Pros and Cons Of 14 Different House Siding Options
What is the right house siding option for your home? In this article we will cover everything you need to know in order to make the right decision. This is all the information you will need to make up your mind and choose the siding solution you will be happy about for years to come. The infographic below outlines the different pros and cons of different types of house siding, but if you want to read more extensively about the different options, we suggested you read all the articles, that can be accessed by pressing the links below.
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Your home’s siding is important for both protection and looks. What you put on your home has to keep out the elements and protect the underlying framing from moisture damage. On top of that requirement is the need for your home to look good. Your siding has to accomplish both of these tasks without breaking your bank. There are a lot of options to consider. The benefits of aluminum make it one of the better choices for your home.
Aluminum Siding Benefits
- Low Maintenance: Aluminum isn’t affected by the elements. It stands up to both cold and heat without breaking or warping. Learning how to clean aluminum siding is easy. Cleaning aluminum siding is usually as simple as washing it with some house cleaning solution.
- Cost: Aluminum siding prices are in the mid range for exterior siding options. The cost for aluminum siding installation is $2.50 to $3.50 per square feet.
- Doesn’t Rot: Since aluminum siding is metal it is not susceptible to mildew, mold, or rot.
- No Insects: Metal is not edible so isn’t subject to insect damage.
- Long Lasting: Aluminum siding is immune to rust and other common issues. This gives it remarkable longevity, most aluminum siding can last up to 20 years
- Fire Resistance: The fire resistance of aluminum siding means it can help keep your home safe. An exterior fire has a harder time setting the home on fire due to the siding being inflammable.
- Recyclable: Homeowners looking for “green” materials can still choose aluminum siding. Aluminum siding metal can be easily recycled.
- Variety: Siding can be found in a multitude of colors, and either vertical and horizontal styles.
- Paintable: Painting aluminum siding is fairly easy. You can paint aluminum siding which allows you to update the color of your home. This gives you more flexibility and is much cheaper than replacing vinyl siding. If you know how to paint interiors, you know how to paint aluminum siding. A good exterior rated paint will work as aluminum siding paint.
Drawbacks of Aluminum Siding
- Easily Dented: Aluminum is a soft metal, the thinner the gauge that is chosen the more likely it is to dent.
- Difficult to Replace: Color fade means it is difficult to match places you need to replace. Aluminum siding repair can be a problem if you are trying to match a sing piece. This may mean it is necessary to repaint if you have to replace pieces of siding.
- Chalky: Aluminum siding can turn chalky as it ages, newer manufacturing processes have addressed this and may stand up better over time.
- No insulation: Metal provides almost no insulation to a home. This means aluminum siding will have very little impact on your exterior insulation.
- Noise: Aluminum doesn’t stop noise very well. If you are trying to block out unwanted road noise aluminum is not the best option.
- Scratches: Scratches show much more in aluminum. Other house siding options have a color that goes all the way through the material. For aluminum siding any scratches shows the metal underneath.
Get the help of an aluminum siding contractor today.
Board and Batten Siding
What is Board and Batten Siding?
Also known as barn siding board and batten siding is one of the most rustic looking options for your home. Board and batten siding became popular in the 1840’s. Board and batten is most often used on barns but can be a good looking option for modern looking homes as well. While board and batten siding is normally vertical you can also find it in horizontal patterns on some homes.
Board and batten siding is not a material, it is a style of siding. This style of siding is composed of larger boards set side by side with a small gap in between them, these are the “boards”. Over the gaps, thinner boards are nailed in place, these are the “battens”. This gives the wood the ability to swell and move with age. Because the wood is allowed to move it helps the wood resist splitting and warping.
Advantages of board and batten siding
- Looks: The main advantage is that it is aesthetically pleasing and has a rustic and classic look. Board and batten siding is often thought of as a more rustic look, but when paired with another option such as stone or brick it can give a modern look to a home.
- Cost: One of the lower cost options, the average cost is between $2.05 and $2.38 per square foot. While this is not as cheap of an option as vinyl siding it is low priced enough to fit into most renovation budgets.
- Versatility: Board and batten siding has some standard widths, but widths can be varied for style and cost. While there is a standard method for putting board and batten on a home there are other options. The boards can be placed over the battens for a reverse look.
- Low replacement costs: The style of construction means that your replacement cost is low. If a board gets damaged there is minimal work needed to replace that single board. Only three boards are involved in replacing anything that gets damaged, where in other systems it can take replacing an entire wall just to repair one crack or dent.
Disadvantages of board and batten siding
- Maintenance: True wooden board and batten siding requires regular upkeep and maintenance. The wood will need to be repainted or stained as it fades over time. This can be put off awhile if you embrace the true rustic look of aged wood, some installations can last 20 years without being painted.
