Your siding plays an important role in protecting your home from the elements, but also in the overall appearance of your property. This means that you have to balance your practical and aesthetic needs when selecting a siding material. This can be hard, simply because there are so many types of siding on the market.
Fortunately, we have you covered. Read on for an overview of some of the best house siding options available to you!
Perhaps the most common type of siding used for residential buildings now, vinyl siding is made out of PVC. This means that it comes in a wide range of colors and textures, and can mimic the appearance of other materials, like wood and metal.
Vinyl’s popularity is at least partially due to its low price point. Though different thicknesses and insulation levels will come at different prices, in general, you will always be able to find vinyl siding that can fit into your budget.
Another key benefit of vinyl over other types of siding is that it is largely immune to weather damage. Moisture will not cause warping or rotting, and pests have no interest in plastic.
Vinyl’s drawbacks have to do with physical durability. It is a brittle material, which means falling branches, hail, and other similar hazards can cause cracking which can lead to leaks. Vinyl becomes even more brittle in cold weather, and freezing temperatures can sometimes lead to cracking.
Wood siding provides an extremely rustic and classical experience to your home’s exterior. Wood siding can come in clapboard panels, or in smaller shingles or shakes (which are rougher hewn shingles). Wood is an excellent insulator, which can help keep your energy bills low and your interior temperature comfortable throughout the year.
You can stain wood yourself to change the color whenever you want, which isn’t possible with other siding materials. However, you’ll find yourself applying stain even if you want to keep the color the same, as doing so is necessary to protect the siding from moisture damage. Wood is susceptible to rotting, warping, and splitting if not properly maintained.
Wood siding can also suffer from pest infestations, as it provides the perfect target for carpenter ants and termites. It also offers no protection against fires, which can be a concern if you suffer from wildfires in your area.
Wood can also differ vastly in price, and trends on the expensive side. More durable woods, like cedar and redwood, come at a premium.
Pricing out wood siding is further complicated by the different forms of siding available. Shingles, shakes, and clapboards are all vastly different sizes and thicknesses, with some clapboards being cut to look like logs to create a distinctive cabin aesthetic.
As its name suggests, fiber-cement siding is made out of cement that is reinforced with wood fibers, creating a more durable and long-lasting surface than cement or wood on their own. Fiber-cement siding can recreate the appearance of either masonry or wood siding and comes in a wider range of colors and materials than either material on their own. You can also paint it at a later date if you want to change how it looks.
Like vinyl, fiber-cement siding is resistant to pests, rotting, warping, and fire damage. Further, it stands up to cold weather better than vinyl siding does. Fiber-cement siding, in general, will rarely crack, no matter the temperature or what debris hits it.
However, fiber-cement siding is quite heavy, which can make it difficult and expensive to install on older homes. Older homes may not have the necessary supports to hold up the added weight, which means that additional construction on your home will have to be done before the siding can even be installed.
Aluminum siding is one of the most popular types of metal siding, which you can attribute to its light-weight and low-cost. The low material cost of aluminum is because it is one of the most easily recycled materials in the world and can be recycled forever. This means that your siding will also be environmentally friendly since you’ll be able to recycle it if you ever replace it in the future.
Aluminum is also low-maintenance, requiring nothing more than general cleaning to remain in top shape. Aluminum will not rust, which means it can survive in coastal areas and in harsh winters.
You should keep in mind that metal siding, in general, can be noisy. This can be prevented through proper insulation behind your siding. If you don’t already have insulation installed, this can greatly increase the costs associated with aluminum siding.
Further, aluminum is a malleable metal. This means that falling debris, including hail, can dent your siding. While this won’t ruin your siding overnight, it can degrade the seal that your siding makes with the side of your home, letting heat escape and water leak inside.
There is a Right House Siding Option for You
While the selection may seem overwhelming, it’s important to keep in mind that each house siding option mentioned above is well-suited for a specific situation. Deciding which type of siding to put on your home depends on your budget, the climate you live in, and what you want your home’s aesthetic to be. Knowing these three things will narrow down the selection quite a bit, making the choice much easier.
Are you in the Grand Rapids area? Get in touch with our team to schedule a free estimate for your home’s siding today!
Often times, as a home ages or when doing a remodel, there are multiple home improvement services that people are interested in. Make sure to check out our gutter and roofing services too.