Exterior siding is an essential component of every home. Apart from the fact that good siding keeps your house looking great, it also protects the interior from the outside elements.
In fact, great siding also means lower heating and cooling costs and increased home value. According to a cost vs. value report on Remodeling.net, vinyl siding replacement brings in 80 percent of its initial cost, and fiber-cement siding generally returns 84 percent. These two siding remodels top the charts for highest national average values on remodeled siding.
If you’re looking for a great way to improve the look of your house while saving money, you should think about updating your siding.
Among the considerations when you’re choosing exterior siding for your home are the following options:
Try to picture a certain type of siding on your home before you purchase it. Does it fit in with the style of the rest of the structure? Does it match the neighborhood? The last thing you want is for your expensive siding replacement to be an eyesore.
Make sure the siding will last long enough for it to be worth the time and money required to install it. The durability depends mostly on the type of siding you get. Ask your contractor about the life of the siding you’re looking at and how durable it will be against the elements in your region.
If your siding can’t protect your home’s interior walls from water, you will face a myriad of problems in time, including mold, wood rot, insulation depreciation, leaky ceilings and walls, and more. Make water resistance a top priority during your search.
Siding should be able to resist other weather elements, such as wind, hail, and snow. If it can’t, this can also lead to the types of problems you’ll see with leaking water, and force you to repair your home sooner than you planned.
Ease of installation:
Replacement of siding can get expensive, but it’s more affordable if you look for one that’s easy to install. Your contractor will be able to charge you less.
There are enough features around your home that require a lot of maintenance, so there’s no point in adding siding to the list. Look for siding that’s easy to clean and resists nicks, dirt, and damage.
Believe it or not, the best way to keep your home from developing an ant infestation is to have great siding. Look for a type of siding that guarantees it will repel insects before you make your purchase.
Six Of The Best Siding Options
Now you know what to look for, you’re ready to start shopping. Keep each of the above features in mind as you study the six most popular exterior siding options in the home improvement industry.
1. Vinyl Siding
Vinyl is affordable both to purchase and to install, which makes it one of the top choices in the United States. It also comes in a variety of colors to accommodate the predominant shades of your neighborhood and home.
Some vinyl siding kits are so easy that amateur do-it-yourselfers can install it themselves, if they follow the instructions and consult an online tutorial or contractor.
The biggest downside of vinyl is the cheap look. It’s essentially plastic, and it looks like it. In addition, many types of vinyl siding are not very durable.
It’s easy for rough weather or heavy usage to put cracks and holes in this siding, so it tends to require frequent maintenance.
2. Wood Siding
Wood isn’t nearly as popular as it used to be, but it can still be found on bungalows, cottages, and log cabins. It provides an attractive and rich look if it’s properly maintained, and it’s extremely durable.
Wood siding generally comes in a variety of styles, including clapboard (or bevel) siding, shingles, and even logs. Clapboard siding consists of using planks of wood and installing them horizontally, while shingles are just what they sound like: shingles of wood attached to the side of the house.
The problem with wood siding is the high initial cost and the constant maintenance. Homes with wood siding require frequent painting, weather treatment, and flame retardant treatments to resist much of what the weather throws at it.
Wood’s also not very good at resisting rodents and insects that can chew through it to get indoors.
English cottage, Colonial, and Tudor homes are beloved for their beautiful brick exteriors, but ranch-style homes can also look great with this type of siding, which is made from fired clay and uses mortar as a sealant.
It’s a very high-end look that’s also highly durable. It may even survive as long as the house does. However, the cost of installation is high due to the labor-intensive nature of the work.
Besides that, brick is a high conductor of heat, which can significantly boost your cooling costs during the summer.
Stucco is most common on Mediterranean, ranch, and Spanish-style homes. It’s made from a combination of cement, lime, building sand, and water to create a smoother brick-style exterior. When properly installed and maintained, it can last as long as your house.
Many regard stucco as a cheap-looking style. Improper installation is a common problem, too, which can result in premature cracks. It’s also not as durable as other forms of siding: It easily cracks and suffers other forms of damage due to weather conditions and natural erosion.
One of the most popular home trends today is to use stone and stone veneer for siding. This provides a natural beauty to a home with granite and limestone.
It’s a high-end look that’s very durable and highly resistant to weather. It’s also extremely expensive to install, however, and it requires a substantial amount of maintenance in order to keep it looking classy.
Homeowners who choose stone siding can expect annual cleanings and inspections in order to ensure the siding hasn’t caved and will last as long as the house.
6. Fiber-Cement Siding
Fiber-cement siding is one of the most popular home exterior siding options, thanks to its low cost but high-end look. It’s low-maintenance, water and weather-resistant, easy to install, durable, non-flammable, insect resistant, and available in a variety of styles and colors.
It offers the high-end look of some of the other siding options without the accompanying high cost. Fiber-cement siding is a great option for any home.
If you’re looking for a type of siding that will last but give you the aesthetic appeal you desire, consider using James Hardie siding from John McCarter Construction. We offer only the highest quality of fiber-cement siding for your home, with all of the benefits and none of the risks.
For more information about having James Hardie siding installed on your home, contact us today!