4 Different Types of Siding to Consider for Your Home
If you are looking for ways to improve the exterior of your home and enhance its appearance, there are many things you can do. For instance, you can repaint the exterior or pressure wash it, or replace the door. One of these options is installing siding.
Siding is a protective material that is attached to the walls of a building and can be made of different materials like wood, vinyl, and metal. You can install it yourself if you have basic carpentry skills, but it’s best to hire professionals.
You can install siding all year round; however, it’s essential that you don’t do it in the winter, as the harsh weather conditions can make the process challenging. With the variety of materials and styles available, there are various factors to consider, like the ease of installation, the cost, and the durability of the materials. In this article, we will discuss the four most common siding materials and the pros and cons of choosing each one to help you decide.
Wood remains one of the most attractive materials for home siding; you can install it in the form of wooden boards, planks, shingles, or siding panels. Installation of wooden siding is straightforward, but it is time-consuming. It involves applying a layer of insulated sheathing, a waterproof layer, and then nailing the wooden boards and planks to the house framing.
There are many benefits to installing wooden siding. It gives your house a luxurious and elegant look, and the installation process requires only basic carpentry skills. Wooden materials can also accept many different types of paint and stain finishes, so you can change your house’s outlook by repainting.
However, there are certain drawbacks to using wooden siding too. Wood requires regular maintenance in the form of repainting or restaining, and the material is also highly prone to damage from moisture, causing the wood to swell, rot, fall apart, or mold growth. Additionally, using wood can be the most expensive siding option, costing $3 to $10 per square foot on average. Wood is also highly flammable, making it an unsuitable siding option for regions prone to wildfires.
Vinyl siding comes in various styles, colors, and textures. Popular styles include clapboard, wood textures, dutch lap, board, and batten. This siding is usually used as a retrofit siding option and added over existing wooden ones by placing fiber panels underneath the installed planks. These fiber panels would also insulate the walls. This siding comes in strips with interlocking edges, and proper installation is crucial; otherwise, the siding would start to fall apart.
Vinyl siding is the cheapest siding option. The average cost for both installation and materials is $3 to $8 per square foot. It’s also highly durable, the installation is easy, and it doesn’t have to be repainted over the years, as only pressure washing is enough.
However, the color of vinyl siding begins to fade in a sunny climate, and repainting is not an option as the paint would begin to crack and peel. It’s also prone to cracking in cold weather. If it gets damaged, your main option is to replace the siding, as parts can be hard to come by. Additionally, vinyl can also be easily damaged by heat or fire.
Metal siding options include aluminum and steel. It usually comes in horizontal or vertical panels resembling wood, and it can be hard to distinguish between both at a distance. It’s commonly used as a retrofit siding option for damaged or old wooden siding.
The installation process of metal sidings is easy. The panels have a rim for nailing and interlocking edges and are nailed to fiber panels placed over existing wood siding to insulate the walls.The costs can vary depending on the type of material; aluminum costs $3 to $6 per square foot, and steel $4 to $8 per square foot. If the metal panels are coated with vinyl or plastic, they cost even more.
The benefits of using wooden siding include the lower need for maintenance, excellent availability of styles, incredible durability, and resistance to heat or fire damage. However, it can easily be dented and be noisy during hail or rainstorms. The appearance of older panels can also become chalky or fade with time.
Another siding option that is increasingly getting popular is fiber cement. Fiber cement is a semi-rigid material providing significant protection while maintaining its flexibility. This type of siding can most closely resemble wooden siding, sometimes even being indistinguishable from it. It is available in various panel styles and comes in either fully painted and finished pieces or with only a prime coat with the option to paint whatever color you desire.
The installation process is similar to the one for wooden siding, requiring a basic knowledge of carpentry, and can be very time-consuming. Fiber cement can be a moderately expensive siding option, with costs being up to $10 per square foot, including the installation cost. Though these costs are higher than metal or vinyl siding, it’s very durable, can last for a long time, and usually doesn’t have to be replaced. The material is also resistant to moisture, pests, heat, and fire damage. However, it can be heavy, hard to install independently, and require repainting every few years.
Siding can be a great way to improve your house’s overall look while providing insulation and protection against harsh weather conditions like rainstorms, hailstorms, and strong winds. Before choosing a material, it’s essential that you carefully consider each one’s cost, durability, installation process, and resistance to heat, fire, water damage, and pests. Doing so will ensure you have a material that lasts a long time with as few repairs as possible, saving you money in the future.
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