- Installation time: This type of siding is not a quick and easy snap together solution. The boards and battens must be individually cut and placed one by one. The other down side of this is that your labor costs are more expensive if you pay to have it professionally installed.
The vast majority of board and batten houses use wood, normally pine or cedar. However, these are not the only options that can be used to put your board and batten siding into place. There are vinyl applications that mimic board and batten and can give you the look without the expense and lengthy installation time. The other main option is to use fiber cement boards. Fiber cement boards give you the look of natural wood, with all of the benefits of fiber cement.
14 Benefits of Brick Walls
When considering exterior siding materials brick is one of the highest quality materials you can choose. Brick has been in use since ancient times and has proven itself as one of the most useful building materials. The oldest bricks that have been found are from 7500BC, with the first clay fired bricks being found from around 3000BC. This long history means that brick has proven itself over time and is a building material that can be relied upon.
Modern bricks are fabricated to much higher standards and are a reliable building material. These bricks are made of clay, sand, iron oxide, and magnesia to. Modern bricks are most often formed and then fired in a rail type kiln for a more consistent product. Other types of bricks are constructed either through drying or being fired in trenches. No matter how they are constructed using bricks on your home is a great choice.
Benefits of Brick Walls
- Load Bearing: While other exterior options require framing to support them, brick is load bearing. This means that instead of the framing supporting the wall, your brick wall can help support the load of the roof.
- Lasting Appeal: Brick actually becomes more attractive as it ages. This bonus means that it requires no repainting or restaining as other materials do.
- Increased Home Value: While brick may be more expensive initially it also will increase the resale value of your home. It enhances curb appeal and makes it more likely a buyer will consider the home.
- Natural Materials: Most brick is made of clay or shale. These are materials that are found in large amounts all over the world. There are also bricks made of concrete, these are usually injected with dye to give them the same look as clay brick.
- Proven History: As far as a building material goes brick has been around forever. Brick has been in use for more than 5,000 years. Everyone from the ancient Egyptians to our own colonial forefathers used bricks to build structures that have stood the test of time.
- Fire Protection: Simply put, brick is not flammable. Neither is the mortar that is put between the bricks to construct the wall. As far as fire protection goes brick is almost invulnerable to both interior and exterior fires.
- Wind Resistance: High winds are generally not something brick walls are vulnerable to. Winds less than a tornado or major hurricane do not bother brick walls.
- Durability: Brick is a solid and durable wall material. Brick has been shown to be able to resist two by fours impacting the wall at over 30 mph. Very little can break through a well-constructed brick wall.
- Moisture Control: Since brick is a porous material it helps control moisture. Brick veneer walls, or single course brick exterior walls, help to keep moisture from the underlying framing.
- Insect Resistant: Brick is the same as stone in regards to insects. As they are inorganic building materials insects have no interest in them.
- Low Maintenance: There is very little maintenance involved in ensuring a brick wall is in top shape. As brick ages, it actually becomes more attractive to most people.
- Acoustic Insulation: In areas near to roads or other busy areas brick can help keep your home quiet. The mass of the bricks blocks and muffles sounds.
- Insulating Qualities: Bricks are a good thermal mass that helps insulate your home. This thermal mass will store heat and slowly release it. This helps maintain a constant temperature in your home.
- Sustainability: There is almost no other material that contributes to sustainability than brick. Both in its manufacture, placement, and recycling brick outperforms most other substances.
Drawbacks of Brick Walls
- Weather Wear: Badly constructed bricks can pit from frost and freezing water.
- Expensive: Brick is an expensive option, costing twice or more
- Inflexible: There is very little give in brick, the entire wall is more likely to crack.
- Difficult to clean: The rough surface of brick makes it difficult to easily clean.
Top 7 Benefits of Engineered Wood Siding
When considering what to put on the exterior of your home engineered wood siding is a versatile choice. Engineered wood siding first came into use in the mid 1960’s. Modern versions are much more durable and long lasting than this original oriented strand board. Most of the problems of the early versions such as swelling and separation have been solved with modern manufacturing processes.
Engineered wood siding is made to be superior to actual wooden siding. This type of siding is made to be superior to natural wood. As a siding material engineered wood siding gives you the look and feel of wood, without the problems natural wood has. Engineered siding is made to resist deterioration, rot, mildew and be less expensive.
How is Engineered Siding Made
Low grade trees are pulped and the strands are coated with resin and compounds. This pulp is then compressed into a form, this can be shingles, shakes, or boards up to 16 feet long. The board is then coated with a resin to seal it completely. After sealing the board can be primed or painted according to what the buyer prefers.
The chemicals added during manufacture help against wood rot, and insects. These boards are moisture resistant and normally come with warranties of up to 30 years. This gives added piece of mind that should some defect in manufacturer appear. Engineered wood siding is normally a very stable material that can be painted and refinished over the years.
