Once upon a time siding options were pretty limited – in fact, there was really only one option, wood. Wooden siding, or clapboards, date back to the 1600s and was used to cover up the somewhat rough finish of those early timber-framed homes. Wood shingles or “shakes” were popular into the 1900s.

Wooden siding looks great when first installed but requires almost constant maintenance to keep it looking great and over the years it lost its place to other materials. Each of the new materials improved on the one before in respect to their maintenance:

  • Brick & Stone
  • Asbestos (!)
  • Aluminum
  • Vinyl
  • Fiber Cement

The era of wood siding is not completely over and it’s often used by architects and builders to add character and to make a statement.

That was the case in a recent project in Rockaway NJ. These fairly modern townhouses used wood siding as a striking feature. Unfortunately the same issues with maintenance existed and upon closer inspection it was able to see weathering and imperfections in the wooden siding.

Wooden siding looking weathered

George J Keller & Sons were hired to replace the wood siding with new James Hardie Fiber Cement siding. There are a number of reasons why fiber cement siding makes an ideal replacement in Northern New Jersey:

  • Durability and Weather Resistance: Fiber cement siding is known for its exceptional durability and ability to withstand diverse weather conditions. It resists rot, moisture, and insects, which can be significant concerns for wood siding in a humid environment like New Jersey.
  • Low Maintenance: Fiber cement siding requires significantly less maintenance than wood siding. It doesn’t need regular painting or staining, which can save homeowners time and money in the long run. This is especially important in a region like New Jersey, where weather-related wear and tear on wood siding can be more frequent.
  • Aesthetics and Versatility: Fiber cement siding can mimic the look of natural wood or other materials, offering homeowners a wide range of design options. So, homeowners can maintain the aesthetic appeal of wood siding without the associated drawbacks. This is especially appealing for those who want a traditional or rustic appearance for their homes.
  • Longevity and Warranty: Fiber cement siding often comes with long warranties. James Hardie offers a 30 year warranty on its fiber cement siding. This provides homeowners with peace of mind, knowing that their investment in siding will last for decades without significant degradation.

In this instance the homeowner selected James Hardie “HardiePlank” which imitates the look of wood grain but without the problems associated with wood itself. The client selected the color “Rich Espresso” that really complemented the remaining wooden trim and accents.

Wood grain HardiePlank siding

The final project also included new Andersen Windows and custom-made gutters and leaders that were made on-site and attached to the house using hidden hangers.

Great finishing touch – custom-made gutters and leaders

George J Keller & Sons, LLC is a James Hardie Elite Preferred Installer and part of their Preferred Contractor Alliance with a recommendation rate of 95%! When you’re ready for your next home exterior remodeling project we hope you’ll give us a call at 973-927-0963.