The endless possibilities and choices you need to make for your house can get extremely overwhelming.
Whether you’re building from scratch or making improvements, you’ll need to decide between different materials, colors, and protection grades offered by various sidings—just to name a few of the choices.
Today we’re going to talk about siding by breaking down the different choices available on the market. Residing a house is no small feat, and it’s vital that your choice in siding holds up over time and protects your home from the elements. Doing your research is a great way to find the best materials and contractors to install them and this guide is a great place to start
We hope this guide helps you on your journey as a homeowner or contractor and that you’ll be able to come back to it in the future.
Before we dive into all the types of siding out there, let’s talk about why you should be investing so much time in finding the perfect material for your home.
There’s actually a lot more to siding than the way it makes your house look. While the curb appeal that is added to your home from the color and style of the siding is important, there is also a structural element to the siding as well.
The siding on your house provides the first layer of defense against moisture, mold, and ultimately rot. Good siding will—for it’s expected lifetime—keep moisture away from your house and provide you with protection against the elements. If, for any reason, your siding wasn’t able to keep the moisture out, there are other barriers such as the home wrap that is attached to exterior walls before the siding goes on. But, in worst-case scenarios, faulty siding can cause some extensive and ultimately expensive problems.
For the importance of function and obtaining the ideal look for your home, it’s critical that you choose the right siding. Many home builders will have recommended brands and materials that they most regularly use for the homes that they repair, replace, or install siding on.
But contractors, builders, and companies won’t always take the time to go into detail with you about the different benefits of the siding you choose. We’re here to go into all of those details and help you to make an informed decision on your purchase.
It’s good to briefly note that different sidings have different moisture resistance rates. Some materials will perform better in different climates than others. Consider that coastal homeowners might need to worry about rust, whereas homeowners in the north need to worry about extreme cold. Most builders and siding companies are going to know which sidings are best for your climate.
*Prices within this article may vary based on location and time of year. All averages are based on 1,500 square foot home*
Let’s dive in!
A brick exterior is a slightly different material than you might think of when it comes to siding. Traditionally, brick isn’t something you would ever add to your house after it is built. But today, it can prove cost-effective to add brick if you like how it looks. One reason beyond looks, that you might choose brick is the long lifespan and advantages of a product that is basically maintenance-free.
Cost: Brick Siding can be very expensive to install as it is quite labor-intensive. The cost to brick a house could be up to $28 or more per square foot.
Lifespan: One of the big advantages of spending more on brick siding is that it lasts a long time. You can expect it to last a lifetime and, in some cases, more than 100 years.
Engineered wood is a traditional wood alternative. It’s made up of mostly wood with some additives to help make the finished product better. The additives make engineered wood fire-resistant, water-resistant, and safe from insects (a problem many people can have with wood siding). Another positive is the extended warranty that often comes with this product. The only downside to this type of siding is that unlike wood, it can’t be painted or stained. The color that you choose for installation is the color for the life of the product.
Cost: Engineered wood will, on average, cost around $5 – $10 per square foot. In some areas, you’ll find it to be slightly cheaper than wood, and in other areas, it is more expensive.
Lifespan: The lifespan of this well-treated siding reaches around 20-30 years and comes with a good warranty in most cases.
Another product that was created to imitate real wood is fiber-cement siding. This siding is a great option if you’re going for the look and feel of wood because it’s cheaper and offers many design variations. While it most often imitates wood, it can also be made to imitate brick and other materials.
Cost: Because this product is heavy, it tends to be more expensive to install and transport. Expect to pay $15 or more per square foot.
Lifespan: Many sources actually claim that if this siding is properly installed and cared for it can last up to or more than 100 years.
Metal siding has more traditionally been used on factories and industrial buildings. To this day, it isn’t commonly used on houses but can be a great option if you’re looking to have a modern and industrial look. This siding is more weather resistant and durable than most. It is also fire-resistant. When installed correctly, it can also be very energy efficient but at times can hurt the heating bill because it doesn’t hold heat well.
Cost: Depending on the type of metal purchased, the cost does vary. You can expect to pay anywhere from $6 to $12 for materials such as aluminum or steel.
Lifespan: If you choose to use aluminum or steel, you can expect around a 50-year lifespan. Materials such as copper or zinc can last up to a century but are much more expensive. Note that steel often has to be recoated at least once during its life.
Both natural and man-made stone adds a very upscale look to any home and can be a great addition to your property. Natural stones can provide various unique patterns and make for a very customized exterior look. It’s also resistant to most weather and water. The downside to stone is that, as you might imagine, it is extremely expensive. Natural stone can cost a premium and fabricated stone still goes for a pretty penny. This is mostly because of the intense labor and experience required to provide this novelty.
Cost: Stone, by far, is the most expensive product on the market. Consumers can expect to pay anywhere from $40 to $50 per square foot, with total project costs reaching into six figures.
Lifespan: Natural stone will last up to 100 years or more when properly maintained and repaired. Manufactured stone and other imitations often carry warranties that will guarantee them for anywhere from 25 to 75 years.
Inspired by traditional Spanish practices, stucco siding is most common on the west coast or in southern regions influenced by Spanish home design. This technique mixes different products to create a layer that goes over the exterior of the house like cement. It’s great for weather resistance, as it is often naturally colored when applied and won’t chip or decolor easily. Stucco can also be a time-consuming material to install.
Cost: The expense of stucco is normally mid-range, with most of the cost coming from labor.
Lifespan: Most stucco products will carry around a 20-year warranty but can last up to 50 years or more.
Vinyl is a newer material comprised of plastic that has almost entirely replaced traditional aluminum siding. It is very durable, easy to maintain, and cost-effective. This type of siding is common in many homes today. Vinyl is made in many different colors and textures, giving you plenty of options. The downside is that most vinyl sidings are not very durable due to prioritizing a lower price-point.
Cost: Vinyl is most often the least-expensive option for siding, and installation can typically be done quickly. In the right conditions, this can be one of the most cost-effective options.
Lifespan: Most often, the lifespan of vinyl is between 20 to 40 years. Two factors determine the longevity of the lifespan: how much sun your home will receive and how bad the weather is throughout the life of your siding.
Like vinyl siding, wood siding is versatile in its appearance and can be painted or stained multiple times throughout its life. Wood is easy to install but does require some maintenance every 2 to 5 years. The main reason that wood is popular as a siding is because of it’s timeless and classy look.
Cost: The cost runs anywhere from $8 to $15 per square foot installed.
Lifespan: On average, you can expect wood to last around 20 years. If proper maintenance is completed, then sometimes you can get up to 40 years out of it.
If you’re a homeowner in Northern Virginia looking to replace or repair your siding, then consider working with WISA. Our simple and straight-forward process gives you an excellent quality product and provides you with peace of mind.
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