Benefits of Engineered Wood Siding
Available in many textures and styles: Engineered hardwood manufacturers have created many different styles. The material can be imprinted with many different textures. Because the material can be textured it lends itself well to being made into shingles, shakes, and long 16 foot boards. The material can be found in many different forms and styles.
Cuts and Handles Like Wood: Since it is made from wood, it cuts and handles like wood. No special equipment is required to work with engineered hardwood. It is lighter than natural wood though, making it easier to handle. For building purposes, it has similar properties.
Minimal Maintenance: Engineered hardwood can be purchased either unpainted, primed, or painted. The material sands fairly well and allows the material to be repainted easily. In addition, the construction makes it less likely to rot and less prone to insect damage. Maintaining engineered hardwood is normally as easy as using a power washer or a hose.
Durability: One of the best features of engineered wood siding over vinyl or aluminum is that it resists denting and cracking. The wood structure of the siding means that it rarely dents. During manufacturing engineered wood siding has chemical compounds added to resist mold, insects, and rot. The resin coating forms a waterproof barrier that ensures the wood doesn’t split or swell.
Lower Cost: Natural wood siding is slightly less expensive than engineered hardwood siding cost. Natural wood can run anywhere between 5-9 dollars per square foot, installed. Good quality engineered hardwood a few dollars cheaper at between 3-7 dollars per square foot, installed.
More traditional look: Because it is able to be shaped into many different forms engineered hardwood can give a home a much more traditional look. Aluminum siding can be imprinted but this only gives a sort of impression without looking very realistic. Engineered hardwood is often made to be indistinguishable from natural wood once it has been painted.
Minimal Environmental Impact: Engineered wood has a lower environmental impact since they use smaller trees. Several companies offer Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood. This is wood that comes from FSC Certified forests or is made from post-consumer waste.
Wood Siding Drawbacks
Moisture Issues: A complaint about engineered wood siding is that the least expensive options may have moisture issues. Engineered wood siding used to have an issue with disintigrating if moisture got into the wood. This has been addressed but may still be an issue for cheaper versions or older siding.
Requires Repainting: Much like natural wood, engineered wood siding will require repainting to remain in the best shape. The frequency of repainting will depend on the paint used, and the environment your home is in.
When looking into options for your home engineered wood siding is a great option. Modern versions of engineered wood siding have addressed the issues of the past. With warranties of over 30 years, engineered wood siding is a much safer bet than it has been in the past. Selecting engineered wood siding for your home is a choice that you can make with some confidence that the material will serve you well.
Your home is your castle and deserves the best you can find for it. This is especially true when it comes to your exterior siding. This means you have to make the best choices possible. The benefits of fiber cement siding make it one of the best choices for your home. To help you make the best decision we are going to lay out fiber cement siding pros and cons for you.
What you put on your home is often what defines your home to everyone. The style of your siding will determine the curb appeal of your home. This means you have to make the best choices possible. Cement fiber siding is one of the most versatile options for your home. When you go to decide on what brand to purchase make sure you read the fiber cement siding reviews
What is Fiber Cement Siding?
Fiber cement siding is a composite material. The siding is normally made from a combination of Portland Cement, and wood fibers. Most companies include a proprietary mix of other chemicals to enhance durability, or enhance some desired quality.
The resulting mixture is formed and molded into any one of a number of different styles and finishes. The end product can be stained or painted prior to shipping or left bare. The surface can be embossed to give a natural wood appearance or made to look like stucco. There are an amazing amount of fiber cement siding options that are available on the market.
You can purchase fiber cement lap siding, or fiber cement shingle siding, even board and batten fiber cement siding. The flexibility of the material and the ability for it to be molded make it available in many different styles.
Benefits of Fiber Cement Siding
- Durable: The material is inert so it will not rust. It is exceptionally resistant to moisture so it will not rot. Since it is inert it is also immune to insect damage.
- Inflammable: Fiber cement siding is inflammable, making it a great option for your home. The siding has a 1A fire rating.
- Low Maintenance: The maintenance for fiber cement panel siding is occasional cleaning and repainting when the paint fades or degrades. Since it is not wood it won’t need to be resealed though.
- Impact Resistant:Because of the mix of cellulose fibers and cement the resulting fiber cement siding panels are able to withstand some damage. The strength of the cement is enhanced by the ability of the cellulose fibers to provide the material some give.
- Variety: Fiber cement can be found in many different shapes and profiles to suit any decor. Fiber cement siding manufacturers have a wide variety to select from. The options range from regular board lengths to quarter rounds, and even more exotic options. Fiber cement siding colors range from natural-looking wood to any color you could want.
