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Midwest home exteriors that nod to nature

Color selection can be easy.

Get the Midwest Rustic Look

While working with clients, the process seams easy until it comes time to choose a color scheme.

One approach has helped my clients:  Play off nature.

A suburban house in a wooded area could feel right at home clad in Heathered Moss. Or a lake house inspired by the nearby ravine could look ravishing in a bold blue tone, such as Boothbay Blue.

With the range of James Hardie’s ColorPlus® Technology colors, you can browse cool, warm, fresh, light, dark and neutral tones all inspired by the outdoors.

Here are a few Midwest home exteriors that nod to nature.

Neutral on the green

This suburban beauty is clad in HardiePlank® lap siding in Autumn Tan and HardieTrim® boards in Arctic White. The main siding color stands out in the warm sun against the bright green grass and trees. Playing off the home’s stone foundation, this home’s palette combines earthy colors that feel natural, yet stand out in their lushly landscaped location.


Cottage in the trees

This Midwest home feels like an extension of the nature that surrounds it. The siding in Heathered Moss blends nicely with the tall trees and fresh mulch. The red accents, natural wood details and the soft lighting makes this home even more inviting.


Inspired by the lake

This Wisconsin lake house is clad in straight edge HardieShingle® siding and HardiePlank lap siding, both in Evening Blue. When paired with HardieTrim boards in Arctic White, the palette comes across nautical and classic. The welcoming lighting shining through the wall of windows make this lake house feel cozy, and with a breeze blowing through the trees, you can almost smell the nearby lake.


Let your scenery inspire your siding selections—go natural, go wild, go with the ColorPlus Technology palette.

Yes, siding can be a pleasant experience.

Best for you all,

Mike Schmidt

Mix and Match with James Hardie® Siding Styles and ColorPlus® Colors

There’s a lot to love about James Hardie’s ColorPlus® Technology. Besides the fact that it’s specifically engineered to help resist damaging UV rays, there’s also a stunning selection of colors crafted by James Hardie color experts.

The curated colors look great on any exterior, and they are crafted to complement one another. With James Hardie® siding and trim, enhanced with ColorPlus Technology and installed by experienced siding contractor like Schmidt Exteriors, there’s no need to second guess your design. You can’t go wrong.

Whether it’s a bold blue (such as Deep Ocean) a rich red (such as Countrylane Red) or a creamy neutral (such as Sail Cloth), each color is made to pair well with one another.

With the ColorPlus palette, the complementing and sophisticated tones of your home siding and trim are narrowed down for you.

To highlight this, we’ve found a home that uses three different siding colors and three different siding styles for an end product that’s interesting, not overwhelming. When it comes to James Hardie home siding and trim, the more the merrier.


This suburban home is clad in straight edge HardieShingle® siding, HardiePlank® lap siding and HardiePanel® vertical siding. The variation of the shingles and panels in the gables adds an interesting layer to the home’s exterior look.

When it comes to the palette, the shingles stand out in Countrylane Red, the HardiePlank lap siding feels classic in Autumn Tan, and the vertical panels in creamy Sail Cloth tie the look together, and match the home’s stonework. We also like that the Sail Cloth vertical panels is the same color as the HardieTrim® boards, and that the brown shutters match the roof and awnings of the home. For all the colors and siding styles present in their exterior, this home feels unified and unique.

If you seek the look of wood with the uniform bold and long-lasting color, you’ve met your match—James Hardie siding and trim with ColorPlus Technology. Whatever combination of colors and styles you design, it will remain protected for years. ColorPlus Technology finish comes with a 15-year limited warranty that covers paint and labor, protecting against peeling, cracking, and chipping.

If you love this look and looking for experienced James Hardie siding contractor call Schmidt Exteriors today!


Home Siding Spectacular from all Angles

When getting a haircut, the stylist doesn’t just consider the hair above your face. The same rationale rings true for your home siding and trim. When you clad your Naperville area  home with siding and trim, you’ll want to consider all angles, the front, side and back.

Focusing merely on the front may save on money, but it can also cut corners on style and performance. When you clad your entire exterior with James Hardie® products, you’re protecting your home from all angles. James Hardie fiber cement siding and trim are engineered to better resist the effects of moisture and damage from molds, pests, and fire than wood-based or vinyl siding.

