How to Choose the Right Siding for Your Home
Of all the material decisions involved in building your houses, selecting the siding is among the most important. Siding is the first line of defense against the elements, and it’s a vital part of the wall assembly. But it’s also, quite literally, the skin of the building and the first thing that people see from the curb, so it’s key to the home’s aesthetics. Unfortunately, it can also take up a significant portion of the budget.
Whether you are building a home or remodeling one, there are four key areas homeowners should account for when determining which siding option meets your needs: durability, design, maintenance, and affordability.
Siding selection is typically a once-in-a-lifetime decision, making durability a key factor for many. Homeowners should look for a siding option resistant to every element, including rain, wind, and even the sun. Manufacturers now offer siding products with technologies that resist the damaging impact of the sun, preserving color for the lifetime of the house.
Perhaps the most overwhelming decision for most when considering siding options is deciding on a style and color. There are seven primary siding material options available to homeowners — vinyl, metal, wood, brick, fiber cement, stucco, and stone — and countless color and style options within each material type. To guide you in determining what would look best, it is recommended to ask a siding specialist like a contractor, builder, or architect for help. They can educate you on color coordination and what would go well with the neighborhood, while still giving personalized options for your home. They will also be able to weigh in on accent pieces like trim and shutters, which can help bring out your style.
Whether you’re looking for a specific panel texture, such as cedar shake or wood clapboard, or a certain period-specific color scheme to align with historical significance, my recommendation is to look at vinyl. It provides the homeowner the freedom to add low-maintenance color and definition that will never be out of style or need painting or refinishing.
Beyond style and color, homeowners are also seeking siding that is low-maintenance, which reduces or eliminates the cost and personal time expended for proper upkeep. Each siding material type has a different level of care and maintenance required. Vinyl typically requires just soap and water for periodic cleaning. Wood and fiber cement can require repainting every five to seven years. Stucco will need to be repainted and sealed. Brick and stone require re-pointing of mortar. The earlier point about durability plays a part here too, ensuring the option you select is free from potential time-consuming — even costly repairs — due to storm damage such as wind and moisture.
Lastly, set a budget. Do your homework on the options and secure estimates, then compare them with your budget. Don’t forget that sometimes investing a little more into the project upfront may reduce issues and maintenance costs down the road.
As you look to select new exterior siding, be sure to keep in mind these important factors — durability, design, maintenance, and affordability — to make the best choice possible for your home and lifestyle.