House Siding: Pros and Cons of Popular Siding Options
If you are building a home now, looking into renovations, or have just found out that you need new siding due to damage or age, you might be overwhelmed with the bounty of options out. You may also be wondering if the new siding you really want fits within your budget.
Let’s dive in and take a look at popular house siding options along with the pros and cons of each.
Popular House Siding Options
If you have aluminum siding on your home, it’s definitely time to get it updated. Aluminum dents and won’t stay clean. It’s not easy to update after installation and most contractors won’t install it. Some modern style homes and buildings feature steel siding, but it’s very heavy and requires quite a bit of work to install which drives up the price.
The most popular option, by far, is vinyl siding. It is attractive from the standpoint of a budget. In addition, it’s versatile and water-resistant. It comes in many colors, shapes, and sizes including horizontal and vertical panels, Dutch lap, shakes, shingles, board and batten, beaded, fish scales or scallops.
If you are hoping for the look and feel of the different wood options and didn’t think it was in your budget – think again. Here are the pros and cons of vinyl:
- Vinyl siding is durable – usually warranted for 30-40 years.
- It’s versatile – the colors choices are endless and it can be textured like wood. It also comes in an insulated variety, which can raise your energy efficiency.
- It’s easy to maintain and light – you can clean it with a hose and it is not susceptible to mold, rot, and termites.
- It’s the cheapest option out there.
- Vinyl siding is not waterproof – poor installation can lead to mold.
- It can warp and bend under extreme weather conditions.
- It can’t be painted – so the color you choose is permanent unless you replace it.
- It’s flimsier than brick or stone – so it can dent in a storm or be punctured by hail storms.
Wood siding is also very versatile as it can be made to be almost any shape you like. It’s also the siding most used if you live in an area with older homes. Pros and cons of wood siding are:
- Wood siding is strong and durable and easily replaced in small patches if it gets damaged, unlike vinyl.
- It’s more versatile than vinyl because it can be stained or painted any color and changed later on.
- It is more energy-efficient than vinyl because it has a higher R-value and is the greenest siding you can possibly use.
- It is lightweight and faster and easier to install than other types of siding.
- Wood siding has to be maintained over time, unlike vinyl – every 4-5 years.
- It can be damaged by insects and water.
- It’s not fire-resistant.
- It is more expensive than vinyl siding.
Fiber Cement Siding
Fiber cement siding is a combination of wood pulp, cement, clay, and sand. It can be made to look like wood siding and gets installed and wears like wood. Fiber cement siding installed prior to the 80s contains asbestos, so it needs abatement by professionals.
- Gives the look and feel of real wood but is cheaper than wood and not damaged by insects, rot or decay.
- Fiber cement siding is very fire resistant.
- It’s easy to maintain and usually guaranteed for up to 15 years not to fade or chip.
- Very versatile – also offers brick and stone textures.
- Fiber cement siding is much heavier than wood, causing the need for more people to install it.
- It’s more expensive than vinyl – 2 or 3 times more.
- It needs repainting every 12-15 years and the color is more susceptible to chipping, unlike vinyl.
Brick and Stone Siding
Of course, brick and stone sidings are the most impenetrable of sidings you could choose. They are both highly fire resistant and unaffected by insects, mold, rot or decay. They don’t fade or chip and come with a higher price tag both because of materials and the time and attention it takes to install. Here are pros and cons:
- Both brick and stone will last the lifetime of the home.
- Neither ever needs repainting or refinishing.
- Your home insurance will be lower because of this.
- Stone veneer gives you the look of stone at about half the cost.
- Low to no maintenance.
- Brick and Stone are both much more expensive than vinyl or wood – with stone being the most expensive.
- Your color choice is set.
- Brick mortar joints do need to be replaced.
- Long installation times.
- Faux stone doesn’t adapt well to extreme temperatures and stone veneer can crack if your home has foundation problems.
Whatever option you choose: wood, vinyl, fiber cement, brick or stone siding – or a combination of several, call a professional to see all your color and style options.
Getting new curb appeal with new siding doesn’t have to break the budget. If you live in the Southeast Michigan area, we can help. We can also help you with design ideas if you’re stumped by all the choices.
You may also like to read:
How to Deep Clean Your Vinyl Siding
If your home has vinyl siding, although low-maintenance, it does need occasional cleaning. What is the best way to clean your vinyl siding? Use these simple techniques to remove dirt and grime stains from vinyl siding quickly and easily.
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New siding is one of the most obvious changes you can make to your home. How do you know when it is time for replacement? Here are 14 warning signs…