As we and our homes age, exterior home maintenance often increases in difficulty and leads to less than favorable compromise -- but what if you didn’t have to? The ideal home design includes an exterior that will endure for decades. Choosing high-performing materials, like fiber cement siding and rainscreen systems, benefits you in a few notable ways.
If you’re settling down and designing your forever home, long-term exterior protection should be a priority.
Many of today’s boomers are retiring in coastal regions, where residential construction standards are often enhanced for flood safety and weather protection. But homeowners everywhere should plan for a weather-resilient and durable home design.
“Climate models project a likely increase in the number of severe rains and snowfalls in coming years,” writes Stephen Joyce for Bloomberg, “which could lead to more waterfront damage in cities like Chicago, greater regional flooding of Midwest farms, and changes in the lakes’ plant and animal life.”
Homeowners can ensure their exterior is protected when they work with a material like fiber cement siding. Fiber cement products are resistant to water damage and are tested for water penetration, which ensures there’s no rotting or mold that builds up over time.
Fiber cement siding will also stand up to hail and windstorms. High-performing fiber cement products can comply with the strictest codes for storm-resilience, including the High-Velocity Hurricane Zones standards established after Hurricane Andrew in Florida.
Your retirement is about relaxation, right? So your home should be a place of comfort, not a constant headache. Fiber cement siding is often installed because it’s a low-maintenance cladding that looks great, without any weekends (or retirement funds) lost to refinishing or repairs.
Fiber cement siding maintenance is simple: It should be inspected regularly, at least once a year, especially after any major weather events. While you may feel tempted to wash siding with a power cleaner, it is both unnecessary and potentially damaging since high pressure poses potential water intrusion that wouldn’t happen in even the worst wind-driven rain. Soft wash and rinse with a regular garden hose is all it takes to keep the exterior looking fresh. Most fiber cement, like ours, comes with a high-performing finish and won’t require a new coat of paint or finish like wood or other siding materials do.
If you do need to make a repair or want to repaint, check with the manufacturer first to make sure you won’t void the warranty or if the replacement is covered.
Choosing a long-term solution like fiber cement makes sense if you’re planning on staying in your home for a while, and research shows that’s just what boomers today are doing.
“As they transition to retirement, rather than moving to smaller homes and condominiums, they are modifying their current homes to adjust to the demands of their age with the help of a variety of home equity loans,” reports the Berkeley Economic Review. “In addition, even baby boomer homeowners that would potentially be willing to sell are not, because of a lack of affordable homes for them to downsize into.”
Whether you’re remodeling or building your forever home from scratch, consider the cost-efficiency of the materials you use. Some siding materials have cheaper upfront costs than fiber cement siding, but might require extra maintenance or need to be replaced after a few years.
Fiber cement siding can still be more budget-friendly than other exterior materials. Since it requires such little maintenance and won’t need to be replaced for decades, you’ll save on the cost of repairs or paying for new siding.
Fiber cement siding offers design benefits to all types of buildings and homes. It’s a highly versatile, highly adaptive exterior cladding material.
Fiber cement comes in a wide range of finishes, profiles, sheens and sizes, from wood grain to metal to stone to brick, and can be arranged horizontally or vertically to suit the architecture. Fiber cement cladding will even work in interior designs for when you want to extend your style indoors.
“One of the main reasons that architects opt for fiber cement over other low-cost alternatives is that, when detailed properly, it looks like a much more expensive product,” according to Architizer. “Dense, high-quality fiber cement panels can mimic the appearance of stone or concrete at a much lower cost.”
No matter how you choose to design with fiber cement, the chosen style is going to last for years because you’re working with a trusted material.
One of the best reasons to choose fiber cement for your exterior is knowing that you’ll be happy with your selection for as long as you’re in the home. From storm protection to impressive (but budget-friendly) style, fiber cement siding gives you everything you’re looking for in a forever home.
Need an idea on pricing for your home’s new exterior? Check out our cost estimator.
Or if you want a little more inspiration for your forever home design, take a look at our project gallery for additional home styles and exterior looks.