Nothing raises the curb appeal of your home more than fresh siding. When it’s time to choose new siding– your old siding needs to be replaced, you’re ready for a new look for your home, or you’re putting an addition on to your existing home, you need to consider many factors in order to make the best decision. With so many great options available, it can be hard to know where to start. We’re here to help you make the right decision for your home.
#1. Fiber Cement Siding
Fiber cement siding is a very popular choice. Made of cement, sand, and cellulose fibers, fiber cement siding is very durable and low-maintenance. It can be painted or come prepainted. This type of siding comes in planks that can vary in width and can be installed vertically or horizontally. It also comes in finishes that mimic wood or stucco, or can have a smooth surface.
Fiber cement siding is durable, resisting termites and woodpeckers, hail damage, water damage, sun-fading, and fire. It provides some insulating value for your home. It lasts a long time and is easy to care for, requiring only a hose and soap to keep it clean.
One downside of fiber cement siding is its weight. It weighs about 300 lbs per 100 square feet. It can also be brittle after a while. It’s higher in cost than some other siding types, although it does hold its value well.
#2. Vinyl Siding
While often thought of as a low-budget option, vinyl siding has improved over recent years. It is easy to install, readily available, and it is the most cost-efficient way of siding your house. Is it the right choice for you? Maybe.
Vinyl siding is a popular choice because of the ease it offers. It installs quickly. It’s very easy to maintain, with only a hose and a scrub brush needed to clean it. You never need to paint it, because the color is baked in–the color that you see on the surface runs all the way through each plank. But if you decide you need a change, you can paint it.
On the downside, vinyl siding doesn’t insulate your home particularly well. It has a low R-value (the number assigned to show how well it insulates), although this can be raised with insulation board behind the vinyl. Because it’s made of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, it can crack or buckle under stress, in extreme temperatures, or when hit with debris such as hail. Vinyl siding doesn’t do much for your home’s resale value, although if you’re replacing old or damaged siding with it and intend to sell quickly, it will likely help.
#3. Wood Siding
One of the oldest types of siding historically, wood siding is a beautiful choice for most homes. Wood lasts a long time with proper maintenance, and is probably the most eco-friendly siding option available. Wood siding can come in a variety of styles including planks, vertical board and batten, lap (also known as clapboard), tongue-and-groove, shingles, and cedar shakes.
The type of wood used varies, too. On the higher end cost-wise are redwood and reclaimed barn wood. The midrange is cedar, which is very popular due to its high durability. On the lower end of costs are woods like pine and fir.
Wood siding requires a good deal of maintenance. It needs to be painted or stained regularly, inspected for termites and other pests, and protected from water damage. But if you’re willing to put in the work, you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful home.
Shingles and Shakes–What’s the Difference?
Shingles and shakes are similar: both are rectangular pieces of wood that are installed in overlapping horizontal layers. Shingles are sawed, resulting in more a uniform and smooth design, whereas shakes are split from logs, resulting in more texture and unique looks to each piece. Shakes are generally made from cedar, giving them an old-world feel. Cedar shakes are expensive and require some maintenance, but their beauty is unmatched. Shingles can be made from cedar or other wood, or even from cement fiber board for the look of a wood-shingled house with the ease of maintenance of a cement fiber board one.
#4. Metal Siding
Aluminum, steel, copper, and zinc siding are becoming a more popular option for low-maintenance, good-looking siding. Horizontal metal planks can mimic the look of wood and are great in terms of durability, and resistance to heat, fire, and pests. Sometimes metal siding can be installed over old siding like wood that has become damaged, making it a good option for updating an older home. It can be painted and can lend itself to a modern look for contemporary homes
Metal siding is strong and won’t buckle in very cold weather. On the other hand, it can be noisy in a rainstorm, and it does transmit heat. It lasts a long time and looks good throughout its lifetime.
#5. Brick Siding
Brick is a highly durable, beautiful siding option. While solid brick can last for centuries, brick veneer is a less expensive but also long-lasting option. Brick siding is impervious to insects and resists fire. It won’t buckle or warp. It insulates well and it rarely needs repairs. It can be painted or left as-is.
Brick siding is expensive and the installation is labor-intensive. And because it’s heavy, it’s important to ensure that the home’s foundation is strong enough to support it. Brick siding increases your home’s resale value and generally, brick homes are cheaper to insure because they aren’t as at-risk for fire or storm damage as other homes.
#6. Stone Veneer Siding
Similar to brick veneer, stone veneer lasts a long time and looks great. It is one of the more expensive types of siding, which is why it is often used on just the front of the house, with cement fiber plank or another type of siding complementing it on the other three sides. Also like brick, stone veneer is very heavy and may require adjusting or reinforcing your home’s foundation if it can’t support the weight. Stone veneer can be composed of slate, granite, limestone, or other types of stone. It resists pests and fire and is durable and moisture-resistant. Stone veneer gives your home a gorgeous, sturdy, and luxurious look that you will enjoy for many years.
#7. Stucco Siding
Stucco is a relatively inexpensive and attractive siding option. It’s often used in the southeast and southwest, and it has a bit of a Spanish Colonial feel to it. Stucco is made of a mixture of cement, sand, lime, and water and is applied to the home’s exterior in multiple coats. It is very energy-efficient and insulates your home well, and it also resists moisture, pests, and fire.
You can customize your stucco finish with different textures and colors. It’s paintable and easy to repair when necessary. It can stain when exposed to moisture for a period of time, like around a downspout or overflowing gutter, and if left unrepaired, cracks and holes in the stucco will get worse. But for relative ease of maintenance, stucco is one of the best.