Holliston LEED House

This is the story of a family who built the first LEED "green" house in Holliston, Massachusetts. We were trying to spend no more than it would take to build an ordinary house,and maybe even succeeded. The dust is still settling.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Exterior discussions

Okay, so the house is going up, what will we put on the exterior? Our preference has always been shingle, but we are on a tight budget and heard great things about fiber cement board (Hardie Plank and Certainteed, among others). We want nothing we have to maintain on a regular basis. We want nothing to paint.

Siding: Cement board is fairly inexpensive, and some of it (Hardie) looks good. We objected to the Certainteed product because of the way it reflects light (too glossy). In the end, though, we decided to go with white cedar shingle, largely because we prefer a natural look to the exterior. When shopping for shingle, you will find many kinds—western red ($$$$), pre-treated white ($$$), FSC white ($$) and white ($). Get a sample of whatever shingle you choose. Also, use a reputable shingle dealer as quality varies enormously.

Trim: If you buy Azek (PVC) trim, it is extremely durable and looks good, but it is very expensive. Clear (solid) wood is very pricey these days as big trees are hard to come by (and you pay more for FSC label). If you buy finger jointed trim, it comes pre-primed and thus must be painted and can be a bit cheesy. Where we are now for trim is PVC trim around the roofline where we can’t reach it, and a good quality pre-primed finger joint for the remaining trim.



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