Siding

To decide on the best siding option for a house, homeowners should consider appearance along with durability, ease of maintenance and other features.

Choosing the Right Siding for Your Home

Whether you’re building a new house, or restoring or replacing the existing exterior of your home, the siding is a crucial part of a home’s character, both in terms of look and functionality. With all the many options available, it’s important to consider the following factors to decide on the material that best suits both the style of your house and the needs of your household.

Appearance

Because it covers the entire exterior of a house, how it looks is one of the most important features of any siding choice. Higher quality vinyl or textured aluminum can effectively mimic the appearance of wooden clapboard, though it must be carefully installed to maintain existing details of the trim. When restoring older houses, using wood or cedar shakes and shingles may be preferred to preserve the historical value. However, vinyl and vinyl-clad aluminum are available in a wide range of colors and styles, both modern and traditional that mimics the look of wood.

Durability

Although vinyl siding is long-lasting, it’s weaker than some materials at withstanding violent weather, and can occasionally be punctured by wind-blown debris. For sheer strength, seamless steel is one of the sturdiest options, and resistant to shrinkage due to temperature changes. However, being a plastic, vinyl is waterproof and impervious to corrosion, and vinyl-clad aluminum is more resilient both to punctures and denting.

Maintenance

Unlike clapboard, vinyl is not painted; instead the pigments are baked into the plastic. While older and lower quality vinyl options may sometimes fade, modern siding is more resilient. To preserve its pristine appearance it needs an occasional cleaning, though most dirt can be washed off with a garden hose. Aluminum and other metal siding is similarly low-maintenance, especially when vinyl-coated. In contrast, wooden clapboard must be repainted or stained every few years to uphold its appearance and protect against moisture damage.

Energy Efficiency

Hot summers and freezing winters aren’t just rough on a house but on your energy bills as well. Modern exterior options offer greater benefits for energy efficiency. While lower quality options may not offer significantly more protection than wood, insulated vinyl house siding is made with polystyrene insulation form-fitted onto the back sides of the strips. This improves a home’s airtightness, moisture management and thermal performance, and results in savings of ten percent or more of annual heating costs, according to industry studies.

Learn More About Siding For Your Home

Selecting the appropriate siding for your home is about more than what it looks like. By comparing maintenance, durability, energy savings and other features, you can choose the best exterior for your home.