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House Exterior Progress Update

This Post May Contain Affiliate Links. Please Read my Disclosure Policy.

This post is sponsored by James Hardie®.  All words and opinions are, as always, honest and my own.


It has been about 3 months since I told you that I was planning to start painting the exterior trim on my house to a more neutral color. I figured you may be wondering by now how far I got.

1970's brick home

Well… not very far.

In fact, I put the trim painting on hold since all the paint colors I tried made the brick on the house look pink-peach. 

Green vertical siding and brick lake home

If you remember, the front of my house looks like a ranch house and has a brick facade. On the sides and back of the house you can see it is actually a two-story house with vertical siding on the second story and brick on the first floor.

I tried six different colors of trim paint over the green and they all made the house look pink-peach or worse, orange.  I don’t want an orange house. You may not be able to see the tone in these photos, but the color of the brick is a peach beige.

House exterior with James Hardie Siding®.  HardiePlank Lap Siding on bottom and HardiePanel® Vertical Siding in the color Cobblestone on top.

I want a classic tan or taupe like the colors of the homes around mine. They are all neutral so that the trees and lake take center stage.  I explained in this post that I liked the homes on Hilton Head Island, SC that are all neutral for the same reason. They are pretty, but are understated, yet have character and curb appeal.

This is what I want for my home and I finally realized that to get the color I want, I am going to have to paint the brick or cover it with siding.

Before proceeding with updating the exterior, I want to come up with a complete plan on how we are going to update the exterior from adding a new roof, garage door, front steps and doors, to the color of the house, even what to plant out front once we remove the rest of the holly bushes. You have already given me great ideas on what to plant. 

After doing some research I learned that painting the brick will be less expensive, but eventually wear and fade. Adding James Hardie® siding will cost more up front, but their fiber cement products will provide low maintenance and a long lasting classic look.

Shed Roof options with Nu- Wood Shutters

Our builder friend who helped us remove the wall in our house between the kitchen and living room when we first moved to the house, just built two homes, both are sided with James Hardie® siding products. I love the look on each from a construction point of view, but love the design options their siding offers even more.

Silver bell on house with Hardie plank siding

On the design side, the color combos, textures, and many choices of siding options are beautiful. They offer pre-finished siding that is available in both vibrant and subtle hues that will achieve instant curb appeal to any home.

There is the classic HardiePlank® lap siding, which is horizontal.  HardieShingle® that looks like classic shingles and HardiePanel® is their vertical siding.  All come in smooth or a natural cedar look that has a soft texture that mimics wood.

I love that you can mix and match all three to customize the look for your house and build character whether you are going for a classic look or a home with a more modern appeal.

1970's brick and sided lake home

I like the lake side of my house, but if I am painting or adding siding to the street side and sides of the house, the lake side of the house has to get it also. I would like to add HardiePlank® lap siding over all the brick and then paint the trim and the existing second story vertical siding to match the new lap siding.  A new lighter color roof would bring it all together.

Grey home exterior with James Hardie plank siding in Grey and white

Some of the perks of using James Hardie® siding versus regular siding on a home beyond the gorgeous color choices is their ColorPlus® technology. The colors are actually baked onto the boards which helps resist chipping, peeling or fading for years of lasting beauty.

Fading is a major concern for me with the hot blazing southern sun and the fact that the lake side of the house is facing southwest.

James Hardie sided house near lake

It’s little known that James Hardie® siding products are actually Engineered for Climate® to stand up to a hot humid climate like mine.  This is also helpful when you live along the shore of a large lake like I do.

In the northern U.S. and Canada, HZ5® products resist shrinking, swelling and cracking even after years of wet or freezing conditions. HZ10® products resist damage from hot, humid conditions, blistering sun and more. They are water resistant to protect against swelling, warping and cracking. They also resist damage from mold.  I like that.

James Hardie white siding on house with blue shutters

So, now I am in the process of researching until I come up with a plan to blend the front and back of my house into one cohesive look while building character on the front of the house without doing any major reconstruction.

Once I have this plan in place and am confident in my choices we will then proceed a little at a time until we get the makeover completed. I wish I could snap my fingers and have it done quickly, or better yet have someone design and do it all for us, but we will have to take it one step at a time. It may take awhile since most of the items are big ticket items or where we will need to hire contractors.

Which reminds me of another reason why I am thinking of using James Hardie® siding.  Unlike other brands, James Hardie stands behind its siding 100% for 30 years and behind its trim 100% for 15 years. The ColorPlus® Technology has a 15-year limited finish warranty.

Front exterior steps of 1970's lake house

So it may take me a few weeks or months to come up with my complete plan. I am not going to rush it, just to get it done. Right now I am enjoying visualizing how the front and back of my house will look with Hardie lap siding to give it an update and character…

James Hardie lap siding on house

… like this home’s entrance has.

More research is needed… on colors, where to paint or add lap siding and where to add vertical siding to bring out the best features of my house.

I will keep you posted.

If you are in the building process, planning a facade makeover like I am or simply dreaming, be sure to check out James Hardie® Siding, click HERE to download an Inspiration Guide and/or click HERE to request FREE samples in the finish and colors of your choosing.

Houses with James Hardie Siding on them.

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  1. We painted our brick recently, and I don’t think we could have achieved the texture of brick with siding, regardless of cost. After reading the blog, I assume they’re giving you a great deal.

    1. Hi Deb – Painting is the least expensive way to go and is probably what we are going to end up doing, even if it is just all the trim and green vertical panels on the back and sides of the house.

      What type of paint did you use? Did you brush or spray it on?

      As far as getting a deal on the siding, no deal. Just writing the post, sharing options of the products that I am considering. :-)

  2. Love your color choices and your style in general!

    If I had your beautiful lake house, I would consider whitewash painting the brick. Nothing is better than brick in the south! I have Hardi Plank and 8 years in it is very faded and will need to be painted soon. The Hardi plank is beautiful and it also is very insulating to houses in the south but I think brick is better – and way less maintenance. Plus, I love the way houses look with different facades around the house. In our neighborhood, the new builders are including combinations of brick, stone, hardi plank, cedar, vertical siding and shingles on many of the homes and it is beautiful.

    1. Hi Laurie – Thanks for your insights. A white wash would look nice and it is an option. As you mentioned, I also like how the new houses being built around me have different facades. It really creates a lot of character and curb appeal. They are the main reason I am considering adding the James Hardie siding products.

    1. Hi Kim – Great idea to get a color consult with Maria. She has a great eye for color. I wish I could make the makeover happen quickly, but it will take time, but I will keep posting updates and progress as we go.

  3. WOwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Amazing House-exterior Ideas. Thanks for sharing.

  4. If you haven’t, you should look at Young House Love’s recent posts about painting their brick home.

    1. Thanks Kay – Great advise!!! I had read posts about other bloggers painting their brick homes, but didn’t read/listen to Young House Loves post and Podcast. It was helpful and informative. Thanks for taking the time to tell me.

      1. Most of the homes in our immediate neighborhood are brick either yellowy in tone or reddish. Just this past week one homeowner painted their brick home in an almost black color. Oh my does that look incredible! The trim is lighter (I think maybe a cream color?). The home looks amazing and it makes a statement compared to all the other brick homes. No idea what they did for application (roller, brush, spray) but I must say it certainly updated the home very nicely. And they kept the uniqueness of the brick. Win-win and not so pricey as completely new siding.