Here at our Bucco’s Roofing blog, we’ve talked about all the different aspects of our exterior work, except for siding. This is a topic worth covering since siding is one of the biggest elements of protection your home has against the weather, in addition to being the first thing people notice when they look at your home. Because of this, choosing the kind of siding you will have for your home is one of the most important decisions you will make. Here is a guide on the main different kinds of siding to help you get a start on what kind of siding you want.
We’ll start off with the most popular siding option on the market right now. Vinyl siding is the number one choice for most homeowners in the US, mainly due to its durability, range of color options, and low cost. Throw in its wide variety of profiles that are available (horizontal or vertical, dutch lap, fish scales, etc.) and ease to maintain, and it makes sense why it is so common. However, it has its drawbacks in the form of lack of water resistance, susceptibility to dent marks, and vulnerability to temperature changes, bending under extreme conditions. If you live in a particularly rough area in regards to storms and temperatures, then this may not be a suitable option for you.
One of the newer siding options to rise to popularity, metal siding comes in multiple materials, the most common being aluminum and steel. This siding is great for more modern and contemporary styles, and can provide your home with a unique look and feel if styled properly. A common design trick for it is to use it to accentuate certain portions of a home, with more neutral siding being the base layer. Application-wise aluminum is best for coastal properties as it is resistant to rust, whereas steel’s resilience against denting makes it better for winter. Both are fire-resistant. Maintenance is key for these materials though, as failing to upkeep the material leads to scratching and rusting.
Wood is probably the most tried and true siding material out there, with many of the US’s first homes being made from the material. It is easy and quick to install, energy efficient, and is probably the most eco-friendly option on the market. If properly maintained, wood can stay strong and look great for several years, even decades. That is a big “if�? though, as upkeep for wood siding is notoriously difficult. Being a minimally processed natural material, wood is susceptible to degradation from insects and water, and has to be stained every 2-3 years and repainted every 4-5 years to retain its protection. It is also not fire resistant, making it a hazardous material to use in hot and dry climates. But if you are a sucker for that classic old-school look, it may just be worth the hassle.
Brick siding is popular for one main reason: its resistant against more or less everything. Fire resistant, water resistant, termite proof, and almost no maintenance required for it makes it a common choice for many homeowners. There are several brick homes around the US that are several decades, even a century old that are still standing strong, a testament to the long-lasting integrity of the material. This of course comes at a price, for it is the most expensive material of siding there is. Insulation-wise it is rather poor, as brick has very low heat-retention properties, and installing insulation can be difficult if you don’t have the right structural frame in place. It is also the least flexible, for if you get it painted it cannot be undone, and demolition will have to take place if you want to make any alterations to the structure. Overall it is an ideal material if you want to get something that will last, so long as you own the residence for long enough to make it become cost effective.
Fiber Cement Siding
This last material is our personal favorite. Fiber cement is a mixture of wood, sand, and cement that is crafted to give the look and feel of wood, but without the needy maintenance and with more advantages. For one, it has a class 1A fire rating, avoiding the fire hazard that comes with its wooden counterparts. It is also not prone to decay, and resistant to the salty air in coastal areas. Essentially it has most of the benefits of brick, but in a lighter and more versatile form. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t require maintenance, as it needs repainting every 12-15 years and could benefit from a good powerwash every now and then. That’s small upkeep for the benefits you receive though.We over at Bucco’s roofing specialize in fiber-cement siding, for we feel it is the best siding option around. And when it comes to the best fiber-cement siding, few things can match James Hardie. With its tried and tested strength and durability, it’s no wonder that James Hardie is the number one manufacturer of fiber-cement siding in the country. We are proud to partner with James Hardie to bring a combination of great product and impeccable installation service to the Pittsburgh area. If you have an upcoming siding installation or replacement project coming up, please reach out to us via call or by submitting an inquiry.