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Metal House Siding: Cost, Color Combinations, Installation

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  • It goes without saying that every part of your home plays a role in your home’s aesthetics and your overall safety. However, there are parts that serve a more important role than the others. This applies to your home’s siding. It’s probably one of the most important parts of your home. It’s right there with your roof.

    It serves an important role in your home’s aesthetics. It covers majority of your home’s exterior so it’s one of the first things that people will see. Needless to say, your home’s appearance will be judged based on your siding.

    On this page:

  • More importantly, it serves as protection. It protects your home from the harmful weather elements, and in essence it protects your family. Wind, rain, hail and the likes will hammer your home’s exterior. It would be comforting to know if you have durable siding.

    You have a lot of options when it comes to this. While this article is about metal house siding, we’ll also present you with the factors that you should consider when making a choice. We’ll also talk about the different options available for you. This way, you’ll know options other than metal. With our help, you’ll be able to make an informed decision.

    Going back to the metal option, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of this material. Yes, it’s not perfect, and it’s a good idea to know what these advantages and disadvantages are. This is a significant investment and as mentioned, it plays an important role in your home. This is why you have to make sure that you’re making the right choice. This involves knowing the cons together with the pros.

    We’ll also talk about the different types of metal siding. Yes, there are several options, and each one has its own pros and cons. We’ll also educate you on the common metal siding used on barns.

    Since you want to know everything about these panels, you also want to know about painting metal siding. Should you paint the panels? If yes, how do you do it?

    Did you know that there are vertical and horizontal options? Yes, there are several, and we’ll talk about them in this post. Speaking of options, there’s also the popular board and batten which is a style of installation that you should know about.

    Speaking of aesthetics, one of the most important things that you have to ensure is how it will match with your roof. Your home’s exterior is mostly made up of 2 things – your roof and the siding. If they match, then your home will have an amazing exterior. If they don’t, your home will stick out like a sore thumb.

    Color plays an important role in ensuring that they match. You can’t really do a trial and error process because it’s going to be an expensive mistake if ever they don’t match. This is why we recommend using a metal roof and siding color simulator. This way, you can get a good idea as to how your chosen color combination will look.

    In addition to metal, wood is another popular choice. This is mainly because wood looks amazing, although it has drawbacks that the metal material doesn’t have. If you want the best of both worlds, there are metal options that look like wood.

    If you’ve really decided on using metal, the next information that you’ll probably look for is how to install metal siding. We’ll provide you with a step by step guide not to encourage you to do it on your own, but for you to appreciate the importance of hiring a professional. By checking out this step by step guide, you’ll know how challenging it is which will help you make the decision to hire a professional.

    Don’t be surprised to know that a lot of homeowners are considering doing it DIY. This is mainly because they’re concerned about the cost of hiring a professional. We’ll talk about the cost of the different metal options. Yes, there are options from cheap to expensive.

    This is not to recommend that you grab the cheapest option that you can find. As mentioned, it plays an important role, so don’t sacrifice quality. Don’t worry because we’ll talk about getting quotes from competing contractors. Best of all, we’ll talk about the best way to get free quotes that will give you access to the best available deals that you can choose from.

    Factors that You should Consider when Choosing Siding

    The main factor that determines the cost is the type of metal that you’ll be choosing. You’d be surprised at how far apart the prices are. We’ll talk about these types in the section below. For now, there are other factors that can help determine the cost that we should talk about.

    • Choice of metal siding

    Some are more expensive than the others and for good reason. For example, copper and zinc are more expensive because they can last for more than 100 years before you can even start thinking about replacing them. This is especially true with zinc that can heal itself so scratches will be gone on their own.

    In addition, some choices will require painting and that can add to the cost as well.

    • Labor cost

    Of course, you’d need someone, no, a professional, to install it. You’d have to pay for their hourly cost. On that note, you’re not paying them for their hour. You’re paying them for their years (or decades) of experience and expertise. You’re also paying them for the risks associated with the installation. Yes, there are risks involved, and this is why it’s better that you let the professionals handle the installation.

    The labor cost will be dependent on a few things namely:

    • How experienced the contractor is. The more experienced he is, the more expensive he’s going to be. That’s the general rule. Again, you’re paying for their years of experience and expertise.
    • How big the project is. Bigger projects would require more man hours. This is why labor cost will pile up.
    • Choice of material. Some materials are harder to install than others. Hence, they’re going to be more expensive to install. The availability of materials will also play a determining factor. For example, installation of aluminum and steel is usually more affordable because they’re widely-available. This is because their availability leads to more competent contractors so there’s competition.
    • Materials

    It’s not just the siding material. For example, you’d need fasteners for the installation.

