Are you in the market for siding and don’t know what to choose? You will be happy to know that, when it comes to siding, there are a variety of great materials to pick from. Fortunately, there are enough choices to satisfy every homeowner for every situation. No matter where you live or what your unique circumstances, there’s sure to be a siding to suit your needs. But before you go ahead and just buy the siding that you like the most, here’s a list of pros and cons to help you make the right choice for your home and your lifestyle.
While wood is easy to work with, it can be expensive. In fact, wood is perhaps the most expensive siding material on the market with western red cedar, pine, cypress, and spruce being among the most popular choices. Admired for its natural beauty, wood ( if maintained ) has the ability to last for years! On the other side of the spectrum, wood does attract termites and other problems, increasing your maintenance costs greatly.
- Offers natural looks
- Can be painted/stained easily
- Requires paint/stain more often than other siding materials
- Susceptible to rot
Common forms of metal siding include steel and aluminum. While steel is generally harder and stronger than aluminum, it is susceptible to rust. Both aluminum and steel are available in countless styles but, unfortunately, in long strips, this material is known to flex.
- Durable product
- Low maintenance
- Difficult to paint
- Colors can fade
- Susceptible to rust
Fiber Cement Siding
With a reputation for stability and low maintenance, it is no wonder that fiber is one of the most popular products on the market today. Fiber cement is made of at least 10-20% recycled materials, hence it is environmentally friendly. While it may look like wood, fiber cement siding is more durable, highly resistant to fire, requires less maintenance and is less prone to attract insects than its wood counterpart. When it comes to installation, finding a contractor with experience is key.
- Won’t rot
- Available in both primed and pre-painted versions
- Product is very heavy
- Pre-painted fiber cement is more expensive than the unpainted option
- Installation can be challenging
The most popular of the lot, vinyl siding is often the choice for its versatility and durability. Made from PVC, vinyl siding is available in a wide range of colors and finishes. With its foam backing, this product has the power to help insulate your home while also keeping noise to a minimum. Vinyl siding requires little to no maintenance and color can easily be restored when it begins to fade. The only real disadvantage to vinyl is that it tends to burn in higher temperatures.
- Relatively durable
- Very low maintenance
- Not susceptible to insect damage
- Lower grade vinyl can look “cheap”
- Susceptible to fading
- Your color choices are limited
Resistant to fire and insects, durable and easily maintained, stucco is a good choice for all homeowners. Stucco comes in a wide array of styles, to fit all budgets. Stucco is best suited to help minimize the look of surface shadows because its texture varies from smooth to coarse. Natural stucco has the ability to breathe (it can let out moisture from the inside), but synthetic stucco does not. Another downside to choosing stucco is that installation requires a lot of work.
Preferably, this material should also be installed by an experienced professional.
- Very durable and long lasting
- No need for ongoing maintenance or painting
- Fire and insect resistant
- Has a reputation for cracking
- Requires professional installation
- Can cause moisture problems
Which Siding Is Right For Your Home?
Before you make the final decision on your siding, consider your specific needs and reflect on these 3 factors:
- Ease of installation: Are you considering DIY?
- Durability: Does it have the strength to battle everyday wear and tear? Can it resist fire, wind and termite damage?
- Energy efficiency: Always check the siding’s R-value rating.
In the end, your choice of siding will depend on the statement you wish to make, your location, and of course, your budget. Be sure to compare estimates from several local contractors to get an idea of the current pricing trends in your area for siding installation. Even if you are considering a DIY, talking to a local professional will give you some valuable insight and could possibly help you to avoid an expensive mistake.