Aluminum siding and steel siding are both popular materials for residential construction. You can purchase either one in a variety of finishes and both products cost less than proprietary composite board siding. However there are differences to consider when purchasing aluminum or steel siding.
Compared to other siding materials—stone, brick, steel, vinyl—aluminum siding is one of the most inexpensive and durable. It takes less effort than steel siding to install because it is lighter and easier to cut. Thanks to the relative ease of installation contractors will charge less to install aluminum siding. You can choose from a broad range of styles which include horizontal and vertical panels. It is also available in many textures such as a wood shake style and a variety of colors. A few downsides are that the prefinished colors have been known to fade, however, it can be painted with high-quality, oil-based paint. Also it does lack the ability to be used for detailed trim work and it is prone to dent easily.
Steel is one of the more commonly used materials for house siding, mainly due to its high degree of durability. It is an excellent choice for homes that are located in extreme weather zones because it tolerates the harsher climates better than other sidings. Steel siding is more durable then aluminum siding, because of this architects and designers tend to use it for obtaining a more subtle look. There are many shades of color and textures to choose from. Steel siding can be designed to look like wood siding without the added cost of buying wood siding. Steel siding can also help reduce your electrical bills because it functions as a type of heat conductor like wood. Unlike aluminum siding you will not have to worry about scratching or denting steel siding as easily. It will resist both fire and water better that other siding as well. Another benefit to steel siding is that it can be purchased with a vinyl topcoat which eliminates the need for painting down the road. It will resist scratches, chips and is not affected by weather the same way that paint is. Steel siding is more expensive to purchase and contractors will typically charge more to install it but when properly installed steel siding has a life expectancy of 40 years or more.
Before deciding which siding to use, look at houses that have both aluminum and steel siding to better appreciate the product. If possible, ask homeowners how are satisfied with the product they chose. Also it is a good idea to get the opinions of contractors and suppliers before making your final choice.