What Siding Material is Best for You?
The Pros and Cons of Five Popular Siding Materials
So, you need new siding and you aren't sure what is the best option to go with. Well, we have set our best Geeks to the task of researching five of todays most popular siding choices so you don't have to. Just scroll through to see the pros and cons for each option, and get started on your home renovation today.
The most installed siding material on homes in the U.S. and Canada, Vinyl siding is fabricated material that can mimic more expensive siding. It is one of the most economically friendly options on the market, both in terms of up front cost and maintenance costs down the road. When properly installed and maintained, Vinyl Siding can last anywhere from 30 to 40 years, painting is unnecessary as it comes in many color and style options depending on the manufacturer, and the color fades evenly over time, so there wont be any unsightly patches of off-color shingles. And cleaning it is a breeze, requiring no more than some dish soap and a lawn hose. You can make your home beautiful for a fraction of the cost of some of the other siding materials.
Vinyl isn't all rainbows and butterflies however. Some of the draw backs to Vinyl siding include that it's manufacturing process is not eco-friendly and the material cannot be recycled. It does fade, crack and fall apart over time, especially if the vinyl is not good quality, and some have complained that it looks very plastic-y and fake and is not paintable.
Stucco is somehow a contentious siding material, there are those who love it and those who hate it, though it does seem to be more popular in warmer climates. Like the other sidings we've discussed, it has a long list of Pros and Cons. It is one of the longest lasting siding materials, lasting up to 80 years if properly installed and maintained, and the maintenance is minimal. The color options are nearly limitless, as most manufactures can mix custom colors and the patterns of the texture can be as minimal or complex as you want. It is more resistant to weather, fire and insects than all other siding types, save for brick.
Unfortunately, it is costly to install and repair if necessary. It can be painted, but it isn't recommended, as Stucco is susceptible to water retention, and this can cause paint to peel or the framing underneath to rot. and it's insulation value is aimed more for keeping heat out than in.
increasingly popular among homeowners everywhere, and for good reason. With its strength, ability to last a long time, low maintenance, and many different styles, homeowners are turning to residential steel siding to make a big impact on their home. For starters, Steel siding is very low maintenance, requiring only soap and water to clean. It also holds up very well in cold climates and doesn't absorb moisture. This means you don't have to worry about mold or fungus, or their domino effects of bugs and birds. Steel siding is resistant to most impact damage and is extremely fire resistant, meaning you could get a good discount on your homeowners insurance. As a bonus, steel siding is recyclable, making it one of the most environmentally friendly siding options.
Steel siding may sound too good to be true, and here are some of the drawbacks. If the Steel siding is damaged, it may begin to rust. It is one of the most expensive siding options. It is very heavy, and therefore more expensive to ship and more time consuming to install. It also doesn't insulate well on its own, and may let in noises and and the outside temperature. However, this last can be mitigated with proper insulating material.
5. Fiber Cement
Fiber Cement siding is a relatively newer siding material. It is a long lasting, durable but low maintenance option that is more expensive than vinyl, but less expensive than many of the other options. It has excellent fire resistance, is not tempting to bugs or birds, and was created to resist moisture and rot damage and is sturdy but with out sacrificing the need for some flexibility in your home's siding. It can come already in the color of your choice, or can be left for you to paint a custom masterpiece.
Unfortunately, being a newer siding material means we don't have all the answers when it comes to the true longevity of Fiber Cement siding. The material itself is quite heavy, not only adding to shipping and instillation costs, but may be too heavy for some older homes, and should only be installed by a professional who has worked with the material before.
Wood siding used to be the norm as far as siding went, it has now seen as more elite and desirable. With many species of wood to choose from, and the option to stain or paint it any way you want, it can make for some of the most beautiful home exteriors that can last for years if properly maintained.
That being said, maintaining wood siding is not easy. Not only is it one of the most expensive materials to purchase, and getting more difficult to source every day, but if you don't have the time or know how to slog through the upkeep of your wood siding, it becomes a ticking time bomb. Wood siding is highly susceptible to rot, birds, pests and termites. Some wood species have terrible flame ratings which could add a new cost to your homeowner's insurance, and paints and stains need to be reapplied every few years to protect the wood.
This was just a quick run down of five of the most common siding materials seen today, each with it's own pros and cons that need to be weighed to fit your specific needs. We here at Geek Suite Exteriors work with most of these siding materials every day. If you have more questions, or would like to get started renovating your home, give us a call and we will be more than happy to help you.