Nichiha Premium Shake Siding

ILoveRedMay 28, 2012

I know a few home builders here have used this product.

We used Certainteed fiber cement siding on this house and have been less than thrilled. Prefer not to go into, it's been done to death....

Please tell me about the Nichiha product, your knowledge and any personal experiences.

I think I want a Shingle Style home, live in the Midwest, and have wooded property. Don't think dh will go for real shingles.

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We were all set to order the premium shingle panels last fall these were pre stained from nichiha. At THE LAST minute Nichiha pulled the plug and said the distributors were not allowed to sell the remaining stock in the ware houses ( they had to keep for future color matching)We were upset as the Sierra panels prestained would have worked for us well as they go up like regular lap siding and had the dark stained line to divide the shingles.
Now Nichiha has stopped staining the Sierra Premium Panels and you can buy and stain yourself or go through Carolina Colortones (they are the ones who did the original staining for Nichiha) and buy the siding thru them. They are great and do custom colors. This is also a very expensive route to pursue and we chose not to do this siding because when all was said and done it was more expensive to do Nichiha than actual Cedar (Colortones does this also)And you get actual cutouts between shingle panels so the shadow line is MUCH better.
We have a shingle house currently and love it but when we saw our new house framed we realized shingle was not what would work for the bones of our Farmhouse plan. That and we found Nichiha lap siding for a song in a prepainted color we liked and were able to buy enough to do the house and barn to match for less than the cost of just the house in the shingle.
Nichiha has the Frontier line of shingle panels that are prestained but there are only four colors and the product is not as heavy, thick and doesnt have the dark shadow lines. The lap siding has a really great wood grain and is a sturdy product compared to Hardi and Certainteed. We definatly wanted Nichiha just chose lap over shingle.
I would not do the Nichiha for a shingle house now -I would do Cedar Panels great product and if you can afford Nichiha shingle you can afford the real deal. I have Friends who have real cedar in Minneapolis and LOVE it.
With any siding installation is key.
My husband was really not into real cedar at first but after months of investigation he was pushing for real cedar. Talking with the friends clinched it.
We chose the lap for the design of the house (farmhouse) an the bids were $150K for Nichiha shingle panels painted and cedar same installed, and we are getting the lap installed for around $50K. It was a no brainer for us.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 11:23AM
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Thanks for such a detailed response. Looked up your house, it is lovely and well done. I think the lap siding will definitely give it a farmhouse feel. Unreal cost differential between lap and shake---100k! Ouch. Who knew?

I read a little about the Frontier as a lower cost alternative and I would feel like a guinea pig, I'm afraid.

Thanks for the link to Carolina Colortones.

Has anyone else used this siding and found it less costly or is this pretty well the norm.

Is it comparable to brick?

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 12:08PM
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Red - we used Nichiha shingle siding on the central portion of our home and hardie board & Nichiha batten on the remainder (as well as cobblestone and brick.)

I love the Nichi shingles - I actually wish I'd thought of using it on the entire house but I had the board & batten look in my mind.

The Nichi shingle goes on in larger pieces than the Hardie shingles so it was quicker to install than Hardie shingles would have been, and less $$ than Hardie shingles.

We feel pretty sure our house was less to build using the hardie/nichi mixture than if we had completely bricked the house. But we made our choices because we're a "painted house" kind of people and the style we liked just went well with the shingle/siding.

This is a photo of the outside shortly after we moved in Dec. (we are doing our landscaping now!)

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 5:59PM
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Downsey--your house is very pretty. I can't see the shingle part very well. I don't suppose you have a closer shot of the shingle section (but not too close) do you?

What color is your Nichiha? I really like it. Did Carolina Colortones finish it for you?

Thanks again for your response. Yyou did a nice job on your home.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 8:32AM
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Here's a few more shots a bit closer. Hopefully this helps. We had our shingles painted onsite - a custom mixed color from Benjamin Moore. It started out to be Bleeker beige but it was too yellow for me and I had them tweak it.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 10:49AM
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Downsy, I like it. Nice textured look. So, was it painted after it was installed or did the cut edges have to be painted before installation?

How long do you expect it will be before you have to paint again?

Had your installers used this siding before and did they have any problems installing it?

Thanks. It looks great. So helpful.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 4:20PM
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It was painted after it was installed. It came primed and they did not paint the cut edges. The pieces were butted together at installation and they caulked the joins, then painted.

I don't think the installers had any problems while doing our house. Hardie products are very popular in my area - so most of them are familiar working with the concrete siding products. Nichi is a newer product in our area and I chose it after a designer I work with used it on a new build and felt it was a great alternative to Hardie.

We are hoping to get 15 yrs on our paint job. I have a feeling we're being way too optimistic with that goal!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 8:06AM
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Thanks Downsy. Very helpful.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 5:43PM
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downsy, why did you mix hardie board and nichiha batten?
does nich board not come in wider boards?

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 1:37PM
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If I remember correctly, the price was better that way.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 4:03PM
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Kathy Harrington

Downsy, have you had any problems with either the Niche or Hardi with peeling, cracking or delaminating. I've been reading other posts where people are having problems with the fiber cement products and wondering if you have any issues a year later?

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 4:08PM
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Harringk - no we haven't had any issues with any peeling after 1.5 years. We are in SE TN with a milder climate than the areas known more to have peeling hardie. I think the episodes of peeling are found in colder, more snow prone, areas. We are very happy with our siding!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 10:11PM
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Kathy Harrington

So glad to hear that as it looks beautiful! We are building in the mountains in Colorado, so I'm a little concerned that we may experience some problems. Still in the design stage, so no hard decisions have been made yet

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 9:50AM
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It's unbelievable to see $100k+ for siding mentioned on this and other threads! Maybe there are folks who would just hand over the checkbook...

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 12:53PM
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We just finished installing our nichiha sierra premium shake today. We really like the texture of the boards. We are working on putting up a semitransparent stain that will mimic real wood with quite a bit of variation. It's going to be tricky but I think we can pull it off based on the test piece I did last night. Have to pin the color down now that we see how it goes on. I'll try to post pics when it's done but that's likely a couple weeks out yet.

We ordered through Home Depot. So far so good!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:00PM
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Matt_in_ks --- How did the stained shake turn out? I was considering doing the same thing, but then read that you shouldn't put the stain over a pre-painted surface. Please give details on your process, if it worked out. Hope it did!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 4:37PM
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