'll definitely check out the Apex.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 2:45PM
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I am a small siding company here in NY state. We have been installing Apex Fiberglass siding since 2008. In fact we did most of the beta testing and R&D work with this product, before it was even named. It is made in Fargo ND by a company named Tecton, wholly owned my the Marvin family. It is indeed a fine product which looks more like wood than any other product on the market. We have installed on more than 60 houses in the Hudson Valley. NuCedar is a nice alternative when you need a natural (stained) cedar look. Hardie is not something we recommend for all of the reasons mentioned above. Someone asked about a rain guard. Apex has a water management system (rain guard) built in to the system. A very well thought out system

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 4:25PM
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Cedar clapboards. Proven to have a lifetime of 100's of years and guaranteed to look like wood ;-)

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 4:09PM
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