- Ease of installation: Normally fiber cement siding installation is hassle free. It is lighter than solid wood but it can be installed in much the same ways. You can find a lot of resources to teach you how to install fiber cement siding correctly.
Disadvantages of Fiber Cement Siding
- Cost: Fiber cement siding cost can be slightly more expensive to put fiber cement siding up than deciding to use aluminum or vinyl siding. The cost of fiber cement siding labor is also higher since it is heavier and takes more workers to install. You can expect to pay around $9.00 per square foot installed for fiber cement siding.
- Harder to cut: Due to the materials it is constructed from installing fiber cement siding is much more difficult due to how hard it is to cut. You will need the same sort of cutting options as you would for standard masonry projects.
- Dust: One of the main fiber cement siding problems is that cutting and shaping fiber cement will release large volumes of dust. This creates a breathing hazard and you have to wear a mask when working with it. The dust can also get into your home and make cleanup more difficult.
- House Wrap: Your home will need a good house wrap to both keep moisture from the elements out and allow your home to breathe. A good house wrap will help prevent mold.
The task of deciding on your home’s exterior can be daunting. Choosing the correct option can make or break the overall design of your home. When considering the many options available you have to keep in mind cost, style and function.
The benefits make it one of the best choices for your home if it is in a wet environment. Fiber cement is also an excellent choice for homeowners looking for a heat and impact resistant option. It is not, however, the best choice for those looking for the least expensive option. All told fiber cement board siding is a good option for most homeowners.
Some of the pros of metal siding are the following:
- It can last longer than most other types, and you therefore won’t need to replace it anytime soon.
- It beats moisture by being impervious and is also good when it comes to avoiding insect damage that other types might be prone to.
- It is a very low maintenance solution for your home, thus perfect if you don’t want to spend a lot of time on maintenance
- It is also a very fire resistant material.
Although it has many pros, it also has cons that are worth mentioning:
- Dents in the metal siding will be permanent, and scratched need to be touched up.
- If you want to only replace parts of it, that can be very difficult.
- If you choose an option like steel siding, it is prone to rusting if the paint wears off, and it is thus something you need to keep an eye out for.
Split Log Siding
What is split log siding?
For the look of a log home without the weight and complications split log siding is your choice. Split log siding has many benefits for your home. Split log siding gives you the rustic look that many homeowners are looking for. Since split log siding is normally constructed of actual logs from the outside it gives the appearance of a full log home. Even the metal and concrete options that look like logs will give your home the look of a rustic log cabin.
Split log siding is normally made from white pine or white cedar. Full log siding uses a tree stripped of bark and trimmed. For split log siding a log is trimmed into faces. The siding comes in widths of 6″, 8″, 10″ and 12″ widths, and lengths up to 16 feet. The log siding has a “D” shaped profile due to how it is trimmed off of the side of the log. The siding can be found in a variety of finishes, from smooth sanded to hand drawn knife.
How is split log siding applied
Your home will need a builders wrap with split log siding. This will protect the underlying framing from water damage. Split log siding is put onto your home in interlocking courses. Each course is tacked to the framing wall individually. Chaulking strips can be used to help seal the courses from the underlying framing.
Due to the weight of split log siding it is normally something applied by professionals. The siding must be fit together with precision. Cutting out the necessary gaps for windows and doors is something that usually requires some carpentry skill. Split log siding is not as forgiving as aluminum or vinyl siding, or as inexpensive to fix any mistakes that may be made.
Benefits of Split Log Siding
- Rustic Look: Split log siding gives the rustic appearance of a full stack log wall, without the weight and complications of full log walls.
- Long lasting: Log siding can last for 25 to 75 years with proper maintenance. Regular maintenance requires repainting and restaining to ensure the log doesn’t rot away. Inspecting for rot and cracking must also be done to be sure your siding doesn’t need to be replaced.
- More flexibility: Full stack log walls mean the interior walls are stacked log as well. With split log siding you retain the flexibility of having more normal looking interior walls.
- Less Maintenance than full log walls: Full stack log walls shift over time and can create gaps between the logs. Cracks in full logs are also more difficult to repair.
- Less expensive than full log walls: Split log siding uses less wood, and is cheaper than using full logs.
- Insulates: Split log siding insulates better than vinyl or aluminum siding. Wood is a much more effective insulator than vinyl or aluminum.
- Conventional Wiring: With a split log siding option you don’t have the complications of full log siding.
- Cut to fit: Split log siding is made to fit more tightly together. It is usually cut in tongue and groove slots to ensure a watertight fit.
Drawbacks of Split Log Siding
- Cracks: Natural wood can crack as they age. This can be due to moisture, or temperature changes.
- Maintenance: Split wood siding will need to be cleaned regularly to prevent mold and rot.
- Regular refinishing: Natural wood will need to be stained or painted regularly to ensure it stands up to the weather.
