Disclaimer – This is a sponsored post brought to you by James Hardie®. All opinions are 100% my own.
I have such a juicy post for you today! This is one that I’ve been super excited to share with you for a long time and progress has finally warranted an update. A very long time ago, we purchased a very old historic house in a nearby town of Monroe. At the time, we didn’t really know why we wanted it or what exactly we were gonna use it for….but it found a place in our hearts and we were excited to make big changes to it. The entire thing needs a massive amount of work. And it has been a big test of our patience.
Okay – so if you are wondering about this house, first you need to read this old post where we introduced it and gave some info about it’s past life (or lives…it’s had a few! ha!). Well, the plan was to renovate it back to a single family home and it has given us some major challenges. For one, we wanted to pay for the entire thing including all renovations with cash. Since our money tree is a slow-growing variety, we would set aside a certain amount for each year and then when we got to the bottom of the barrel, the work stopped. This was frustrating at times – like when we learned that a new roof would cost a years worth of renovations. But it also forced us to be patient and figure out EXACTLY what we wanted. It’s amazing how time can help in that respect.
So fast forward to now and we are finally able to start sharing some big things! WAHOO! We wanted to share the renovations in a progression that made sense and in my mind, the first step is the planning phase and the exterior. I will be sharing individual details of each step as we go along but this post is about products that we nailed down and also the plan of attack for the outside of this hundred year old beauty.
The exterior of the house is not much to look at right now. Since it is part of a historic area of town, we have to get approval for anything that is not a replacement. Basically anything new or removed must be approved by the Historic Preservation Society. Basically, if we are just taking something down that is broken or in poor condition (like the roof) and replacing it with the same thing (black shingle roof replaced by black shingle roof), then it is fine to do without city approval. But all other changes (even removing the awning) must be approved by the city. That being said, we have done all the things so far that we can do and now we pitch the city for all the other changes.
So what are the changes? Well, I’m glad you asked. We have a long list of exterior changes that we want to tackle. Here is our starting list….
- Replace roof
- Rebrick chimney
- Rebrick foundation
- Remove awning and screened porch
- Remove ramp and concrete path
- Replace siding
- Add privacy fence
- Remove back laundry room & utilities room
- Replace all windows and doors
- Refinish porch floor and ceiling
- Paint all fascia, columns, trim
- Add landscaping
- Build back deck
- Pave side driveway
- Add paver walkway
So currently we have tackled a few big jobs with a few big speedbumps (more on that soon) and we are hoping that in the next big push, we can update the exterior to a point of decency. I dream that one day we can make it look more like a cottage style home and have less victorian style details. One of the BIGGEST transformations is going to be the siding. Right now I am trying to decide the color and I hope you will help me pick!
Okay – a little back info…first of all – all of our windows glazing has asbestos. So that means we have to have an abatement company come remove them or we have to seal it or we have to replace them and then dispose of the glazing appropriately. Enough of the windows need to be moved or replaced to justify buying new windows completely so that means we will have big holes that need patched in the original siding.
Also, the original siding is not sealed or insulated. Yeah. That’s like an invitation to bugs. Plus, it’s not in great condition. So that means replacing all the siding. We did find one patch of insulation – where a part of the trim work fell off the house and the previous owners just jammed some insulation into the thing. If that gives you an indication of the ‘fixes’ around here, you will understand how daunting this project is…
I know that sounds like a bummer….having to replace the siding….but in actuality, I am super pumped about it. This means that we can make the house more energy efficient (the summers here are brutal and insulation is a must) plus, the idea of getting a house that doesn’t need repainting is AMAZING. Yes, you heard that right. I did a whole lot of research and we landed on James Hardie® siding which has this thing called ColorPlus® Technology – it basically has the multiple coats of color BAKED on. So the color is rich, thick and consistent….unlike paint which would need to be redone and maintained. Plus, I won’t need to worry about the edges or the features being uneven because they have this cool technology that coats those surfaces and spots uniformly. Everyone says that it resists chipping and peeling and cracking and fading. I mean YES! Heck to the yes to the amen!