    • Removal of old siding

    Is this for a new installation or replacement? If it’s for the latter, the removal of the old panels will add to the cost.

    • Building permits

    Different municipalities have different laws and requirements when it comes to building permits. This is more or less $250. While minor compared to the overall cost, the cost can still add up. It can also be a hassle to get so it’s better to hire a professional who can take care of the permits for you.

    Popular Siding Options

    Luckily for homeowners, there are a lot of options for homeowners – from affordable to expensive ones. We’re going to discuss a bit about some of the popular siding options so you can compare them with metal. This way, you can really determine if metal is the best option for you.

    Here are the popular options:

    • Vinyl

    This is probably the most popular option and for good reason. It’s actually one of the best because of the wide variety of designs available.

    • Wood

    A lot of homeowners go for wood because of its beautiful and rustic appearance.

    • Brick and stone

    This is a good choice if you’re after that timeless but imposing look. It’s also the best option as far as weatherproofing is concerned. They can be expensive though, which is why you can also consider the faux stone option.

    • Stucco

    It’s one of the best choices if you’re looking for durability. It can be expensive to install though because it requires expert installation skills.

    • Fiber cement and composite

    These used to be a very good option but with more and more homeowners going for green options, they’re not considering fiber cement and composite anymore because they’re unfortunately not recyclable. But if you’re willing to look past that, you can benefit from its weatherproofing qualities.

    Metal House Siding Options – Pros & Cons

    There are a lot of metal house siding options which is a good thing because you have a lot of options to choose from. However, it can be overwhelming, and we’re here to help. We’ll present you with these options and talk about their pros and cons.

    You have 4 logical options when it comes to your home:

    • Steel

    Here are the pros:

    • It’s rot, fire and insect resistant.
    • It’s solid and durable.
    • It’s stronger against dents.
    • It’s low in maintenance.
    • It can last over 40 years.

    Here are the cons:

    • Its appearance is as basic as it gets.
    • Being a heavy material, it can be expensive to install.
    • It doesn’t offer the best insulation.
    • Aluminum

    Here are the pros of aluminum:

    • It’s rot, fire and insect resistant.
    • There are several textures and colors to choose from.
    • It matches the variety of dimensions and styles offered by vinyl.
    • It can last over 40 years.
    • It’s lighter than steel.

    Here are the disadvantages of aluminum:

    • It’s prone to scratching and denting.
    • It can produce popping noises when temperatures change since it expands and contracts.
    • It has this industrial look which means that it won’t match a lot of home styles.
    • Copper

    Here are the reasons behind the popularity of copper:

    • It looks amazing. It will give your home a boost when it comes to its resale value.
    • It can resist hail, mildew and even fire.
    • It can last over 50 years.
    • It’s light in weight.
    • It’s energy-efficient.
    • It’s easy to install.

    It’s not perfect as made evident by these cons:

    • It’s one of the more expensive siding options.
    • It requires the installation of additional materials like plywood to help absorb sound.
    • It also expands and contracts which can lead to loosening of its fasteners.
    • Zinc

    Here are the pros of zinc:

    • It’s a green option because it consumes less energy to manufacture and can be recycled.
    • It’s light in weight.
    • It doesn’t corrode.
    • It’s low in toxicity levels.
    • It’s sturdy.
    • It’s malleable so it can be shaped differently.
    • It can last up to a century.

    Here are its disadvantages:

    • Its underside can corrode because of your home’s design if it allows condensation.

    Common Metal Siding Used on Barns

    You’re familiar with the thick siding installed vertically. Typically made of thick pine or cedar, it gives off this inviting feel.

    Although not as common, we can now see metal siding used on barns. It gives off a modern touch to the laidback feel of barns. It’s a popular choice for building a pole barn which is something that you can buy at Lowe’s, Menard’s and of course, Home Depot.

    We’re now seeing corrugated metal siding. The key here is to choose the right color that will give you that rustic appeal. You can’t go wrong with red complemented with white trimmings. You can also consider hues of tans and browns that are on the lighter side.

