Siding allows homeowners to add color and definition to their house. The countless options available when it comes to siding can be a tricky bunch of choice’s to make, so how do you choose the right one?
Aesthetics are always important, and besides the durability and water resistance, we all want the perfect look for our homes.
But there are many considerations to be taken into account, including ease of installation and versatility. Let’s look at the most popular types available on today’s market:
Low cost, versatility, and easy maintenance have made vinyl siding the most popular choice in the U.S. Some may be turned off by the “plastic look” of certain products, but the huge variety of styles and colors available explain vinyl’s popularity.
Readily available at home improvement stores and needing very few tools to install, vinyl is also DIY friendly – if you have enough experience! Mistakes can be very costly, so make sure to follow manufacturer instructions and online how-tos.
Most commonly used for bungalow and cottage exteriors, wood siding always offers a rich look. If maintained properly, it can be very durable. Wood does require periodic maintenance such as chalking, painting, or staining to stop weather damage.
Should you be attracted to this look, keep in mind that it is susceptible to rodent and insect attacks. However, when looked after, wooden siding can last up to 100 years. Wood is available in clapboard ( lap or bevel ) as well as shakes and shingles. Western red cedar and redwood are very attractive and durable, so they are considered the best choices by many.
Genuine brick siding is made from fired clay and comes in different sizes and textures. It is a very popular material for building Colonial, Tudor, and English cottage exteriors. If it’s a timeless look you’re after, brick is for you.
Brick siding uses mortar to hold it to the home. Because water penetrates brick veneers, a water proof membrane is installed between the brick veneer and the home. If installed properly and under normal conditions, brick can last the lifespan of the home. Having brick installed is labor intensive, so the cost is a bit higher when compared to other sidings.
Fiber Cement Siding
Fiber cement offers the look of masonry, stucco, or wood at a much lower cost, making it a popular choice for many homeowners. This type of siding is low-maintenance, non-flammable, and termite resistant.It is also available in a wide range of styles, textures, colors, and finishes. The down side is it’s moisture related problems. Also, keep in mind that homes built pre-1980 may have contained asbestos and will require a professional contractor for removal.
Stucco is traditionally made from building sand, Portland cement, lime, and water. This is a style that is very popular in the Mediterranean, as well as ranch and Spanish exteriors. Careful installation will reduce unwanted cracks because it is so rigid. When properly installed, stucco can also last the lifetime of the home.
Stone & Stone Veneer
The beauty and durability of limestone and granite offer massive appeal to homeowners who are looking for a textured exterior. Stone is more expensive than the other options and is sometimes difficult to add to an already existing home. Consider the cost of stone compared to stone veneer siding. There are many styles to choose from, it’s lighter and less expensive than natural stone, and annual cleaning and inspection will ensure your stone lasts as long as your home.
Speak To a Professional
Remember, just because you enjoy the look of a particular siding, it doesn’t necessarily make it the right choice for your particular home. If you are not sure which siding will work best for you, get in touch with a local professional for an expert assessment.