House Siding for MN - LP / Hardie / Steel?

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House Siding for MN - LP / Hardie / Steel?

Post by spahkee »

Our cedar siding has been decimated by woodpeckers here in Minnesota. So looking at replacing our siding with LP composite, Hardie fiber cement or steel.

Outside of the sticker shock ($30-45k) to tear down and replace the siding, would love to get people's experiences with using any of these materials in a northern climate. Contractors we've talked to definitely have their preferences. The Hardie people talk about all the problems with LP being susceptible to woodpeckers due to the wood composition, the LP people talk about the Hardie lawsuits and the steel people will sniff at both.

Just like with any construction, in addition to the material, it appears that much of the siding longevity and satisfaction has to do with proper installation. Have people had to go through this decision process and ultimately, what did you decide?

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Re: House Siding for MN - LP / Hardie / Steel?

Post by DoTheMath »

We're in the southern plains and put Hardie on our house. We've been very happy with it. It's been on the house for ~10 years and looks pretty much brand new. We went with a factory paint color and was guaranteed not to need repainting for 15 years (if I recall correctly), and it seems to be holding up well. We don't have the cold of MN, but we do have a harsh climate for housing (wind, hail, sun, etc.).

My cousin lives in MN and has Hardie on his house. He's been very happy with it as well. He had a hail storm his first year and while neighbors had damaged siding, his came through just fine.

As you say, it's very expensive and its performance depends a lot on having it properly installed. We went with Hardie certified installers for that reason.

My sympathies on the decision. It's a big cost and you'll live with it for years and years. It's nerve-wracking!
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Re: House Siding for MN - LP / Hardie / Steel?

Post by Mountain Man »

I live in MN. We re-sided our house 5 years ago. Looked at all the options you did and ultimately decided on seamless steel siding. Been super happy with it. It's really the only siding that handles the extreme weather of MN, from Sub zero temps to hot and humid. It never needs to be painted either!!! We got a list of houses in our area that had seamless steel siding, even the houses with steel siding from 30 years ago look great. Seamless steel has the most expensive up-front cost but is cheaper in the long run based on how long it lasts and the fact it needs no maintenance.
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Re: House Siding for MN - LP / Hardie / Steel?

Post by LawEgr1 »

Our 1950s rambler in the center of the Cities has the original fiber cement siding. Quite frankly, I think it's held up terrifically. One downside to it, as far as I can tell, is that while durable it is brittle so the edges are easy to crack. There are only a few chips at the base where it meets the foundation that has some spots that are damaged.

Again, this is after the 50+ years. Whether or not the siding is similar to todays offerings, I do not know.

I would recommend it, but also the seamless siding looks to be an interesting option as proposed above.
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Re: House Siding for MN - LP / Hardie / Steel?

Post by ScaledWheel »

Love cedar but we replaced our siding in Minneapolis a couple years ago with Hardie. It’s great and it’ll be my go to from here on out.

Really happy with our contractor too who came in at a good price. Feel free to DM for the contractor info.
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Re: House Siding for MN - LP / Hardie / Steel?

Post by ThreeBears »

Strange. My house is in MN. We are working on several quotes for siding.

The stainless steel quote was ridiculously expensive. $50,000. In general, I am not convinced that "forever" solutions are worth the accompanied hefty premiums. IMO, vendors pitching the forever solution are aiming at anxieties of deep pockets. With stainless steal, I also worry about insulation. They say they add some new R-factor wrap, but it seems thin compared to the current Masonite.

I do believe in smart solutions--don't paint, if you think you should get new siding.

You are correct that everyone talks their book.

The LP guys say stuff like (1) concrete absorbs moisture, (2) if Hardy has even a little seal break, it all gets contaminated, (3) Hardy dust is dangerous to breath, (4) Hardy fades in the sunlight, (5) LP never fades as they use natural dyes.

The Hardy guys say (1) Hardy is the best, (2) the LP guys just don't know how to install Hardy, (3) Hardy does not fade.

The stainless steal guys talk about how their solution is the only forever solution.

We have not received our quotes for Hardy or LP yet. I will say, the quotes so far are MUCH higher than what Internet sites estimate the quotes for.
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Re: House Siding for MN - LP / Hardie / Steel?

Post by mw1739 »

My house has Hardie siding with cedar trim. The woodpeckers love my cedar trim, but don't touch the Hardie siding. I have to replace a couple pieces of trim each year from woodpecker damage. If I wanted to spend the money, I would replace all the cedar trim with Hardie trim.
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Re: House Siding for MN - LP / Hardie / Steel?

Post by Dottie57 »

My parents put steel siding on their house in the late eighties. It is still going strong.
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Re: House Siding for MN - LP / Hardie / Steel?