Whether you’re leisurely walking down your neighborhood street, or sitting in your backyard after a long day, a fully clad exterior provides performance and a look that feels complete no matter what angle you’re taking in.

Make your entire home exterior look great—front, sides and back—with James Hardie siding and trim and local certified contractor like Schmidt Exteriors.

Backyard in Bark


The backyard space of this renovated Ranch showcases the dimensions of this home clad in HardiePlank® lap siding in Timber Bark, a stylish deep gray brown color and HardieTrim® boards in Arctic White.

Stunning from all Sides

We love the front and sides of this Cape Cod, clad in HardiePlank lap siding in Mountain Sage, with a pop of red shutters, red brick foundation and white pillars. The rocking chairs, tin roof, simple landscaping and flow of the lap siding from the front to the side make this home feel cozy and complete.

Schmidt Exteriors is James Hardie Siding Expert. Give us a call today! You will be amazed with quality of our work!



Home Siding for the Midwest that actually resists termite damage

Termites are called the silent destroyer for good reason. Without being noticed they can thrive in or behind home’s siding, not rearing their heads (or wings) until homeowners notice costly exterior damage such as wood damage and unexplained exterior cracks.

Unfortunately, in the Midwest, it’s not uncommon for termites to strike, and when they do, it’s not cheap. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, every year termites cause billions of dollars in structural damage.

Many Midwesterners think that cold winters kill off termites, but in reality, colonies of termites can survive by waiting out winter indoors, only to re-emerge in spring and spread further come summer. These pests are even considered the most destructive wood pest in Michigan.

The eastern subterranean termite is the most common termite in the Midwest and all of North America, followed by the Pacific damp wood termite and the southeastern dry wood termite.  These pests can feed off the cellulose materials found in any kind of wood, including wood-based siding, such as LP® Smartside®.  In fact, when you read the LP Smartside warranty terms, you’ll find that they do not cover termite damage unless it affects the “structural integrity” of the siding.

For siding that won’t be eaten by termites and insects, and resists damage from other pests, opt for James Hardie® siding and trim. It attains to the appearance of wood, without the negative pest attraction.

We are experienced James Hardie siding installers. Call Schmidt Extriors today!

The Final Trim Touches

You have plenty of design decisions when creating your new Midwest (Naperville area)  home exterior.

You can start with home siding type—be it lap siding, straight or staggered-edge shingles or vertical panels—then move on to the color and texture. From there, it’s time to add the final touches—the HardieTrim® boards and window details.

Like the saying goes, design is in the details, and even though they seem minute, it’s the tiny details that make the most impact and sometimes take the most time to land on.

The trim on a home can truly add a final polish. It’s like the frame on a piece of art and can complete your home’s look by accentuating its architectural elements, like corners, columns, doors and windows, all while providing long-lasting performance and durability.

In the Midwest, the most popular HardieTrim board color selection is Arctic White, and most homeowners (84 percent to be exact) opt for white windows without the inlay option. Some homeowners select black, beige or brown window colors, and some don’t even realize they can stray from the path.

Here’s a closer look at the trim and window details on a few homes clad with James Hardie® siding and trim in ColorPus® finishes:

Autumn Tan HardiePlank® lap siding clads this abode. The entryway image shows off the HardieTrim boards in clean, crisp Arctic White, and the detail of the varied cream window inlay. We love that it adds one more layer to the look of the exterior and complements the tan main siding hue.

This contemporary dwelling is clad in HardiePlank lap siding in Sail Cloth with HardieTrim boards in Arctic White. The striking black windows pop against the crisp white trim and add to the modern, clean look to the exterior. Only about 10 percent of Midwesterners opt for a black window, but we like the unique look.

This close-up reveals a HardieTrim board hue in Arctic White and a matching white window. The bright, crisp tones of the window and trim pair well with the HardiePanel® vertical siding in Cobble Stone.

When it comes to designing your home exterior, the final details make all the difference. Take a step back and soak up your design. Don’t forget to think through the look of the trim and window pairing, and if going with a window inlay suits your style. After all, little details add big impact.

For all your James Hardie siding needs call Schmidt Exteriors today!

