Siding for your home is like the outfit you choose for an event, however, unlike your outfit, once the siding’s been installed, it is not an easy task to change it if you decide you prefer something different. That is why it’s important you consider all the advantages, disadvantages, and study the types to determine your preferred style of siding before you make the final decision. There are lots of different types of siding options and dressing your home in the right siding can dramatically boost your home’s appearance and in many cases, its value. Here are few things you’ll want to consider before you make a decision.
- Is it water resistant? A water resistant siding has been proven to have a longer life span as opposed to those that aren’t. They can also help cut costs from water-related issues that may develop over time. This is especially important in certain areas across the country, known to have more than average rainfalls.
- Does it look good to you? How your home looks to you is very important. You have to drive home to it every day and live in it, and if you aren’t happy with the way it looks, it can make for a unhappy relationship with your home.
- Will the siding work with the style and exterior of your home? Every home is designed differently and may have specific exterior concerns that may create issues with the installation of certain types of siding. Before you purchase siding, be sure it will work with all aspects of your home’s exterior, or if there will be added costs to adjust the siding to make it work.
- How energy efficient is it? Everyone seems to be concerned with making their home as energy efficient as possible – inside and out. Siding should work for you too, to help keep your energy costs down, so be sure to check the R-value of the siding and have a good understanding about the insulation that will be required under the siding to meet the requirements.
- Are you a DIY kind of guy? If you plan to tackle the job yourself, be sure you know what you are getting into before trying to give your home a siding makeover. Doing it yourself may save you some big bucks, but it can also be a very involved and dangerous job if you aren’t properly skilled.
- Is this siding a good choice for your climate? Not all siding is built to withstand specific climates and harsh elements, weather it be the heat or cold. Be sure the siding you choose is suitable for the climate and weather conditions of your home’s area.
To help you get more familiar with some of the different siding choices, here are ten of the most popular choices of house siding used today.
Vinyl has become one of the most popular types of sidings for homes. Builders like it because it’s easy to install and one of the least expensive forms of siding. Homeowners like this synthetic material because it’s attractive, and easy maintenance, too. Vinyl can get dirty over time due to harsh elements, and certain colors can even fade and become a a bit weathered looking. The good thing is that vinyl cleans easily. Pressure spraying your vinyl on a regular basis can preserve it’s look, and vinyl shutters can be painted if you want to spruce them up or change their color. If you lose a sheet of siding or it’s damaged, it can be replaced with little effort.
Wood is one of the first sidings used for homes, and is the most traditional, still today. It’s beautiful and gives your home a more natural look, especially in certain settings, for instance, mountain homes are often seen as log cabin style homes, which are wooden logs stacked on top of each other using an interlocking system. Other types of wood siding include: shingles, vertical boards, clapboards, board and batten, and wooden sheet siding. All types of wood siding are beautiful, however, before choosing wood siding, you should understand a few of the cons involved with wood. There is more maintenance with wood to keep it looking good, as well as wood, of course, attracts things like termites and woodpeckers. Being proactive with pest control for your siding will help your wood home’s integrity last much longer.
Brick gives homes a beautiful, dignified look and it comes in an array of colors, which gives homeowners plenty of options to create a look that fits their personal taste. Bricks can also be laid in patterns to create an even more unique look to your home. Brick can be a bit pricey, depending on how large your home is and the going price of brick in your area at the time. Installation for brick is also quite expensive if you contract out, which most will do. But it’s an easy maintenance type of siding and extremely durable. Brick siding will last for years and years, and it will give your home a beautiful, and very traditional look that you can be proud of.
Stucco is the preferred type of siding for homes in many of the southern states, such as New Mexico, Arizona, parts of Florida, among others due to the drier climates of these areas. It does not handle moisture well, so if you live in a higher rainfall area, this is probably not the siding for your home. Stucco looks great, it’s durable and it lasts for many years when done right. Stucco is the combination of cement and lime or sand. It can be painted to create the look you want for your home. It’s not uncommon to see rich brown stucco homes, sandy shades of tan and cream, shades of greens and yellows, and I’ve even seen pink. Stucco is fairly easy to maintain and cleans up well with a pressure washer, however, it can chip or be damaged, but a little stucco repair is fairly easy to do.
Who doesn’t love the look of a stone house? There are so many different types of stone that can be used as a home exterior that the looks you can create with stone, are practically endless. Some of the common forms of stone used on home exteriors include, slate, granite, lime, and flagstone. They all have their unique qualities and looks, so choosing the type of stone for your exterior will be a lot of your personal preference. Natural stone is very costly, which means that it could cost you a pretty penny to go with a stone exterior, not to mention that you will probably need professional installation of the stone – another high price. But once it’s installed it lasts forever, and needs little to no maintenance. And the biggest bonus is, you have a gorgeous stone home that is very appealing.
Metal is a sturdy material that we are all familiar with and for those who love the retro type of look, this is a popular choice. Metal has a lot of good points to using it as a home’s exterior. It is strong and durable, it is fire retardant and weather resistant, and it won’t mold or sustain pest damage. You can also paint metal, so changing its color if you get tired of the old, is easy enough. A couple things to consider with metal are that some metals can change due to weather exposure, like your steel and copper metals. Softer metals, like Aluminum, can ding and dent if hit by hail or rocks, and metal may keep you cool in the summer, but it does not retain heat in winter, which may mean higher heating bills.
7. Engineered Wood
Engineered wood is a good option for those who love the look of wood but may not have the funds for the real thing. Engineered wood really looks like real wood, but it’s made of composites, which does include strands and a variety of fibers of real wood. Engineered wood is a more affordable choice over the real thing, and it will give your home a beautiful exterior that will last for a good 20-30 years, however, oen thing you can’t do with the engineered product is re-stain or paint it.
Concrete is very well known for its durability and strength. It may seem basic in nature to look at, but it’s a siding that seems to work really well with some of the more modern looking homes, like this one above. When combined with other materials, like wood or glass, it can give a home a very interesting look. It’s also an easy maintenance siding that will last for years and years, it’s fire retardant, can withstand a lot of the harsh elements and acts as a heating and cooling mediator to make it very energy efficient. Concrete is also fairly reasonably priced to purchase, however, the installation of the concrete is where the siding gets pricey, but of course, both the cost of the siding and installation will vary on the size of the home.
9. Insulated Siding
Insulated siding is a type of vinyl siding, but it’s been improved upon, really. The basics of insulated and regular vinyl siding are the same, however, insulated siding has an isulated layer due to what’s known as, expanded polystyrene foam, or (EPS). EPS is fused to the backside of pieces of vinyl and gives it a much closer fit to the home so that you have a better, energy efficient home. EPS has actually been found to give home owners a 20% increase in the efficiency of their home.
Glass is one of the most unique siding options and can make a home look luxurious and elegant. There’s something about a glass house that makes you stop and want to stare in wonderment. Glass is really not a siding, not in the sense that the others in the list are, however, it is used as an exterior option that if you have the money and live in an area where good light is available, could be an option for your home. To use glass an exterior option, it should be strong glass that can withstand extreme conditions and make airtight seal to keep the energy efficiency at its optimum in the home. If you don’t mind cleaning windows, glass is an exterior option that might be the perfect look for your home.