There are many different siding material options over the years, but a handful of standards have distanced themselves from the rest of the pack. While we prefer to use James Hardie Fiber Cement siding for many of our projects there are other great options out. Here are four popular siding options to look at when deciding which siding is best for your property.
Fiber Cement Siding
Fiber cement siding is the newest addition to residential siding options. Fiber cement siding is durable, very low-maintenance, and because it is made from recyclable materials, it's resource-efficient. Fiber cement siding cuts and installs as if it were wood siding. Here are a few characteristics of fiber cement siding to help you make an informed decision:
- Fiber cement siding comes from the factory primed or pre-finished.
- While fiber cement is priced higher than vinyl or metal alternatives, fiber cement siding lasts longer, and may never need to be replaced over the time you own a home.
- Fiber cement is exceptionally durable.
- Fiber cement is virtually maintenance-free.
Another low-cost, low-maintenance siding option is vinyl siding. Like their metal alternative, vinyl siding comes in horizontal strips featuring interlocking edges. A special tool called a zip tool is necessary to join and separate the siding pieces. Here is a quick rundown of vinyl sidings characteristics to help you come to a decision:
- In cold weather, vinyl siding can be prone to cracking if it is subjected to strong impact.
- If vinyl siding is not properly installed it can lead to warping or buckling.
- Vinyl options are a very low-maintenance siding material—it never needs painting.
- If the siding does become cracked, the affected section must be repaired or replaced.
- Some of the high-quality vinyl siding products offer limited warranties of up to 50 years!
Many would agree that wood siding is one of the most attractive siding options for home siding. Wood siding comes in a few different versions, including wood planks, boards or panels and shingles. The most significant drawbacks when choosing wood siding are its high cost and relatively high maintenance needs. Here are some quick characteristics of wood siding to consider:
Hard Coat Stucco
Hard coat stucco creates a hard, rock-like finish with an interesting texture. It’s applied in one to three coats, depending on the existing exterior it’s being applied over. It can be applied directly to masonry or concrete walls or applied in two to three coats over a metal lath placed on any other home exterior surface.
- Stucco provides a good barrier against woodpeckers, dings from bumping against it or hitting it with a stray golf ball, or hail.
- In areas that have more precipitation, hard coat stucco offers more resistance to water damage. It absorbs less water, and less likely to get behind the stucco and cause rot.
- Wood siding is reasonably easy to repair.
- Wood siding requires the exterior to be painted or stained.
- This siding option can be damaged by sun exposure, rot and insects.
Metal Siding: Aluminum and Steel
The high level of upkeep that comes with wood siding left many homeowners searching for an easier option. Metal siding comes in horizontal strips that feature interlocking edges along the bottom of the siding to seal against the elements. Here are some quick characteristics of metal siding to consider:
- Metal siding is a durable siding option, but prefinished painted finishes have been known to fade and bleed onto homeowner's brick walls below the siding.
- There are some metal siding options that are now available that offer plastic or vinyl coatings for additional resistance to fading and weathering.
- Both aluminum and steel siding are prone to dents, and they can be quite noisy.