Unless your house is made of brick or stucco, chances are high you rely on some type of siding to protect your home from the elements. Of course weather proofing isn’t the only reason people put up siding, your choice of home siding can say a lot about your personality and can make a huge difference in your house’ appearance. Understanding the different types of siding available can go a long way toward helping you decide what type of siding to use on your new home, or what to use to replace your old siding.
Types of Siding
New siding doesn’t just make your home look better, it can also help reduce your heating and cooling bills and can increase the resale value of your home. After all, a home’s exterior is the first thing potential buyers see when viewing MLS listings or walking up to your home. Of course new siding isn’t a decision to be taken lightly. Siding costs can vary dramatically and different types of siding can give your home completely different looks.
The most popular type of siding these days is vinyl. Made from PVC, vinyl siding is popular because it doesn’t rot and never needs painted. It’s both extremely low maintenance and very inexpensive. That said, vinyl siding is prone to fading, cracking and warping over time. Additionally, the PVC used to make vinyl siding releases toxic chemicals when burned, making vinyl siding unpopular with environmentally conscious consumers.
Aluminum siding started rising in popularity during the 1950’s, when post-war tract houses were being built in massive numbers. Aluminum siding is environmentally friendly, inexpensive and is fireproof. It also represented a huge change in maintenance for home owners who were used to the constant sanding and painting required by wooden clapboard siding. The primary downside of aluminum siding is how easily it can be dented. Hail, stray baseballs and even ladders can cause unsightly blemishes in aluminum siding.
While steel siding is more commonly associated with the corrugated steel siding used on barns and warehouses, steel siding is becoming a more common option on houses as well. Steel siding works well in regions with widely varying temperatures because it’s not prone to warping and bulging like vinyl siding. It’s also highly durable. Since it can be manufactured to resemble a wooden texture, steel siding can blend nicely into most neighborhoods.
Cedar Shake Siding
One of the most popular types of wood siding for high end homes, cedar shake siding offers a natural look that can be stained in a wide range of colors. In general, cedar shake siding requires less upkeep than older style wooden clapboard siding, but is far more expensive.
Over the past several years, an engineered composite plastic that looks like wood has risen in popularity for decks, fences and even siding. These nearly maintenance free panels are easily installed and provide a seamless look for your siding.