Victorian homes are well recognized for their elaborate, detailed facades. It’s not uncommon for a Victorian home to feature not only traditional wood-look siding, but also all kinds of “gingerbread” trim, including octagon and hexagon-shaped shakes, some vertical or board and batten siding, paneling beneath and around windows, and numerous colors over the whole exterior. Unfortunately, trying to maintain all of this wood, trim, and paint can be extremely difficult to manage. Scraping, painting, dealing with wood rot, and trying to replace old trim on a regular basis can take a huge toll on homeowners, who still want their homes to look good.
So how do you maintain the look of a Victorian style home without all of this upkeep, yet while still meeting stringent historical guidelines? With fiber cement siding.
Fiber cement siding has the look and feel of real wood. This is because the material is formed inside molds made from wood to give it that natural looking texture and detail. So unlike vinyl or aluminum siding that doesn’t pass muster with the historical societies in most towns, fiber cement looks good enough to fool the eye into thinking that the material covering the Victorian home is the original wood.
Not only that, but fiber cement siding comes in numerous shapes, sizes, styles, and colors. So you could still maintain all of that “gingerbread” trim, along with the different styles of siding and the multiple color changes across the exterior, using only one product for the job.
Fiber cement siding, trim, and panels can be found in:
- Traditional cedar-look lap siding
- Board and batten siding
- Cedar look shakes
- Octagon shakes
- Hexagon shakes
- Smooth panels
- Cedar-look textured panels
- Color matched and contrasting trim
This means that you can cover your entire Victorian home from top to bottom in low-maintenance, durable, beautiful fiber cement and keep the look and feel of the original structure. This includes your front porch, eaves, decorative windows, and more. Fiber cement siding gives you all the versatility of real wood, along with the durability and low-maintenance that it’s known for.
With all of that trim and the various colors of paint, it can be difficult to maintain a Victorian façade properly. Fiber cement changes all of that. The surface of the material doesn’t peel, chip, or fade over time the way that paint does on wood. This is due to the proprietary method of paint application, which uses heat to help seal in the color so it lasts for years. This means that your Victorian home will last much longer between paint jobs. In fact, the color lasts so long that the next time you paint the home may be because you’ve gotten tired of the colors and not because the paint has begun to fade.
You want protection for your home’s exterior that lasts. And while wood does eventually rot and require replacement, fiber cement does not. In fact, fiber cement is one of the most durable products on the market today for use in and around your home.
The product is made from a mixture of cellulose fiber, Portland cement, silica, sand, and recycled glass. It’s naturally resistant to fire, termites, and moisture and doesn’t peel, chip, or rot. So when you install fiber cement siding on your home, you know that this is the last siding you’ll ever need.
These days, it’s important to strike a balance between historical accuracy on a building and sustainable design at the same time. While wood is a natural product, it has several strikes against it in sustainability including:
- Chemical treatments to help protect against rot
- Chemical treatments to protect against fire and termites
- The constant need to paint, which can release VOCs into the air
- The fact that the wood will need to be replaced eventually, which means more chemicals, more VOCs, and more trees cut down
Fiber cement siding, on the other hand, is a much greener and more sustainable product. It doesn’t require chemical treatments because it’s naturally resistant to rot, fire, and termites. It doesn’t need frequent painting, and therefore doesn’t constantly contribute to VOCs being released into the air. It also doesn’t need to be replaced the way that wood does, so covering your home in fiber cement siding means that it’s the last material you’ll need – making this a sustainable design in more ways than one.
In fact, fiber cement siding is so sustainable, there have been studies showing that it is able to contribute to a building achieving LEED Platinum certification status – the highest level of green building certification available.
Maintain Your Victorian in Style
Fiber cement siding is so durable and low maintenance that you’ll probably find that it pays for itself in just a few years when you compare the amount of upkeep a Victorian-style home usually requires. Make the switch to fiber cement to maintain your Victorian home and ensure its good looks for years to come.