If you are a current homeowner or an individual about to lay out plans to build a home, the question of what type of Siding to choose is mostly likely to arise. The truth is there is much more to the answer than “whatever looks best.” While that is an important part of the equation, there are many other aspects to consider as well. Things like the climate you live in, the budget you have and the degree of maintenance you are seeking all come in to play. Let’s take a look at the types of siding materials available, elaborate on each and help you decide which one is right for you.
Most of the siding types are relatively easy to install. If you own a miter saw, you’ll find it easy to make square cuts on most types of horizontal siding. Fastening is seldom difficult; the main challenge is finding the studs to nail to (unless your house has plywood or OSB sheathing). A successful siding job mainly requires careful layout and observance of a few simple guidelines as you work.
So, what are your options when it comes to siding materials?
Vinyl siding is desirable to many because it’s very low-maintenance, which spells convenience for homeowners. It’s also quite inexpensive and long-lasting; it costs anywhere between $1-$6 per square foot and lasts about 40 years. For the homeowner’s convenience, this siding material can be cleaned by simply using soap and water and it also never needs paint. That’s good news! No need to hire any expensive painting contractors. Also, if energy efficiency is important to you, there are various options to add foam backing. All in all, vinyl siding is a good standard option and fits the average homeowner’s needs quite well.
If you want to go more traditional, wood siding could be the right choice for you. Wood siding can be installed quickly and it a fairly inexpensive alternative at approximately $1-$4 per square foot. Cedar and redwood (both commonly used siding materials) are naturally resistant to decay and, since wood is readily available, replacement of any damaged boards is super easy. The biggest drawback to choosing wood siding is it really offers no insulation and it is prone to damage. You also must be prepared to apply frequent coats of paint (every few years). If you like making changes to your home this could be a plus, but, if not, this can be a bit of a downfall. It’s also important to note that this material is flammable, so checking around for flame-retardant materials is advisable.
The next material is not at all traditional. If you want a unique look that also features a low-maintenance upkeep plan, take a look into metal siding. Most often made of aluminum or steel, this particular type of siding is durable; it resists rot, fire and insects. Therefore, it provides your home with a nice little protective barrier from the elements. It is also fairly inexpensive ($2-$5 per square foot) and lasts, on average, 40 years or more. Some disadvantages of metal siding are that it is prone to rust and dents.
For a durable and classy look, and if you’ve got a larger budget in mind, brick could be a great option for you! Coming in many different colors, textures and sizes, brick siding can actually be quite versatile and provide a variety of different looks. One of brick’s main benefits is its durability. It won’t rot, burn or fade. In fact, brick siding generally lasts about a century. Not only that but it provides excellent sound and thermal insulation benefits. Additionally, the maintenance is extremely minimal. For the first 25 years, there is typically no upkeep required and, after that, it is advised to get regular inspections just to be sure everything is up to par. The final benefit is that installation of brick siding can drop your insurance rates. So, if you can afford to shell out the cash, brick is a fabulous option.