Post by lthenderson »

As you are finding, nothing is perfect and will last forever maintenance free. Whatever way you go will have some tradeoffs so you have to decide what it more important to you. For us, having a traditional looking siding that will last the rest of my lifetime with minimal maintenance was the most important so we went with cement board siding that wasn't Hardie brand. It is quiet in a rainstorm and other than recaulking some joints every four or five years and painting once every fifteen years, doesn't require any other maintenance. Metal may require less maintenance but doesn't have the traditional look we wanted and is very loud compared to cement board.
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Re: House Siding for MN - LP / Hardie / Steel?

Post by Limoncello402 »

Just completed a Hardie board siding of my 100 year old St. Paul house, with Twin Cities Siding Professionals. It took a long time for me to make the decision, but I finally bit the bullet and am very, very happy. You are welcome to come look if you want.
Note that I really did not consider the alternative siding as neighbors had also done Hardie board and I was sold on it. The original cedar siding was in bad shape and could not be salvaged.
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Re: House Siding for MN - LP / Hardie / Steel?

Post by Sandtrap »

Some Exterior Residential wall sidings:

LP or equivalent “Fiberboard Synthetic”
Careful install a must. Seal or caulk cut ends during install. Fasten correctly so no warppage. Correct size expansion joints. Seal prime and paint regularly to prevent sun and water damage.
Damage repair possible. Addition or remod tie ins doable.
Tyvek wrap and tape and synthetic seal tape flashing around all openings a must. Some structural shear strength. Some brands are more plastic like in density and finish, therefore more moisture forgiving.

Hardie plank or equivalent cementuous based synthetic. Same as above. A bit more moisture forgiving. Usually heavier. Damage repair possible. Addition or remod tie ins doable.
Tyvek wrap and tape seal and synthetic flashing around openings a must. Some structural shear strength. Surface is extremely hard. (Chews up saw blades! - use finish work Carbide blades for cleaner cuts) (N95 or better masks as dust is cementuous and has silicates = lung damage “cough! Cough!”.

Metal siding epoxy coated etc other than galvanized. Vulnerable to salt corrosion in ocean and coastal areas. May fade or weather with time and need painting depending on the product. Dents and damage difficult to repair. Addition and remodeled tie ins tricky. Some shear strength. (Use special metal cutting carbide non abrasive saw blades) Breathing protection a must when cutting galvanized or some epoxy coatings.

Synthetic wall shakes/shingles. Same as LP and Hardy horizontal lap installs. Non structural, no shear strength.

Stucco: traditional or synthetic. Area and climate dependent. Professional install a must. Damage difficult to repair and match. Addition and remod tie ins tricky. Mostly non structural.

T-111 sheet siding or equivalent, battened, etc.

A high quality install and maintenance of any of the above is better than a low quality install and poor maintenance of any.
And a high quality install of a cheap marginal product will be lacking as well.

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Re: House Siding for MN - LP / Hardie / Steel?

Post by Kagord »

Usually, I find contractors always say replace siding and windows at the sign of damage, at exorbitant costs.

Have you just thought of repairing it? This is assuming it's not over, say, 10-20% decimated (by area). Filling in the woodpecker holes, replacing the rotted siding and trim boards, and re-caulking cracked caulks is probably a whole lot cheaper. And if you keep up on it annually going forward, it may not be that bad of a choice and last your life in the house.

Also, replacing siding may not improve, dollar for dollar, a potential house sale at some point, if you are selling at some point. Are you going to live in this home for 40-50 years to make use of the replacement?
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Re: House Siding for MN - LP / Hardie / Steel?

Post by iamlucky13 »

I'm satisfied with our Hardie siding after a decade of use, but I'm in a milder climate. It holds up to the Pacific NW dampness fine, but caulking at the butt joints between planks is cracking. I'm not sure there was even supposed to be caulking there, but I've been watching closely for signs of actual issues from the caulking cracking, and it appears to be merely a cosmetic issue.

I don't think many contractors in our area work with LP, so between my familiarity with Hardie on my parents house, and all the contractors we talked to liking it, we didn't give much consideration to alternatives.

As far as I understand it, the real issues with LP were resolved 20+ years ago, and as long as it is installed properly, it should be good for decades. If it's cheaper, it might be worth considering, but I default to Hardie because it has a well demonstrated track record.

I would not worry about concrete dust. It falls out of the air fairly quickly, so it is mainly a concern for the guy cutting it. I think it's an OSHA regulation now for contractors cutting concrete products to be given appropriate masks. If they use the Hardie sheers instead of a carbide blade on a circular saw, then there is little to no fine dust generated.
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