Nothing improves your home’s curb appeal like well-chosen exterior siding. But with all the siding options available, choosing the right material can be a very tedious task. Here, we help you weigh the pros and cons of the various exterior siding materials.
Available in various shapes, profiles, and variety, wood is perhaps the most traditional exterior siding. Depending on the look you wish to achieve, you can choose from different types of wood siding, which includes shingles, vertical boards, logs, clapboards, as well as board and batten siding. You also have several choices when it comes to wood varieties, with the most common being pine, cedar, redwood, or fir.
Wood’s classy and timeless charm makes it a hit with many homeowners. Plus, with a variety of styles and finishes available, wood sidings are very customizable to suit your preferences. It is also easy to install and one of the most energy-efficient options in the market.
Wood requires more maintenance compared to other material as it is susceptible to water damage as well as termite infestation. A good workaround to this problem is to use naturally rot-resistant wood like cedar and redwood or treated wood. Also, it’s good practice to re-stain or repaint the wood every after 3-6 years to prevent it from decaying.
Since wood is not a fire-resistant material, it’s not the best option if you live in a hot and dry region or areas where forest or bush fires are pretty common.
Engineered wood is a sensible alternative for homeowners who like the look of wood but likes to do away with regular siding maintenance.
Made of composite materials and offcuts or recycled wood, engineered wood is an environment-friendly and cheaper choice of siding material than real wood. It boasts of the same aesthetic factor of the real thing without the need of regularly repainting or re-staining it every few years.
Thanks to its manufacturing process, engineered wood is more water-resistant than wood and insects are more likely to leave it alone. It is also heat-pressed in the process, making it a dense and sturdy siding material.
For all its likeness to the real thing, engineered is still what it is: a synthetic alternative to wood. To meticulous eyes, its look and texture are too smooth and perfect so it doesn’t sport wood’s natural variation. In addition, you can’t repaint or re-stain engineered wood so you’re stuck with the color that you get from the start.
For a classic look that never goes out of style, homeowners choose bricks for their exterior sidings. Made from fired clay, this material is commonly used to achieve an English, Tudor, or Colonial cottage look.
With its ability to withstand extreme temperature, bricks are made to last with just the occasional washing in between for regular upkeep. This eco-friendly material is also fire-resistant and energy-efficient.
The enduring beauty and durability of bricks come at a great price. The material alone is costly compared to other siding options. Add to that the cost of labor-intensive installation, it is hands-down, one of the most expensive exterior siding materials on the market.
Natural stones like granite, limestone, and slate create an upscale and textured facade to your house.
Stone is a very durable siding material. You won’t have to worry about fire, termites, or water causing damage to your home exterior with a stone siding. Plus, it does not require regular maintenance once installed.
Natural stones are expensive siding materials, which can set you back up to $18 per square foot. And considering the professional fee of installing those stones, you can rack up a pretty serious construction bill real quick.
Common in modern-day colonial homes, vinyl sidings are made from synthetic material. This material has gained popularity in recent years due to its wide range of styles and designs.
Variations of vinyl siding includes excellent imitation of wood and stone material so homeowners aiming for a certain look have lots of customization options from this siding material. In addition, vinyl is also a lightweight yet durable material that’s easy to install.
Some homeowners are turned off with vinyl’s plastic look upon closer inspection. And since it’s a non-biodegradable material, vinyl will be an additional burden in the landfill once it’s discarded. Also, if you go for this type of siding for your home, make sure that you go for high-quality vinyl as those cheap and sub-par materials may not withstand harsh weather conditions and you end up spending more than you intended in the long run.
Another thing you also have to note is that vinyl in itself is not energy-efficient. To work around this, opt for high-quality models that come with insulation. It might be more costly upon installation but think of it as an investment that helps you save on utility bills for years to come.
Composed of a mix of cement, natural cellulose fiber, and silica, fiber cement is molded to form shingle-sized or clapboard planks siding. It’s also repainted to achieve a smooth or rough, textured finish.
This material is very durable and common problems like extreme temperature, insects, fire, and water-damage won’t be an issue with this type of siding material. Additionally, this material requires minimal maintenance, with some having a warranty of up to 50 years.
It can also be manufactured to mimic the look of wood, stones, or brick so you have a lot of room to play around with when it comes to aesthetics.
Although fiber cement cost cheaper than wood, it’s still a bit more expensive than other synthetic materials like vinyl. The material is not lightweight and the material is comparatively difficult to work with so installation is best left to professionals.
Traditionally used in factories and industrial buildings, metal has gained traction as a residential siding material in recent years due to its durability and strength. If you’re considering having a metal siding for your home, aluminum and steel are your primary choices.
If you go with high-quality metal siding, maintenance will be the least of your problems as they usually come with a protective coating designed to shield it from harsh elements and increase energy efficiency. If somewhere down the road you get tired of its color, you can also just as easily repaint your metal siding.
High-quality metal siding can be very costly from the outset compared to other siding material. Furthermore, moisture is the number one enemy of metal as it can rust. That’s why it’s imperative to hire a seasoned professional to install metal sidings to ensure metals are properly laid, leaving no room for water to infiltrate into the siding.
Made from a mix of cement, silica, and lime, stucco is originally a Spanish construction material that has gained popularity in the US because of its unique look.
Installed in layers, stucco provides an excellent shell for your home, which is pretty nifty in keeping you cool during the hot months and warm during winter. If you live in a noisy neighborhood, this material can also help keep the noise out. With proper installation, stucco siding can last for long with just minimal maintenance. Additionally, it is also fire-resistant and molds won’t be as much of a problem with this material.
One major downside to stucco is its price since it has to be applied in layers. Another consideration is if you live in a humid area, you’re better off with other siding material since stucco is not waterproof. But if you’re bent on using stucco, you can work around this issue by using waterproof paint or by applying a clear sealant over the dried finish or directly over the stucco.
Choosing the right siding material entails consideration of varying factors which include the cost, energy efficiency, longevity, and aesthetics. You also have to keep in mind the kind of weather you have in your area to get to the most suitable siding material. Fortunately, there’s no lack of options to get to the best material that suits your needs and preference.