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Faux Brick Panels


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By Chris in Atlanta, GA on 4/21/2008


Does anyone know where I can purchase faux exposed brick panels that actually look real? 

Thanks,

Chris

Atlanta


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By Kenneth in Lees Summit, MO on 4/22/2008


Have you seen the Nichiha Fiber Cement Panels? I couldn't get them locally (I could, but I had to order whole pallets), but from the samples I saw they looked pretty good. The key with making faux brick look good is how you detail the corners. Also faux brick tends to be "too perfect" and just doesn't look right to the eye.
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By Dean in Thaxton, MS on 5/3/2008


I've been researching Nichiha, talked to their sales manager, didn't get my questions answered like I wanted but will keep trying.  Searching for one who has used the Nichiha products.

It appears that Nichiha may be more expensive then Hardie from what I read on gardenweb.com but not enough information to really know for sure.

Would appreciate information from you or others about the Nichiha product vs Hardie.

Dean

 

 

 

 

 

 


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By Jason in Burleson, TX on 5/5/2008


We used Nichiha on our home.  We did not use the brick panels but used their "Premium Shake" product.  It was a little more expensive than the Hardie siding that was available to us, but that is somewhat of an apples/oranges comparison.  The only Hardie siding available to us without ordering truckloads worth of material was the unfinished siding.  We paid afround $3 a square foot or the pre-finished Nichiha.  We are very happy with the look and it has received a lot of favorable comments.  The shake look is uncommon in our area but since we purchased it our local Home Depot has started stocking it and made several sales.  Pictures of our house are here.

To order it I contacted Nichiha to find a local distributor.  In our case Capitol Lumber

From there I saw that Home Depot carried their products so I gave the contractor desk the contact details for Capitol Lumber.  They had pricing and samples for me in a few days, and like I said, they were so impressed with the material that they have now setup a display in our local store.

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By Dean in Thaxton, MS on 5/5/2008


Jason,

Thanks very much for your reply concerning Nichiha and also the pictures.  Appears you spent as much time taking pictures as you did building your home.  The pictures came out very clear.  They will great to have some time down the road when you can have time to look back to see how far you have come.

Another question I have is' from what company did you purchase your ICF's?

Also, I'm thinking about using Nichiha "Faux Brick" panels and wondering how to best do the corners.  If anyone has had any experience with such, I'd apprecite your conments.

Dean


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By Jason in Burleson, TX on 5/5/2008


We purchased our ICF block from FutureStone in Fort Worth.  The brand of ICF is Nudura.

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By Kenneth in Lees Summit, MO on 5/6/2008


I believe Nichiha has the details already worked out. I don't have any of their information any longer. IIRC in the literature I had, the example was detailing how to use faux brick on a fireplace and it showed the best way to detail corners.

I imagine if I had a couple of panels it wouldn't be that difficult to figure out how to make those corners look good. Now if you want quoins to dress up the corners (originally structural elements, but brick is now veneer and not structural so entirely aesthetic now), I have no idea how you might go about this.

I was never that interested in the brick. The limestone though, I really liked that (and they have corner pieces for that material).


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By ryan in warrior, AL on 9/24/2009


Hey, Jason - love the house; just had a few questions. How long has the house been finished, and have you had any problems with the Nichiha shakes, and what color did you go with? Me and my wife love it, thinking about going with it on our house. I have tried to find a house close to us; we live in Birmingham, AL. No luck yet, just wanted to see how it was holding up.

Thanks

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By Jason in Burleson, TX on 9/24/2009


We've been in the house a little over a year now.  We went with the Mahogany-colored shakes and are very happy with them. We have received many favorable comments.  They seem to be holding up well, although ironically, last night I spent some time on a ladder re-attaching a piece that came loose during some 70 mph winds we had a couple of nights ago.  If you install over ICF, it's important that the framing crew is careful to use the right nails (ring-shank); and be careful to nail into the nailing strips in the ICF block.  I think in this case the framing crew had mis-nailed this piece.

Here's a couple of links to pictures of the house with the shakes:

Picture 1
Picture 2

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By Kenneth in Lees Summit, MO on 9/24/2009


As I recall here with ICF, its not just ring-shank nails but ring-shank nails fired out of a pneumatic nailer (gun). The heat from firing them causes the plastic to melt, and this is what secures the nail into the plastic web. The key here is to get the air pressure right, and this might take some trial and error. As to Polysteel with the steel webs, you are on your own if that is your ICF.

Anyone who doesn't think that nails will hold in plastic webs, I encourage you to take a few shots with the nailer. Just try to remove that nail, any method you like. That nail isn't coming out without breaking the web and bringing a chunk of web with it.

I used stainless steel screws, but this is a bit slower than a nailer (also a bit more forgiving for the inexperienced installer, which would be me).


