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What are the Best and Worst Types of Siding, and Why?

sidingYour home’s siding is important. In fact, there’s an argument that nothing is more important in terms of your home’s structural integrity and long-term value. Siding is your first line of defense against the elements—including wind, rain, hail and falling branches. It also defines the aesthetic value of your property. Quality siding that fits your home’s design, and has been installed to a high professional standard, will add considerably to your home’s “curb appeal.” Siding that is low-quality, mismatched, not professionally installed, or visually unsuitable for your home will undoubtedly take away from your aesthetic value.

So which type of siding should homeowners use? This is obviously one of the first and most important questions to ask, but most of us can’t even name the different kinds of siding until it comes time to invest hard-earned cash and make a choice. Here’s a breakdown of the most popular types of siding, along with their respective advantages and disadvantages.

1. Stucco

It’s a common assumption that stucco can only be used for a very specific type of house. Spanish or Tudor style properties often make use of this distinct and great-looking type of siding. The material itself—a combination of cement, Silica and lime—is applied in multiple layers over a frame of metal or wood. It allows the home to remain cool during the summer and warm during the winter, lasts a long time, and is resistant to both fire and sound. However, it isn’t ideal for areas with excessive rainfall or extreme temperatures. It’s also labor-intensive to install, which makes for higher costs.

2. Brick

Brick is a timeless choice for siding, both because it looks fantastic and lasts a very long time. The maintenance requirements are also very low. Washing it every now and then is usually enough. There’s a good reason why so many homes throughout history have featured brick exteriors; however, even though brick masonry it Has many functional advantages, the look is simply not for everyone.

3. Wood

There’s no arguing with natural wood as a classic siding option. It looks beautiful, is completely natural, and often becomes more appealing as it ages. Choosing the right wood, however, is extremely important. There are many types of wood to choose from, but some may not be suitable to your local climate. Maintenance requirements for natural wood siding are also among the highest, and usually include washing, staining, sealing the wood siding periodically.

4. Stone Veneer

Cement, pigments, and lightweight fragments of rock and mineral constitute this popular and affordable siding option. Stone veneer gives you the look and feel of a natural stone exterior. But compared to natural stone, the cost is much lower. It also weighs less than natural stone, making it easier to transport and install. However, since it is essentially a light weight synthetic product, it lacks the natural durability of real stone.

5. Fiber Cement

This is another contemporary synthetic siding option, usually consisting of a mix of cement, sand and wood fibers. The presence of wood fibers in the mix add to its strength, and there is also a specific technique to “cure” fiber cement and remove all moisture. The result is extremely easy to maintain, strong, and aesthetically pleasing. The sheer variety of fiber cement allows homeowners to mimic natural stone, brick-and-mortar, or even wood. Drawbacks include the need for periodic painting, and a relatively high average cost of installation.

6. Vinyl

Vinyl is definitely among the cheapest options for residential siding. It’s important to keep in mind, however, the vinyl siding has made considerable strides in recent years while remaining very low cost. Homeowners are now able to achieve a wide range of designs and appearances using this versatile siding. It also stands up to the elements very well, and has almost no maintenance requirements. Severe weather can, however, damage vinyl siding. If this happens, professional repairs may be necessary.

Making the best choice for your siding

If you’re unsure about which type of siding to choose for your home, get in touch with a reputable siding expert in your area to discuss options and find a solution that fits your budget.

Posted in Siding

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