Residential Siding

Few home improvements or repairs can improve the appearance, curb appeal and value of your house like new house siding.

Residential siding is certainly one of the least expensive of house exteriors. Even the most premium quality vinyl siding is reasonably priced and not a drain on your budget. Installation is also less expensive than with products that are more difficult to put onto your home.

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Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding was introduced to the exterior market in the late 1950s as a replacement for aluminum siding. It is plastic exterior siding used for decoration and weatherproofing instead of other materials such as aluminum, wood or fiber cement siding.

Vinyl siding has grown steadily over the years in popularity, in large part due to its durability, versatility, cost and ease of maintenance, though in some parts of the world it is not so popular because of its negative environmental profile.

Vinyl siding comes in strips and has perforated holes at the top for fastening into the exterior wall and interlocking flanges top and bottom to seal against weather.

The pros of vinyl siding are:

  • it comes in a range of styles including horizontal and vertical panels
  • it has a range of prefinished color
  • it comes in a variety of textures including wood shake/shingle style
  • installation does not involve painting, staining or caulking
  • it can be applied over other surfaces such as wood or stucco
  • it is reasonably priced – cheaper than fiber cement siding
  • low maintenance

The cons of vinyl siding are:

  • prone to cracking especially in cold weather or from a heavy weight
  • it is not environmentally friendly as it is made of PVC
  • it is flammable
Wood Siding

Wood siding is the original siding used for houses for centuries. It has been known by many names such as wood shingles, shakes, clapboard, logs and others.

It is very versatile in style and can be used on a wide variety of homes and painted or stained in any color palette desired. Wood siding can be installed horizontally or vertically.

Wood siding in overlapping horizontal rows or “courses” is called clapboard, weatherboard, or bevel siding which is made with beveled boards, thin at the top edge and thick at the butt.

Beveled wood siding is usually 6 or 8 inches wide, and thicker at the bottom. It is installed from the bottom of a home working up toward the roof.

This kind of siding looks gorgeous but is a high maintenance choice and not ideal for places where it always rains as being exposed to too much moisture could cause rotting. To prevent water damage, siding contractors have to prime the panels with a moisture barrier.

When wood siding reaches this condition one of the best improvements a homeowner can make is to replace the old wooden siding with new, more durable siding. This not only makes the home look better, but may improve the resale value as well.

People still use wood siding on their homes. It creates a very classy looking, but there are pros and cons to it as well.

Pros:

  • changing the color of your house is easy
  • it can be installed vertically or horizontally
  • at this point in time there are plenty of wood resources
  • wood offers a natural beauty where others can’t
  • more options aesthetically

Cons:

  • the actual wood is expensive
  • the time and labor it takes to install it is greater than other sidings
  • it requires more upkeep than other materials
  • it must be repainted and resealed it every few yearsit can potentially rot and deteriorate and there is a chance of algea, mildew, or moss growing on your siding
  • it is more susceptible to damage by hail and in storms
Stucco / Render Siding

Stucco or render is a material made of any aggregate materials such as sand, gravel, crushed stone, slag, or recycled concrete and then added to a binder, and water. As a siding material, stucco is a durable, attractive, and weather-resistant. It is used for interior walls as well as exterior walls. Stucco is applied wet and hardens to a very dense solid.

Stucco is valued as a siding material for its attractiveness and durability and is a relatively low maintenance exterior finish. It is often used on (but is certainly not limited to) Spanish style homes. Stucco can be directly applied to brick and concrete, or applied to a lath (paper or wire mesh) over a wood frame or other material.

Stucco has been used to protect buildings since ancient times. In fact it has been used since the time of the Greeks and the Romans till today for adding durability and strength to building structure. Stucco is used in not just residential building it is also used in commercial buildings.

Stucco is very popular throughout urban and suburban areas all over the country, because of its relatively low cost of application. It can be used to create window and door moldings, crown or cornice pieces, water table applications and a veneer to cover the wood framing of a new home.

There are however many issues you may run into using stucco for these applications. As a water table, stucco is used to cover the foundation of the home. This is the most vulnerable area of the home. Stucco is constantly exposed to rain and the splash of the rain off the ground. Stucco can only stand so much moisture before it gives way calling for repeated repairs, or even remodeling.

One of the other big problems with stucco on the lower section of the house is denting or holes. If the stucco is applied over foam, which is typical, it can be damaged by something as simple a bicycle handle, hale or wind blown debris. This leaves the home exposed to the elements and the eventual rot and mold associated with water penetration.

Stucco is not the most popular choice of sidings but sometimes the budget is the key factor in choosing and stucco gives you plenty of versatile options.