Homeowner in fairly new neighborhood is upset color on siding is fading

DENVER, N.C. — The entrance of Trilogy Lake Norman in Denver is colorful, and the houses are too. However, the siding on some homes is starting to fade.

“That white, hazing, spotty,” resident Paul LaRiviere said.

He has paperwork with his house that says Shea Homes provided pre-painted HardiePlank siding.

LaRiviere said he started with Shea Homes.

What did the builder tell him?

“That it’s caused by anything except them,” LaRiviere said.

So then he turned his attention to James Hardie and HardiePlank, which is the company that makes it.

LaRiviere says his neighbors, who have the same issue, got nowhere with Hardie, so he emailed Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke.

Other homeowners across the country have complained about HardiePlank discoloration for years. Some even sued the company.

However, Stoogenke didn’t find anyone who won.

Stoogenke exchanged calls and emails -- 16 in 29 days -- with Hardie.

The manufacturer told Stoogenke that yes, some houses in Trilogy Lake Norman have HardiePlank while others don’t.

And just because a house might have it, doesn’t mean Hardie painted it.

The company says it doesn’t think LaRiviere’s house has its product despite the paper he has.

“Everyone’s pointing the finger at everyone else,” LaRiviere said.

Action 9 asked five house painters in the Charlotte area who have A-plus ratings with the BBB how long the paint on HardiePlank should last.

The answers ranged from 5 to 15 years.

Either way, LaRiviere says his color started wearing off after only one year. He’s worried his HOA isn’t going to put up with it much longer.

“Letters are going out to some of these people ... that you have to have the house repainted or else,” he said.

Shea emailed Action 9:

“The faded siding that was brought to our attention by the homeowner and by Action 9 is natural and expected on exterior surfaces, especially those surfaces exposed to the sun. When we looked into this matter, we found the siding to be faded but undamaged. This is not unusual, given that the siding is primarily on the south-facing side of the home where sun exposure is the harshest. This is a routine maintenance matter that is addressed clearly in the home maintenance manual given to buyers when they purchase their homes. The maintenance manual advises homeowners that paint and siding will fade with time and exposure to the sun. It recommends that homeowners repaint stucco and siding as needed depending on the color of the paint, the amount of sun exposure, and the manufacturer’s recommendations. The home in question is more than 7 years old. A simple paint job will restore the appearance of the faded siding.”

Note: While Shea says LaRiviere’s house is “more than 7 years old,” again, LaRiviere says the discoloration started after only one year.

James Hardie emailed Stoogenke:

“James Hardie is the leading North American producer of high-performance fiber cement home siding and exterior design solutions. Hardie products are made from non-combustible and sustainable raw materials specifically engineered to withstand damage from severe weather including hurricanes, snowstorms, rain, and fire. We provide rigorous installation guidelines to ensure our customers can receive the highest performance from our products. Additionally, we provide detailed maintenance recommendations for homeowners and emphasize any painting, touch-ups, or cleaning follow these guidelines, as product issues arising from improper painting, touch-ups, cleaning, or maintenance would not be covered under warranty.”

Stoogenke shopped around for paint jobs.

A lot depends on size but expect to pay between $2 to $4 per square foot.

Several consumer experts say that adds up to about $3,000 to 4,000 for the average house. For those who have HardiePlank -- here’s how to get the most out of it.

(WATCH: City approves $17.5M for affordable housing)

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