Midwest Home Exterior Transformation

These Midwest homeowners wanted their home exterior to stand out in their suburban neighborhood so they swapped their thin vinyl siding in light cream for James Hardie’s durable and stylish siding in rich green. The results made the home’s exterior stand out on the block, while adding a classic look with way more performance.

How much more performance? James Hardie® products provide:

Durability: Every James Hardie siding product is engineered to help withstand damage from pests, fire and Midwest weather (such as freezing temperatures, moisture, snowfall, ice, hail, wind and extreme temperature variations).

Long-lasting, vibrant color: The James Hardie palette includes the added benefit of ColorPlus® Technology, a baked-on color process that helps resist fading, chipping and cracking. That means your siding and trim colors look fresh and bold longer with less maintenance.

A warranty: James Hardie is so confident in its products that it offers a 30-year non-prorated limited warranty on its siding products and a 15-year non-prorated limited warranty on HardieTrim® boards.

The new exterior’s HardiePlank® lap siding in Mountain Sage with HardieTrim boards in Arctic White seem to add a pop at first glance, and the addition of the straight edge HardieShingle® siding in the gables is a simple detail that adds big interest.

During the home exterior renovations, the homeowners also replaced the outdated stone facade for a more contemporary stone look, along with the cream garage door for a dark wood option that matches the front door. To complete the renovation, the roof was replaced with a new gray shingled roof that complements the vibrant green siding tone nicely.

When it comes to the “after” status of this abode, it not only looks updated and polished, it’s also protected from weather, fire and pests—a makeover with lasting power.

Call Schmidt Exteriors today for all your James Hardie needs! We have years of experience in James Hardie siding installation.







Create Calm in your Outdoor Space

There’s nothing like the quiet of the morning—the mist on the grass, the sun’s glow peeping through the trees, the smell of the fresh air.  It’s a perfectly serene time, then with swift speed, the day kicks into high gear, and stress can pile on until punch-out time.

That could be the reason most of us crave coming home to a calm environment, a place to relax and recharge. We find there’s nothing as calming as getting out into nature, even if that means sitting on your porch or in your backyard.

To create calm in your outdoor spaces, try out these zen-inducing tips—you’re about to put the ohm back in home.

Choose calming colors: Colors can affect your mood, so you’ll want to seek out the ones that most induce calm when selecting your home siding and trim colors. James Hardie’s ColorPlus® palette provides hues that seem to summon the early morning sky, such as Light Mist, or blend into nature such as Heathered Moss, or resemble a shell on the beach such as Sail Cloth. When a soothing palette of colors surrounds you, they seem to soak up the buzz of the day’s stresses.

Pump up your plant life: Research shows that having plants in and around your home can actually lower anxiety and raise productivity. Add potted plants to your porches, air purifying varieties such as lilies and pathos around the perimeter of your home, and hang ferns and flower boxes filled with lavender and rosemary.

Think shutter style: There are a handful of shutter styles you can choose from for the exterior of your home, from plantation, to louvered, to Bahama. We find the right style of shutters on your abode can induce a relaxing vibe in seconds.

Get comfy: When outfitting your porch space, seating is key. After all, you want to be able to lean back and put your feet up. You can go for a row of rocking chairs, a porch swing, a comfy loveseat, even a hammock. Be sure to add a small end table nearby—it’s the perfect tabletop for a cup of tea and your favorite potted plant.

Prop your feet up. Breathe in. Breathe out. Create a sense of calm in your outdoor space.

For all your James Hardie siding needs contact Schmidt Exteriors. We are siding installation contractor with years of experience. Give us a call today!

Aged Pewter Siding Paired with Natural Stone

Gray doesn’t go hand-in-hand with a cloudy disposition. In fact, home design experts now call on grays for the new, go-to neutral. And when paired with a natural stone, you’re in for a dose of contemporary elegance.

James Hardie’s HardiePlank® lap siding in Aged Pewter is a weathered-meets-classic hue, making it a smart choice for a main siding color, especially when teamed up with neutral-toned HardieTrim® boards. The contrast between the two colors provides a subtle look that’ll turn heads.

And you can feel confident knowing that your Aged Pewter siding resists fading. James Hardie’s ColorPlus® products are engineered with multiple coats of finish baked onto the siding and trim. All of which means your siding colors will stay vibrant longer compared to field-applied paint.

