What siding to use on outside of funky 1971 house

frenderAugust 3, 2012

We are replacing windows and some rotted siding on our 1971 house and are wondering if we should change to another style of siding?

Currently we have a flat, plain panel sheet siding - 4 foot x 8 foot redwood plywood panel sheets that have been painted.

The house is kind of busy, thus I am thinking of staining with the plain look, but would love any opinions.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Before changing the siding (unless it's degenerated and needs replacing), consider changing the garage door to something more interesting. Right now it looks a bit like a shoebox, and that's the dominant feature of your house.

I don't think the house is busy at all. You could go with clapboards or board-and-batten (NOT reverse b&b) siding. I'd also add a pergola or some other interest over the walkway which I assume runs along the garage to the front door. Right now the entrance is rather hidden and under-emphasized -- you need to give it some presence. And, of course, landscaping.

It will be a lovely house when you're done.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 9:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you! Unfortunately the garage door is brand new, so I feel bad about replacing it right away. Is it possible to take out some of the panels on it and put in windows?

Here is a better picture of our crazy siding from the side of the house. Not sure to stay with the same plywood siding or change to some T1-11 siding with a vertical line or something with some other design.

The bottom of a lot of the siding is rotted, plus we plan to change out the windows and doors, so we figured now was a good time. I would like to stick with a contemporary or modern look.

Thanks for any opinions.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 5:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Where are you located? I mean, what part of the country? That will help guide your choices.

If it were my house (I'm in New England) I would look into adding a peaked roof over the garage and some kind of clapboard siding. But if you are in CA I'd suggest something else.

Congrats on the new house, BTW, I'm guessing you just purchased it?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 6:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks EngineerChic. We are in the SF Bay Area.

Here is a picture of the windows on the side of the garage that lead up to the front door.

Thanks for any ideas!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 6:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ooh, fun!

You can go with some really interesting options. Have you looked at Houzz.com? I think you could go for a mix of metal and beautiful wood (not clapboard but slatted).

Here is a link that might be useful: Wood and metal combined

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 8:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Bluntly, I hate T1-11 siding. It looks cheap, in a bad sort of way. It shows seams. It has no good character. It says, "Oh, look, we ran out of money and taste at the same time." It's awful.

But your current siding doesn't flatter the house, either. It's rumpled and looks one step up from tarpaper.

Your house deserves better than either of these. The picture EngineerChic linked to shows board-and-batten, which is a simple but characterful siding which is also traditional for the California coast. It would work really well with the vertical lines of your house. Even better if it's in redwood, but I'm not sure that's even available any more. The board-and-batten would no doubt be more expensive than the other sidings, but would be worth it.

Are you eventually going to change out the amber glass? Or will you keep it?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 8:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We are definitely changing out the amber glass. Two sides of our house is 2.5 stories tall, so we are worried about matching up lines.

Other than board and batten, what else would work?

The other houses in our neighborhood all seem to have the siding with the vertical lines in it.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 10:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Whoops! I linked to the wrong thing.

Board and batten is pretty, too. I think you can do stucco in you area as well, right? There are a lot of stunning images with stucco and wood mixed. I've even seen some homes use corrugated galvanized steel as siding - though it can look low budget if it isn't installed well (and assuming metal prices are still high, it's not low budget).

Having lived in NE or other "traditional-minded" parts of the country all my life, I would embrace the CA aesthetic and go for something with slatted redwood and stucco.

Here is a link that might be useful: Better link

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 6:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Anything that is installed in a 4x8 sheet is going to have seams that show, especially on your tall wall. You can cover these seams with battens, but you will have to work that into your design. If you don't do something about the visible seams, it will look cheap.

What about wide horizontal clapboards? Or the stucco mentioned elsewhere.

And on your garage door, I believe certain manufacturers do make them so you can pop out one panel and replace it with something else.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 3:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Board & batten or shingles over the existing panel siding would add some architectural texture and weather protection.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 4:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

hI everyone,
I am back onto siding again (I have been focused on windows and a new front door).

I spoke to a rep for certainteed about their cement board siding as well as hardie. Apparently they both carry a board and batten like siding.

Any other options for installing board and batten?


    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 7:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What about Trespa Meteon?

Here is a link that might be useful: Trespa

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 8:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I grew up in a California board-and-batten cottage. As is common for the type, the boards and battens were redwood, left natural to weather to a dark silver gray. However, I don't believe redwood lumber is available any longer; if it is, it's probably cost-prohibitive. Cedar might be a more affordable alternative, but it might also be more expensive than the fiber-cement sidings. Still, it's worth checking into.

Two nice points about the fiber-cement sidings is that they hold paint well and they provide more fire protection than wood.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 6:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks Chibimim, I might post about Hardie's board and batten and see if anyone has any opinions / experienced any issues!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 10:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Does anyone have any info on adding battens over existing siding? I was thinking if we could replace the sections that are rotted and then patch them up and add a piece of trim to cover the patch and then add vertical battens it might give us the board and batten look and save a lot of money

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 12:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've heard of people doing this, but have no personal experience with it. Can't see any reason why it wouldn't work. You'll also want to add some trim to cover the horizontal seams between the siding sheets.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 6:08PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
need help designing shed dormers
we bought an 1864 post and beam house and want to add...
Renovate (which plan?) or sell
We are trying to make a decision about renovating our...
question about getting a bid from contractors
We're getting ready to put an addition on our house...
bookshelves around a fireplace with a vaulted ceiling
I am looking for help regarding design ideas for adding...
Help with exterior remodel!
Help! I want to remodel the exterior of my house. ...
Jeff Holmes
Sponsored Products
Milk Glass Rely-A-Light Decorative Emergency Table Lamp
Lamps Plus
Surya Lagoon LGO-2032 3'6" x 5'6" Ivory, Navy Rug
$235.00 | PlushRugs
Graff | Solar Wall-Mounted Lavatory Faucet with Single Handle
$552.75 | YBath
Corona Chandelier by Fire Farm
$614.70 | Lumens
Gourmet Chef 10--piece Non Stick Cookware Set
Clubhouse Birdhouse For Purple Martins - White with Pine Shingle Roof
Signature Hardware
Little House Cutting Board
$74.99 | Dot & Bo
96" Treated Pine Traditional Garden Bench
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™