Benefits of Stone and Stone-Veneer Siding
Deciding on the best exterior siding for your home is a complex and confusing problem. There are many different options to pick from and they all have different benefits and drawbacks. Making a choice between your options can mean the difference between keeping your house safe from the elements and protecting your resale value, and having to replace it and spending a fortune. There are many benefits of stone siding and stone veneer siding that make it a great option for your home.
One of the most natural choices you can choose is stone. Stone has been in use since the beginning of time to create secure structures. Structures, as varied as the pyramids of Egypt to the great cathedrals of Europe, have taken advantage of the natural properties of stone. Very few buildings these days are constructed completely out of stone. Most residential applications consist of a stone veneer over the frame of the house.
Deciding to use stone can give your home a great natural look. Most homes take advantage of stone on the lower portion of the exterior and then another type of siding above it. This gives your home the benefits of stone, without the full weight and structural requirements that a full stone wall requires. Some of the advantages of stone are detailed below.
Real Stone Siding
- Natural: Natural stone is a limitless resource. This makes it a very green product
- Variety: There are many different varieties of natural stone, this gives you a lot of options to choose from for your exterior stone siding.
- Durability: Stone is one of the most durable building materials around. It will not fade, go chalky, or scratch like other siding options will.
- Green: The only carbon emissions for real stone siding is involved in transportation and processing. This makes it an extremely green option.
- Insulation: Stone is a great insulator. It has what is called thermal mass. A thermal mass both absorbs heat, and then releases it slowly. This helps to regulate the temperature in your home.
- Mass Produced: Since stone veneer is not made from naturally occurring stone it can be easily mass produced. This also makes it a bit easier to work with from an aesthetic standpoint by being able to use one general color of stone rather than a wide variety of colors.
- Economical: faux stone siding cost is less expensive than actual stone siding. Imitatioin stone siding costs less to transport as well since it is lighter and does not require special equipment.
- Lighter: As stone veneer is not actual stone it is lighter than natural stone siding. This makes it easier to work with and requires less in the way of framing and infrastructure. Stone look siding gives you the look you want, while not requiring special adjustments in your foundations to support the weight.
- Fake Stone Siding Types:
- Concrete molding: Created by pouring concrete into molds that replicate the look of stone.
- Foam: Injections into molds that look like stone and then painted to get the look of it.
- Vinyl: Similar to foam vinyl stone siding uses molds to create stone shapes out of PVC to create stone vinyl siding. Vinyl siding that looks like stone, but has a tenth of the weight can be an attractive alternative to real stone siding.
- Cladding: In this option, natural stone is milled to have a square base that is brick-like. This allows them to be put into place much more easily.
- Panels: Similar to cladding faux stone siding panels are composed of thinly cut natural stone affixed to a panel that can easily interlock with other panels.
- Cost: Stone is one of the most expensive options for your home. A solid stone wall is much more expensive than any other siding option. Stone veneer can reduce the cost, but it is still more expensive than most other options.
- Complexity: Installing a true stone wall requires an expert in masonry, as well as someone to evaluate the load-bearing capabilities of your walls. Stone veneer can be slightly less complex but normally still requires a mason.
Stone as an option for your home can be a great choice. The ease of maintenance means that you can have a long lasting exterior that won’t need much more than occasional cleaning. As long as you can afford the initial cost of stone it is a great option for your home. However, that cost can scare some people away from using it though.
Benefits of Stucco Siding
What is stucco siding?
Stucco is a siding option, made from Portland cement with water and inert materials added for strength or coloring. The benefit of using Portland cement rather than lime is that it can cure even when wet. Occasionally acrylics and glass fibers are added to increase the durability of the material. Stucco dries into a hard rock-like substance that can be painted or stained much like concrete floors.
When stucco is used on a home it must be applied over a building wrap to protect the interior structure. The mixture is usually spread over a wire mesh to help the stucco adhere to the wall. The mesh also helps the stucco to resist cracking from temperature related movement. Applying stucco to a home is a relatively easy task. The mixture is simply spread over the mesh and patterned as desired.
Stucco has been in use for building for a very long time. Stucco has been in use since ancient times to cover walls and provide a wall covering both interior and exterior. Historically stucco was made with a lime base instead of portland cement. Stucco has decorated everything from the rudest peasants huts to the ceilings of the grandest architecture of the world.
Benefits of Stucco Siding
- Versatile: Stucco can be made to have many different appearances. Since it is spread over a mesh it can be made to have a smooth or rough surface. The surface can also be patterned to different specifications.
- Color Variety: For long lasting durable color stains can be added to the mixture for a permanent color. If this is not what is desired it can be painted with most normal exterior paints. The advantage of stucco is that the color is not limited to what is available from a factory. The stain or paint is mixed according to your own specifications.
