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Building Homes or Extensions/Looking for good, cheap siding for garage


Hi.  My name is Curtis.  I live in the mountains of central Colorado.  I'm having a 24x24' garage with a 1-bedroom apt on the upper floor built right now.  I'm going to do the finishing - including putting siding on the garage.

I'm writing to ask if you know of any affordable siding options on the market now.  I've got about 2000 square feet to cover and would like to have a low-maintenance and affordable option.  I like the cement Hardie Board, but it's too expensive and tricky to handle and install.  T111 looks nice and 'western,' but it needs a lot of long-term care.  Vinyl is easy to install, but it's not really cheap now - and it is aesthetically unacceptable in my area.

Any suggestions?



Hi Curtis, there aren't a whole lot of good inexpensive options out there to fit your criteria.  The old adage " you get what you pay for" applies to siding.  Cheap is T-111 or plain rough sawn plywood with 1x4 vertical boards at the seams in a board and batten style.  There are some Hardiboard alternatives out there..different names but similar can get lap siding of all types including a Masonite product that is cheap and it performs pretty well if painted and cared for properly. Then of course there is wire lath and stucco, brick or cultured stone..but these are more costly.   So you can go cheap on a product that requires a lot of upkeep or pay more up front for a product that won't require as much maintenance over the years.  Honestly, I would, in your case go with a T-111 or board and batten  plywood of a decent grade and prime it, including the back and the ends before installation and then paint it with a good quality exterior paint after installation and you will be satisfied with the longevity of the system.  The same goes with Masonite lap siding or panels.  As long as they are encapsulated in advance with a good primer and then topped with a good paint after, you will get good results.

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Bruce E. Johnson


I can answer any construction related question in regards to carpentry, concrete, drywall, masonry, structural elements of any type of building, residential or commercial. Interior or exterior.


Custom Commercial and residential buildings. Churches, theaters, schools and auditoriums. Most recently I am working with the Catholic Church on several design build committees. I have a website related to scheduling and project supervision. Although my expertise is more related to multimillion dollar commercial, educational and theatrical projects my generous credentials in residential and remodelling construction make me a viable source of information regarding all forms of building questions.

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