Originally Posted by woodmeistro
good lookin shop. I have worked with hard coat stucco and effs (foamboard with dryvit on it) and would not use the later because of it being easy to damage.
EIFS (Exterior Insulation Finish Systems - your "foamboard and dryvit") can be reinforced with a second layer of heavy-duty mesh. While it's generally less impact resistant than other claddings, it can be easily reinforced
. It adds about $2 per square foot to the area that requires it, which is not the entire house (high foot traffic areas and doors). See link below.
Originally Posted by wooworkbykirk
as for harti, you can allow for the waviness in the wall. simply shim behind the rain screen furring and eye down the wall as you go looking for high spots and low spots. in regards to insulating behind it, i do it all the time every house i side gets 1" of rigid foam put on the entire house before the siding goes on.
You'll want to be careful with this. Installing EPS over a wood sheathing without a proper weather barrier or drainage layer between is a recipe for disaster, especially in Canada.
Fiber Cement is becoming more popular up here, and from what I've seen of the installers' practices, it's not something I'd want on my time. If installed properly, it can be real nice and long lasting without concern for moisture. But that's not what I've seen.
Given the choice between vinyl and fiber cement, I'd go with fiber cement. Given the choice of those or EIFS, I'd go with EIFS (ensuring it's installed properly). You can get around the "softness" of EIFS by having it reinforced with an additional layer of "heavy duty mesh" (or "high impact", or "panzer") - see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZcbV...B25161D20F4244