Since 2015, This Old House Idea House projects have highlighted remodels that inspire homeowners—but they’ve also caught the eye of building professionals. Greyrock Companies’ Jerry Effren, a member of the Connecticut Home Builders and Remodelers Association, was a judge at the 2019 Idea House for the Connecticut Home Building Industry Awards. When he saw how LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding was used, he reached out to learn more and ultimately became involved in the 2020 project.
After Arnold Karp (builder of the 2019 Idea House and president of Karp Associates) recommended the process, Effren reached out to This Old House and the 2020 Idea House took shape. Karp also gave Effren a key recommendation: LP SmartSide Trim & Siding. “I had never used LP SmartSide siding before,” he says, “but my lumber suppliers liked the product and enjoyed the relationship with LP.” Those endorsements were enough to convince Effren.
On board to build the 2020 Idea House in Norwalk, Connecticut, Effren selected the products for a modern farmhouse overlooking the Long Island Sound. Featuring board and batten style siding with an attached barn-inspired portion, Effren chose a deep brown color with black accents.
“It’s important these days, with concerns about humidity, mold and pests, that the technical side of building materials are also well examined,” Effren says. “Whenever you have an engineered product like LP SmartSide Trim & Siding, there’s a lot of science involved—and that takes the guesswork out of it.”
Additionally, Effren says LP SmartSide products worked well with the other systems they used on the build and he found value in the expertise of LP's technical representatives. These qualities and more made LP SmartSide Trim & Siding an ideal choice for the 2020 Idea House.
Photo Credits: Xpress Rendering
The most prominent exterior feature of the house is its board and batten siding style, a trademark of the modern farmhouse design. Effren says the variety of sizes and lengths of LP SmartSide products were a perfect fit for creating a unique build. For example, the 16-foot lengths of LP SmartSide products made a huge difference with creating fewer seams on the gable end of the house.
Effren cites many LP SmartSide advantages during his first experience with the product. Notably, he says his crew learned how to install board and batten style siding with ease. “There is not a lot of waste with LP SmartSide products, and any waste is much lighter than alternative options,” he says. “It’s an efficient, easy maintenance, engineered product that looks great and wears well. Plus, it can be installed with a nail gun for easier workability.”
Effren's experience using LP SmartSide Trim & Siding on the 2020 Idea House speaks for itself. Due to a simple recommendation from another builder, he tried a trusted product and now plans to use it on several upcoming builds to continue reaping its benefits.
Watch the story of the 2020 Idea House unfold by tuning in to This Old House this fall. Check your local listings for more details. In the meantime, stay updated on the build by going behind the scenes here