The siding on your house does a lot of things. It protects the underlying wood and insulation from exposure and weathering, for instance. It is also responsible for the aesthetics of your home, from style to color. When it comes to choosing the best siding to put on a house, you have quite a few different options, and while they’ll all work to one degree or another, they’re far from being the same. What should you know?
A look at your options in house siding
Today, there are quite a few different options available when it comes to house siding. Understanding those options can help you make your decisions.
Vinyl – Perhaps the most common option of all, vinyl siding is lightweight and affordable. It comes in a very wide range of colors, and can be textured to resemble other materials. It’s easily replaced if it is damaged, and requires little in the way of maintenance, other than the occasional washing or power washing to remove dust or mildew that’s building up.
Wood – Wood is the traditional option when it comes to siding to put on a house. It’s widely available, but is more expensive than vinyl. It also needs to be painted and then repainted every few years to retain its appearance. Wood can usually be easily replaced if its damaged, but it is more susceptible to threats like termites.
Cement Board – Cement board, or fiber cement, is similar to both wood and vinyl in that it comes in strips that must be cut to size and attached to the home. However, it’s much more durable than wood, although it’s more expensive than either vinyl or wood. It’s also pretty heavy. In the realm of maintenance, you’ll need to paint it, and then repaint it occasionally. It is subject to degradation, but not in the same way that wood siding is.
Brick – One of the most expensive siding options on the market, brick siding is also one of the most durable. In fact, brick can last for decades without any real need for maintenance. With that being said, brick siding does have a few requirements that you won’t find with other options. For instance, you need a waterproof membrane between the siding and the house, because brick is porous and not waterproof. It’s also very labor-intensive to install.
Stucco – Stucco is not the right choice for every home. It’s used more with specific architecture styles, such as Southwestern, Spanish or Mediterranean. It can be an excellent option, and when properly maintained, can last the life of the home. With that being said, it’s definitely one of the more expensive choices, and installation can take quite some time. It’s also essential that whoever installs the siding is very familiar with stucco, as incorrectly installed stucco will fail prematurely.
Shakes – Wood shakes are similar to wood siding in that they’re made of natural wood. However, these are small squares, rather than long planks. They’re usually only used on specific portions of the home to break up or add visual appeal. They can also be used as a roofing option. Shakes are relatively cheap, but come with the same drawbacks that wood siding has.
These are just a few of your options when it comes to the best siding to put on a house. In terms of affordability and versatility, vinyl wins out. However, you’ll need to make your decision based on your budget, your ability to handle ongoing maintenance, your desires in terms of aesthetics, and more.