FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do you ship siding out of the state of California?
Yes we do! We have shipped siding to a number of states including to the east coast. Give us a call and we will be happy to provide you with a quote.
What issues should I be aware of if I order siding (or using shingles) from another source?
Competition among suppliers is a good thing. It often results in the best products possible which benefits the consumer, and helps keep suppliers honest!
Here are some issues you should be aware of should you choose to purchase siding from someone else.
Make sure the siding has a ship lapped edge. This is a standard type of edge needed on plywood siding so the joints are weather proof. NEVER use siding that is simply squared edged. This will result in leaks at the very first rain!
Some suppliers apply a ship lapped edge, but the ship lap is cut from a 48″ wide sheet rather than the required 48 3/4″ size. When this is done, the siding is actually undersized and will not match your pre-existing siding and will often require adding studs to compensate. You may save a bit on the initial cost per sheet with this undersized material, but in the end, you may pay much more for the installation and run into additional problems which you will regret.
Though the spacing of the grooves on Eichler Siding is not rocket science, it can be difficult for some suppliers to get it right. We have worked hard to keep our spacing within reasonable tolerances. Slight variation is allowable, in fact, we have noticed that even some original Eichler Siding has insignificant variations. Be sure that your supplier uses accurate spacing. Cheap siding that looks poorly once installed is not worth losing the resale value on your home.
Some homeowners choose to use shingles instead of siding. Click here to view a page devoted to this discussion.
What is the difference between the Medium Density Overlay (MDO) and Breckenridge (Mahogany faced) products which you offer?
First, MDO with a shiplap edge (needed for exterior siding) is available in 1/2″ thickness. Breckenridge is only available in 5/8″ thickness. We offer both types of materials in our Thinline siding. Many Eichler homes (but not all) were originally built using 1/2″ thick siding. So when you need to make a repair, and if indeed your home already has 1/2″ thick siding it is a better fit to use the MDO product. The thickness will match much better. MDO has a very smooth face on the plywood. This face is a resin impregnated material that appears to be simply paper. However, the resin impregnation creates a very weather resistant surface. It still must be primed and painted, but once it is, it will last a very long time. If you are planning on using an exterior stain, do not use MDO. Use Breckenridge.
We also offer Breckenridge which is 5/8″ thick and thus will match the thickness of preexisting siding that is 5/8″ much better then the thinner MDO mentioned above. If you are replacing an entire wall, you may decide you prefer the greater thickness and different appearance of Breckenridge material. The appearance of this product is that it has an actual wood grain surface. It is made with a one piece mahogany face with very little patches. It is also a slightly resawn surface, and this a little rougher than original Eichler siding. If you desire to stain you siding vs. painting. this is a good choice, but you must keep in mind the thickness difference. As mentioned above the MDO is very smooth, and some people think it is too smooth. It often comes down to personal preference. A well qualified contractor can help you work through these issues.
How can I match the surface texture of my new siding with the surface of my original siding?
The original Eichler siding was a sanded surface that created a real wood grain appearance but was not rough sawn like siding is today. The exception is MDO siding which is actually much smoother than the original siding. If you are using MDO, you can apply the primer/sealer with a thickly napped roller. This will allow you to apply a slight texture to the surface with the primer. Be careful not to fill up the grooves however with too much paint. Often, once the paint job is completed and both the old and new siding have new paint applied, the difference is surface texture is not very noticeable.
If you have chosen our Breckenridge siding and you feel the surface is too rough in comparison to your original siding, your installer or painter can SLIGHTLY sand the surface. However, extreme care must be taken that too much of the surface is not removed. Too much sanding will damage the siding and decrease the life of it considerably. Another option is to apply two coats of the primer sealer which will tend to fill the texture more and smooth it out. Again, care must be taken that you don’t fill the grooves in with too much paint. As with the MDO, once the Breckenridge siding is painted the contrast between old and new siding is often not that great.
Why is this siding so difficult to find?
Mr. Eichler created a wonderfully unique home when he built his Eichler subdivisions. He used creative building methods and designs. One aspect of his creativity was that he used plywood siding that was milled solely for his homes. Over the years as the homes have grown older they often need special attention to the exterior. Since Eichler siding is unique to Eichler homes, it is not stocked in local lumber yards. For over eighteen years we have been milling siding to match your special home. Don’t settle for “close.” Do your repairs with siding that matches. When it comes time to sell your home you will be glad you did because your resale value will be higher.
What is the best way to paint my siding?
Although we use the best products possible for our siding, the life of your new siding depends greatly on the paint job it gets. You must use a good quality primer/sealer and a high quality top coat that is compatible with the primer to get the best results. Make sure the edges are primed/sealed BEFORE installation. Once your siding is installed it is impossible to seal the edges properly.
Use top quality coatings and follow manufacturer’s instructions. All edges should be sealed.
The prime coat is the most important coat. Oil/alkyd primers are recommended; latex primers also work well. The surface should be clean and dry before painting. Do not apply too thin a prime coat. The primer should be applied to yield about 1 mil dry film thickness. Apply within the spreading range recommended by the manufacturer to obtain proper thickness.
To insure compatibility between the topcoat finish and the primer, both should be from the same manufacturer. For best results, follow the manufacturer’s application instructions. Some finishes should not be applied to Overlaid plywood. These include automotive primers and enamels, lacquer undercoats and topcoats.
The most vulnerable portions of overlaid plywood are the edges. Because they absorb water which can lead to finish and surface deterioration, the edges require the most effective protection. Two coats of edge sealer must be applied for adequate protection against moisture penetration. Any conventional method of application may be used as long as adequate coverage is obtained.
Make sure the siding is clean and dry before painting. Some homeowners choose to back prime the back of the siding before installation as well. For the very best results consult a professional grade paint store for the very best product and application. Using a poor quality paint will result in a much shorter life expectancy on your siding. Remember you are fighting a battle against sun (UV) and water. Help your siding have a long and happy life.
What kind of edges are milled on the siding?
All of our siding comes with what is called a shiplap edge. This allows the siding to overlap at each joint. When nailed properly, this provides a good water tight joint. However, be careful to follow the mill’s nailing instructions printed on the back side of each panel. Too tight of a fit will result in buckling when the siding expands due to weather changes. Too lose a fit and you will lose your water resistant joint. Always consult with current building codes for proper nailing procedures.
What about patching just the bottom of my siding instead of replacing the entire sheet?
Some contractors suggest cutting off the lower portion of rotten or damaged siding and splicing new siding by butting it up against the original siding. This is often done as a cost cutting measure. In the short term it does save money since not as much new siding is required to do the job. In some places where the siding is not exposed visually this may be worth it. However our understanding is that Real Estate agents do not recommend it primarily due to later resale value. If you choose to use this method consider the long term affects on your home. Also make sure that the joint is done correctly with a “z” bar type flashing. This metal flashing must be used to insure a water tight joint. Using cost cutting measures on the joint will only give you a headache later. If the visual appearance of the joint does not bother you, and it is done correctly, this may be a way to save some money. We believe in the long run you will be better off not doing a joint and replacing the entire sheet. We also suggest finding a neighbor where a splice was used and see how you like it. Whatever you decide, take time to make this decision carefully. This will prevent you from doing the repair twice.