    A common choice is painted galvanized metal. However, more and more contractors are recommending rusted panels for that weathered look.

    You can also apply these ideas for a shed.

    Painting Metal Siding

    A lot of homeowners are looking for painted metal siding simply because of the additional layer of protection that paint provides. You can buy metal siding that has been pre-finished already. But that can limit your options.

    Metal siding is designed to be painted. While other options like vinyl will make you question whether you should paint them or not, metal is primed for painting.

    Here’s how to do it:

    1. Prep the surface.

    This is done by thoroughly cleaning the panels. You can use your hands and with a lot of elbow grease to scrub the panels with warm and soapy water. Better yet, use a high-pressured washer that packs at least 2,500 of psi.

    You can use the common detergent or a cleaner that’s designed for pre-painting. Make sure that you rinse and dry thoroughly.

    Steel siding may require the use of trisodium phosphate. In this case, make sure that you wear the right clothing to protect you from this caustic substance. It can burn the skin.

    1. Cover the areas that shouldn’t be painted.

    You do this when you paint walls and other parts of your home. You should do the same here. You can use plastic sheeting secured in place using masking tape.

    1. Prime the areas.

    You can use a regular primer used for metal. If you’re priming steel, use the latex-bonding variety. You can prime using a paint sprayer or a paint roller. Prime using even and regular strokes from the top to the bottom and then across.

    After priming, you need to let the areas dry for at least a day.

    1. Paint the areas.

    Use acrylic paint and apply it in the same way that you applied the primer. Apply once, leave to dry, and then apply a second coating. Leave to dry again.

    1. Remove the sheeting.

    Once done, remove the plastic sheeting.

    Vertical Metal Siding Options

    While you can choose to install it vertically or horizontally, the former is the more popular choice. This is because it gives off the more traditional appeal. It also makes it seem that your home, barn or shed is wider than it really is. This is the same reason why vertical installation is the preferred installation type for a mobile home or an RV.

    Aluminum and steel remain to be the most popular options if you’re going for metal. They’re both very durable. The former is a popular choice of those on a budget. However, there’s a reason why it’s more affordable than the latter. It’s tougher than vinyl but less durable than the more expensive steel. While aluminum vertical metal siding can get faded and dented, there’s a lesser chance of that happening with steel.

    Board and batten is a popular installation option. This type of installation style used to be limited to real wood. Later on, vinyl became another material that can be used for this installation option. Fortunately for metal siding fans, you can now install it board and batten style.

    Horizontal Metal Siding Options

    You can go for this option is you’re looking for options that are easier to install either because you’re going to do it DIY or you want to save on labor cost. It’s also the option for you if you’re looking for something more unique rather than traditional.

    Most vertical options can also be applied horizontally. Steel is a popular choice for a horizontal application, as is galvanized. Make it ribbed for that added texture.

    Metal Roof and Siding Color Simulator

    You have the perfect color in mind for your siding or even your roof. So you go on and spend a lot of money to paint your roof. Now that you’re done, you look at your “work of art” and suddenly realize that well, the color combination doesn’t work. Maybe if you step back about 50 feet? So you walk back to your curb and that’s when it hit you.

    You just wasted a lot of money and hours on a color combination that doesn’t work. Now, your home sticks out like a sore thumb.

    This is why it’s important that you make sure that your color choices are going to work. Actually, hiring an experienced contractor can really help. They can provide guidance when you choose the colors. But if you want to have a good idea as to what colors you want before contacting contractors, you can use a metal roof and siding color simulator.

    In fact, a lot of contractors use this program. This is so they can show their suggested colors to their clients. They also use it to show whether the clients’ preferences are logical or not.

    Menard’s has a roofing and siding visualizer. The American Building Components also has a color visualizer. Bridgersteel also has a very easy to use visualizer.

    Metal Siding that Looks Like Wood

    This gives you the best of both worlds. A lot of homeowners want wood because of how it looks like, but it does have a lot of disadvantages that metal has as advantages. This is why going for metal siding that looks like wood makes a lot of sense in this case.

    There are companies that manufacture this type. You just have to ask your contractor to source these panels for you. As a word of warning though, these panels can get really expensive. In fact, they can cost more than real wood. But if you’re going to think about it, you’ll be enjoying the look of wood minus the durability issues. It’s worth the extra cost if you have the funds for this project.

