The siding on the exterior of your house does double duty. From the functional perspective, it is there to provide protection for residents, keeping the elements out, just like your roof does. It also maintains your insulation allowing your HVAC systems to maintain greater efficiency when it comes to keeping your home warm or cool, depending on the season.
But the other thing that siding does is define the look of your home. It’s what covers the vast majority of the structure, and creates an immediate first impression. Choosing the siding for a home if you’re doing a major renovation, repair or upgrade can be a big choice, but you have a lot of options depending on what your priorities are.
This is the most popular choice for American homes, and millions of residences across the country have used this siding for decades. There’s a good reason for that; vinyl siding achieves a great balance between cost and quality.
It’s definitely not the most expensive choice, which means great value for homeowners, but at the same time, it also provides a lot of durable, low maintenance protection for homes. It comes in a variety of colors too, so painting the home isn’t usually required, and to clean it, you just need some water. Of course, being the most popular choice, it’s also the most common, people looking for something more distinctive may not want to go with this material.
This is a classic choice, and while it’s definitely more expensive and more labor intensive to install than vinyl, it creates a very warm, distinct look for a home’s exterior. Brick is also incredibly durable, often lasting for decades and allowing for more than one family to live in a home without ever having to maintain the bricks themselves.
However, when brick does require maintenance, such as repointing, which “replenishes” the mortar between bricks, this can also be costly and labor intensive. However, this is not something a homeowner keeping a brick house in good shape will need to worry about on a regular basis, if ever.
While wood is no longer as common a material choice as it once was, there’s no denying the flexibility and distinctiveness of its look. Whether you’re going for wood slats/shingles, or a more rustic split log look, wood creates an incredibly unique look for a home, with a warmth and small town/country feel that really can’t be replicated by anything else. Of course, it’s also a more delicate material that requires more maintenance.
With more modern, bold designs in homes, metal has now come into its own as a form of siding and not just a method of structural reinforcement. Steel, aluminum, and even zinc and copper all give a very different, modern look to a home that uses these materials as siding. Depending on the material choice, it’ll look the same for decades or take on a more individual, weathered look from exposure to the elements.
This is a relatively new development in materials research, but it’s one that’s been gaining a lot of popularity. Fiber cement takes the versatility and texture of materials like wood, combines it with the value of vinyl, but then adds the durability of harder materials like stone and metal for a unique, modern material.
Fiber cement is actually a mix of mortar and cellulose, creating a hybrid material that is half brick, half wood. This makes it water resistant, termite resistant and even flame resistant, while not costing as much as the more durable materials. However, like vinyl, it can come in a variety of colors, but, unlike vinyl, can even be “stamped” with textures such as wood, or brick.