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Types of Siding

What siding options are available?

Siding is made of several different materials. Currently, the most common options installed are vinyl, wood, aluminum, steel, and fiber-cement. Vinyl tends to be the most affordable option, while wood and fiber-cement can be quite expensive.

Vinyl Siding

The Good:

• Affordability
• Durability
• Low maintenance
• Lightweight, easy to install
• Does not require repainting
• Will not attract termites
• Wide variety of colors, textures, and finishes

The Bad:

• Color may fade
• Thin, uninsulated vinyl is a poor insulator
• Can be damaged by hail and other types of severe weather

The Bottom Line:

Vinyl siding is durable and reasonably priced. It requires very little maintenance and comes in a wide selection of colors and textures. If it’s in the budget to do so, you might consider choosing an insulated vinyl siding to help keep your house warm in the winter and. While vinyl siding is water-resistant, if the necessary precautions are not taken, moisture underneath the siding can lead to water damage and mold growth.

Wood Siding

The Good:

• Classic, traditional look
• Cedar and Redwood have natural rot resistance
• Easy to cut
• Repairs are simple
• Many different types of wood and styles of siding
• Long lifespan, when properly maintained

The Bad:

• Time-consuming installation
• Must be repainted/re-stained
• High maintenance costs
• Susceptible to water damage
• Not fireproof
• Will attract termites and other insects
• Can rot and warp over time

The Bottom Line:

Wood siding comes in all shapes and sizes, from cedar shingles to split logs. Wood never really goes out of style. When properly maintained, wood siding can outlast vinyl. However, if you are looking for a low maintenance option, wood siding may not be for you. Not only does it have to be repainted periodically, it also vulnerable to damage from water and insects.

Aluminum Siding

The Good:

• Easy to install
• Minimal maintenance
• Provides good insulation
• Performs well in coastal environments
• Not affected by insects
• Fire-resistant

The Bad:

• More expensive than vinyl
• Dents easily
• Repairs can be difficult
• Noisy to install
• Easily scratched

The Bottom Line:

Aluminum siding is easy to install and requires very little maintenance year after year. You will not have to worry about insect damage, but aluminum siding is vulnerable to scratches and dents. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to repair anything less than one whole panel.

Steel Siding

The Good:

• Very durable
• Long-lasting
• Can be made to look like natural wood
• Easy to maintain
• Will hold up in a hailstorm

The Bad:

• More expensive
• Heavy, difficult to install
• May rust

The Bottom Line:

Steel siding is durable and long-lasting, but it will come at a price. Steel is more expensive on its own and it is heavy which increases the cost of installation. However, it requires very little maintenance and it will not be affected by the occasional hail storm.

Fiber-Cement Siding

The Good:

• Made to last!
• Very durable
• Classic look of wood
• Highly water resistant
• Incombustible
• Will not attract termites
• Will not rot or crack
• Wide selection of colors/textures available
• Can be made to replicate look and feel of natural wood
• Can withstand severe weather
• Not affected by the saltwater corrosion in coastal areas
• Typically comes with a 30 year warranty

The Bad:

• Expensive
• Very heavy, slows down installation process
• Costly, labor-intensive installation
• Must be periodically repainted
• Limited color/texture choices

The Bottom Line:

Fiber cement siding is built to last and most manufacturer's offer a 30 year warranty on their product. It very heavy and the installation can be time-consuming and costly. Outside of the occasional re-painting, it is fairly low maintenance and it will not be affected by termites or severe weather.

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About the Author

ProMatcher Staff, ProMatcher
Orlando, FL 32803

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