One of the few components that can make or break the appearance and appeal of a home is its siding. Over the years, materials used for house siding grow more diverse. Choosing among the different types of siding hasn’t become any more difficult though. Whether you’re replacing your old siding or just picking one for your new home, there’s at least one that can satisfy one’s needs and taste. Generally, there are four types of house siding, based on the nature of the material used to make them. Back in the old days, there were only four (which will be enumerated first in the list below). Due to advances in engineering and chemistry, new materials emerged, adding more variety to the collection.
This is the oldest type of siding available. In comparison with other siding materials, it’s considerably less expensive. The actual cost, however, depends on the type of wood used. Homeowners and home builders who prefer wood siding do so because of its time-tested aesthetic quality and flexibility.
There are many types of wood siding. These vary depending on the type of wood used as well as on the general arrangement of the shingles, shakes or planks.
Here are the four basic types of wood siding:
- Board and Batten
- Plywood siding
- Wood shingles or shakes
- Lap siding
Vinyl siding closely competes with aluminum siding in terms of cost and maintenance requirements. Unlike aluminum siding, it does not need to be painted.
Since it’s synthetic, it comes in almost an unlimited number of colors, giving you more freedom to choose which fits the design of your home. Vinyl siding is also highly resistant to wear and tear but has a very low tolerance for direct heat.
Vinyl siding provides no additional insulation. A layer of foam needs to be added to compensate for this. Furthermore, vinyl isn’t particularly environment-friendly. When burned, it produces toxic dioxins that, when inhaled, can cause serious respiratory problems. Unlike wood or aluminum, vinyl cannot be recycled.
There are also many types of vinyl siding available:
- Board and batten
- Solid core
Compared to wood siding, aluminum needs only little maintenance and can last for more than a couple of decades. Extremely resistant to damage, the only things you would need to worry about are dents and damage to the overlying paint. To improve the durability of aluminum siding, you can add plastic or vinyl coating.
Cement Fiber Siding
This is a fairly new addition to the house siding family, designed to simulate the appearance of wood siding. However, unlike wood siding, it’s far more durable and long-lasting.
Since cement fiber can be physically manipulated, various trims and designs can be created with it. It also comes in various paneling styles, far outnumbering the varieties vinyl and aluminum have to offer.
Cement fiber is highly durable and can withstand weathering far more than other types of house siding can. Because of this, it requires very little maintenance and upkeep. However, due to its superior durability and flexibility, cement fiber siding can be quite expensive.