Homes old and new face one determined foe: the elements. One of the only defenses against moisture, wind and the heat is the siding your home is clad in. You can think of it a bit like your house’s suit of armor. So when it comes time to chose your home’s main line of defense, what will it be? The cheapest option you can find, or a well-considered siding that is both durable and attractive? So here are some of your siding options.
Although you can side your home in an amazing array of materials, from metal barn siding to asphalt shingles, there are a definitely options that are far more effective and attractive than others. Siding options haven’t changed a lot this year, but there’s plenty to be said for the materials that are widely available today. Common siding choices include:
Vinyl: Although vinyl in final, it’s not always the most durable material choice. There are a range of grades of vinyl siding, and which you choose really matters. Look for a heavier option with a longer warranty if you want to ensure your siding will be around a while. Higher end vinyl siding comes in a wide range of patterns too, some including imitation shakes, fish scales (rounded shingles) and it can be oriented horizontally or vertically, depending on your home’s style and preference. On the other hand, while vinyl may be the most versatile material for the money currently on the market, if you live in an area with high winds, it may be difficult to keep your vinyl siding attached.
Fiber Cement: Made from a combination of cement and wood fibers, fiber cement siding is durable and long lasting. Unlike its predecessor, modern fiber cement no longer contains asbestos, but still retains the unrelenting strength. It’s a heavy duty siding, however, so expect to pay more for installation. You’ll also likely be needing to repaint it occasionally. Fiber cement costs more than vinyl siding in general, but has a useful lifespan of 50 years or more, so if you plan to stay in your home and are looking for an alternative to stone or brick, it might be the answer.
Wood: Good old-fashioned wood siding has been a popular choice for generations, but modern homes have steered away from it for a variety of reasons. Because wood siding requires a lot of maintenance, many homeowners simply don’t have the time to reseal or repaint it often enough to maintain the original look, and over time this lack of care can lead to insect infestations. Wood siding is great for some applications, but is only as good as the care you give it. If you’re prepared to go the long haul on your home, or just want a small accent, wood might be a great option. The cost will vary considerably depending on the thickness, style and species of wood you choose.
Composite: Composite, also known as engineered wood, is a compromise for homeowners who want a wood look, but don’t want all the upkeep of real wood. It’s still going to need more care than other types of siding, but you can still expect to get 20 or 30 years of use from it. Unlike real wood, which can be sanded and refinished if you get lax in the maintenance, or simply want to give it a new finish, composite siding is king of a set-it-and-forget-it option. It will be the color or stain you choose, unless you remove it and start again.
Brick or Stone: Brick and stone go hand in hand when it comes to siding choices. Both are sturdy materials that require an expert mason to install properly, so if you’re considering a DIY siding job, these may not be the right option. Considerable skill goes into properly creating a stone or brick siding, and without the proper prep work, your siding can simply slip off your house. It’s not a pretty picture. On the flip side, stone and brick are pretty much forever, requiring only minimal tuckpointing for maintenance. So as long as you don’t decide to paint brick or stone, you’ve got siding you can trust for a lifetime.
Choosing the best siding for your home’s needs, your favorite aesthetic and your budget can be a challenge, but we are here to help. We are happy to connect you with a professional siding installer that can help you navigate all of your options and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.