Siding isn’t the most glamorous part of your home. It’s not something many homeowners get excited about, nor is it a feature they put a lot of thought into. But when you’re renovating an older home with exterior home improvements or purchasing a new home and making all the building decisions from scratch, siding is one of the most important features you’ll need to pick.
To someone unfamiliar with siding and its function in the overall structure of your house, that may sound strange, but the truth is, siding is more important than most people think.
First and foremost, the siding on your house plays a huge role in how it looks and is received. Your siding gives newcomers their first impression of your home and has a significant impact on its curb appeal—which is especially important if you’re trying to sell. But the color, style, design, and cleanliness of your siding can also affect how you feel about it. You want to feel comfortable in your home, and you want its exterior to reflect who you are as a homeowner.
When most people think about their home’s insulation, they think about the fiberglass or blow insulation that exists in their walls. However, the quality and type of your siding will have just as big of an impact on how well your home is insulated. Thick, attentively installed siding will block the wind and protect your home from rapid temperature changes—and some types of siding can be added with extra insulation on top of that. Cracked or damaged siding can cause leaks, which interfere with your home’s temperature, heating, and cooling.
Protection and Durability
Your siding is also the best layer of protection you have to keep your home safe from different types of external damage. Good siding can hold up in even the most extreme weather conditions, such as high winds, storms, and hail, protecting the interior of your home as well. It can also protect your home against the development of mold, which can be an expensive fix, damage from random accidents and impacts into the side of your house, and the onset of insects and rodents. On top of that, some types of siding can offer resistance against fires and other types of damage.
Of all the exterior home improvements you can make, replacing your siding offers one of the highest returns on your investment (ROI)—with some estimates claiming between an 80 and 90 percent return. Of course, this has a lot to do with the type of siding you choose, and the siding you install on a new house will also affect its value both in the short-term and in the long-term. This value is tied to all the aforementioned qualities—aesthetics, insulation, protection, and durability—woven together.
Types of Siding
There are many types of siding available, all of which come with advantages and disadvantages
Vinyl siding is one of the most popular types of siding, but not for the best reasons. Its biggest strength is that it’s cheap—that doesn’t mean it’s worthless, but it does hold less value than most of its counterparts. It’s relatively easy to produce and comes in a variety of different colors and styles. It’s also somewhat easy to install, making it even cheaper and enabling some homeowners to tackle the job on their own. However, vinyl siding isn’t very durable, and is prone to inclement weather—it will also need replaced and maintained somewhat frequently compared to other types.
Wood siding is a popular choice, mainly for its aesthetic value. If you choose the proper wood and maintain it regularly, it can be quite durable, lasting for up to 100 years on its own. However, you’ll need to make sure to weatherproof your siding if you want it to last, and on top of that, wood can be expensive. It’s also more prone to insect and rodent damage.
Fiber-cement siding is a composite material made from sand, cement, and cellulose fibers. It’s a bit more expensive than vinyl siding, but it’s far more durable and does a better job of protecting your house. It’s guaranteed for 50 years or more, is one of the longest-lasting types of siding you can get, and it’s available in a wide range of colors and styles.
These aren’t the only types of siding, but they are some of the most popular. Brick and stone siding are also highly durable, and stucco siding can last practically forever. Be sure to research your options thoroughly before finalizing your decision.
No matter what type of siding you choose, ongoing maintenance is a necessity if you want your siding to last. At a minimum, you should clean your siding once or twice a year, and inspect it for areas of weakness or damage (before the damage gets any worse). Regularly inspecting and cleaning your siding can help it last several years longer, and increase its ability to protect your home (not to mention increasing its value).
When to Replace Your Siding
When considering an exterior home improvement, it’s tough to tell the best time to pull the trigger. If you’re considering a move, replacement siding can help boost your curb appeal and home value—but you’ll also miss out on the aesthetic appeal, so it’s good to replace your siding at least a few years before you move. You’ll also want to pay close attention to the condition of your current siding—if it looks like it’s falling apart or if it’s suffered extensive damage, you’ll need to take action as soon as possible.
If you’re thinking about replacing your siding, whether your old siding is showing significant signs of wear or you’re just ready for an aesthetic update, contact us today. We’ll help you decide the best new siding for your home, and quote you a competitive price.