Traditional stucco is cement combined with water and inert materials such as sand and lime. While still used, traditional stucco has become less prevalent in favor of easier to install synthetic blends. Many homes built after the 1950s use a variety of synthetic materials that resemble stucco. Quality synthetic stucco will prove durable in Colorado’s climate. Also, because of its elastomeric base, you can tint the stucco to any color you wish, never again requiring paint.
If you think of ancient monuments and temples, you know that stone is the most durable of all building materials. Granite, limestone, slate, and other types of stone are beautiful and nearly impervious to the weather. Unfortunately, they are also expensive. Precast stone veneers and facings are more affordable. You have the option of genuine products as well as fully synthetic.
Modern science has given us many synthetic wood-look products, and yet solid wood (usually cedar, pine, spruce, redwood, cypress, or Douglas fir) remain favorite choices for finer homes. Contrary to popular opinion, with periodic care, wood siding will outlast most artificial products that emulate the look and feel of natural wood. As with cedar shingle siding, wood clapboards can be stained rather than painted. Many wood frame houses built centuries ago still look beautiful today. Homes sided with cedar shake blend beautifully with wooded landscapes. Made of natural cedar, the shingles are usually stained browns, grays, or other earthen colors. Shakes offer the natural look of real wood, but usually require less maintenance than standard wood siding. By using stain rather than paint, you can minimize peeling.
Made of fired clay, brick comes in a wide variety of earthy, eye-pleasing colors. Although it is expensive, brick is desirable because it can last centuries and probably won't need any patching or repairs for longer than most cheaper products last. Quality brick veneers are also attractive and durable, although they don't have the longevity of solid brick. Real brick is becoming harder and harder to come by. At Altitude Construction Inc, we pride ourselves in maintaining historic value whenever possible. With older homes (pre 1920) we have several options to refinish brick while keeping with the original product and design.
Engineered wood, or composite wood, is made with wood products and other materials. Oriented strand board (OSB), hardboard, and veneered plywood are examples of engineered wood products. Engineered wood usually comes in panels that are easy to install. The panels may be molded to create the look of traditional clapboards. Because the textured grain is uniform, engineered wood does not look exactly like real wood.
This durable, natural-looking material is quite popular and for good reason. If you want the look of authentic wood with a bit less maintenance, cement fiber is a good option. Fiber cement siding is fireproof, termite-proof, and most manufactures offer a warranty up to fifty years. The main drawback of this material is the difficulty of installation. If this product is chosen, it is always best to have it installed by a trusted, experienced professional for best results and performance in the years to come.