Water Heater Rescue: Know-How, Troubleshooting, Anodes graphic

No-Maintenance Walls

At left, overall view of siding of the Hummingbird House, middle: detail shot; right, Larry Weingarten working on scaffolding

How often do you have to paint your exterior walls? Or maybe replace shingles or siding?

What if you could just install something and forget about it?

Well, the Weingartens did. The shingles they chose aren't wood, but something called HardiShake, made of cement and cellulose. In addition to being no-maintenance, they're also fireproof, not a minor consideration in fire-prone California.

HardiShake was designed as roofing, but the Weingartens thought it would work better as siding.

Of course, Suzanne did have to stain them all. She was pretty persnickety about that.

And Larry had the job of installing them, using up to four layers of scaffolding, all securely tied off, of course, and even a ladder on top of the scaffolding for the topmost bit. Not a job for someone afraid of heights. But when it was finished, it was really finished. Center photo is a detail view of the shingles.

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