From All Sides

There are some milestones in the building and remodeling realm that make all the difference in your perception of the design and progress. Exterior siding is one of them.

by Stephanie Staton

There are some milestones in the building and remodeling realm that make all the difference in your perception of the design and progress. Exterior siding is one of them.

Adding siding to the farmhouse has not only made me feel more confident in our design plan and living situation but also has reassured delivery trucks and mail carriers that this is in fact a residence and not a construction site. Even the neighbors seem pleased—a sweet couple down the road stopped to offer their praise of the progress, which was a welcome encouragement on our remodeling path.

The options for exterior siding are downright overwhelming. My suggestion is to start with the budget. The materials you use will determine your project’s cost bracket, so knowing your budget constraints will help narrow your choices. While I loved the idea of the sturdiness and longevity of fiber cement siding, the high price tag prohibited us from selecting it.

Ultimately, we opted to go with vinyl—not only for its relative cost savings but also for its easy care, array of designs and quick installation. And we’re back to a dizzying array of choices. You’ll find that this process will require narrowing your choices time and again—from materials to styles and colors.

Vinel siding fit Hobby Farms Editor Stephanie Staton's budget and offered myriad options to choose from to make her house start to feel like home. Photo by Stephanie Staton (

For the main body of the house, I chose simple wood-grain horizontal panels in medium-gray. (Don’t act surprised—you knew it was coming. I just love gray and have for years—glad to see that design trends are finally catching up.) To offset the peaks on the front of the house, I decided to use silver shakes with a simple square cut—you can get rounded, fish-scale or even soft square shapes to mimic the look of real shakes used across the country for various house and regional styles. With so much gray, it was my husband who suggested we break up the monotony, I mean tone-on-tone effect, with white trim. I was skeptical but agreed to go along with it. Afterall, it ties in more closely to the interior scheme of the house.

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As with all projects in this remodel, we weren’t without our … challenges. Namely, our Weimaraner, Ally. Our hunter and rodent-controller extraordinaire is sometimes a little too overzealous in her efforts, which have not once but thrice resulted in damage to our new siding. (I must admit, my patience is wearing thin, but I also recognize that I’m partially to blame for not preventing it the second and third times.)

As she chases who knows what up the foundation of the wall, the fleeing prey apparently seeks refuge under the siding, which Ally pries it up and bends it back with her sharp teeth and strong jaws. Just thinking about it makes me feel a little nauseated, but we’ve replaced the damaged strips and taken some cumbersome measures to keep her away from the siding when she’s outside, so that now we can check one more item off the to-do list and take a moment to enjoy on more phase of completion on this massive renovation.

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