Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Siding and stone, what has changed on the outside of your new home in the past 20 years

Modern Day Construction for custom homes Part 7

In today’s modern world of construction things are changing year to year faster than they did decade to decade in any other previous time period. In this multi part series I will traverse through an entire house starting with the foundation and working my way up to the roof and then to the finishing’s. I will explain what has changed in the last twenty years in custom home building.

One thing that you should be able to take away from this is how important it is to not just hire the right general contractor to build your custom home but how important it is to hire one that is up on today’s building methods.

Here are some changes that have come along in the last 20 years alone;

Exterior wall coverings

Twenty years ago wood siding, vinyl siding and brick were popular and were usually the standard application. Cedar shiplap was also very popular for cottages and chalets; it was usually installed raw and left to fade silver.
These days there are so many more options for the outside of the walls and there has been a lot of advancement in how it is all installed on the exterior of today’s houses. Here are some of the options that are popular now and also some of the installation methods that have become standard for those new exterior finishing’s and the ones that have been used for years;

Natural stone. Natural stone is a very popular choice these days. Whether it is the full 4” stone or the newer sliced stone that is only 2” thick and installed like cultured stone, stone when properly installed should last a life time. It is also a timeless look, stone really never goes out of style; it just costs a lot more than other exterior finishes.

Manufactured stone. Manufactured stone has come a long way in a couple of decades. There are better ways to install it, so that the stone gets a chance to breath, allowing drying of the stone so that there isn’t freezing and thawing, those preventing the breaking of the mortar joints. Also the colours and definition of the stone have come a long way, making it look more like real stone than ever before.  It is also the cheaper alternative to natural stone.

Cement siding. Cement siding is what it sounds like, siding made out of cement. Cement siding comes in a lot of colours and styles; it also gives you a longer life then wood siding because there is nothing to rot. Some draw backs are that it is difficult to work with because it is made of cement and because it is very fragile until it’s installed. It is also extremely heavy to lift and manipulate. The price is higher than wood siding, but it does give you a maintenance free exterior.

Pre-finished wood siding. Wood siding has come a long way in twenty years. The paint now applied in the factory has a 15 to 20 year warranty on it. That means that the chances of you having to paint the house while you own it are rather small. Also you have the option to get your siding in pressure treated wood instead of just pine. This is a great thing for houses that are built in places like the beach were you and the siding could be sand blasted. With new products like cedar breather, more ventilation is allowed behind the siding, keeping it dry and rot free. A big trend with wood siding is only doing part of the house, the first 4 feet is done in stone.

Pre-finished cedar shakes. Today you can have cedar shakes pre-finished in any colour that you want. This gives the paint a longer life and thus giving the cedar shakes a longer life on the side of your new home.

Look for part 8 coming soon...

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.


  1. which home are you referring too?

  2. for me wood is still the best with houston siding companies in it to look more high quality siding.

  3. Great tips! Keeping tabs and doing maintenance on the house’s sidings is also a must since they serve as protection from extreme weather.

    - Cody Charlebois -