Guide to Typical Colorado Home Siding Finishes

Old Style Bark-in-Place Log Siding:

  • This type of siding is beautiful, but has often been neglected or simply aged and no longer looks good, and may be rotted. The very nature of the material suggests a very old home. This can mean that the framing members behind the log siding are deteriorated due to moisture intrusion over the years. This can only be determined in a case by case method which may include removal of some boards to check the conditions behind them.
  • Re-finishing: If the logs are in good condition, they can be refinished by multiple coats of a good quality log finish such as ‘Sikkens’, ‘ Woodguard’ or ‘Permachink’ products. You will need to ‘chink’ the cracks with a good semi-malleable product that can be applied with a caulk gun. Read up on several product types prior to starting and you can save a lot of time and costs.
  • Removal: if the boards have been installed over a wood sheathing, which would most likely be angled planks, because plywood was not available when many of these homes were built, then the logs may be removed. Once removed, the house should be wrapped with a product such as ‘Dow’, ‘Tyvek’ or ‘James Hardie’. This will seal the home and along with pre-caulk*, pre-flash* and joint taping, will prepare it for any of the alternatives we will be discussing in this article.

Shingle Siding:

  • Because I personally own a shingle-sided home, I can understand why one would want to keep it for the unique (stolen from Cape Cod!) Evergreen ‘look’ it affords. As the shingles age they cup and crack and lose their clean appearance. If the preponderance of the shingles are in good condition, the poor quality ones can be replaced, but keep in mind that shingles are installed from the bottom up so it may be necessary to replace an entire wall. Should you choose to replace, use a good quality Class ‘A’ Red Cedar Shingle which conforms with CSSB (Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau) rating. You should also consider a fire rated product and in fact it may be a code requirement these days. I suggest you hire an installer who is familiar with the process and requirements of shingle installation. As always, start with a house wrap or 15# building felts. I recommend the house wrap over the felts because the felts reflect heat back to the shingle and can cause it to deteriorate quicker. The house wrap is also a superior barrier to the elements.
  • Removal: Should you want a different look, the shingles can be removed with a four tined pitch fork. It is then necessary to drive the nails or staples flat, prior to installation of a house wrap. The windows and doors should be caulked and a flashing installed above each unit. The house can then be covered with the finish of your choice.

Channel Rustic Siding:

  • Channel Rustic Siding is a product that was used from the 60’s and is still in use today. Many of the older homes had the siding installed at an angle and thus ‘dates’ the house. This is not good or bad, but it can make some of the two and three story gable ends look very boxy and large. If the siding is in good condition, it can be refinished. For this I recommend a high quality solid body stain such as ‘Arbor Coat’ by Sherwin Williams. The solid body stains have more pigment than clear or semi-solids and this protects the siding from UV rays and lasts considerable longer than the others. Many of the newer homes sided with Channel Rustic Siding have been stained with solid body stain and they look fine.
  • Removal: Channel Rustic Siding is a good candidate for removal and replacement with a more updated product, especially if it is installed on the rake. The trim boards around the windows, doors and corners can be removed and a house wrap applied directly to the siding. It is then possible to use a good lap siding with some trim bands to break up the large expanse of wall. We recently did a project of this nature on a Gambrel Roofed home and the difference is amazing. We suggested ‘Hardie Color Plus’ siding with matching trim. The owner chose ‘Boothbay Blue’ with white trim and the results are remarkable. Here are a couple of before and after pictures:

Notice the ‘burned’ effect the sun has had over 30 years and the woodpecker holes?

Woodpecker holes in cedar siding.

Woodpecker holes in cedar siding.

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A ‘burned’ effect is evident from intense Colorado sun exposure over the past 30 years

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After replacing the siding this home has a decidedly new look and is much better protected from weather and wildlife.

As you can see in the ‘After’ picture below, the home now has a completely different ‘look’ and has pre-finished siding and trim that have a 15 year pro-rated warranty. A house wrap was applied over the channel rustic siding and the windows were all wrapped with ‘Vycor’, prior to installation of the finished trim. The soffit and fascia was replaced with matching materials and all the flashings are pre-finished the same color as the trim. It is quite a change!

 

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