Using Pre-Finished Materials

Concerned about the cost of siding in Edmonton? When I started with James Hardie Building Products in 2012, I expected that a project had a certain budget, and if our costs exceeded that budget, we either had to reduce our product price or lose the project. As I spent more time working with exterior contractors and really digging into the numbers, I found that we could create significant savings without sacrificing product choice just by changing design elements. In each post on this topic, I will detail some common ways you can save on the cost of your project without sacrificing the overall look you want to achieve.

One area I strongly suggest you review when receiving quotes is whether there are any painted materials going on your project. Site painting is very costly in Alberta, and that’s before you factor in how few good painting days we have per year. I have experience saving thousands of dollars per house just by switching wood composite trims and panels that are site painted to a pre-finished material.  Beyond the up front costs, the painted wood composite products will require much more maintenance for you down the line as they weather in our harsh climate. However, there are pre-finished trims available in the market that will only require touch ups after installation, and can save you thousands of dollars on your project.

My personal recommendation is to go with James Hardie’s NT3 trim and Hardie Panel whenever possible. The one-piece, fiber cement NT3 trim comes in 10 colors, including white and black. And despite it’s higher installation cost than a wood trim, it creates significant savings once paint costs are factored in. Hardie Panel has the same cost-saving potential, and comes in a range of 23 colors. Best of all, these cement products are dimensionally stable – expanding and contracting much less than the typical wood trims used in this province, meaning less maintenance for you after installation. The decision to move away from wood composite panelling and trim on your project is a no-brainer – you get a better product with less maintenance, and it can save you a significant amount of money.

Of course, you can run into the situation where the materials you want on your home are not available from the manufacturer. If that’s the case – don’t fret! Having unique colors on your house can be a great way to stand out, and doing so doesn’t have to mean higher maintenance. Using a recommended, local pre-finisher is a fantastic way to ensure an even application that will weather nicely.  And best of all – they usually offer finish warranties that are similar to the manufacturers. What you do want to avoid is on-site, after installation painting. A hand-sprayed or rolled application on site will never match the even application provided by an automated paint line. If you’re looking for recommendations, give me a shout and I can recommend my favourite local pre-finisher.