Sidings are a great way to add color and definition to your house. While there are lots of options these days to help you create the aesthetic you want, you might want to choose carefully. Loose or missing bricks, flaky vinyl paint or dirty glass surfaces can give the wrong impression of your home. That’s why it’s important not only to choose the right siding for your home but also to make sure you can keep up with any maintenance that it may require. Also, it is very essential that you consider the cost, the material’s durability, ability to resist water, ease of installation and versatility.
If you’re looking to spruce up your home’s exterior siding or looking for a change altogether, we have the pros and cons of each option.
6 Most Popular Types of Siding
Brick exterior siding is the most traditional option for homeowners. It gives away a timeless look making it the go-to choice when buying or updating a home.
Standing up to extreme temperatures and weather, the durability of brick is a huge pro when choosing exterior siding for your home. Its natural color gives itself a low-maintenance feature, which does not require repainting or refinishing. Aesthetically, if you’re going for a timeless look, it’s a great choice.
Cost-wise, it stands on a more expensive side compared to other siding choices. Additionally, installation is extremely pricey as well, largely due to the weight of the bricks.
Since installing brick is labor-intensive, the cost is on the higher end compared to other siding options. These days, brick siding is usually a veneer constructed outside of a home’s wood-frame structure, with mortar used to hold the bricks together. Since water can penetrate brick veneers, a membrane is installed between the brick veneer and house in order to protect the structure. Under normal conditions and when installed correctly, brick siding can last the life of your house.
Vinyl siding has become the most popular siding choice among homeowners for its versatile and low-cost features. While some design professionals and homeowners are turned off by the “plastic look” of some vinyl siding products, the variety of colors and styles available helps explain this siding’s popularity.
For individuals seeking for a do-it-yourself option, this is the best option requiring few tools to install and easily available at home improvement stores. In addition to having a wide variety and style options, it is low in cost and durable with low maintenance requirements.
With do-it-yourself option comes possible mistakes and any mistakes can prove to be costly. Further, most people are not very fond of the “plastic look” of some vinyl siding products.
Commonly used for bungalow, wood siding offers a rich look and is durable if maintained well. If you are fond of the vintage, rich look, keep in mind that it requires periodic maintenance (chalking and painting or staining to prevent weather-related damages) and is susceptible to insect or rodent attacks. Your rich wood siding can last from 10 to sometimes 100 years but it all depends upon the maintenance.
Wood siding comes in clapboard (also known as lap or bevel siding) as well as shakes and shingles. Clapboard siding uses planks of wood that are installed horizontally with an upper piece that overlaps the lower piece. Western red cedar and redwood are woods known for looking attractive and durable and are considered the best choices.
More uniform in appearance but thinner than shakes, shingles give you a smooth and consistent look. They can be cut into different shapes to add visual interest to your exterior. Some manufacturers also offer shingles treated with fire-retardant chemicals, often a requirement in high-risk locations.
Wood siding is costly with additional cost for painting or staining. It needs high maintenance for retained beauty and strength.
Stone and stone-veneer siding
Stones like granite and limestone are naturally beautiful and durable that leaves appealing effects to homeowners who want a siding that adds texture and visual interest to their exterior. However, they’re not very cost-friendly comparatively.
While stones are naturally gorgeous, stone-veneer too look natural. Moreover, they’re more lightweight and less expensive than natural stone and are available in natural and synthetic materials. There are many styles available that help boost your home’s curb appeal. Annual cleaning with a hose and inspection of the siding helps ensure it will last the life of the house.
Stone sidings are more expensive than other siding options. Further, it can be difficult to add to an existing home. It requires proper maintenance for durability.
Traditional stucco is made from building sand, Portland cement and inert materials such as sand and lime. Waterproof barrier paper and galvanized-metal screening are applied over wood walls before stucco is added to provide a good base for the stucco and protect the walls underneath. While stucco can be applied to homes with brick and stone surfaces, the classic look is commonly found on Mediterranean, ranch and Spanish-mission exteriors. When stucco siding is properly installed and maintained, it can last the lifetime of the house.
Stucco gives out a classic look and is very rigid. If carefully installed, it can help in reducing the possibility of unwanted cracks.
Stucco sidings demand careful installation and can change in size with temperatures effect.
Fiber-cement siding comprises wood fibers mixed with sand and cement. It is often compared to vinyl siding (because it’s also man-made with the purpose of mimicking another material) is a great option for homeowners who want the look of wood siding. The siding is much thicker than vinyl and has a better ability to withstand harsh weather such as strong wind or hail. The material is very stable and does not expand and contract at the same rate that true wood and vinyl siding do. This stability allows the paint to last longer on its surface, so it does not require refreshing as often as wood sidings. In addition, most fiber cement brands can be painted, so homeowners can change their design plans down the road without having to replace the siding itself. It has a great reputation for quality and durability. These products have long warranties, and they’re very aesthetically appealing too.
Fiber-cement, while having the look of wood siding, is cheaper and more durable, and it requires less maintenance than wood. Furthermore, it is not prone to termites, safe from insect damage; highly water-resistant; is incombustible; holds paint well and lots of options in both texture and color i.e. can be made to look like brick, stone or, more commonly, wood. Also, involves “Green” characteristics, i.e. most brands contain at least 10 to 20 percent recycled materials
Fiber-cement, although not as heavy as brick or stone, is a heavy material. Its weight and complicated installation procedures tend to skyrocket installation costs, and while cheaper than wood, it’s a more expensive option to vinyl.
The low maintenance requirements for fiber cement coupled with its weather resistance have many homeowners happy to make the investment in this type of cladding for their home.