Selecting your siding is one of the most important reno or new building decision you’ll make. What goes on the outside of your house defends your home against the elements and it’s a very important part of the wall assembly. It’s also the first thing that people see from the curb, so it’s vital to your home’s overall aesthetics.
Siding is offered in a wide variety of options that include vinyl, fibre cement, cellular PVC, manufactured stone veneer, aluminum, stainless steel, composites and more. But how can you know which one is right for your house, climate, sun and wind exposure? Here’s a short description on the top 4 siding products used in this neck of the woods.
Vinyl siding blends cost-efficiency with looks, ease of installation, and durability. For the 20th straight year, according to the most recent US and Canadian Home Building Census Reports, “Vinyl siding was the predominant exterior wall material. 60 percent of new homes built were either full clad or used vinyl siding on a portion of the home.”
Builders love vinyl siding because it’s affordable and offers a variety of options and accessories. Subcontractors like it because it’s easy to install. Homeowners choose it because it’s affordable, requires little maintenance, and seemingly lasts forever. Vinyl siding now comes in bolder colours, more profiles, and with UV protection for increased durability. It’s even available as an insulated product for added energy efficiency, and some manufacturers offer products that mimic cedar shakes and board-and-batten siding. Accents and decorative trim enhancements are some of the biggest trends.
Fibre cement siding can be designed to mimic brick and other exterior masonry products or it can have the appearance of wood. It cuts, nails and goes on the home just like wood clapboard yet it is fire and insect-proof, it’s strong and will not twist, warp or rot. In addition, it is much easier to maintain than wood siding. You can also get it pre-painted so that it is finished when it goes up. In areas where the summer is very hot, fibre cement siding both reflects and diffuses heat, keeping your home cooler.
Wood composite siding is made from wood fillers, glue and other fillers. Moulded into clapboard form and, like cement siding, wood composite siding is textured like real wood and can be painted. This siding needs to be installed by installers who understand the product and have been trained to sealed the ends, or moisture may produce swelling at the joints. It also requires proper surface maintenance. Otherwise it is very cost-effective, easy to use, and comes in a variety of colours.
The grand-father of siding, aluminum has been around a lot longer than vinyl as an exterior product. It is prone to denting which is why it is mainly used on the second story rather than down low where it is vulnerable. It offers a greater variety of colours, holds its colour and finish longer than vinyl, and is not as sensitive to heat and cold. It can also be painted, making your job easier if you decide to change the colour of your home. Aluminum siding should be installed by a siding contractor but a skilled layman can do it.