Siding plays some pretty important roles when it comes to the exterior of your home or business structure. Obviously, siding is a front-and-center features which adds some visual aesthetics, but it also serves as a front-line layer of protection from both weather and pest threats. The right siding can also serve to contribute some insulation value, which helps to keep your building more comfortable for you on the inside.
But perhaps it’s time to replace your old siding. Many property owners wrongly assume that as long as there’s still some siding covering their structure, they’re good! Well…not necessarily. Seeing any bubbles, warping, rotting, or obvious cracks or holes? Or perhaps you’ve noticed some rising heating & air costs? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then it’s really high time for you to start planning for a siding replacement.
Whether we’re talking about a new construction or a siding replacement project, choosing the right siding can help to really boost your property’s curb appeal. It can also serve you well by providing reliable protection from the elements. So, which siding materials should you be considering? Here are a few popular options:
Would it surprise you to learn that aluminum was actually the most popular type of residential siding in America less than a generation ago? It may now be less popular than vinyl, but aluminum still offers its own set of benefits. It’s still budget-friendly, and aluminum is actually more long-lasting than many people may realize. The metal itself can last for decades, but its coating or enamel will probably require refinishing very 15 years or so. Another caveat of aluminum is the fact that it’s a soft metal, so it’s also more prone to scratching, pitting, and denting.
Natural wood is one of the most time-tested siding materials still in use today, and it carries a timeless curb appeal. Wood siding can also last for many years, if you’re willing to keep it treated and maintained properly. Besides being one of the more expensive siding material options, wood also needs refinishing, resealing, and recaulking every 5 years or so. Wood also requires regular inspections for any rot, mold, or pest threats. Another issue to consider with wood is that it’s also highly flammable in the event of a fire threat.
Engineered wood or composite wood siding carries the look of wood, while also bringing along some additional benefits. It conveys the realistic look of wood that many desire, while offering some additional cost savings and also not needing the same amount of required maintenance. Engineered wood is still not the cheapest option, but it is significantly cheaper than a natural cedar wood siding product.
Stucco is incredibly popular in the Southwest and in other semi-arid environments, and can be a suitable siding solution in other parts of the country, as well. The colors are mixed directly into the stucco itself, so repainting usually isn’t required. It’s naturally resistant to both insects and fire, and also offers better insulating properties than some other siding options. One potential downside is that stucco installation is a specialized process, and is something in which not all siding contractors are trained. Stucco will also crack in the event of any foundation settling or structural shifting, so that’s something to consider as well. In addition, stucco can become oversaturated in particularly moist, damp, or humid environments.
If you’re looking for some high-end elegance without biting the bullet to pay for siding with natural stone, then stone veneer siding may be worth a look. This type of siding can be manufactured to mimic the look of granite, limestone, river rock, or dry stack stones. But while stone veneer is significantly cheaper than natural stone, it can still be a pretty expensive siding option, both in terms of material and installation costs. Lower-quality stone veneer may also not look as close to the real thing as you might like.
There are many reasons that vinyl continues to reign as the most popular siding choice in America today. It combines affordable cost, lasting performance, and low maintenance with some nice color and textural appearance customization options. Some vinyl siding options like Polar Wall Plus! from Norandex also offer additional built-in insulation, which can make a real difference in your heating and cooling costs. With just basic cleaning and maintenance, a good quality vinyl siding product can last you for many years.
Fiber cement has emerged as a rising star among U.S. home and business siding choices. While vinyl can be designed to mimic the appearance of other materials, it can still sometimes end up looking like vinyl. But fiber cement offers a texture and dimensionality which better allows it to replicate the look of natural wood or other materials it’s honestly hard to tell the difference! Fiber cement is naturally fire-resistant and pest-resistant, and it’s incredibly durable, too. With correct installation and proper maintenance, your fiber cement siding may never need replacing.
Now that you know more about some popular siding material options, how do you decide which siding is right for you? Upfront cost is an obvious consideration, but it’s also important to keep cost-effectiveness in mind. There are other factors to consider, too. Not every siding option is an ideal fit for every home, or for every climate zone. Here are a few things you’ll want to go through on your mental checklist as you make your decision:
If you’re operating on more of a set budget and aren’t interested in going for one of the higher-end siding products, you’ve still got several good choices to consider. If economy is a primary consideration for you, then you should give more thought to vinyl. It’s affordable, relatively easy to maintain, and also makes for some good siding. Norandex and Alside are two manufacturers which offer some very nice vinyl siding products.
How long do you plan to be in your home? If you’re only thinking you’ll be there a few years, you may not want to pull the trigger on spending a ton of money on replacement siding. But on the other hand, if you intend to stay for the long haul then it makes good sense to invest a little more in a siding solution that’s both durable and long-lasting. Fiber cement siding from James Hardie is a solid choice in that regard.
In doing your research, you should also verify that the siding you like is also well-suited for your local climate. That extends beyond average high and low temperatures, and also includes things like average humidity, along with the amounts and types of precipitation you typically receive in your area. Some siding materials simply work better in certain climates, and don’t necessarily work that well in others.
If you’re preparing your home for resale, then that could be a reason to give more consideration to some higher-end siding products which tend to boost property value. There are some other long-term financial benefits that go along with choosing high-end siding, too. The better the quality of siding you can choose for your replacement now, the more ROI it will provide you over time.
Choosing the right material and style of siding isn’t the only consideration to bear in mind when it comes to siding replacement. Did you know that the #1 cause of premature siding failure isn’t related to the material itself? In many cases, it’s actually a result of improper installation. Even the best quality siding products can fail if they’re not installed properly in the first place! Don’t just settle for the lowest bidder when considering which siding installer to choose. It’s safer to partner with a licensed, certified, insured professional who comes highly recommended by actual homeowners in your local area.
If you’re looking for a perfect siding solution for you – and you’d also like it to really last – then you really want your siding to be installed correctly in the first place. And thankfully, nobody does siding replacement better than the team at Skywalker Windows & Siding!
Skywalker has extensive experience working with vinyl siding, fiber cement siding, and other popular material options. We’re one of the highest-rated, most-awarded providers serving the NC Piedmont Triad, Piedmont Triangle, Charlotte Metro/Lake Norman area, and southern & southwestern Virginia. We’re also happy to come out and provide you with a FREE on-site inspection and personal consultation. Give us a call today at (336) 265-9595, and experience the Skywalker difference for yourself. Let us provide you with your perfect siding solution!
Luke Wilson started working on roofs with his dad when he was a teenager, and eventually launched Skywalker Roofing in 2003. Skywalker operates in 5 locations across NC & VA, and now includes windows, siding, and other exterior services. Luke also hosts the popular Roofing Mythbusters series on YouTube.
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