David from Toronto wrote in to HGTV.ca looking to get advice on siding options for his family home. David and I exchanged a few emails when he pulled out the real talk and confessed that his wife is less than happy with the new black windows he convinced her on, and that if we don’t help him make a cladding decision soon, he’ll be facing more than the unfinished look of his home’s facade…
From David: “Hi, we have a major dilemma. We ordered new Kolbe windows which are now installed, but still can’t make a decision on house siding. The true dilemma is that I ordered the windows and promised my wife they would look all right until we made a cladding decision, but it obviously looks unfinished and she is angry with me!
I’m thinking Cape Cod siding in grey with white trim below the soffits and painted lighter grey cedar shake on the upper half? They could be separated by a thick white trim board with white pillars (you can only see one of our pillars in the original photo). Right now our house looks like an ugly commercial building because it has very few architectural features and it’s all one medium. I dislike stucco, but that’s the other idea.
Another idea was to do natural cedar shake on top with white siding below. The above example is in slightly different colours, and I have to work with my new black windows with the three-inch white trim, but you get the idea.
This is another idea, but it might be too stark.
Lastly, a friend of mine sketched out what we were thinking, but another dilemma is the number of mediums. Can you use three different mediums on a smaller house like ours? Cedar shake, wood siding and something else for the bump out?
Thanks for you’re help!
Well it looks like Dave has done some good work on his own, but Sam Pynn had great words of advice none the less…
Samantha Pynn: Hi David, I love your inspiration shots! As well as the sketch. All options — white house with vinyl siding; cedar shingles, vinyl siding, and copper roof; and, wood shingles with wood siding — are gorgeous. I called contractor and window and siding expert, John Mazolli, of Cerastone, to discussed your options.
- You can definitely finish your home in vinyl siding. This will be the least expensive option. If you clad the entire house in white siding you’ll be able to leave the thick window frames white, and in that case, I would suggest painting the Juliet balcony doors black to match the windows.
- Regarding shingles, according to John, they’re very difficult to install on top of concrete. We were unable to tell from your photo whether the facade of your house is concrete or a parge mix, but shingles are usually nailed into sheeting. It’s also worth noting that cedar requires annual treating and weatherproofing. Of course it can all be done, as long as you understand the maintenance required, and that your facade will require wood framing to apply the sheeting for the shingles.
- Combining different mediums is perfectly fine providing you paint the trim all one colour to better unify the facade. Paint the double doors black (to work with your windows) and the six-inch pine molding, crown and panels all the same colour. If you are leaving the trim around your windows white (if the trim is vinyl, you’re leaving it white) then paint all the trimming white. Your home would look great in a historic grey, but its current putty is also a good colour to draw on. To keep the look unified like in your inspiration shots, opt for shingles that are stained in the same tone as the colour of your siding.
All the best,
Please note: Samantha Pynn is hard at work on Home To Win at the moment, and is not able to answer any more of your questions at this time. Watch Sam Pynn in action with the rest of the HGTV stars in the latest episode of Home To Win on hometowin.ca, and tune in Sundays at 10pm et for new episodes.