What Siding Type is Right for You

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When building your dream home, you'll eventually have to decide the type of siding to install. Choosing the right siding is not an easy decision, especially if you are building your first home. There are a lot of things you have to keep in mind given that each siding type offers something different and has its own pitfalls.

Types of Siding Materials

The performance of a siding partly depends on the material used to make it. Below is an overview of the popular siding materials and what you should know about them:

Wood

Wood is one of the top siding materials that has been in use for a long time. It’s also the most preferred material thanks to its aesthetic appeal. There is a reason why other materials are made to mimic natural wood while retaining their original properties.

When it comes to wood siding, there are different types and grades you can go for. Generally, you should go for what you can afford. Sidings made from high-quality wood species are the most expensive.

Advantages of Wood

  • Wood has a natural charm and beauty that is prized by many
  • Experts and homeowners recommend wood for its all-rounded appeal.
  • It can last a lifetime with proper maintenance
  • It’s a green product that promotes environmental sustainability

Disadvantages of wood

  • Moisture and insects can damage it
  • It requires regular maintenance, which increases its overall cost
  • It can easily be destroyed by fire

Vinyl

Vinyl is a highly durable material that comes in endless textures and colors and can be made to mimic other materials like wood grain and stone. The material is also highly resistant to weather elements, and pretty lightweight. This is why vinyl siding installation is a relatively easy job. Additionally, vinyl is a great retrofit option as you can install it over other materials.

Advantages of vinyl

  • It requires little to no maintenance
  • Can be coated with polystyrene foam to improve its insulation properties
  • Vinyl is relatively cheaper compared to other high-quality siding materials
  • It is resistant to moisture and insects, and fire

Disadvantages of vinyl

  • It is prone to cracking as it ages
  • It doesn’t really capture the wood look

Fiber Cement

Fiber cement is one of the recent innovations in the siding industry. The material is durable and requires low maintenance. These properties have made it an attractive siding option for many homeowners. Another reason for fiber cement’s popularity is its composition. It is made from cement, clay, sand, and a mix of wood pulp. The material can be molded to give the appearance of wood clapboard and shingles.

Advantages of fiber cement

  • It is exceptionally durable, with a 50+ year warranty
  • Highly resistant to temperature changes and other elements
  • It is resistant to peeling, chipping, cracking, and damage by insects.
  • Requires little to no maintenance

Disadvantages of fiber cement

  • Fiber cement is heavy. Therefore, a professional will be required when the material is used for siding installation.

Metal Siding

While it's not a very popular siding option, metal siding, both steel and aluminum, have a special place in the industry. The materials come in varying convenient styles, with coatings of Galvalume, Zinc, PVC, and Kynar.

Advantages of metal siding

  • It's affordable compared to wood and requires little maintenance
  • The new coating technology prevents chalking
  • It's resistant to fire, temperatures, insects, and mold
  • It doesn’t require professional installation

Disadvantages of metal siding

  • Shingle designs can cost up to 50 percent more than standard panels
  • They tend to fade and rust without retouching.

What to Consider When Choosing A Siding

While the type of material should be considered, there are other factors you should keep in mind before choosing siding. These include:

Durability

Consider the resilience of a siding material before installation. Different materials have different capabilities. Consider your environment and figure out the material that provides better resistance.

Metal and vinyl are sturdy and resistant to elements. Synthetic wood such as fiber cement performs better than natural wood. Stucco, brick, and stone are also durable in fair conditions.

Visual Appeal

Various materials offer different looks; it all depends on what you want. Wood is the best option for a rustic farm appeal. If you are going for a contemporary look, metal and fiber cement are good options. Stone and brick are best for a high-end laidback feel.

Efficiency

When it comes to energy efficiency, stucco siding is the preferred choice. The material is way resistant to weather extremes compared to bricks and stones. Metal and vinyl make fantastic insulators outperforming each other in various conditions. Natural wood is not very efficient. However, synthetic wood performs well in extreme temperatures.

Cost

Natural wood is, most likely, the most expensive material. Vinyl comes in many styles making it relatively cheap. However, metal proves to be cheaper overall. Stucco is pretty cheap, too. However, its major expenses lie in installations.

Still, other factors like design, market availability, and season can impact the costs of the materials.

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