Best non-wood siding for traditional look?

oldhouse405August 12, 2010

Hi--We're adding on to our early 1900s queen anne/craftsman style farmhouse and need to re-side the entire house. We are looking for something low maintenance, but that offers a traditional clapboard look.

Most of the fiber cement products seem too thin (5/16") for my taste, and are not tapered like wood clapboards. ThereÂs the Hardie Artisan fiber cement siding that is supposed to lend a traditional look, but I havenÂt seen it installed. ItÂs quite thick at 5/8" and am wondering if that is too thick (and heavy?).

I've also looked at a product called Duraprime. It's made of wood, but supposedly resistant to rot/bugs. It's tapered and about 1/2" thick. I canÂt find much info on it though, and am wondering how durable it is.

Any experience with Hardie Artisan or Duraprime, or other suggestions? I should add that my husband does not want a wood siding. I've seen some discussions here on a similar topic, but still can't decide. Thanks for your help!

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It would be great if there were an attractive, reasonably priced, durable, and historically appropriate alternative to vinyl siding. The Duraprime sounds interesting, but I'd check it out thoroughly before selecting it. What kind of warranty does it have?

When I googled "Duraprime, I found a data sheet that said it was made from paulownia wood. I googled "paulownia siding" and learned that it is made from trees grown in China. Given all the quality control problems China has been having, I'd want to see a proven track record for the product if it is milled there. Also, according to the Wikpedia article on paulownia:

"Testing by CSIRO in Australia has shown that Paulownia wood is very attractive for wood-boring insects."

I'm not sure that I'd want to be an early adopter. If it didn't work out, it would be a costly mistake.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wikipedia article on Paulownia

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 11:47PM
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Tecton makes a fiberglass siding. I've seen a sample and it doesn't look to bad but I've never seen a whole install. Tecton is owned by Marvin windows so there is an established company behind the name.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tecton fiberglass siding.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 9:55AM
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Fiber-cement siding will look exactly like clapboards since it is installed the same way.

A good paint job should last at least ten years, possibly longer.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 12:51PM
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I thought traditional clapboards were 3/8" thick - so 5/8" sounds really thick. I put regular Hardi Plank on my house and think it looks good - I did do 5" exposure instead of the standard 4" you get with vinyl siding - kept the cost down and not looking like vinyl was a plus. I'm not sure why it matters that the siding isn't 'tapered'?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 11:35AM
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"I thought traditional clapboards were 3/8" thick..."

I have a bunch from the 1920s on a house that are about 3/4 inch at the bottom edge.

It likely deponds on location.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 1:34PM
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We built a garage 140+ home last year. We used a cement board siding with a 4" reveal. The majority of our home is brick but there are several old additions that have 4" reveal wood siding. Once painted you can't tell the difference.

This is the best close up picture I could find.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 12:05AM
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Thanks everyone! We went with fiber cement (4") and it looks great.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2010 at 3:55PM
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