    Take this chance to choose from different colors and types of wood mimicked. You can go with something light like light walnut, or go for something dark like dark acacia. Better yet, consider the timeless cedar look that goes well with steel siding.

    How to Install Metal Siding

    There are different ways on how to install metal siding. Obviously, it will depend on what type of metal it is. It will also depend on whether you’re going to install it vertically or horizontally.

    With vertical siding the more popular option with how it makes homes sleeker, cleaner and more modern, we’re going to give you a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

    1. Install the furring strips together with the sheathing.

    The first thing that you need to do is to use a level to make sure that you’ll be installing them on a flat and level surface. This is to ensure that sleek and clean look. If you’re lucky enough that the surface is level, you can skip this step.

    If it’s not, you need to use furring strips installed horizontally every 16 inches. Cut them to size in such a way that you’ll be able to run them from one end to the other end. Nail them in place.

    Afterwards, use plywood or other types of sheathing that’s an inch or thinner. Nail it to the furring strips.

    1. Apply the J-channel.

    The metal siding that you ordered should have corner posts. Install them on the corners as intended.

    Once they’re in place, the next thing that you’re going to install is the J-channel that you should nail across the bottom. Just make sure that you measure in such a way that it will fit with a quarter in gap in between it and the corner posts. This is to give it room as it expands and contracts. You also need to do the same across the top.

    Are there doors and windows on the surface that you’re working on? If yes, you also need to nail J-channels across the edges unless they have siding receivers built in. The J-channels will act as receivers of the panels.

    1. Install the siding.

    You need to get the measurements first. Actually, it’s good practice to know the measurements first to know how many panels you’re going to need. Take note that different brands and types come in different measurements so know their measurements first before ordering based on the measurements that you’ve made of your home’s surface.

    There’s also a good chance that you’d need partial panels. You can cut them using a power saw. You need to use furring and even utility channels if there’s a need for partial panels.

    Position the panels and ensure balance. If you have to use partial panels, make sure that you use them on both sides to maintain a balanced and streamlined look.

    Install the panels one by one. You should start by locking the first panel in place where the receiver is installed in the corner post. Click it in place and then nail it through the slots, maintaining a distance of 16 inches in between nails.

    You then click the second panel in place. It should overlap the first panel, covering the nails in the process. You should also nail the second panel in the same manner as the first one. Do these steps for the rest of the panels.

    What if there are windows and doors? You need to install panels around them so proper measurements have to be made.

    These steps may seem easy but they require precision and expertise. This is why it’s recommended to hire a professional.

    Cost of the Different Metal Siding Options

    As mentioned, the popular options are aluminum, copper, steel and zinc. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $4 to $ 15 for every square foot of siding. Your choice of material can narrow it down for you.

    Steel and aluminum don’t vary that much when it comes to the cost. Generally speaking, it will cost anywhere from almost $19,000 to over $28,000 to install steel or aluminum siding. On the other hand, the price can go as high as over $40,000 for zinc and even higher at around $70,000 for copper.

    Here are more specific numbers based on national averages on a 2,000 square foot home:

    • Steel is usually the most affordable among the options. It can cost lower than $10 per square foot and that’s already installed. Total installation cost can be over $16,500.
    • Aluminum costs a bit higher. It will cost around $12 per square foot once installed. Total installation cost can be over $18,000.
    • Zinc is more expensive than the previous 2 options with installed cost being as high as $20 per square foot. Total installation cost can be over $41,000.
    • Copper can go as high as $35 per square foot installed. Total installation cost can be over $70,500.

    There’s also the Corten steel siding option that is rising in popularity. We wrote a comprehensive guide about it including the Corten steel siding installation cost.

    It’s important to note that there are factors that determine the cost including:

    • How thick the material is
    • Coating
    • Finish

    Getting Quotes from Competing Contractors

    The numbers given above are just estimates based on national averages. You can actually have a pretty good idea as to how much your project will cost by getting in touch with contractors directly and asking them for an itemized quote. Better yet, ask around 4 of the best contractors in the area to send you their best quotes and tell them that you’ll be comparing them in order to find the best deal. This gives them a good reason to send their best quote because they know that they’ll be competing with other contractors.

    We’ve made it easier for you to do just that. All you need to do is to complete the form that you see on this page. Send the form and the best contractors that specialize in metal house siding will receive your details with the understanding that other contractors will be receiving the same details as well. This is why you can expect to receive around 4 of the best quotes that you can choose from.

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