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. In addition to its practical functions, siding can also enhance the beauty of your home’s exterior, as well as increase its value,if you decide to put it up for sale in the future.

A number of different types of materials can be used for siding, with the three main options being: wood, vinyl and aluminum. It is important to consider a number of factors when choosing siding material. You should think cost, durability, maintenance as well as appearance of each material choice.

Size

The first thing you need to find out before you can buy siding is the size of the area that needs to be covered. This will determine the amount and the cost of your material. 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.



Material Options

The type of material you choose will determine its appearance, its practical features and its cost. It is a good idea to spend some time looking at different types of siding in your neighborhood or in home design magazines, to help you decide which type of material will look best on your home. Seeing siding on a real house as opposed to a picture or a small sample makes it easier to imagine what it would look like on your own house.



It is also a good idea to consider which material you find most attractive and which one 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 siding has replaced aluminum as the most popular choice in many neighborhoods, so if you want your home to look as if it belongs, you may want to think about the types of siding that have been used on the surrounding houses.

Wood and Imitation Wood

Wood siding offers a more traditional look than aluminum or vinyl, 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 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 also a good insulator that can actually 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 Siding Options

Vinyl and fiber cement siding are some of the most durable options, as well as the most affordable. These types of material are usually designed to simulate wood siding by replicating the grain of wood. Some of the best vinyl siding can look almost exactly like wood. Vinyl siding can also come in a range of different colors that are resistant to fading, unlike the stains and paints used on wood. Moreover, vinyl siding can come with a foam backing that makes it more durable and improves insulation. It is important to realize that 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, water damage, fire and insects. It can be painted in different colors, like wood.



Other Options

One unique option for siding is stone. It may be produced either from natural or manufactured stone, with granite being one of the most popular choices. This siding can be very attractive, but it is also one of the more expensive options. It is also important to consider the fact that 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.

Another option for people who like a classic look is brick. It comes in a range of colors and textures and can be installed in different patterns.However, the installation process for brick siding can be intensive. Stone and brick siding are often used in combination with wood, vinyl or fiber cement siding, 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 siding option, which is ideal for warm climates. 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 with its own particular appearance.

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. You should therefore make sure that you are happy with the color and appearance of your 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.