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The Many Faces of Siding

Is all siding the same? Of course not! Choosing the right siding is more than just color, design, aesthetics, and curb appeal; durability is also very important, as well as energy efficiency. When it comes time to sell the property, the right siding can up the resale value as well. Siding acts as a barrier to prevent rain, snow, wind, insects, and dust from seeping into your home. Choosing and correctly installing the right siding will make your home more comfortable, beautiful, and appealing.

What siding choices are there?  It almost seems endless so here are few of the most common:

  • Wood
                        o    Board and Batten
                        o   Log
                        o   Wood Shingle Siding
                        o   Horizontal Wood Boarding
                        o   Vertical Wood Boarding
  • Vinyl
  • Metal
  • Brick
  • Stone
  • Fiber Cement
  • Stucco
  • Imitation Stone/Brick
  • Engineered Wood
  • Insulated
  • Concrete
  • Glass Exterior
  • Half-Timbering on Stucco
  • Steel Log Siding

 


The options may seem overwhelming but it’s very easy to whittle down the list if you start by deciding what “look” you want. If you want a clapboard/wood shingle look, you can easily cut your options in half. If it’s a stone exterior that appeals to you, brick, stone, concrete and stucco move to the top of your list.

Looking at your budget is the best way to determine which siding material to choose and typically there is quality siding available for almost any budget. The key to a successful and durable siding project is how the siding is installed and how well you maintain it.

Wood siding is the most traditional type.  It’s very versatile, available in several styles, and if maintained, can last a long time.  Cedar, pine, spruce, and redwood are the most common types and you can either leave it in its natural state (although clear coating may be recommended) or stain or paint it any color you want.  The prices are very flexible, from $3 to $12/square foot depending on the look you desire and your budget.

You can also choose an engineered material that looks almost exactly like wood and also available to look like stone or brick.  Engineered, man-made sidings are more expensive but with little to no maintenance you can save money down the road. The most affordable engineered material is vinyl, which is a good place to start when pricing out your options.

Another popular alternative is brick.  Brick can cost up to $12/square foot, while brick veneers can range from $4 to $6/square foot.  Brick exteriors do not need a lot of maintenance except for occasional washing and re-pointing.  With proper maintenance they can last up to 100 years.

Once you have decided what siding material you want, you need to hire a contractor to install it. Poor siding installation can have a serious detrimental effect on your home over time.  You need to hire the right contractor who has experience working with the siding you have selected. Don’t take anything for granted.  We have inspected many buildings with very expensive siding that failed because it was not installed correctly. Thus, completing your due diligence is essential. Siding manufacturers typically have great websites with installation instructions and recommendations. Most also include a listing of contractors who are certified to install their product. Learn the basics so that you understand what you are investing in. Ask your contractor if they have attended the manufacturer's training program and use all of the recommended fasteners, techniques, and tools. Reputable contractors want your business and will take the time to ensure your confidence in them.

Taking your time and doing your homework will help ensure a successful outcome with your siding project.

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