Residential Siding Buying Guide for Homeowners

Insulated Vinyl Siding Siding is the exterior covering of a building that protects it from the weather and sheds water from the building. In addition to its practical functions, siding can also be used for its aesthetic effect. It can also have a significant impact on the value of your home if you decide to put it up for sale in the future.

A number of different types of materials can be used as siding, with the three main options being wood, vinyl and aluminum siding. As you consider the type of material and siding that you would like to use in your home, there are a number of important factors to consider. You should think about the appearance of the material, its cost, its durability and how easy it will be to maintain.

Size

The first thing you will need to find out before you can buy your siding is the size of the area that will need to be covered. This will determine how much material you will need and the cost of siding your home. If you only need to buy siding for a small area, you may be able to afford a more expensive material than if you have a larger area to be sided. You should measure the area that needs to be covered in square feet since siding material is usually sold in terms of “squares”. Each square of siding refers to an area of 100 feet square.



Materials

The type of material that you choose for your siding will determine its appearance, its practical features and the cost of siding. It is a good idea to spend some time looking at different types of sidings in your neighborhood or in home design magazines in order to help you to decide which type of material will look best on your home. It is also possible to view samples of different types of materials at a home center in your neighborhood, although seeing them on an actual house can make it easier to imagine what the material would look like on your own home.



In addition to considering the practical aspects of different types of siding materials, it is a good idea to consider which material you find most attractive and which materials will look most appropriate on your particular property in your neighborhood. Some styles of homes look better with certain types of siding, and it can also be sensible to match your siding with that of your neighbors in order to create the best aesthetic effect. Vinyl sidings have replaced aluminum as the most popular siding material in many neighborhoods, so if you want your home to look as if it belongs, you may want to think about the types of sidings that have been used on the surrounding houses.

Most people, when they are choosing a siding material, will be making a decision between wood and synthetic materials, but there are a whole range of different siding materials to consider when you are choosing the right option for your home.

Wood and Imitation Wood

Wood siding can produce a more traditional effect than aluminum or vinyl siding, so it can be a good option if you are buying siding for a period home or if your house is located in a more traditional area. It can also be a popular choice for homes in the countryside, or to produce a more rustic effect. Cedar is one of the most popular options for wood siding, due to its attractive appearance and durability. It is naturally resistant to problems such as rot and insect damage. One of the main benefits of wooden siding is that it can be stained or painted in different ways to create the desired effect. Wood is a good insulator that can actually help to reduce energy loss and energy costs in your home. Other types of wood that may be used for siding include pine, redwood and spruce.

Durable House Siding Options

Vinyl siding and fiber cement siding are some of the most durable options as well as the most affordable. These types of siding material are usually designed to simulate wood siding by mimicking the grain of wood. Some of the best vinyl siding can look almost exactly like wooden siding. Vinyl siding can also come in a range of different colors that are resistant to fading, unlike the stains and paints used on wood siding. Vinyl siding can come with a foam backing that helps to make it more durable and also makes it a better insulator. Vinyl is a less environmentally friendly option than a natural material. Fiber cement is manufactured from a mixture of cement, cellulose fibers, sand and other materials. It can be designed to look like wooden shingles or clapboard, and it is resistant to sun damage, water damage, fire and insects. It can be painted in different colors, like wood.



Other Options

Wood and wood-like materials are a popular choice for siding, but it is also possible to choose siding materials that look very different. Stone sidings may be produced either from natural or manufactured stone. They can produce the same traditional look as wooden siding. Stone siding can be very attractive, but it is also one of the more expensive options for siding. Brick can produce a very classic siding look. However, the installation process for brick siding can be intensive. Stone and brick sidings are often used in combination with wood, vinyl or fiber cement sidings, with most of the property being covered in one type of siding and the accents picked out in stone or brick. Stone and brick are usually more expensive than wood, vinyl or fiber cement. Stucco is another form of siding that is ideal for warm climates.

Stone sidings can produce the effect of a stone building at a lower cost than actually constructing one. Granite is a popular choice. Stone is a heavy material for siding, so it will usually require some additional structural support. This increases the cost and difficulty of installation. Manufactured stone is cheaper than natural stone, but it can produce a very similar aesthetic effect. Brick siding comes in a range of colors and textures and it can be installed in different patterns. It can be expensive, due to the high costs of both the materials and installation. Stucco is a plaster on a cement base that is an excellent insulator and is also fire resistant. It can be finished in different patterns and textures, such as a smooth surface, swirls or raked surface. Stucco is usually fairly expensive, although it does not cost as much as stone or brick siding.

Style

Some types of siding, particularly wooden siding, can be installed onto your home either horizontally or vertically, which can alter the aesthetic effect. Siding can also be installed in the form of panels. Siding comes in a number of different forms, such as clapboard, shakes and shingles, each of which will create its own particular appearance. Siding materials such as brick and stucco can also be installed in different patterns and styles.

Colors

If you choose stone, brick, vinyl or aluminum siding, you will not be able to change the color of your house without replacing the siding although you may be able to choose from a selection of different colors of materials. You should therefore make sure that you are happy with the color and appearance of your vinyl or aluminum siding before you commit to buying it. You should also think about the future, and whether you are still likely to appreciate your chosen siding many years from now. If you choose wooden siding, however, you will not need to keep the same color forever. You can stain or paint your wood in any color, and you can then re-stain or repaint it as often as you like, changing the color if your preferences continue to change over time.