If you are interested in improving your home's exterior with new siding, there are many important decisions you will have to make. Chances are good that your first decision will be what type of siding material to use in the first place. However, the sheer amount of choices available can make the decision a confusing one. In reality, the number of types of siding can be easily condensed into four basic categories. In modern times, the four types of siding that are in common use are wood, aluminum, vinyl, and cement fiber. Here is an overview of each type of siding that should help you decide which kind of siding is the best to add to your home.
Wood siding is the oldest variety of siding available, but there are many reasons why it has stood the test of time. It is relatively inexpensive—though this is dependent on the type of wood used, and in reality wood siding can range from very cheap to expensive. Wood siding is also very pleasing aesthetically, and can be customized in a wide variety of styles to fit any look. Different types of wood give different effects, and on top of that the boards can be arranged in different styles. Additionally, wood siding can be customized with either paint or stain.
Wood siding has a down side however—it is vulnerable to damage from both the weather and insects.
Aluminum siding is an alternative to wood siding. Its positives and negatives are more or less reversed from wood siding. Aluminum siding requires relatively little maintenance, and can last for decades easily. Aluminum siding is vulnerable to almost no kinds of damage except for dents and damage to paint. Aluminum siding can be coated in plastic or vinyl in order to make it less vulnerable.
However, in contrast with wood siding, aluminum siding has relatively few customization options. Aside from the arrangement of the panels, there are relatively few aesthetic choices available.
Vinyl siding is a more recent development designed to compete with aluminum siding. Vinyl siding is usually cheaper than aluminum siding. It also does not need to be painted, thus actually requiring less maintenance than aluminum.
Aesthetically, it is very similar to aluminum siding, being assembled the same way and having few options other than the arrangement of panels.
However, vinyl siding becomes brittle in cold weather, and as a result will become vulnerable to being damaged if used in a cold area.
4. Cement Fiber
Cement fiber siding is a relatively recent invention. It is designed to be similar to wood siding in appearance, while keeping the durability and long lasting features of the other varieties of siding.
Cement fiber siding has many options aesthetically, and can be used to make intricate trim. It also comes in a wide variety of styles of paneling—many more than vinyl and aluminum. It is not particularly vulnerable to any kind of damage, and as a result requires very little maintenance if any.
Unfortunately, cement fiber siding is relatively expensive in comparison to the other varieties.