As church remodeling contractors we looked at the Middleton (Massachusetts) Congregational Church with open eyes as a potentially beautiful fiber cement siding project and it came out better than we could have even imagined. Church remodeling ideas usually focus on keeping a historic look, but since wood siding rots fast we achieved the same look for this church as the previous wood siding with maintenance-free fiber cement. We resided the church with CertainTeed WeatherBoard siding, a 50-year product. To View a “This Old House” style video of this project on YouTube, click here.
Below is a spot on Beverly Access Television where you can see some portions of the project: During the demolition portion, we had all our guys wear lead paint safe suits with hepafilter masks. After the dirty part of the job we loaded all the debris into our dumptrucks. Tyveking the house provides a breathable material that moisture can escape out of the church with. You have to make sure the top piece of Tyvek goes over the bottom one for proper run off. We tape all our Tyvek seems to get rid of the risk altogether.
When the windows are in the raw state after the siding is removed, we flash and Ice & Water Shield the windows to prevent water from leaking in. In addition, the corners (trim) around the whole church is PVC now instead of wood. The drip board system is the flat portion on the bottom near the foundation, and to keep a historic look we used a AZEK skirt board. You have to make sure the flashing system is installed properly on fiber cement. Once the moisture comes down the house it needs a port to escape and keep the siding from getting soggy. Around the windows we use a brick mold (908) casing which is made out of PVC, the same material as AZEK. This means even the trim is maintenance free. To make sure of that, we have to have a heavy bead of caulking all up the side of the fiber cement. Sealing fiber cement is one of the most important portions of the job. Fiber cement is much heavier than regular wood, but is much more durable. The church has stainless steel fasteners to avoid any rust. The old trim looks great compared to the old clapboard wood trim.