Archive for July, 2010

pre painted or stained Hardie Plank siding & Weatherboards siding

July 6th, 2010

Being a local siding contractor for  the past 2 decades we at Superior Exterior Systems have installed  pre-painted & stained  Hardie Plank & Certanteed Weatherboards siding in the Portland metro & southwest washington areas. As customers have chosen that siding, and we are unbiased, I thought it would be good to give you an objective practical look at those  options.  To help you in the decision process, I would like to point out a few concerns that have come up over the years. 1. Manufacture product reps will imply that you dont have to paint after the siding is installed BUT they wont tell you that you will still need to paint your overhangs, doors and any trim. Think about that - its ALOT for a homeowner to take on!   2. Another problem is that if cuts are made on the siding boards and those cut ends arent touching a corner or window trim and then sealed with caulking that area will need to be touched up with paint.  Generally  a small amount of touch up paint is supplied by the manufacture you choose.  Remember those cut pieces won’t have primer under them since they will have been cut on the field.   3. The cost of the pre-painted siding is very high. Sometimes more than cost of a quality painter  EXCEPT that a painter would also be painting ALL your trim, doors, overhangs etc. so the cost isn’t worth it since you will have more to do yourself.  4. Another problem is efflorescence, a chalking white powdery substance that sometimes comes thru the paint itself on cement based products.  You will often see efflorescence on large concrete walls where highways are or on old brick.  It simply looks like a white powder but doesn’t come off that easily when it has bled thru the paint. If you try to clean it off the actual fiber cement siding you will obviously be rubbing off the paint or stain too.  This is a BIG problem.  The pre-stained siding looks really good especially in the right setting like the woods but the coating seems to be somewhat thin so it rubs off fairly easy if efflorescence starts showing up.   Summary: I would suggest hiring  a quality painter instead of paying so much extra for pre-painted siding since you will have to hire one anyways to paint  all the trim.  Remember the problem with Lp siding was that to save manufacturing costs, Lp put less glue in the siding particles which was needed  to actually hold the osb siding particles together. This was to save on rising costs in the 80’s.  Lp siding then had severe problems and went into a national class action lawsuit in the mid 90’s.  Because of the struggling economy I have seen manufactures often cutting back on production expenses.  I have seen some fiber cement manufactures put less primer to the point that I have insisted on sending the siding back and getting another batch which I then personally inspect the boards to make sure there is enough primer.  As always, I sincerely hope this gives you an objective view. As consumers we should all be open to the pros & cons of things we consume.  For even more information  feel free to click on and thanks for listening.