Side-By-Side: How Siding Materials Compare – Part 2: A Rundown of Different Siding Materials
In Part I, we discussed the importance of siding. In essence, siding not only serves to boost your home’s appearance (and value), it also keeps your home structurally solid and saves you money on energy costs to boot.
However, with the different types of siding materials available on the market today, it can be difficult to decide which best suits your needs. In this post, we delve into the most common siding materials available today, and go over some of their pros and cons.
Wood siding is typically the first choice among the majority of homeowners, especially options made of solid wood. Wood siding has good insulation properties and exudes quality. What’s more, many are treated with fire-retardant chemicals for additional protection.
However, solid wood siding is expensive and difficult to maintain. While some wood siding is available pre-finished, some isn’t – so you’ll need to cough up some serious cash to complete the finishing work. Keep in mind, too, that paint tends to fade, sometimes even in as little as a year, which means that you will need to repaint often. And, with sustainability being of primary concern these days, wood siding gets the thumbs-down for not being exactly environment friendly; dozens of trees need to be cut down annually just to manufacture wood siding.
Fiber-cement siding enjoys high popularity mostly because it’s mainly manufactured to resemble masonry. A less expensive alternative to actual stone or brick, fiber-cement requires very little maintenance, and is fire- and termite-resistant.
The downside to this type of material is that it doesn’t handle moisture well. On top of that, the fiber component in this material can cause health problems if inhaled.
Because of its affordability, versatility, and ease of maintainance, vinyl siding has become one of the most popular choices in the United States. However, while many choose it for their homes because of the wide variety of colors and styles available, some remain unconvinced by its “plastic look.” Vinyl siding is also prone to contracting and warping, compromising quality over time.
Steel siding is arguably the best available material on the market today. Steel is highly durable – it can protect your home from all types of weather. Steel siding is competitively priced and comes in an amazing variety of designs. Apart from being fire- and termite-resistant, steel siding is treated to prevent rust.
The only downside to steel siding is the amount of energy it takes to manufacture. However, as the material can be recycled, steel is considered an environment-friendly material despite the demanding manufacturing process it undergoes.
There are other types of siding materials, but the ones discussed above are the most basic – the ones most commonly installed in US homes. Should you be interested in other materials, make sure to research on the pros and cons of each before making your decision. Siding is built to last, so siding replacement is not often necessary. Which is why, when you do have it replaced, it’s imperative that you make the right choice. What do we recommend? If it’s not yet obvious at this point, you’ll find out in last part of this series, so stay tuned!