Take a peek at the Aged Pewter siding hue paired with a neutral stone—it may be your new favorite pair.

Contemporary Cladding

This modern abode is clad in HardiePlank lap siding in Aged Pewter with natural stone. Up close, you’ll see the Select Cedarmill© siding has a natural wood texture for a bit of subtle interest.

Standout Gables

This suburban home is clad in straight edge HardieShingle® siding in Aged Pewter. The HardieTrim boards in Sail Cloth unify the look, and the palette pairs well with the pebble brown brick.


Staggered and Stunning

This suburban standout is clad in HardiePlank lap siding in Aged Pewter with staggered edge HardieShingle siding in Monterey Taupe in the home’s gables for a subtle and stylish contrast.


If Aged Pewter isn’t your favorite shade in the family, James Hardie has you covered. Four new shades of gray were recently added to the ColorPlus Technology collection of colors. Now, you can opt for any shade from light to dark with Pearl Gray, Gray Slate, Night Gray, and Iron Gray all of which pair nicely with Arctic White HardieTrim boards.

For your all James Hardie siding needs call Schmidt Exteriors today! We are siding experts with years of experence.

James Hardie Siding Color Spotlight: Sail Cloth

When you think of the Midwest Lakeshore, sailboat silhouettes lining the coast come to mind. You can almost hear the flap of their well-worn sails in the breeze. The classic sail shade is tough to replicate but James Hardie found a way with the ColorPlus® Technology shade, Sail Cloth.

We love this creamy siding and trim color that seems to resemble vintage canvas. The softer shade of worn-in white adds a clean and relaxed feeling to a home’s exterior.  And you don’t have to worry about your creamy siding becoming dull prematurely. James Hardie’s ColorPlus® Technology is engineered with multiple coats of finish baked onto the siding and trim, creating a consistent vibrant finish that performs better and looks brighter on your home. All of which means, your siding will be vibrant longer with less maintenance than field applied paint.

The nautical neutral looks good with any hue in the ColorPlus palette, but we love Sail Cloth paired with earthy greens like Heathered Moss and Mountain Sage, rich browns like Timber Bark, or crisp Arctic White.

Here are a few homes clad in the creamy shade paired with other ColorPlus hues:


James Hardie Sail Cloth Siding

This home is clad in HardiePlank® lap siding in Sail Cloth with Arctic White HardieTrim® boards. Even though the siding is fresh and new, the Sail Cloth shade provides a vintage look.


This craftsman is clad in HardiePanel® vertical siding and HardieTrim batten boards in Sail Cloth. The bright pop of the bold shutters adds interest and a modern sensibility.


The gables of this quaint bungalow are clad in staggered edge HardieShingle® siding in Sail Cloth. When paired with a darker HardiePlank lap siding hue, the Sail Cloth looks more subtle and light.

Evoke shoreline style—set sail for James Hardie clad homes in sturdy Sail Cloth.

Do you like this look? Call Schmidt Exteriors today! We are James Hardie Siding Experts!


Farmhouse Frenzy

No matter where you call home, the east, west, south or Midwest, farmhouses are a home style that thrives. Nowadays, farmhouses may not be on actual farmland, but they still evoke the same feeling of cozy, comfort. Each exterior differs slightly, but many modern farmhouses have some similarities, such as cladding in simple lap or vertical siding.

Schmidt Exteriors is your James Hardie Certified, Associated Contractor with years of experience.

Here’s a roundup of our favorite farmhouses, from modern to traditional, all sided in James Hardie® siding.

Cozy Covered Porch

HardiePlank® lap siding in Autumn Tan clads this modern farmhouse, with HardieTrim® boards in clean Arctic White. The large, covered porch is an iconic farmhouse feature. This home’s well-lit porch, decked out with rocking chairs, is warm and welcoming.


Simple in Siding Choices

Another feature of many farmhouses is the simplicity in style and siding. This modern farmhouse is clad in HardiePlank lap siding in a light blue with HardieTrim boards in Arctic White, for a minimal-meets-classic aesthetic.


Numerous windows

This head turner has a unique stone façade with HardiePlank lap siding in Arctic White accents. The large number of windows is an iconic farmhouse detail that brings an ample amount natural light and heat to the interior.

If you would like to achieve farmhouse style for your home, call Schmidt Exteriors today!