MHC Siding Option - Shou Sugi Ban

Shou Sugi Ban solution detail on the front entry.

The clouds parted and we collectively opened our doors and cautiously stepped outside. As excitement continues to brew for the amazing PNW seasons ahead, we’ve started spending more time on the outside of our homes and scrutinizing a number of things about our homes and gardens — which might include our siding. Some of you may find as you look a little closer that your siding could use a little love. Maybe sections show wear and tear (or worse)… but how to proceed – repair, cover, or replace?

1. Repair: Is it a small amount of damage? Then repair is likely doable, depending on if you need new material and if it is available anywhere. You will want to take note if the existing material has asbestos in it. While the amount of potential asbestos dust is minimal in many repairs. Rules for contractors working with asbestos materials are much more strict than you as a homeowner.

corten steel andrepurposed barn wood

A mix of corten steel and
repurposed barn wood.

2. Cover: it was super popular mid- and later last century to cover wood siding with aluminum or vinyl siding. Sometimes the wood was damaged, sometimes the homeowner was wooed by the lack of maintenance. Depending on a whole slew of things, sometimes the “cover-up” trapped moisture and made matters much worse. It’s one of the reasons we are not fans of just covering problems. If you’re going to replace siding, we recommend demo’ing the existing and taking the opportunity to improve your insulation, shear walls, and weather-resistant barriers.

3. Replace: Replacement can be a full overhaul or partial. Think about what angles you and others see two sides of your home together – it may be possible to lessen the cost impact and just repair one or two sides. Sometimes the effort for repair isn’t worth the difference in cost between that and replace, given a variety of circumstances. Plus, there are some pretty cool, eco-friendly options out there that can also give your house a simple face-lift.

All in all, there are some pretty incredible sustainable, functional, and aesthetic solutions that can stand-alone or be combined with other new and old solutions. From cement board and trim made with concrete waste (called fly ash) to recycled compressed paper, thermally-treated hardwoods that don’t need any maintenance, and even siding made from rice husks (a by-product of the rice industry)! They all come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors to meet a plethora of aesthetic needs. To view more projects, visit our Project page .