What kind of siding material requires the least maintenance/replacement?

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Flyover

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Suppose you were building a house in a dryish, fairly temperate climate such as southwestern WA, and the requirement was that it should require the least maintenance possible and last the longest amount of time. You are restricted to actual products commonly available to builders. What material would you use for the siding?
 

Sparky617

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Fiber Cement siding with a factory finish would give you a long time before any maintenance beyond an occasional power wash. If you're in earthquake country brick probably isn't a great siding material. Stucco seems to be popular in California for that reason, it would be relatively low maintenance. I can't stand vinyl, and if you're anywhere near a wild-fire zone would be a very poor choice, if even allowed.
 

Flyover

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Fiber Cement siding with a factory finish would give you a long time before any maintenance beyond an occasional power wash. If you're in earthquake country brick probably isn't a great siding material. Stucco seems to be popular in California for that reason, it would be relatively low maintenance. I can't stand vinyl, and if you're anywhere near a wild-fire zone would be a very poor choice, if even allowed.
That's cool, I plugged "fiber cement siding with a factory finish" into DDG and got several nice-looking images including this one:


I like the way it looks!
 

Eddie_T

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I used redwood with no finish. I don't know if redwood is even available nowadays.
 

Flyover

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You're also restricted to building codes. I can just feel those constraints closing in. :( Also, HOAs.
Yes, true about codes. I don't plan to ever build a house (as in, truly design it from the ground up to suit my exact tastes and priorities) where there's an HOA, not really sure why anyone would try. (You'd just customize a pre-fab cookie cutter home in that case, right?)

I used redwood with no finish. I don't know if redwood is even available nowadays.
Redwood shingles? Those probably look nice. I've heard redwood lasts a long time; how long exactly? And what are the downsides, in your experience? Did you have trouble finding it?
 

Eddie_T

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Not shingles, it's redwood plywood grooved vertically to look like board and batten. It was easily available in the 70s @ $20.95 per sheet. It was supposed to turn silver with age but 48 years hasn't done it.
 

Guzzle

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I'm still considering doing it myself, but that's a risky one-man job & I've never done siding but I did work as a carpenter's apprentice in NJ when I was a wee lad.
 

Sparky617

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I did a lot of fiber cement (Hardie) siding, both clapboard and shingle boards with excellent results. 15 year warranty on factory finish plus they are fireproof.
When I was getting insurance on my brick and Hardi-plank house, my insurance agent advised that Hardi-Plank gets the same rating as brick for resistance to fire. A huge consideration. Any time there is a fire in a typical subdivision, one of the first things the fire department does is set up a water cannon between the houses to keep the fire from spreading to adjacent homes. I've seen vinyl siding melt off of adjacent homes. We've had several fires in multifamily homes with vinyl where it spread from home to home very quickly. One happened while they were still under construction, a discarded cigarette in pine straw mulch started a fire, it went up the siding and into the roof deck through the vinyl soffit. After that they outlawed pine straw mulch in multifamily houses.
 

Guzzle

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The fire insurance companies will lose big time if this product becomes widely known.

Oops, too late! :D
 

Eddie_T

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Rather than trying to imitate other materials I think I might like paneling with a plaster or stucco finish for both outside and interior walls. Just vertical 4x8 panels with joints as poured concrete might have.
 

Sparky617

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Rather than trying to imitate other materials I think I might like paneling with a plaster or stucco finish for both outside and interior walls. Just vertical 4x8 panels with joints as poured concrete might have.
Look at Hardi-Panel sheets. They come in several styles including a stucco finish, smooth finish, and a T1-11 finish. All the benefits of Hardi-plank in a panel. I used it on a ceiling of a screen porch I built for a former coworker. It looked pretty good, I used the T1-11 style. I also used it on the wall with the house to differentiate the screened porch from the deck. The house had Hardi-plank siding.
 

Flyover

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The fire insurance companies will lose big time if this product becomes widely known.

Oops, too late! :D
No, they'd win because there'd be fewer fires they have to pay out for, or the fires that do happen would cause less damage to the properties. It doesn't stand to reason that people wouldn't insure their homes against fires just because they installed fire-resistant materials.
 

Guzzle

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No, they'd win because there'd be fewer fires they have to pay out for, or the fires that do happen would cause less damage to the properties.
>In this case they’d probably charge you for insuring way more than you need, or they wouldn’t speak to you at all. I have some evidence that my own insurer wants to sell me "off-the-shelf plans", no need to spend money on their own actuary.
People have a zero risk bias & the ins. co. knows it. The people who run that ad with that bird know it.

It doesn't stand to reason that people wouldn't insure their homes against fires just because they installed fire-resistant materials.
>The insureds could calculate the odds & ask to be insured against only the risk they are still incurring.
I’ve considered hiring an actuary so I’d know my odds, but I have other fish to fry.
But, yeah, the smart money is on the big guys.
If you lived in an ungrounded house, almost certainly you would be pressured to buy GFCIs. Same with the odds & the fear, if you look this up.

>This is the story behind the exploding air bag uproar.
The chances of anyone dying from this is down in noise but my car maker sends me a garish notice [Me & my loved ones may die horribly!] every 20 days (which we all paid for) for years now, begging & threatening me to get my car into a dealership.
Once they have my car they can extract whatever money out of me that they want, for any & all reasons, outlandish or not.
I expect these places are run by are intelligent sociopaths, the dumb sociopaths go to prison for fraud, or worse.


I’m glad I got that off my chest. :)
 
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