Our Big Exterior Project

When we moved into our home three years ago, we knew that we would have to invest in pretty major exterior work over the coming years. We spent the first year cutting down trees, the second year focusing on the lawn, landscaping, and garden, and this year is all about the siding and patio. Aka what I’m most excited for.

Our house is getting a huge facelift and I can’t wait to take you all along for the ride. It’s gonna be a good one, you guys!

We already knocked down our deck and built a patio. And are currently in the process of replacing the very old shingle siding, window trims, and front steps, building a portico, painting our shutters, replacing the gutters, and changing up all of the outdoor lighting.

Let me break that down for you…

The Siding

We always knew we wanted to use Hardie® fiber cement products even before we moved into this house. Why, you ask?

1. Longevity/Low Maintenance: The number one reason we went with James Hardie’s Hardie® Plank lap siding is because of the longevity. Once they’re in they’re in. Since we are using their pre-finished siding with ColorPlus(R) Technology finishes, they arrive ready to be installed and are built to last.

2. Trusted Protection: The durable Hardie fiber cement material will help protect our home from harsh weather (hello Connecticut winters!), pests, water, high winds, hail, and even fire (it’s noncombustible, unlike vinyl and wood siding). Hardie® Plank lap siding is “engineered for climate,” so it’s specifically formulated to perform based on the elements where we live.

3. Personalized Design: I had a very specific look in mind for our siding and trim, and I was able to achieve it with this product. I wanted a certain exposure (7.25”), a specific shade of white, and a very subtle texture. James Hardie made it really easy to personalize the design. You can really create any exterior look with their products — from a super modern home to a more traditional look and everything in between.

You can already see from the progress photo below how gorgeous this is going to look.

4. ROI: Here’s a fun fact from a realtor friend of mine… Re-siding your home with fiber cement siding provides the #1 return on investment of any major exterior remodeling project. So that’s a win.

Our curb appeal is going to be approximately 8000x better very soon!

The Portico & Front Steps

I have had a vendetta against our old cement front steps (pictured above) since the day we moved in. I promised myself we would save up enough to replace them within 5 years and we did. Yay! To match our back patio and stone wall, we are building blue stone steps that are really going to modernize the entrance to our home.

Above the steps we are building a beautiful portico with square columns and a hanging light fixture. It will feel like a true entrance to our home that reflects our family and the interior design. I cannot wait to see this come together next week when they start building it.

The Back Door

In the spring we built a bluestone patio to replace our crumbling wooden deck. To elevate our backyard entertaining space further, we decided to put in a six-foot sliding glass door that will bring a lot more light into our living area and also look beautiful from the outside. I can’t wait to entertain on the patio soon! If our furniture ever arrives, that is…

Other Design Elements

Lighting: We are adding new lighting to the back (these sconces in the medium size) and over each garage door (barn lights in black size XL)

Shutters: Our current shutters are still in perfect condition so we’re just going to paint them. I did a lot of color research to find the perfect shade of light blue and landed on Farrow and Ball Parma Gray (don’t let the name fool you, it’s blue!) for a classic and coastal look.

The Contractor

We interviewed a few local contractors and ended up hiring Woody and his team from Burr Roofing Siding and Windows. It was a great decision and they have been the absolute best to work with.

Woody, who owns the company, gave us his whole sales pitch and really sold us with his attention to detail and design. He is invested in every part of the project from the gutters to the corners to where the electrical outlets go and all the tiny random things in between that you would never think of.

He has a big showroom where he can show you all the different options for colors, sizing, etc and they made us a rendering (shown below) so we could really visualize the end-product.

His team is here every day working on the house and they’ve all been incredibly nice and efficient. If you’re local, I cannot recommend them more! They only work with Hardie® siding and trim products for the siding aspect as a heads up.

They are also doing our steps and portico with their masonry and carpentry team and helped us a lot in thinking through the design of those aspects.

Transparency note: I reached out to James Hardie for this project and they very generously gave us the siding, trim, and house wrap in exchange for me sharing our experience. We are paying for the labor and all other materials.

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