- Fire Resistance: The base material of stucco is Portland Cement. Cement is normally not normally flammable. Since stucco is composed of concrete it is basically fireproof.
- Durable: Stucco dries to a rock like consistency that can last over 50 years with minimal maintenance. This is exceptionally true in dry climates where stucco does the best. In wetter climates, stucco degrades slightly faster. The small cracks that can occur in stucco can be smoothed over with a patching compound.
- Breathable: Plaster is a breathable substance. Moisture that gets behind the plaster is not trapped. This makes stucco fairly resistant to mold and fungus.
- Insulation: While not as good as brick, stucco can be good for helping insulate your home. The thermal mass of stucco is less than brick but much more than vinyl siding.
- Noise Insulation: The hard texture and mass of stucco can also help keep noise out of your home. Stucco siding reflects back exterior noise and keeps your home quieter.
- Can you put siding over stucco?: This is another advantage of stucco. You can easily put siding over stucco exteriors. Using furring strips lets you simply put siding over stucco. This makes stucco a good choice for those who might change their minds at a later date.
Disadvantages of Stucco Exteriors
- Cost: The cost of stucco siding material is very low. The expense of stucco siding cost is mostly in the application than what it costs as a material. On average, the cost to install stucco is around $6 to $9 per square foot.
- Cracks: One of the most difficult issues with stucco is that it can crack if there is any seismic activity or if the house settles or otherwise moves. These small cracks are able to be repaired though and something that can usually be fixed without professional help.
- Repainting: If you decide to include stain in your stucco then you are relatively stuck with that color choice. Attempting to paint over stained stucco can be a problem.
- Professional Installation: The initial installation of stucco is best done by a professional stucco siding company. Stucco installation usually consists of multiple layers that have a metal mesh insert to keep it from cracking.
Selecting stucco for your home can often be a good decision. The flexibility of stucco means that you are able to use it in many different designs. The ease of maintenance makes it ideal for homeowners who don’t have a lot of time. The look may occasionally come in and out of style as years come and go, but in some ways it will always be timeless. These stucco siding pros and cons will make sure you make an educated choice for your home’s exterior siding.
Vinyl Siding Benefits to Know Before You Buy
The most important thing siding does is protect your home from the elements. This means being able to stand up to the worst nature can throw at it for years. Vinyl siding excels in weather resistance. Long lasting and durable vinyl siding is one of the most common siding options found on modern homes.
Vinyl siding benefits you need to know
Most vinyl siding installations can be expected to last up to 50 years with very little maintenance involved. With this minimal effort vinyl siding should retain its vibrant colors throughout the entire lifespan. Maintenance for vinyl siding usually consists of the occasional washing and ensuring mildew doesn’t build up.
When thinking about vinyl siding the thing to remember is that it comes in various thicknesses. These different gauges of thickness decide between standard vinyl and premium vinyl. In addition to the thickness of the vinyl, the price will increase if there is backing material. Vinyl siding can be purchased that have thick thermal backing that helps insulate your home.
Vinyl siding also helps your homes insulation. Insulated vinyl siding can be purchased in single and multiple layers that serve as an extra layer of insulation for your home. In addition, siding also improves energy efficiency by reducing heat transfer from the elements into your home. The radiant energy of the sun can be transferred through other types of exterior cladding. Vinyl has an air gap that reduces this transfer.
Durability is another hallmark of vinyl siding. Most vinyl siding can withstand winds of over 100 mph. Modern vinyl siding is also good at resisting weathering by the years spent in the sun. Vinyl siding is good at resisting minor impacts without showing the damage.
Maintenance for vinyl siding is as simple as keeping it cleaned with occasional cleanings. Knowing how to clean vinyl siding will protect your investment. Vinyl siding cleaner is as simple as using soap and water on, although you can also find specialized cleaning solutions. There is no need to worry about rotting, insect damage, or recaulking.
While vinyl is durable, it can be extremely difficult to replace damaged vinyl siding. Vinyl siding is interlocking. This interlocking makes it difficult to replace one piece without needing to do a large scale replacement. Another problem is matching colors. Due to minor variations caused by slight weathering a new piece of vinyl will not have the same coloring as the old.
Selecting vinyl can give you a bit more peace of mind as well. Vinyl siding is one of the only options that has a certification system. Selecting a certified siding, and a certified installer means that your home will get the maximum benefit. Certified professionals know how to install vinyl siding properly in even the most complex situations.
Value is always something to think about when selecting any product for your home. Vinyl siding prices are lower than most other options. Exterior siding is no less important to get at as low a price as possible. Vinyl siding excels in this area. The cost of vinyl siding makes it the cheapest option on the market. This gives you more money to spend in other areas of your home.
