With so many choices in siding materials it can be a real challenge deciding on what is right for your home.
A lot is to be considered in relation to permanence, performance, maintenance, durability and the like. The question may boil down to, how long we will own our property and the level of investment in proportion to the community environment, need, look, and saleability of our home once a choice is made.
A solid choice is brick and stone. Time honored and at the top of the long lasting qualities desired, can be a bit cost prohibitive, therefore many times is used for a feature face application. It is very durable and resistant to the elements including insects, temperature differences and the like.
Many alternative products have been developed to allow for the appeal of these natural products at a fraction of the cost and application time, along with eliminating the need for very specialized skill for installation.
Faux stone and brick products as well as bark looks, are now available, and are now more in tune with real than previous, obviously fake looking manufactured products. One may have to get close to know the difference now. Much easier to apply with the attachment systems designed to be attached directly to the wall with screws.
Vinyl siding products are getting better, and also have a better wood looking appeal and is very cost efficient and relatively easy to apply. Some are backed with a rigid foam product adding stability and insulation properties. Many of the lesser quality or older versions were subject to UV damage and would become faded and chalky before breaking down further over time. Now these products have much better resistance to the elements, making them a better option for budget conscious concerns.
Fibre- Cement siding is a mixture of sand and Portland cement and are molded into siding boards. Due to its high resistance to the elements and fire proof qualities, it is quickly becoming the product of choice. Although pricey, many feel the cost up front will be the savings down the road and the long lasting appeal due to damage resistance and little maintenance are worth the extra cash layout. The look of wood without the warping splitting checking or the potential for dis-figuration that may come with wood or vinyl alternatives.
Cedar siding include lineal boards, shakes and shingles can provide a unique feature. Somewhat time consuming to install and the risk of splitting and cracking, may make this a bit less of a choice now with synthetic products that are better manufactured for look and longevity. Veneered cedar siding is now a choice one can make and should be more stable due to the plywood backing supporting the surface cedar veneer. Better for installation as well as checking and splitting will not be an issue. Longevity of this product is optimistic and the stains beautifully.
Engineered wood products are composite. This means a mixture of wood fibres, resins and wax, with anti-fungal and anti-pest properties are used in the manufacture of these products.They are designed to look near perfect to wood and are painted or have molded surfaces. Molded surfaces are the latest, as the painted surface products had limitations with paint adhesion and moisture resistance. Newer products are moisture resistant and are manufactured without the use of wood fibre. The molded surfaces help in the realism of the finish making the products look very wood authentic. Installation is user friendly.
All of the above products come in a wide range of color and many have a good variety of design such as stone and brick.
Being that we have all these choices, some of which are described here, we know our decision is going to be one that produces one of the greatest design features we will apply to a home or structure.
Although this is true, consideration must also be given to the primary reason an outer building skin is needed as it constitutes the first line of defense against all the potential elemental issues that will come against a structure through the years and reduce, if not eliminate outside issues to become indoor issues.
We no longer have the simple luxury of a choice between wood siding or stone. Now we have a vast variety to chose from. With the new products, remember warranties are only an indication of the expectations a manufacture has for a said product and will only be as good as the company will back.
Installation needs to be done according to the manufacture specifications in order to fully apply for warranty, if ever needed.
Do thorough research in your demographic as to which products are actually standing up to the given environment you will be building or renovating in. Do not be quick to saddle yourself with a new or improved product and become the satellite test pilot for the manufacturer. It may be best to use a second best choice, rather than a first if you wish to be sure of the possible outcome.
Also, under no circumstance, hire without knowing the contractor is good for the application. A lot of contractors appear in downturn economies and in times of need when as the term is applied, acts of God occur. These contractors for the most part who suddenly appear will also suddenly disappear not long after and likely sooner than badly applied products will tell the story.
Low price or how quickly a contractor can come to the task are benchmarks to pay attention to. Good contractors in demand may be far behind, however, will be worth the wait. Do not give in to emotion and hire badly. Have your home wrapped with house wrap and wait. Maintain the house wrapping so needless breaching does not occur. A well researched contractors cost may be more and timeline challenged, however the completed and future cost of not doing things over is far cheaper than, cheap the first time or more, and then replacements or fixes, requiring a reputable, experienced, and cost correct contractor.