Siding is an important component of your home. More than just for aesthetics, it protects your house’s exterior from the elements, such as rain, snow, wind, and the sun’s rays. It also aids the regulation of indoor temperature; it helps keep your home warm during the winter and blocks hot summer air from coming in.
Regarding aesthetics, yes, good quality sidings make your home look classy. They enhance the overall curb appeal of your property, making it command high value if you’re planning to sell it soon.
If you’re about to build a new house or plan to restore/remodel your good ol’ home, you probably wonder which kind of siding you should install. This, of course, depends on your budget and your desired outcome. Let’s look at some popular materials that residential siding contractors recommend.
Vinyl is still the most popular choice for siding. In the 1960s, vinyl was brought into the market as an alternative to aluminum. Because of the low maintenance required and the various colors available, it became popular with entry-level homes.
Initially, vinyl was prone to cracking or deforming. Luckily, as manufacturing techniques advanced, it was turned into a nearly indestructible material for sidings. Vinyl can now resist any weather and insects/pests. Fading is no longer an issue, too.
With vinyl, you also have tons of color, texture, and style options. Thanks to modern technology, intricate designs and shapes are now possible. Here is some good news for owners of vintage homes: you can mimic the appearance and texture of traditional materials like wood and bricks. This is great for restoring an old house without compromising its classic look!
Another selling point of vinyl is the ease of maintenance. Manufacturers recommend you clean your vinyl-clad house every 2-3 years. To do so, you’ll need some water, dish soap, and a soft-bristle brush. For hard-to-reach areas, use a power washer. Unlike real wood siding, it doesn’t require repainting or refinishing every 3 years.
You can also get insulated vinyl, and it is highly recommended. This variant has increased durability, noise dampening ability, and energy efficiency. It can also save on installation time, as there is no need to cut and shape separate insulation foams to size.
Wood is one of the oldest choices for siding. There is still nothing like the beauty of genuine wood, especially for fans of traditional-style houses. You can stain or paint it any way you like—a good choice when you want your home to stand out!
Wood is also relatively easy to repair or replace when needed. You can use wood putty or filler sticks to fill dents or holes here and there. As for the cons, though, you need to check regularly for pest attacks, rotten spots, and finish wear.
Speaking of finish wear, you need to repaint or refinish wood siding every 2-3 years to protect it from water damage and maintain its appearance. Pest (termite) control should also be proactively done.
Still, many homeowners prefer wood because of its timeless look. It also appeals to environmentalists because of its eco-friendliness. It can be costlier than vinyl, but wood is the way for purists.
While most of us know metal as a roofing material, it is also a good option for siding. Aluminum and steel are the metals of choice for this application. As they are tough, they practically need little maintenance.
Metal doesn’t absorb or retain moisture. Aluminum, in particular, is rust-resistant. This quality makes it a good choice for areas with cold climates. It is also insect-proof, too. Termites and carpenter bees won’t even get near it.
Contractors don’t usually recommend metal if you live in a tropical climate or if you are sensitive to noises. As metal does not insulate on its own, it can let external heat into your home. It can also produce popping/rattling noises when heated or struck by strong winds. If you really want metal, these problems can be eased by adding insulation underneath.
Aluminum and steel sidings can be costly upfront, but they are worth it if you want to give your home a modern look and increase its value. Consider how much you can save on maintenance, too.
4. Fiber Cement
Fiber cement siding gained popularity in the early 2000s. This material is made of water, wood pulp, fly ash (or silica sand), and portland cement—giving you the toughness of concrete!
Fiber cement holds up well against sea air, making it a popular choice for structures near the beach. Like metal, it also resists insects, strong winds, fire, and water damage.
Another great thing about this material is it can be made to resemble the appearance of wood. You can stain or paint it the same way as wood, too! It’s a brilliant choice for those who love the look and texture of timber but without the downsides.
Given its advantages, fiber cement siding can be more expensive than vinyl and wood. You will also need to repaint or refinish it at some point. Still, with its 50-year service life, fiber cement is a good choice if longevity is your priority.
Get in touch with residential siding contractors near you. They can help you decide which siding material best suits your house and your tastes. Ultimately, what matters is you have that extra layer of protection for your home’s exterior.