Siding has a big impact on a home’s appearance and personality. Beyond aesthetics, siding also protects the home from extreme weather and contributes to its value. That’s why when choosing your home’s new exterior, it’s important to understand the many options.
As part of your research, note which materials and colors are commonly used in your neighborhood. Choosing something drastically different can hurt your home’s value. It’s also beneficial to ask a professional which type of material fares best in the local climate. The most common materials are wood, vinyl, fiber cement and brick or stone.
Wood is easy to cut and, with proper care, will last 100 years, but needs the most maintenance among common exterior materials: repainting every five years or re-staining every three years. Retrofitting requires the complete removal of existing siding.
Popular vinyl requires the least amount of maintenance. It is durable against extreme weather and available in many styles and colors. It can be retrofitted over existing exteriors and typically comes with a transferable lifetime guarantee.
Fiber cement is a fire-resistant, termite-proof mixture of wood fibers, Portland cement, clay and sand. Its maintenance needs fall somewhere between wood and vinyl, with water damage its biggest concern. Fiber cement resists thermal expansion and contraction, so paint and caulk last a long time, but repainting is needed occasionally. Retrofitting requires the tear-off of existing material.
Brick and stone veneers are revered for their timeless appeal and thermal and acoustical insulation. Both are fire- and wind-resistant and can increase your home’s value. Brick and stone can be applied over other materials, but they may need extra structural support and waterproof barriers added during installation. Mortar between bricks should last 25 years but will eventually crack and need to be replaced. Brick can fade after time, making it difficult to match for future home additions. Stone has many options, even manufactured versions, but low-quality materials can look cheap. New technologies have produced thinner brick or stone veneers that are easier to install.
There are many options for today’s home exteriors. Doing some research and consulting a professional will help homeowners choose a siding that both beautifies and protects their home.