Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

June 15, 2017

A New Plan for the House Exterior

Over the years, for various reasons, our plans for painting the lakehouse exterior kept getting waylaid but I'm actually kind of grateful because it gave me time to change my mind!  I originally envisioned all-black siding and stonework but then I started to ponder other options - especially after spotting that gorgeous grey structure (pictured above) in a recent enRoute mag.

Jessica Helgerson
Yes, dark charcoal and black houses (like the one above) still get me drooling - especially when paired with a teak or walnut-toned wood.  Sigh.  But honestly, it seems a waste to paint our vinyl siding when it's in such rough shape.  Eventually we decided that perhaps replacing it would be the best option, but quotes for a charcoal grey vinyl siding with a more modern look rang in at about $15,000!  That's why, instead of putting lipstick on a pig - or spending a million dollars are new vinyl - I've been eyeing up my father-in-law's siding, a DIY wood board and batten style that has been allowed to weather beautifully with age.  Between his siding and that grey house in the first photo, we're really toying with the idea DIY wood siding, using a wood that will grey for a beach-appropriate vibe. 

Desire to Inspire
Muller Design Company
Every now and then, though, I find a gorgeous warm wood siding that piques my interest too.

My Domaine
But I love the idea of natural wood for a low maintenance result.  I'm still researching how exactly to install wood siding (although my father-in-law will definitely have some excellent advice).  I've also been considering aesthetic options for installation, because once you decide to DIY it opens up a whole world of cool options.  Every time I see a new idea, I'm convinced that it is the one:

One Kind Design
And yes, every now and then I dream about a house with a turquoise exterior.  But there's always the garage!  It can sport a gorgeous turquoise hue one day...

House of Turquoise
Camille Styles
We were planning to address the house exterior this year but the summer is already whipping by and we really want to spend as much time on the boat as possible, so we're thinking about doing all of the house work we need done next year in one shot: new siding, new roof, new deck stain, so everything is fresh at once. 

It gives me time to change my mind, haha!

Right now I'm leaning toward grey wood siding, a teal stained deck (YES!) and a metal roof - I saw a copper one in town I'm drooling over.

Decisions, decisions, decisions...


  1. Friends of ours are struggling with siding issues right now as well. They love the idea and look of real wood and are leaning towards a stained board and batten but bugs are an issue in PA. They also are reaching retirement age and don't want the maintenance.

    We are very happy with our Hardy plank but it is expensive and isn't a really a dyi thing. We had a hard time finding a contractor and even once we did, made not the best choice. We needed up hiring someone to come back and fix a number of mistakes.

    Oh a copper roof! They break my heart with desire. I also yearn for copper downspouts. There are two houses in my area that used some sort of faux copper and those have held up very well over the past ten years. I suspect it's some sort of powder coated steel.

    1. The problem is where we live. Not many companies want to come out here to install siding and those that do add a major premium. I couldn't find Hardy board here but I'll admit I was disheartened after a few outrageous quotes.

      Siding is such a huge decision! I can relate to your friends' dilemma!!

      I think that, as you suspect, the roof I spotted is also powder coated but I plan to ask the owners. Real copper would be so damn expensive lol!

  2. The siding color - I changed our lake house siding to charcoal hardy board (love it!) with black windows. My husband was very skeptical about my color choice - seeing as how we were going from very traditional white siding with dark green trim and green metal roof to a very dark exterior. Once it was done he agreed - it looks awesome. The metal roof is a great choice - especially in northern Canada for its maintenance free properties and snow load. I would have changed the roof too but it was still good - so I am stuck with a dark green roof. At least once the trees leaf out the house blends into the background. Kind of like a tree - dark bottom, green top. It was a white beacon on the hill - now it blends into the landscape and is no longer a lighthouse for everyone on the lake!
    You won't regret the darker exterior. I love the greys you have chosen and that image from enRoute - I saw that article too - great images. Maintenance free is the way to go - frees up your time for boating and other lake life activities - cross country skiing, fishing, watching the weather change over the water, etc etc.

    1. I hear good things about hardy board but haven't seen it locally. Your house sounds gorgeous!! I can even picture the green roof working really well. I am definitely in agreement about maintenance free being the way to go!! I just wish all of this stuff was more affordable, ugh...

  3. oooh, so many great options! I can't wait to see what you pick.

    1. Too many ideas!! I will noodle on it one more winter and then next summer it's GO TIME lol

  4. That house you posted with the turquoise exterior is stunning! Must be so hard for you to resist going that route, but I think dark grey is the way to go and seems very "you" as well. Have fun drooling over inspiration pics. That's always my favourite part!

    1. Isn't that gorgeous?? We'd really stick out from the landscape though haha


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