What Is The Best Siding For Your Home?
Roofs are lovely things. Windows are wonderful. But what sets a house apart, what makes it come together as a beautiful, eye-catching neighborhood gem is its siding. Which type of siding is best?
It’s Not A Buffet
Some Akron-area homeowners seem to view siding as a buffet, slapping stone up here, a little clapboard wood siding there, and maybe some vinyl siding on an addition. Siding is not a buffet, so if you are unsure what is best for you, stick to one material.
Choices abound with the siding available to today’s Cleveland-area homeowners. In making the best choice for your home, every siding should be evaluated for these qualities:
- Style and color choices
- Ease of maintenance
- Energy Efficiency
- Return on Investment
Let’s take a look at seven of the most popular siding options.
Today’s wood siding is usually carefully harvested from sustainable growth forests and offers a unique, primal beauty.
Wood siding requires significant maintenance. Solid wood siding is recyclable, has around an R-1 insulation value, and is usually environmentally friendly.
Genuine solid wood siding tends to be toward the higher end of most people’s budgets. It can give your home a sophisticated warmth and elegance, helping your house to stand out in the block.
Vinyl siding is offered in dozens of hues from subdued earth tones and grays to bright, attention-grabbing primary colors.
Insulated vinyl siding is purpose-built to give your home a comforting blanket of protection against the elements, with most insulated vinyl materials rating R-2 to R-2.7.
Vinyl siding can last between 20 and 40 years under typical Ohio conditions. While this might be too large a range to be useful, all siding is affected by very local factors such as tree overhang, wind direction, sun exposure, and “owner error” (i.e., sports equipment and small children, pressure washers, and propane grills set too close to the siding).
Color fading is a concern with vinyl, but most vinyl siding can be painted after the color fades enough to be noticeable.
Engineered Wood & Hardwood
Environmentally friendly, completely human-made, engineered wood and hardwood siding blends sawmill cast-offs (wood chips) with resins to produce a nearly rot-proof, tough-as-nails siding.
Since it is human-made, it is available in dozens of colors, textures, and styles. Engineered wood siding lasts 20 to 30 years and requires minimal maintenance. Do not depend on this siding to boost your home’s energy efficiency, though: it has an R-value of only R-0.6 to R-0.75.
Since a manufacturer can control the entire production process, this siding generally has very strong warranties.
Brick and Stone
Brick and stone, like solid wood siding, is ancient. It has housed us for thousands upon thousands of years. Though its R-value is low (R-0.80), the lifespan of a century or more for brick and stone is formidable and unmatched.
Brick and stone are handlaid by skilled crafts workers, so some Ohio homeowners choose it only for accents. The materials need minimal maintenance, though stone often requires repointing.
Few materials are as durable and long-lasting as fiber cement siding. This human-made material combines cellulose wood with portland cement. It is factory-painted for nearly permanent color retention. It will not warp, rot, or fall to insects. It can last more than 50 years in residential applications.
Fiber cement siding can be cast to mimic any other siding material, from shakes to clapboard to board and batten siding. It usually comes with very strong warranties.
One drawback: eventually you may need to paint the siding, and from that time you will need annual or biannual maintenance to preserve the color. It is also more brittle than some other materials, so while it is fire- and heat-resistant, it is not baseball-proof.
Nearly maintenance-free, real stucco is a time-honored choice made from cement, sand, and lime. Applied by skilled technicians, stucco can be an interesting siding choice or be used as an accent area, around an entranceway for example.
Stucco can last anywhere from 50 to 80 years with just a little TLC. You can pressure-wash a stucco wall, repaint it if you insist (though it retains color through the entire composition of the siding), and make small repairs with the same material.
Also known as an “Exterior Insulation and Finish System” or EIFS, synthetic stucco is common throughout Europe but is rarely seen stateside. This six-layer system offers long life (50+ years) but does have issues with water infiltration. Ohio installations can be problematic because synthetic stucco works better in warm climates.
To learn more about the many siding options available to Ohio homeowners, please contact us today at Exteriors Plus. We install siding to suit your needs. We can help you decide which siding is best for your particular budget and your home’s architecture.