Choosing the Right Siding Material for Your Home

Siding is an attractive option for many homeowners because it means you don’t have to worry about painting the exterior of your house ever again. But with so many different types of siding to choose from, how do you know which siding material will be best? When selecting siding, you should consider the style of your home and the appearance you would like to achieve; geographic location; and the cost, not only for the actual siding material and its installation, but also the expense to maintain it throughout the years.

Aluminum Siding

Aluminum siding is a popular siding material because it’s very versatile, available in panels of different sizes and colours. Per square foot, it is the second economical siding material, vinyl siding being the most economical when compared to other types of siding. Panels of aluminum siding can be trimmed to the required space upon installation. If somewhere down the line, you wish to change the appearance or colour of your home, aluminum siding can be painted. It is compatible with a wide range of house styles from traditional to contemporary to ultra-modern. It is also suitable for a variety of climates, including cold temperatures, because aluminum minimally contracts or expands. While it is durable, can be easily maintained and is naturally resistant to fire, rotting or termites, aluminum siding can be dented and scratched due to its lighter weight.

Vinyl Siding

Of all of the siding materials available, vinyl siding is the least inexpensive. It is available in many colours and faux wood finishes. Some types of vinyl siding include a foam backing, which increases the insulation of your home, in addition to sound proofing it. However, it is susceptible to contracting in cold temperatures and expanding in hot ones and its colour will fade in time. It is extremely easy to maintain. Because it can be made to look like wood, as well as being available in a variety of colours and sizes, vinyl siding works well with any number of styles and in most geographic areas.

Wood Siding

Wood siding, including cedar shakes or cedar shingles, is generally considered to be the most expensive siding material available. It must be treated to be moisture resistant. Wood siding tends to give a home a unique appearance, regardless of the architectural style, since the grain pattern of each piece of wood is individual. For rustic, traditional and heritage style houses, wood siding is a popular choice.

Another option is composite wood siding, also known as engineered wood siding. Made from recycled wood products, it has the benefits of real wood but isn’t prone to rotting, warping or splitting. Composite wood siding can have the appearance of cedar shingles, wood grain or any other wood-related texture.

Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement siding or concrete board is made from wood fibers mixed with other materials like cement, sand or crushed stone. It is ideal for most residential and commercial siding installations because it can withstand extreme hot and cold, as well as high or abrasive winds. Because it is a compound material, it is strong, durable and adaptable. Fiber cement is available in numerous colours and designs. It is typically heavier than other siding materials, which means that it can be difficult to cut and if dropped, it can break on impact.

Becoming familiar with your siding material options and taking factors like architectural style and installation costs into account, can help you decide what is best for your home. But don’t overlook the most important element – personal taste. Vinyl siding may be the most cost effective, but if you don’t think it adds anything to the exterior of the house, choose another siding material that does.