Style is another consideration where vinyl siding excels. While the majority of vinyl siding is the regular linear style, it comes in scallops, and other shapes as well. It can also be found in the form of shingles and vinyl shake siding that look like wood but have the benefits of vinyl. Vinyl siding also comes in noise reducing varieties that help block out exterior sound.
Vinyl siding colors come in the full spectrum available in most paints. Many homeowners wonder can you paint vinyl siding? Like most exterior cladding you can paint vinyl siding a different color as styles change over the years. With the appropriate primer and painting vinyl siding can give your home a whole new look.
Vinyl siding is one of the easier options to use. It can also be found in most areas of the country. While it is often better to have it installed professionally, it is not required. Installing vinyl siding is something most dedicated homeowners are able to do themselves.
Vinyl siding downsides
As with any material vinyl siding is not perfect. There are some negatives with vinyl siding that you should take into consideration when selecting it for your home.
One of the major considerations for vinyl siding is waterproofing. Because vinyl siding is installed in layers it has gaps. These gaps will allow wind driving rain to allow moisture behind the siding. This means that with any vinyl siding installation you need a house wrap. A house wrap of building paper or tyvek type material is essential for protecting the underlying wood.
Vinyl siding can weather with age. Modern materials are coated with a UV protectant and hold up much longer than older types. There is some fading that can occur, especially in the least expensive options that are not certified. With weathering a white film dulls the color of your vinyl siding.
Your siding is also somewhat at risk due to extreme temperatures. Extreme cold will make vinyl more brittle and it can crack much easier. Although much rarer extreme heat may cause vinyl siding to warp. Vinyl siding is not the best option if you live in the middle of the desert or in very northern climates.
What is Wooden Bevel Siding?
While wood siding can be found in many different formats one of the most common is bevel. Bevel siding is also called clapboard siding. This type of siding has been in use for ages. It is a fairly simple method of putting exterior siding onto a home. This has allowed it to be used in houses forever. When thinking of exterior siding, this is the look that most people have in mind. It is even mimicked in aluminum siding. The benefits of wooden bevel siding make it one of the best choices for your home.
How is Beveled Siding Made?
Wooden bevel siding is made of pieces of wedge shaped wood. A single piece of wood is often cut to these specifications. Or a single board is cut at an angle to make two triangular pieces with one finished side. Beveled siding is often made of natural wood such as cedar.
These wedges are fitted together in overlapping courses. The thin side of each board is fitted underneath the wider section of the course above it. This pattern is carried all the way up to the roof. Alternatively, the beveled siding can be done above a brick base at the lower part of the wall.
Another type of beveled siding is rabbeted bevel siding. In this format the wooden wedge has a portion of the thick side of the board cut out. This allows for a tighter fit as the previous course fits into this rabbeted portion.
Red cedar is the species of choice for most installations. It is naturally insect resistant and gives one of the best looks just with stain and a clear finish. Red cedar is not the wood of choice if you are painting, as it resists painting. Pine and spruce are the usual choices for home owners who want to paint their homes instead of have a natural wood finish.
Classic Look: Beveled siding is one of the oldest forms of exterior siding. Beveled siding has been used for hundreds of years. This means by selecting beveled siding you give your home a classic appearance. For resale the use of natural wood beveled siding can help improve the value of your home.
Weather Resistant: The arrangement of the wood siding in overlapping courses help resist weather. The way the wood lays sheds water more easily than some other arrangements.
Easy to install: The siding is easy to install. The arrangement is such that it is just overlapping one board over the one below it. This is fairly easily done by anyone with some know it all.
Easy to replace: Since the siding is constructed of long lengths of wood simply overlapped it is easily repaired. If one piece gets damaged it is simply taken out and another put into that place on the wall.
Problems with Wood Bevel Siding
Expensive: Natural wooden siding is expensive. Wooden bevel siding more than most. The lengths of wood used for wood beveled siding make the pieces more expensive.
Subject to Rot: Beveled siding can sometimes allow water to get behind the planks. When this occurs the planks can begin to rot from the interior side. Without good building paper or Tyvek this water damage can occur to the interior of the home or the studs.
Maintenance needs: Beveled siding will need to be repainted or stained occasionally. It will also need to be cleaned to ensure mold and mildew does not grow on the surface. Since it is natural wood, insect damage is also something to watch for and take care of as soon as it is found.
For the classic American look, nothing beats wooden shake siding. In some areas of the country, few homes are clad in anything else. Wood shake siding is versatile and gives a home a warm look. The benefits of wooden shake siding turn this siding option into one that a lot of homeowners choose for their homes. Wooden shakes have been in use for ages and have a long history of keeping homes safe from the elements.
Not all shakes are made from natural wood. There are cedar shake vinyl siding options that mimic the look of cedar.
