Replacing your siding is a big decision. It has the potential to change the entire look and feel of your home, it’s expensive, and it requires making a lot of decisions. The types of residential siding are expansive and understanding the benefits of residential siding, as well as the costs, allow you to make an educated decision.
With vinyl, fiber cement, and wooden shakes, there is something for every style of home, and you can work the cost of residential siding into your budget by knowing which type is right for you and preparing for the work involved.
Factors to Consider
There are several factors to consider before making a residential siding decision. Different types of residential siding have different features, and you need to know what your options are and what you need.
● Water resistant – Some types of residential siding are more water resistant than others. The more water resistant it is, the longer its life is.
● Energy efficiency – The higher the R-value of the siding, the better insulated it is.
● Aesthetics and texture – Siding is about appearance. It is a permanent fixture on the outside of your house, so consider texture, color, and other general appearances.
● Versatility – The style of your home may determine the type of siding you need based on how large, small, or complex it is.
● Eco-friendly – Fiber cement is eco-friendly because it’s made from materials like sand, cement, and clay. Wood is naturally biodegradable. Green siding also insulates your home better.
● Durability – Some siding such as stucco lasts a lifetime. Others need to be replaced more often. Resistance to rot and insects also determine how long your siding lasts.
● Cost – Residential siding is not cheap. Determine your budget before you begin your search so you know how much you plan to spend and can tailor your search to your cost restrictions.
Vinyl siding is the most popular form of siding. It is attractive, durable, comes in many color options, and is cost-effective. With a variety of options to choose from like horizontal panels, vertical panels, dutch lap, shakes, shingles, board and batten, beaded, and fish scales, there’s something to suit every taste.
Vinyl siding typically comes with a thirty to forty year warranty. This speaks to its durability. The color options are endless, and the versatility is beyond compare. You can order textures to look like other materials like wood. It’s easy to clean with a power hose, and it insulates well.
It is water resistant, but not waterproof, so poor installation may lead to water seepage, causing mold problems or other issues. It can warp in extreme heat or cold, and the color you choose is permanent because you can’t paint it. Hail, tree limbs, and other forces of impact can leave dents or scratches.
The most common types of residential metal siding are aluminum and steel. Aluminum is popular in coastal regions because it holds up well against the salty sea air. Steel is prone to rust but resistant to hail.
Metal siding doesn’t mold or rot with water damage, and it’s more resistant to water than other types of residential siding. It is low maintenance, and the color doesn’t fade over time. The precise cut of the metal leaves very little waste, so it is economical and green. It’s also fire and insect resistant.
However, if the metal siding isn’t properly sealed, it can rust and discolor. Some also view it as more of an industrial solution rather than residential. While aluminum siding is soft and prone to dents, steel is heavy and takes more time to install, making it more expensive.
Wood is naturally beautiful. The organic colors and textures of the wood give it a warm, inviting look. Wood siding comes in spruce, pine, fir, cedar, and redwood. You can also choose from bevel, shakes, shingles, board and batten, or engineered wood. This classic and timeless facade is a popular choice for many homeowners.
You can replace wood siding in small sections if it gets damaged, making it cheaper to replace over time if needed. Made from natural resources, it is the most economical form of residential siding. You can stain it or paint it to make it look any way you like, and you can always strip it and stain it again or paint later instead of replacing it.
Insects and termites love wood, so maintenance is key to keeping it looking nice and protecting your home. The cost of maintenance can add up because it needs to be stained or painted every two to five years. Wood is not fire resistant, so it may not be the best choice for dry climates.
Fiber Cement Siding
Fiber cement is made to look like wood, but without the hassle of maintenance. It costs less and is resistant to insects. It’s a great low-cost alternative to wood. Unlike wood, it is fire resistant and easy to maintain. Most manufacturers guarantee their fiber cement siding for fifteen years.
Brick siding typically lasts a lifetime. It’s a costly option, but the long-term benefits make it worth it. It is sturdy, looks stately and elegant, and is fire and insect resistant. You don’t have to repaint or finish it, it weathers nicely, and it doesn’t fade or decay. Home insurance costs for brick homes are typically cheaper because of their durability.
Stucco siding is a traditionally Spanish-looking style. It is durable with minimal maintenance and holds up well against insects and rot. However, stucco cracks easily, shows dirt, can’t be painted well and looks flat and plain.
Stone siding is the most expensive to install, but it is impenetrable and lasts forever. It is smooth and elegant. It can withstand moisture and extreme temperatures, and other than power washing, it requires no maintenance.
Before you purchase siding for your new home, or replace your existing siding, determine your budget, look over the benefits of residential siding options, and understand how your choice impacts the life of your home. You need to make the right decision for you based on how long you want it to last, how much maintenance you want to do, and the look you want to achieve.
Apart from the type of siding, you should also choose the right siding colors. Would you like to have a look at a compilation of the best vinyl siding color combinations?