Thursday, April 25, 2013

Exterior finishes on your custom country home

Series: Tips on designing a country home.

In this multi-part series I will help give you tips on how to go about having a custom home built in the country, where it should sit, what it should look like, how it should function and what type of home performs the best and fits in with the surrounding country side.

The look of your new custom country home

First things first, I am not going to preach to you about what your country home should look like or what I think country homes should look like, because every person has a different idea of what that should be. What I will tell you is what we have built in the country, what looks the best to us, what performs the best in the country, what functions the best in the country and what should help with the resale value of your home.


The exterior of country homes can be different and they can also be a lot of the same. But do it right and you can make your home look original without standing out so much that it looks odd. There are a lot of different things that people do to the outside of country homes, here are the hottest items right now;

Pre-finished wood siding. When you used natural products such as wood your house will blend in nicely in the country. Pre-finished wood siding comes in almost any colour that you can imagine and has a paint warranty that is 20 years. There are many different styles and profiles to wood siding, you can run it horizontal or vertical and you can even use multiple different colours on the same building. It is easy to install and is readily available in most areas.

Cement siding. Cement siding has come up from California and basically has copied the look of pre-finished wood siding. It comes in a wide range of colours and also shows well. There are a few drawbacks with the product, it is a fragile product until it is installed, the product can be hard to manipulate if you have any inconstancies in the wall such as turned studs or unlevel corners. It is also a more expensive option then wood siding.

Vinyl and Aluminum siding. These are becoming less popular in the country and most are never put on custom homes anymore. They are extremely affordable but the look can be less then attractive. Vinyl siding doesn’t stand up to high winds or other extreme weather like wood or cement siding.

Manufactured stone. Manufactured stone has come a long way in the last couple of decades. There are manufactured stone products on the market that look so much like natural stone that you will have a hard time telling the difference. It is easy to install and also has the adding value of being light enough to be installed on any wall inside or outside of the home without any extra re-enforcing.

 Stone. Stone is a beautiful option to put on the outside of your home. If you have a professional stone mason that knows what they are doing then you will be putting an exterior finish on your home that will be there forever. Stone is a forever exterior finish that will survive rain, snow, sun and high winds. Stone is extremely expensive to buy and install, but when done right it will add value to your home.

Mix. Mixing siding and stone to the outside of your home is a very big trend. It gives you 4 or 5 ft walls of stone and then a wood siding finish on the rest of the building. This is very country looking and will help reduce the cost of having a house that is completely covered in stone with still giving you the look of stone.

Other exterior finishes like steel, stucco, tudor style and ultra modern looks are not that popular. They stand out and products like stucco or tudor style do not stand up to the extreme weather your new home can face in the country.

There is one other option that you can put on the outside of your home it is brick. Brick is not a popular thing to have installed on the outside of your home, but most homes that have been standing in the country for 50 to 100 years are brick homes. Brick homes when installed properly can be maintenance free for decades and will stand up to all the elements and the extreme weather. It is a classic look that when done with the appropriate brick that fits the look and feel of other brick farm houses in the area will look like it belongs.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

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