You know the old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover?” There’s a lot of truth to that, especially when it comes to home ownership. After all, a home that looks a little rough on the outside can be absolutely beautiful on the inside.
Of course, there’s another saying that goes, “Beauty is power.” The reality is there is some truth to that one, as well. A beautiful and updated home exterior can:
- Boost your curb appeal 🏡
- Increase resale value 💵
- Protect you from extreme weather conditions ⛈️
One of the most effective ways to transform your home’s exterior is by adding new siding. While this seems like a simple investment in theory, as you start to research, you’ll likely find yourself overwhelmed with options from style and color to the material it is made from.
We’re here to help! We’ll be breaking down the seven types of siding you need to know, as well as analyzing their pros and cons.
What Is Siding?
Let’s be honest with each other: not everyone is a construction expert. In fact, many people aren’t aware of the proper names for the materials that make up your home. If you are a little unsure as to what qualifies as siding, you aren’t alone.
Siding is the material that is used to cover and protect the outside of your home. Not only does exterior siding help your home look beautiful and create a distinct style, but it is also your home’s first line of defense against extreme weather conditions, such as hail, rain, and high-speed winds.
When Is It Time to Replace Your Siding?
If you are a first-time homeowner, this is probably the first time you’ve had to pay attention to the siding. Not everyone knows what old or damaged siding looks like. If you are wondering whether or not it is time for replacement siding, look for these key signs:
- Warping and Rotting – Just like anything else, siding will slowly break down over time. Depending on the type of siding material that your home has, this breakdown may manifest in different ways. One of the most common signs is having large sections of warped boards or rot. Cracks are also a sign that your siding may be on its way out.
- Fungus and Mold Growth – Siding is constantly exposed to the elements, and as such, it is particularly susceptible to water damage. Water damaged siding can lead to the growth of mold, moss, or other fungus. If you are noticing these growths, it is time to invest in some brand-new siding.
- Fading and Peeling – As it ages, siding will naturally fade. If it is painted, you’ll find that the paint starts to peel off. This is a sign that the weatherproofing has worn off and that your home will be left vulnerable to the weather.
- Expensive Energy Bills – Siding doesn’t just keep things out. It also keeps the warm air inside your home! If you’ve noticed your energy bills slowly increasing for no reason, you might want to start considering new siding.
7 Types of Siding for Your Home
Ready to pick some new siding? It’s important to do some research in order to ensure that you are picking the best material for you and your home. Here are some of the most common siding options and why you may want to consider them.
1) Vinyl Siding
When it comes to siding materials, vinyl siding is about as popular as it gets! Homeowners are drawn to vinyl siding due to its extreme versatility. You can get vinyl siding in almost every color under the sun. It’s also a popular choice due to the fact that it is relatively affordable.
That being said, it doesn’t quite stand up to severe weather conditions like hail. You can expect to deal with more damage over the years, which can significantly cut down the lifespan of your siding.
Interested in vinyl siding but feeling nervous about the durability? Insulated vinyl siding may be right for you! This style of vinyl siding has all of the benefits of regular siding while increasing your insulation and durability.
2) Fiber Cement Siding
If you are looking for a durable material that looks gorgeous, you can’t go wrong with fiber cement siding. Fiber cement siding is made of a combination of cellulose fibers mixed with cement and sand. The resulting product is hugely durable and can last for up to fifty years!
Fiber cement siding is often referred to by industry professionals as James Hardie board siding, as that is the most popular fiber cement brand on the market.
3) Composite Siding
Like fiber cement, composite siding is designed to be a house siding material that stands the test of time. The difference is in how the products are made.
Composite siding is made of a blend of polymer resins and inorganic materials. It’s worth noting that, unlike many other siding styles, the colorants are mixed directly into the composite siding formula. This helps fight against fading and other natural aging processes.
4) Wood Siding
Sometimes you don’t want to mess with a classic. Wood siding is about as classic as it gets, and many homeowners pick it for its beautiful aesthetic purposes.
However, it is worth noting that natural wood siding is not as low maintenance as some other options on this list. It requires annual upkeep in order to keep it looking fresh all year round. It also is much more expensive to install and is prone to rot.
5) Metal Siding
Metal siding has grown in popularity over the years. It is the perfect choice for homeowners looking for something that is as low maintenance as possible. While you will pay a large sum upfront, metal siding is designed to last and can stand up very well to a variety of weather conditions.
6) Brick Siding
Brick siding is another classic-looking siding option that adds instant charm to any home. It’s also worth noting that brick is one of the best insulating materials on this list, making it a great choice for homes that are exposed to cold weather.
However, as a niche material, bricks can be very expensive and will likely need to be re-mortared at some point in their lifespan. You will also likely need a specialized professional to help you install them, which means higher labor costs.
7) Engineered Wood Siding
Love the look of wood siding but aren’t interested in the maintenance aspect? Engineered wood siding is indistinguishable from the real thing at a distance and is significantly more affordable.
It is much more low maintenance than real wood and will not require annual upkeep.
8) Stucco Siding
Stucco is a unique siding material made from a cement-like mixture that is smoothed onto the exterior of your home. While opinions on appearance are often split, most people can agree that stucco stands out from the crowd by being incredibly low-maintenance and long-lasting.
Talk About Your Options With a Pro
Are you feeling overwhelmed? You don’t have to go it alone! At Best Exteriors, we are here to help you through every step of your siding installation journey. Our team of experts will talk you through your options and give you a professional consultation about which type of siding is right for your house and budget. Contact us today to set up your free consultation!