What are wooden shakes?
Wooden shakes are similar to wooden shingles. A wooden shake is normally a piece of log that has been split down to a thin piece. A wooden shake is normally rough on both sides and tapered with one end slightly wider than the other. The thick end of a wooden shake is around 1/2″ to 3/4″. The width of most shakes is around 7″, but due to the way they are split they are not uniform in width. They are normally sold in either 18″ or 24″ lengths. Wooden shakes are around $3.50 to $5.00 per square foot to have installed.
Benefits of wooden shakes
- Rustproof: Wooden shakes will never rust no matter the amount of rain or humidity that they are exposed to.
- Insulating: Wood is an effective insulator. Using wooden shake siding adds more insulation to your exterior walls.
- Classic Look: Unstained cedar shake siding gives a home a classic American look.
- Long Lasting: With proper care and maintenance wooden shakes can last up to 50 years.
- Lightweight: Individual wooden shakes are fairly lightweight. Although heavier than aluminum, wooden shakes are lighter than others.
- Recyclable: The shakes can be easily recycled by shredding them and using them as mulch.
- Green Material: If you take the time to research and ensure your shakes are Forest Steward Council certified you know they are from a sustainable forest.
- Ease of installation: Unlike some other siding options shakes can be installed in a relatively simple manner. Installing cedar shake siding, or vinyl shake siding installation is something best done by a professional, but is within reach if you must do it yourself.
- Ease of Repair: As individual shakes are damaged they can be removed and replaced. This is a simple task that does not require removing large sections of the siding to accomplish.
Disadvantages of wooden shakes
- Fading: Unstained or unpainted wooden shakes will fade in exposure to sunlight.
- Not moisture proof: Wooden shakes can absorb moisture, causing them to split and the surfaces to warp. This can lead to small gaps that allows moisture onto the internal faces. This can lead to mold and wood rot.
- Not fireproof: Wood is, wood. While some brands of shakes are treated with a fire retardant chemical they are still one of the most flammable of your siding options.
Special note on cedar shake siding
Most shakes that are used on homes are made of cedar. This is not a requirement, but since it is so prevalent here are some specific facts about cedar shakes siding.
- Variety: Cedar can come in a lot of different stains and textures. This gives you the benefits of cedar while giving you a variety of shake siding colors and styles to suit your home.
- Rot Resistant: Due to natural properties in cedar it is natural antibacterial and antifungal. This gives cedar an excellent natural resistant to mold and mildew, which is usually enhanced during production.
- Cost: Cedar shake siding cost is what you normally will find quotes for. For other types of wood ensure you research shakes made from that material for their cost.
What are wooden shingles?
Wooden shingles are tapered pieces of wood. Typically they are about 3/8″ in depth and about 3-8″ in width and 14-36″ in length. One of the most common choices for wooden shingles is cedar. Although any other type of hardwood can be used, cedar has characteristics that make it the best choice. Cedar has a natural resistance to decay, insects, and ultra-violet fading. Cedar also has excellent insulation qualities for both temperature and noise. The other options available are also workable, but most do not have these qualities.
Historically shingles were made by splitting straight grained bolts of wood. This was a long and involved process that resulted in useable shingles. In modern factories, shingles are usually cut instead of being split out of a bolt. No matter how they are constructed the end result is a thin piece of wood tapered on one end. These shingles are set side by side, and each course overlaps the one beneath it.
Shingles can also be “fancy cut” to give a more distinctive look. In this method, the exposed end is cut in some decorative manner. The repetition of this pattern can give the exterior of a home a unique look that helps your home stand out. The variety of patterns means that your home won’t be cookie cutter and look like every other home on the block.Typically wooden shingles are more tightly fitted than beveled siding. To prevent moisture getting behind the shingles they must be beveled to fit closely, and caulked. The shingles themselves must be painted or stained to ensure they can stand up to the weather. When done properly this can result in an exterior that can last for decades.
Typically wooden shingles are more tightly fitted than beveled siding. To prevent moisture getting behind the shingles they must be beveled to fit closely, and caulked. The shingles themselves must be painted or stained to ensure they can stand up to the weather. When done properly this can result in an exterior that can last for decades.
Benefits of Wooden Shingles
- Smooth and consistent look: Shingles are designed to fit tightly and smoothly together. This gives them a smoothness and consistency that many homeowners are looking for.
- Long lasting: When properly installed shingles can last for decades. The main benefit of shingles is that when one is damaged it is easily repaired.
- Easy repair: The siding on your home is something that takes a beating. Replacing a single shingle is an easy fix. This is one of the main benefits to this type of construction.
- Varying designs: The simplest installation of shingles is in a smooth and consistent manner. However, you can also install shingles that are more decorative. The exposed edge can be cut in various designs to give a home a distinctive look.