We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Sunday, August 25. 2013
My father-in-law taught me this lesson, and recently re-did most of his home's exterior these ways. He is no longer thrilled with the DIY approach as he grows a little older.
Blame design, or Nature, or Entropy, or whatever. Dead wood and water do not mix. Not in Yankeeland, anyway.
In the past week, we had Anderson's custom replacement service replace 8 old custom-sized windows with their new fake, never-paint, never-chip, last-forever composite frames and good thermopane glass. Not anywhere as expensive as one might have thought, but still costly enough with all of the custom sizing. Including three casement windows. Their guys work fast, too. Did it all in one day, and put insulation in the edges of the new frames.
Any wood that rots - sills, etc. - all we will use is Azeks. If it rotted out once, it will do so again. We're gradually replacing all the dang wood columns for the pergola and the porches with custom fiberglass columns with 6X6" pressure-treated wood posts hidden inside.
These new "woods" never rot, never peel, never warp, and never need painting. Woodpeckers never peck holes in them, and wood-boring wasps leave it alone. Best thing of all: it looks like real wood.
You might say that we have been converted by maintenance cost.
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Your house, your money but you could and should do better.
Even resin composite will get brittle eventually due to UV exposure.
Here in Israel wood is scarce - so we have masonry construction and metal window frames.
I actually merely tried posting "shudder" between brackets, which did not take as the brackets were interpreted as programming syntax.
Did you mean AZEK instead of Asics? I searched on "Asics" and got only shoes. AZEK makes PVC trim but I am not sure if that is what you meant. Just want to know so I can store that info away for future reference.
I had my builder use Hardy plank and Hardy Trim (even Hardy Soffet for under the eves) instead of wood when building recently. I agree that wood, especially a lot of the modern exterior moldings, do not hold up to weather.
Using the modern, low maintenance materials makes sense to me. It has the added bonus that Hardy materials (or similar) only require painting about half as often as their wood equivalents. With houses costing $10,000 or so to paint, that is a significant saving.
I agree with GaryP: we built our retirement house at the river with lotsa sturdy wood framing but sided it with hardy shingles and clapboards. We used a lot of PVC planks on exposed trim. More expensive for sure, but once it's in it's done. I'm replacing the trim on our "hovel" near work with plastic getting it ready to sell.
We used hardi-plank and Azek when we built down here on the South Gulf Coast, out of a concern for rot, termites, and fire resistance. The Azek is for window and door trim. It's dimensionally stable and doesn't warp or crack. Eight years later in the heat and sun and rain, none of it needs repainting yet, which is a lot more than I can say for any of the painted wood on the porch columns and railings, where we used ordinary treated lumber.
If our hallowed ancestors had had these new materials available to construct their houses, they would have jumped at the chance. Imagine a greatx4 grandfather sitting down with you and saying "So let me get this straight. You've got a material for window sills that won't rot, and you don't want to use it because I didn't? What kind of knuckleheads have we got in this family?"
Honor you ancestors and our traditional culture in some other way.
Can you send some pictures of the upgrade? If is does not compromise your security.
You could always re-side with cedar clapboard or shakes, and let everything weather.
It's much cheaper painting if you act as your own contractor having gotten yourself a crew of Hispanics off the street.
Not the siding. It's the trim and the windows and the window sills.
The cedar siding is fine.
The new materials definitely have some good points.
The largest drawback that I can see, and I could be wrong, is that in my experience with historic restoration, a wooden structure can always be repaired. I am thinking here particularly of wooden ornamental trim, double-hung sashes, and that ilk. A master carpenter can make you a new piece that matches perfectly, if it is wood (or with the interior, plaster). A double-hung sash can be repaired for much less than the cost of an entirely new window. That sort of accurate repair is much harder, or impossible, with the engineered materials.
That being said, things like roofing, siding, structural members? Real potential there. I can't complain about the fact that the house I work the most with had its siding redone in the 1930's with asbestos. The look was slightly altered, with the finer details lost, but a fortune in paint was saved.
We replaced all the rotten siding on our 1923 house with Hardy plank last year. The house is 1500 sq ft and has a lot of detail. I think the guys were here a lot longer than they thought they would be and probably underbid the job. It cost us 47K and for us it was a fortune. They also added insulation. And painted it 5 colours and it is gorgeous. The warranty is 50 years on the paint and I think 75 years on the siding so we will be long gone by the time it needs work.
I love me some Hardiplank. Looks like wood, lasts like brick. Holds paint so much better than wood or fiber board siding. I would never do aluminum or plastic siding, they look like, well, aluminum or plastic.
A family friend recently had all her wood siding replaced with more wood siding. The house was built in 1715: the shelf life for wood in this case was 300 years.
We have some decorative benches around the marina that have AZEK planks - as official Marina Committee Chairman, we will never do that again. Three years and we'll have to repair the benches again. The problem is where the plank was screwed to the bench frame - it "dry rotted" is about the only way I can describe it around the screw hole and the planks are coming loose. They are also faded and look splotchy.
AZEK marketing went from no maintenance to low maintenance to resistant and recently contractors are also putting "in certain circumstances" in the warranty.
Take it for what you will, but we won't be replacing the bench wood with AZEK again.
I think wood has gotten a undeserved bad reputation. As dianainsa pointed out, a lot of the wood that is rotting away now is over 100 years old. Where I live, in Ohio, many of the old beautiful barns are covered up with steel siding. Takes away all the charater of the building. I've heard more than one farmer talk about never putting wood siding on anything because it will just rot. Sure, it gets dody and rotted, but only after 100+ years of service. I've seen metal siding no more than 20 years old start to rust. I think wood needs another look and attention.
As BD originally said, he was replacing trim and windows. I think they would deteriorate quick as there is more areas for water to sit. But can I ask BD, how old was the stuff that you replaced?
16 years old.
stays damp in the shade, or too low near the ground.