HardiPlank Saga in Houston

Posted on July 1st, 2006 in Commentary,Engineerboy,Product Reviews by EngineerBoy

4/6/2006

Today is the first day of our quest to install HardiPlank siding on our house. We aren’t going to actually do the installation, but we will be identifying local contractors, putting out for bid, hiring someone, managing the process, and posting the progress here along the way. Currently I’m looking for recommendations for a local HardiPlank contractor in Houston, so if you’ve had some work done by somebody you’d like to recommend, please drop me a line at engineerboy@cleverdonkey.com!

Our current siding is in sad disrepair. There are several rotten places and several places with loose boards, and it just looks crappy in general. We’ve wavered at the cost of HardiPlank, but have determined that it’s a worthwhile investment. We don’t want to simply replace with wood siding, as we’d still have all the potential rot/termite problems of wood, and vinyl is just…well…vinyl. It seems like the high-end vinyl isn’t bad, but it’s still just…vinyl siding.

Today marks the first day of our quest because we have made all the necessary decisions and lined up the means to do so. We have been pondering it for quite some time, but today is the day we really start the process of getting new siding. Keep tuned here for updates!

6/12/2006

We’ve narrowed down the potential contractors and this week they’re coming out to measure and provide estimates. We’re looking at the following potential contractors:

These seem to be the most well-recommended in the Houston area. Several years ago we got a quote from All-Tex but at the time it was cost-prohibitive, we’re hoping for better pricing this time around!

6/20/2006

Well, we’ve made our choice, and it’s Allied Siding and Windows. The price was very competitive, and we also asked them to quote alternatives of vinyl or wood, both of which were cheaper but not by much. We also asked Allied to provide a quote for replacing all of our existing windows, which are older insulated glass models that have leaked and so have a smokey or mildewy appearance between the sheets of glass, some to the point where you can’t see through them.

The bottom line for the whole project came in within our budget, so we’re having Allied do everything, as follows:

  • Remove and haul away the old siding and trim (which is wood and is basically disintegrating at this point)
  • Replace any bad/rotten studs (their quote includes up to 32 feet of stud replacement)
  • Wrap the house in Tyvek
  • Install Hardiplank siding and trim
  • Replace all the windows with new Simonton Reflections vinyl windows
  • Paint the Hardiplank, trim, existing cedar scallops, and miscellaneous remaining wood with two coats of Sherwin-Williams Superpaint

6/23/2006

We signed the paperwork and put down a deposit. Allied did not specifically require a deposit but we put one down anyway for a variety of reasons, namely that we had it available and also that if a business has some of your money it’s easier to get their attention, if needed. We don’t anticipate any issues but we do want to be in the position of approaching any issues from the standpoint of having paid for some of the work already.

7/2/2006

We haven’t heard from Allied about start dates, but we’re still within the two week start window explained to us, and it’s been a bit rainy lately.

7/4/2006

Today Julio came out to do the final measuring (note that he’s out on the fourth of July). He let us know that Allied was running behind due to the weather but that they’d be starting this week.

7/5/2006

Today the distributor delivered the Hardplank and Harditrim, in the pouring rain. It’s now sitting in our driveway. We’re getting closer!

7/7/2006

Here we go! The crew is here today getting started, and siding is coming down, baby! They’re starting on the south wall (no windows) and after removing the wood siding found there was a layer of sheetrock beneath the siding. Very strange. Studs look good even though the siding was mostly rotten, good news.

7/9/2006

Progress continues, siding is up on the south wall, siding is down on the east wall and Tyvek is up, crew went home mid-day due to torrential rains (also it’s Sunday).

7/11/2006

Crew continues to make good progress, back wall and both side walls planked, from has been stripped and Tyvek’ed. Also time for some pictures:

The Before Picture (house on the right)

7/11/2006 View of Front

7/11/2006 Old Front vs New Side

Note that the front was completely Tyveked before they left for the day, but pulling into the driveway to a bald house front was shocking (and exciting)!

We’re also narrowing down the paint color choices, and right now we’re leaning towards a terra cotta color with white trim and a green door, as shown in this mock-up from the Sherwin-Williams site:

Possible House Colors

We’re not absolutely positive on the colors, but we’re pretty sure that’s the way we’re going to go.

7/15/2006

Well, no crew today. I’m not complaining about them taking the day off, but knowing they wouldn’t be here today would have been convenient as we made plans to stay home to let them in to the house for window replacement. However, they have really been working hard and we have no complaints about the progress or quality of the work. The last of the hardiplank and trim is up, the seams and nails have been caulked, and they finished up last night by power washing the unpainted outside of the house.

Here are some pictures of the current state:

Sided But Not Painted Front and Side

Windows Delivered and Also Unreplaced Window in Front

Now we’re waiting for the window replacement and the painting!

