Home Exteriors: How to Choose Siding

Home Exteriors: How to Choose SidingIs it time to update your home’s exterior? Whether your house is on the market or you just want to increase curb appeal, an inviting entryway signals a cozy, attractive interior. When selecting a color scheme, search for one that complements the style of home you live in, and consider using color to highlight and define your home’s architectural features. Most importantly, choose durable exterior materials that can withstand the test of time and the elements.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl is the most popular of all home exterior siding materials in the United States for several reasons: the variety of colors and styles, low cost, and easy maintenance. Vinyl siding has gotten a bad reputation in some cases for looking too plastic, but developments of sophisticated manufacturing can make vinyl mimic the texture of woodgrain and roughly sawn wooden shingles.

The material itself is relatively inexpensive, easy to install and the best brands offer transferable lifetime warranties. Insulated vinyl is great for maintaining an efficient and environmentally friendly home for all seasons. It’s also incredibly easy to maintain: dirt simply washes off and it never needs repainting.

Wood Siding

Popular for creating that cottage look, wood siding is a classic choice among many beach homes and bungalows. The wooden pieces can come in a variety of cuts, as clapboards, shakes or shingles, and be overlapped in a variety of patterns.

The most durable woods are Western Red Cedar and Redwood. If you’re planning on applying paint or an opaque stain, you can opt for less-expensive grades.

Wood is susceptible to weather damage, fire and insects, making it the highest maintenance of home exteriors. Clear finishes should be reapplied every two years; semi-transparent stains every three years; and paints every five years – which can add up to the overall cost. The good thing is that with proper maintenance it can last for generations.

Brick Siding

There is no doubt that by adding brick siding to your home, it will give it a rustic and classic look. Nowadays, most brick siding is actually made up of a veneer built around a home’s existing wooden framework. Because brick is water permeable, builders must install a membrane between the brick and the home’s framework for added durability.

Brick is highly durable and will last for generations. It also requires little maintenance, insulates well, and is insect resistant. Brick can also be painted to give a more contemporary look to your home.

Brick siding is very expensive and requires expert installation. However, when done right brick siding can look amazing for many years to come.

Stucco Siding

Stucco is a light weight concrete mixture that can be textured and painted in a host of colors. Stucco mixed with epoxy prevents chipping and cracking, but it is still susceptible to water damage due to its porous nature.

Different toners can be added to the stucco mixture to give it a rich, organic color based on what you like. Stucco is a low-maintenance material that’s resistant to fire and insects, is a good insulator and does not require repainting.

Stucco is less expensive than brick or stone but it is not as durable. It requires expert installation and must be kept well sealed or moisture can penetrate and damage the interior framing. However, when stucco siding is properly installed and maintained, it can last over fifty years!

Fiber-cement Siding

Fiber-cement siding is popular, like vinyl, for offering a wide range of styles in a stable, durable material requiring little maintenance. The textures can be molded to mimic masonry, stucco wood, etc. at a much more affordable rate without being susceptible to fire, termites or rot. It takes paint well, and most manufacturers offer an array of factory-applied finishes.

The downside is that this material requires specialized, labor-intensive installation and only lasts 20-30 years with a warranty, depending on the manufacturer.

Synthetic Stone and Stone-Veneer siding

Like brick, most stone siding that’s installed today is simply a veneer, which luckily makes installation easier and allows you to choose any type of stone to mimic. With synthetic stone siding, you’re getting the look of real stone at a fraction of the cost.

Synthetic stone is also fire and insect resistant and can be easily cleaned with a hose. Maintained properly, synthetic stone siding can last the lifetime of a home. Although synthetic stone siding is less expensive than actual stone, it is still an expensive material and it may not look quite like the real thing.

With a little research and a professional insulation, your new siding has the potential to transform your home, both inside and out. If you are considering new siding for your home, let the professionals at All Weather Tite help you make the right selection. You can contact us for a free quote, or with any questions about our products or services.

Posted in Home Maintenance, Siding.