Pros and Cons of Different Types of Siding

Choosing the right siding for your home is an important decision. The siding material you select not only contributes to the appearance of your home; it can also improve its efficiency, reducing heating costs. With such a wide range of siding materials to choose from, there are three things to take into consideration: the area in which you live; how much it will cost; and the style of your home. It is also important to keep in mind that each type of siding has its positives and negatives.

Vinyl Siding – One of the two most popular types of siding, vinyl siding is easy to install, very durable and costs less than other kinds of siding materials. It is also fire resistant and requires minimal maintenance. Vinyl siding tends to contract in cold temperatures and expand when it’s hot, which can cause cracks or flaking, depending on the intensity of the contraction/expansion process. While long-lasting, vinyl siding is prone to fading over time.

Aluminum Siding – The second most popular type of siding material is aluminum siding. While slightly more expensive than vinyl siding, it still is more economical per square foot when compared to other types of siding. Aluminum siding expands and contracts much less than vinyl. The main disadvantage to aluminum siding is that it can be easily dented or damaged. However, it is durable, can be painted and is low maintenance.

Fiber Cement Siding – Made from wood fibers and mixed with of combination of other materials such as cement, sand or crushed stone, fiber cement is gaining in popularity as a siding material because of its incredible strength and longevity. The biggest advantage to this siding material is that it can have the appearance of wood siding without the problems associated with it, such as rotting, mold and insect damage. The downside of fiber cement is that it might be harder to install because of its brittle nature when cut or dropped.

Wood Siding – Wood siding takes a variety of forms, including cedar shakes, cedar shingles and composite wood panels. Wood siding, whether it’s moisture resistant or made from composite wood, is typically more expensive than vinyl or aluminum siding. Real wood siding is unique to each home because the grain pattern differs from one piece of wood to another. However, it can be vulnerable to rotting, warping and splitting. While composite wood siding isn’t prone to the problems of natural wood siding, both wood siding and composite wood siding require regular maintenance to keep them looking good through the years.