Wood Siding Options for Strong Sun Exposure?

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Wood Siding Options for Strong Sun Exposure?

Post by SJPSF » Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:14 am

Hi all - I am wanting to use real wood siding for the exterior facade on a home. The house is located in Southern California where it gets a lot of strong sun exposure. I was wondering if there any types/species of wood siding that do not need constant maintenance (i.e. sanding and finishing every 6 mos) and/or can be left to weather on their own and that will stand the test of time? I was looking at carbonized wood or Shou Sugi Ban which is that charred wood look in Japan as a possible option. Thanks in advance for any tips/advice!

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A. Spruce
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Re: Wood Siding Options for Strong Sun Exposure?

Post by A. Spruce » Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:05 pm

Any wood in SoCal's climate is going to be taking a beating and need regular maintenance. Paint and solid pigment stains are going to protect the wood the best, but if you want to keep the natural look of wood, then you're likely into yearly maintenance to keep it looking good.
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Re: Wood Siding Options for Strong Sun Exposure?

Post by Shannon » Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:34 pm

Do you guys use cement board sidings at all down there? If so how do they hold up?
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Re: Wood Siding Options for Strong Sun Exposure?

Post by GabyW » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:38 pm

I’m dabbling in using the James Hardie V Rustic (fibre cement). It is the thicker one (5/8” thick) and basically the equivalent of tongue and groove for installation. VERY labor intensive, but I suspect it will look nice when thru. I’m replacing it as I go along a bit at a time (not the normal way to go), because I’m doing it by myself....
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Re: Wood Siding Options for Strong Sun Exposure?

Post by GabyW » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:57 pm


I googled and found a website called:


Which might have some helpful info...

I’ve heard of a company experimenting with some kind of gas which is introduced into wood which sort of pseudo-carbonizes it.

As you know, California has low VOC laws in place, so we don’t have access to “the good stuff” anymore as far as wood varnishes and other treatments that have greater longevity as many other states do. We are obliged to use low VOC (aqueous based) products. An exterior water based wood finish or treatment in Cali which is rated at 3-7 years, maybe, in reality, last less than two years in the same climate zone which it sounds like both you and I are in. This is why I eventually choose fibre cement over my initial preference of wood - specifically an HZ10 product which has a limited 30 years transferable warranty. Fibre cement also presents its own set of problems tho with the dust when cutting, etc, IMHO.

Good luck. Would love to hear what your ultimate decision is.

Aesthetically, with the look you are going for, it makes sense you would prefer wood, but I’m not sure that a true charred wood treatment is exactly the way to go either.... While it is true that termites and pests prefer dining on young, supple wood, rather than charred wood, the charring process tends to also make the wood more brittle...

A good old school high VOC marine varnish or creosole treatment comes to mind, but I believe (illegal) in any real effective strength or quantities here in California...

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Re: Wood Siding Options for Strong Sun Exposure?

Post by timmy55 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:45 pm

I agree with the former posts. It might take a beating to get wood siding. Although it might look amazing I agree, it would be a pain in the but to up keep for the life of the house. If i were you i'd go with a cement siding. It is more resilient. I myself got a quote from a company and it was very reasonable and you never have to paint again. Otherwise if you go with wood you will be painting for the life of the siding.

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