Get the Home Exterior Finish That Is Right for You
Leave No Stone Unturned – Get the Home Exterior Finish Right for You
LP’s Dirty Little Siding Secret
Working with white as both an exterior and interior paint color has been one of the toughest home design challenges I have experienced since I began staging homes 20 years ago. My desire and tenacity to create a unique look within our budget compelled me to push for more information and led to my eventual success in getting not only the right white paint color to help deliver the curb appeal for our new home design, but the high quality product I felt this home deserved.
Frustrating Selection Experience
When we began the process of building a new house, the most daunting element to us was getting the home’s curb appeal just right. I hated the curb appeal of my former home and spent 13 years trying to figure out how to change it. It was not until I was faced with very limited manufacturer selections of siding finishes that I started to probe deeper in how to get a custom look without the custom price tag from LP and HardiePlank. Here is my story:
At one of the first meetings with our builder, I was given a selection of presentation boards for the siding of our new home. Both LP and James Hardie provide boards featuring HardiePlank and SmartSide siding styles and colors so you can make your color selection. Both manufacturers’ siding colors were very limited. I agonized over the narrow selections. My understanding was I HAD to pick something from the boards I was given by the supplier. I hated all the colors. The white was too white, and the beige was too yellow. I could not get a shake color and siding color that matched. The amount of time I spent trying to work with what I was given was unproductive and disheartening.
I would drive through subdivisions in Mequon and Hartland looking at all the houses with LP siding trying to find just the right tone, however, they all just looked like builder-selected siding. It was not what I had in mind for pre-finished siding. I was concerned that my only choice would be to select primed LP and HardiePlank and customize the color on site which is expensive. My preference was a pre-finished siding to save cost and guarantee quality and consistency. I used pre-finished LP siding on my commercial building in Shorewood, and 10 years later, it still looks great. When the siding is produced by the manufacturer in their plant, it undergoes a higher level of quality control and finish than when the siding is painted on site. I saved thousands of dollars on our Shorewood offices using a prefinished color and wanted the same for my new house. Ordering primed HardiePlank and LP siding and customizing the color adds about $20,000 to the overall project, and the quality of the finish is not the same as when it is done in the factory. I was looking for something much more economical and higher quality.
Disillusioned and dissatisfied, I kept digging deeper to find a solution for what I wanted. Never quite satisfied with being told “no,” I ended up going to the source and called both manufacturers (LP and James Hardy). My shake was supposed to be HardiePlank and my siding was coming from LP, and according to the supplier, there were no matching colors between the manufacturers. This is where being skeptical really pays off. To get what you want in life, you have to peel back the layers, be persistent and dig for information.
The Payoff in Probing
In calling both manufacturers, I discovered HardiePlank and LP will make custom pre-finished siding using Sherwin Williams colors in their plants. The supplier I was working with did not present this as an option and appeared to be unaware it existed. Why is this information so difficult to discover? I’m not certain, however, it may be that it interferes with builder timelines, as it takes more time to get a customized color. Here is the real kicker: it is pennies more than the standard colors they feature on their color presentation boards, and it’s tens of thousands of dollars less than primed and custom-painted finishes.
Both manufacturers will also send you samples of your SmartSide siding or HardiePlank in the custom colors you choose before you select your final color, saving you thousands of dollars in re-siding your home or building your new home. The finish and the durability are second to none when it is done by the manufacturer in their plant. It also helps you avoid on-site painters who can drip paint onto landscape and trim work. You can also avoid over-spray on your brick façade and patio. The benefits of using a manufactured, custom, pre-painted siding far exceeds the downside in money and finish.
So, if you’re not satisfied with the color or style choices provided to you by suppliers, don’t settle. Go directly to the manufacturer leaving no stone unturned – where there’s a will, there’s definitely a way.
One of my go-to blogs helped me in narrow the selections of exterior paint
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