Siding technologies have come a very long way in the past thirty odd years. As a result, you may be seeing some really attractive, modern, vivid installations even on older homes around your neighborhood.
As a homeowner who takes great pride in your home’s appearance, you may be eager to trade your tired old aluminum or vinyl siding in for something new and fresh.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but look before you leap – this is a decision you will have to live with for many, many years to come. Not all siding is the same, both in cost, appearance, and its endurance against various external factors. Today, we’re going to look at the different kinds of siding, and their strengths, weaknesses, and cost-effectiveness.
Vinyl is one of the most common materials used in siding, at least in the United States, Canada and many parts of western Europe. There are reasons for this, as it’s very easy to work with, it’s very diverse, able to look like wood, stone, metal or anything in between. It can last for twenty to thirty years on the outset, and costs as little as two or three dollars per square foot.
It is so easy to install, in fact, that it’s perfectly acceptable to save a lot of money by doing this siding as a DIY project if you actually know what you’re doing. One of the other big reasons vinyl is so desirable is the resale value it adds to a home, allowing you to recoup up to eighty-three percent of their initial cost when the house sells.
Of course, nothing is perfect, and a big downside of vinyl is it’s less than environmentally-friendly nature. So durable is this material, that it will sit in landfills for years before it begins to break down at all. If you care about the environment – and you should – work with contractors that believe in vinyl recycling. Recycled vinyl is just as good as non-recycled, and spares a landfill!
Wood siding is another popular one in the US, and in Scandinavia as well. It gives a rustic look and is in one sense, environmentally sound because wood does break down. However, it involves cutting down trees, so this may wind up as a neutral thing, as that goes.
Wood is very easy to work with, making a DIY with this one just as viable. However, wood siding is expensive, costing up to ten dollars per square foot. It’s also very high in maintenance. It can, however, add a lot to the resale value of a house (or hinder it, depending on the local attitude towards its maintenance costs and requirements).
Stucco is growing in popularity, though it’s most associated with tropical and desert climates, which were colonized by Spain and Italy, where stucco originates. Stucco is very cost-effective as far as energy efficiency, and very attractive. It can last up to 50 years if cared for.
A problem with stucco, though, is damage can result in remediation, which means the layers of lime, silica, and cement have to be replaced over a large section of your home. It’s also one of the more expensive materials, at up to nine dollars per square foot.
Stone is mostly a façade – manufactured stone veneer, not actual stone blocks. It’s difficult to install, not being viable for a DIY. However, its rustic look and long lifespan of up to twenty-five years make it very desired.
It can be expensive, costing up to eighteen dollars per square foot, and has a high maintenance and labor cost to install and keep.
It’s very sustainable, but not the easiest choice.
Aluminum is one of the older modern siding types and isn’t as popular. It’s durable, lasting up to fifty years, and it’s easy to install and maintain. It’s affordable at up to seven dollars per square foot.
It’s also green since most aluminum in the world is recycled.
Unfortunately, aluminum is not as popular as it once was, and it does run the risk of buckling or denting if hail or other weather phenomena attack it.
Brick siding is another classic, and it’s never decreased in popularity. Brick can be costly, because of the additional weight needing the structure to be a bit more shored up. It also requires a skilled mason to install. However, the brick veneer itself isn’t too expensive, at about ten dollars per square feet.
It’s pretty low maintenance, and it has a decent lifespan, up to one hundred years.
It’s not environmentally-friendly, costing a lot of energy to fire bricks, so the environmentally-conscious may feel some trepidation using such a material these days.
This is a newer, more unique material, using fiberglass and Portland cement to create injection-molded materials that can look like wood, vinyl, stone, brick, or anything in between. It’s incredibly durable, and you can look to recoup up to seventy-nine percent of your cost if you sell your home. It has a lifespan of half a century, and costs up to ten dollars per square foot, which isn’t that bad but isn’t cheap either.
The jury is still out on how sustainable this new material is, as cement releases a lot of CO2.
To learn more about the many types of siding, and their benefits, fill out our contact form today!