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By Jeff in Hartland, WI on 9/27/2009


We used two Nichiha products and are very happy with them.  We used pre-stained Mahogany Nichiha Sierra Premium Shakes to cover our gables.  We have neighbors who still believe they are real cedar--and if I'm lucky 15 years from now, when our neighbors will have stained their real cedar shakes 5 or 6 times, I'll be thinking about restaining mine for the first time. We love them. They were actually cheaper pre-stained than Hardishakes were primed.  Here's a picture of them in action:



We also used their Fieldstone Peppersand Stone Panels to cover our foundation exposure.  For these, we're happy with the quality, but less happy about the look. A little too regular for my taste. Cost was about half the cost of natural stone materials, and for labor, about a quarter of the cost of hiring a mason. Here's a picture:



When these start showing wear (assuming we're still here), we'll probably replace them with natural stone that we're using elsewhere on the house.




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By Belinda in Augusta, GA on 9/27/2009


Kenneth,

I was wondering if you, or anyone else, has compared Cemplank, CertainTeed, Weatherside, HardiPlank, MaxiTile, and Nichiha against each other?  We are building with ICFs and the guy supplying the forms suggested Nichiha.  However, talking with some builders who have installed fiber cement siding, they prefer HardiPlank.  I would love to hear people's experiences and preferences.

Belinda


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By David in Greenville, SC on 9/27/2009


Hi Belinda,

Nichiha and Hardie both make good products that if properly installed will give you years of trouble-free service. As for one vendor recommending one product while another suggests a different product. Well, nine times out of ten that usually comes down to personal experience with one and being unfamiliar with the other. I would ask each supplier why they prefer one versus the other and the pros and cons of each. If they can't really give a good explanation for their preference then they probably don't know enough about the competing product to be playing favorites!

At any rate, I think the Nichiha shakes look more natural than the Hardie version. However, the clapboard siding products are similar enough that (at least the samples I saw) I had to be told which was which. If you are going the pre-finished route I have heard that the Nichiha products have the edge but neither is exactly as advertised. The biggest consideration might simply be which one you can get most easily and cost effectively. Also, check that your supplier has all the trim pieces you will need. As for the other products you mentioned the only one I have seen (at a home show not on a home) is the CertainTeed. The company generally produces decent stuff so you might consider it as well.

Sorry this is not the definitive "this one is the best answer" many are seeking, But from my experience with the Nichiha and Hardie products both will serve you well. You just have to decide which one meets you needs aesthetically. Which one you can get the best price on. And which one you can find a good installer for (it's actually about the same process for either) and go from there.


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By Jeff in Hartland, WI on 9/27/2009


Belinda,

I agree 100% with David. Nichiha is relatively new in this area--they really just started selling here in the last year or so. Most of the suppliers in the area picked them up pretty quickly, but there weren't a lot of examples to look at when we made our purchase.

I asked for samples of CertainTeed, Hardie, and Nichiha planks and shingles.  CertainTeed and Hardie were similar. Both the plank and shake siding from both suppliers was about the same thickness (about 5/16 of an inch). We talked with our framer, who we chose to install the siding, and he recommended Hardie due to complaints he's received with CertainTeed planks shrinking and expanding too much. So we chose pre-finished HardiPlank for the majority of our siding. 

Nichiha was a different animal. The Nichiha shakes are about twice as thick as either the Hardie or Certainteed shakes, so they provide more distinctive shadow lines. They also have vertical grooves cast into the panels so the the shakes look from a distance more like real cedar shakes, which are typically quartersawn and show a vertical grain.  We thought that the pre-finished Nichiha shakes looked much more like real cedar shakes than either the Hardie or CertainTeed products. We chose the Nichiha shakes for our gables.

Note that the Nichiha and Hardie shakes are comparable in price, although Nichiha--at least at the time we bought--were slightly cheaper. However, shakes from any of these vendors are about twice as expensive as planks. Also, if you choose Nichiha, it's important to remember that the Nichiha shakes are significantly thicker than Hardie shakes.  That means you'll probably have to increase the thickness of your trim to 5/4, or you'll have trouble effectively caulking joints where the shakes butt up against your trim. The Nichiha stone panels are even thicker, making it necessary to increase the trim thickness to 6/4.

Bottom line: only you can decide what you like the best. I recommend that you ask for samples from local suppliers and compare for yourself.

Jeff

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By Becky in Downers Grove, IL on 12/6/2009


Hi Jeff-

I just saw your beautiful home on this website.  I was curious.. is that Nichiha Mahogany color in your gables?  I'm building a home and trying to decide between mahogany, caramel, or maple.  After seeing your home I'm thinking mahogany in the peaks, and perhaps caramel everywhere else.  I'm just trying to figure the colors for the outside of our home.  Any insight?
Becky


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By Jeff in Hartland, WI on 12/13/2009


Hi Becky,

Sorry for the delayed response. Yes, we used Nichiha Mahogany color shakes in the gables. We looked at the other colors, and just thought that color went the best with our siding. Neighbors are still surprised when they learn that the shakes are not cedar.  We originally thought that we would side entirely with shakes. But when we learned that shakes--whether from Nichiha or Hardie--were significantly more expensive than siding, we decided to just put shakes on the gables, and prefinished HardiePlank siding (in their Timber Bark color) on the rest of the house.


Jeff

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