7/16/2006

No crew again today (Sunday). Again, not working Sunday is a-okay with me, but we’d sure appreciate a little proactive communication from the crew about when they’re going to be working, particularly now that we’re approaching the window replacement phase and we’ll need to do a lot of pet management, including our rottie cross that really doesn’t like all this hubbub going on around her domain.

7/17/2006

Contacted Allied today to get an update on when the crews would be back as we were planning an out of town trip. The person at Allied called back and said they’d be out tomorrow, but we asked that they not come back until Thursday, as we were going out of town and need to be here to unlock the gates, corral the dogs, etc. The person at Allied said she’d have the crew chief call me to coordinate. He did not call.

7/18/2006

Well, we didn’t hear back from Allied so went out of town. I hope they didn’t show up and find out they were unable to make progress.

7/19/2006

We returned from out of town last night (a day early) and this morning the crew showed up to paint, even though today is Wednesday and we had requested they not return until Thursday. Again, not a huge deal but we sure would love to see better communication about the crew schedule. That’s still our only real complaint, so overall we’re very happy with Allied.

And by the end of today the crew had the first coat of paint on the house. Here are a couple of pictures:

First Coat on Siding, Trim Not Yet Painted

So far we’re very happy with the way the paint looks, and can’t wait for the second coat and the trim work. After that comes the replacement of the windows, and that’ll be it.

The Last Few Miles

Well, the house is finally done. The windows have been replaced, the trim up and painted, and the punch list complete for the most part. There was the inevitable chasing things down with Allied to get things finished, but nothing too difficult or unexpected. Overall we are very satisfied with the job that they did and the price that we paid. I’ve gotten that question a lot – how much did it cost? Well, I don’t want to put Allied in a difficult position of having to match our price, but I also want to let you all know the rough cost of a job like this. I’ll put it this way, Allied did all of this:

  • Remove and haul away the old siding and trim (which is wood and is basically disintegrating at this point)
  • Replace any bad/rotten studs (their quote includes up to 32 feet of stud replacement)
  • Wrap the house in Tyvek
  • Install Hardiplank siding and trim
  • Replace all the windows with new Simonton Reflections lowE, argon filled vinyl windows
  • Paint the Hardiplank, trim, existing cedar scallops, and miscellaneous remaining wood with two coats of Sherwin-Williams Superpaint

For roughly $20,000. Our house is two stories and approximately 1900 square feet. And here’s the finished product:

All Finished!

9 Responses to 'HardiPlank Saga in Houston'

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  1. mahiti said,

    on August 13th, 2008 at 7:26 am

    Hello,
    Thanks a lot for the details.
    I am planning to carry out the siding work on my house.
    I would like to know how was your experience with Allied Siding.
    If possible would you brief on the condition of the siding after being there for 2 years.I am more concern of the quality of installation work.
    Thanking you in anticipation

  2. EngineerBoy said,

    on August 13th, 2008 at 8:22 am

    mahiti,

    Overall, we were happy with Allied. The price was good and the installation was done well. We sold the house a few months after the job was complete so I can’t speak with authority about the current state of the siding, but I drove by the house recently and it still looked like the siding, trim, and paint were brand-new.

    Scott

  3. mahiti said,

    on August 13th, 2008 at 9:13 am

    Scott,
    Appreciate your feed-back.
    It help to put-in confidence for Allied.
    May I get the address so I can look it at weekend .

    Thanks,
    Mahiti.

  4. EngineerBoy said,

    on August 13th, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    Mahiti,

    I sent the info to the email address in your profile.

    Thanks,

    Scott

  5. Doug Ruggles said,

    on October 2nd, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    Many thanks for posting this. We’re looking to start a complete re-siding and this has been a great help!

  6. EngineerBoy said,

    on October 2nd, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    Good luck!

  7. aaron said,

    on October 12th, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    were planning to do a hardiplank in austin and appreciated the documentation of the experience you provided.

  8. Jerry said,

    on October 13th, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    Based on your experience, I gave Allied a call. I need about 200 sf of siding, 3 replacement windows,and a roof also. Allied advertises that they do roofing and I thought it would be best to just have a single contractor do it all.
    Allied refused to come and give me an estimate!!! They said that they won’t even talk to me unless I sign a “Contingency” document allowing them to deal directly with my insurance agency! I told them I had the funds in hand and the siding portion was not due to Ike, but they still refused to come and look at my home!

    I guess Allied has left the contracting business and as become the construction equivalent of an ambulance chaser.
    I contracted with Brinckman for the roof and am now still looking for a siding contractor.

    I highly recommend anyone thinking of using Allied be careful.
    Thanks

  9. Susan said,

    on April 7th, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    I know it’s been a while since your post, but did you implement a hardiplank installation in Austin? If so, I would love to get some details on your experience, contractor you used, approx cost. I live in SW Austin and am in need of new siding and some window replacement. Any info would be GREATLY appreciated. THX!

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