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Low maintenance exteriors - stone, brick, anything else?

May 14, 2019

Some background of why I'm asking the questions. We met with an architect last week and among our wishes are a more traditional looking house to the area we're in (Centralish Texas) and a low maintenance exterior that fits with sitting on 40 acres with a view and lots of large oaks/elms ie not just a normal sub-division style house. Austin Limestone is a natural choice we thought of and the architect also brought this up as the best option. However when we mentioned we'd really like a more traditional looking house, he said those are clap board siding and hardi can be used to mimic the look for less maintenance. However I've had hardi on my last two houses and although it is a lot less maintenance than wood still needs painting every 7 years or so (even with the good quality paints - all we've used) to look nice and fresh. We can stretch it out to 10 years, but it really is obvious even with a lighter color it needs painting then. The sun is just harsh around here.

I mentioned Fredricksburg TX stone houses as an example of stone for more traditional styles as the architect was pushing more for a whatever style (ie whatever comes out of the shape of the house) or lower slung ranch (neither DH or I are huge fans of those). But I couldn't come up with anything else at that time. Brick doesn't seem like it would fit as well as stone. Are there any other materials that would be considered lower maintenance and maybe be between Hardi and stone/brick in work needed and fit a more traditional living on a farm style (hesitating to say farmhouse, but around here there is a specific style people would know what I meant if I said it)? Just for those in another climate - vinyl is not it and not a look I want.

Or are there any other house styles that would work with limestone that we could also bring up as an option. Having a more traditional style would help a lot for resale purposes too as that is what people are looking for around here.

Below are some pics of the styles generally found on farms around here that would be considered traditional. In town there are older brick and a few stone/brick houses or combo stone/brick with siding due to additions.

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