Home Siding Options

How does the exterior of you house look? If you think that your home's exterior could use a little sparkle, it may be time to explore home siding options. You may have more choices than you would have guessed.

Wood Sidings
Wood is the traditional favorite for sidings. Wood has a natural texture and feel that is hard to match, and, of course, it is biodegradable. Woods commonly used for siding include redwood, cedar and cypress. These three woods resist insects and rot naturally.

Keep in mind that even the most resilient wood requires maintenance. Wood siding needs to be painted or stained periodically to keep up its appearance. In addition, wood reacts to weather, expanding when it is hot and contracting when it is cold. This can lead to splitting and cracking, particularly in climates where the winters include snow and ice. And, regardless of the type of wood, there is an insect that likes to eat it. You will have to invest in termite protection and conduct regular inspections to ensure that no critters are using your home for grazing.

Wood Product Siding
Manufactured wood products consist of pieces of wood glued together with resins. This type of siding usually includes treatments that help repel insects and prevent the growth of fungus and mildew. You can buy wood product sidings primed and ready to paint or completely finished.

However, the treatments are not foolproof. Wood product siding can still suffer termite damage if it comes into contact with dirt or soil. In addition, manufactured wood siding tends to absorb more moisture than natural wood, which means you will need to keep an eye on your siding to prevent splitting and cracking. Like traditional wood sidings, wood product requires regular painting to maintain the integrity and appearance of your siding.

Vinyl Siding
If the thought of vinyl siding makes you cringe, take heart. Vinyl products, including siding, have improved in both appearance and performance in recent years. Vinyl sidings are available in a variety of colors as well as textures. Since the colors are mixed in during the manufacturing process, vinyl siding will not peel or blister and does not need to be repainted. Bugs are not interested in vinyl, so you will not have any insect damage if you install vinyl siding. This type of siding will not chip, crack or rot, making for easy maintenance.

Vinyl siding does have its drawbacks. It can become brittle over time. Unlike wood or brick, vinyl will do nothing to insulate your home, eliminating any possible energy savings. Vinyl also entails some hefty environmental costs, and, if your siding were ever to burn, it would release a toxic chemical, dioxin.

Brick or Stone Veneer
Brick or stone siding gives a home a stately, traditional appearance. However, true brick or stone siding needs to be laid on foundation because of its weight. Brick or stone veneer, on the other hand, can be laid directly against your current wall or siding. These veneers are extremely durable and come in many patterns and designs. Brick or stone veneers require very little maintenance. Hose them down once a year to keep them clean, and then leave them alone. They are also fireproof.

Brick or stone veneer siding is an expensive option. In addition to the high cost of the material, you will need to hire professionals to install the siding, eliminating any savings that DIYers might have expected.

Metal Siding
Metal siding is made from either aluminum or steel. The siding come embossed and painted to mimic wood, but unlike real wood, termites and other insects are completely uninterested in eating metal. Both aluminum and steel siding are fire resistant and will not rot. Paint will not blister or peel from this type of siding. And the maintenance threshold is low; just hose the siding down once a year.

However, both aluminum and steel sidings have disadvantages. Steel siding is hard to handle and install, so most people choose to hire professionals to do the job. This adds to the overall cost. Aluminum siding is easy to dent and scratch, and scratches on any type of metal need to be repainted immediately to prevent corrosion or rust. And, unlike wood or brick, metal siding will not insulate your home.

Stucco Siding
Stucco is another traditional favorite. Stucco is made using sand, cement, water and hydrated lime. Like other siding products, stucco's performance has improved over the years. Many of today's stucco products use epoxy in the formula. In the past, stucco had a tendency to crack as a house naturally shifted. Epoxy allows the stucco to move with the building, preventing cracking.

Stucco is applied in three layers. Because stucco can be either sprayed or applied with a hand trowel, you will have a choice of different textures if you want stucco as your siding.

Stucco is relatively easy to damage. Because it is porous, you should patch any holes in your stucco as soon as possible to prevent water damage.

Explore the different types of siding materials available to you. After you have installed you new siding, the exterior of your home will look fantastic. New siding may also add to the value of your home.

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