That chipping and cracking is something really common especially with the hot weather and the traditional way paint on is put on wood or other types of siding. You can see that is what happened with this house….
But since this James Hardie® siding is different – it’s made to have that color not be applied like a mask over the siding. Think of it this way – a plate can be food safe if the paint is applied and fired and during that process it becomes part of the plate. But you wouldn’t ever eat on a plate with just dried paint on it. The paint would dry and flake and make you sick if ingested. The same with this siding….this siding has the color as PART OF IT versus just a layer on top that could peel off. And peeling paint means scraping, sanding and repainting which costs a lot of money.
I was sold on the way the siding was made but I wanted to be sure that they had some great colors too. And they do. I picked three samples for the Monroe House and here is what I am trying to decide…
Look at that chippy wood y’all!! This house is gonna look ridiculous good when it has new siding.
ANYHOO….The siding colors are Arctic White, Boothbay Blue, and Light Mist. I love the crisp look for this house – especially since it will have white columns and crisp details (like the diamond shape in the front gable). The very first color we considered is Arctic White. I love me a good white cottage with dark shutters and a pretty front door.
Prepare yourself to see this….I photoshopped the before into an after for you to tell me your thoughts and the virtual transformation is insane. Here is the before…
And after the new crisp white siding…..
WHA?! I mean INCREDIBLE, right?! I mean…I love the white columns with white siding and how it feels so CLEAN. White also feels like a classic choice. You would expect this home to be cozy and inviting yet a really timeless beauty inside. I think that is kinda what I am going for in general…like an amazing home with low-maintenance living.
Moving along to option #2 – the Boothbay Blue…
And here is the rendering. This color is really very refined. It looks crisp and clean and it gives a definite masculine vibe. I love the way it makes the white trim pop.
Last is the Light Mist. It’s a very similar color to what is existing on the house and it is a lighter gray with blue undertones.
I photoshopped this with a wood element in the gable and it feels a little more quaint and full of personality (the wood look is not a James Hardie® product, in case you were wondering). I think this color is the one I like the least because it is most similar to the existing color. But it does have a cottage feel and gives off mad home-vibes.
Besides the color, there is also the choice of profile. James Hardie® also has a variety in choices there. There are three options – textured, smooth and beaded. Personally I like the textured (that is what is pictured above)….but I would consider a shingle on the gable. They have a HardieShingle® siding that is pretty gorgeous too! You have to check out their website to see it because literally – words do not do it justice.
So what do you think? What are your thoughts on the color options? I am leaning toward the white and do either the HardiePlank® lap siding (I mean….it’s North America’s #1 brand of siding for a reason!) in textured or do HardieShingle® in maybe a straight edge design in Arctic White. Either way, I will rest easy once this job is done and the exterior will look RIDICULOUSLY GOOD.
And if you are thinking of updating your home’s exterior now or in the future, or would just like to know more about James Hardie® siding, you can get your own free samples HERE and check out the inspiration guide HERE.
p.s. At the risk of sounding like a complete siding nerd, here are the bullet points on James Hardie® fiber cement…
- Stands up to storms and harsh weather
- Water resistant to protect against swelling, warping and cracking; also resists damage from mold
- Won’t be eaten by animals or insects
- More fire resistant than wood or vinyl siding
- ColorPlus® Technology finishes can add years of unrivaled color performance
- Helps reduce time and money spent on maintenance as compared to wood or wood-based siding
- James Hardie® siding and trim are uniquely engineered to perform beautifully, despite what nature brings. So, even after years of wet or freezing conditions or blistering sun and hot, humid conditions, your exterior will continue to impress with its warm, inviting look
- A home is only as strong as its weakest point. HardieSoffit® panels reinforce your James Hardie® siding by protecting the vulnerable gap between eaves and exterior walls