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The Three Most Common Types of Siding

There are many different types of siding materials to choose from for your home. Each type has positives and negatives. The following are three common types of siding today. They are common for good reasons. Each one is a good option depending on your budget and the area where your home is located.

The least expensive of these three common sidings is fiber cement. Fiber cement siding has increased in popularity in recent years. It is made from cement mixed with ground sand, cellulose fiber, and other additives. Fiber cement siding is versatile and long lasting. Because of its’ makeup fiber cement is very immune to many common siding problems. It repels termites, fungus and water and it is also fire- resistant. There are hundreds of styles and paint colors to choose from. Fiber cement can adapt to the look of any home. It is offered in styles that resemble stucco, wood clapboards and cedar shingles.

This material is not maintenance free. It requires painting. However, because fiber cement does not expand or contract with the weather, paint adheres to it very well and lasts longer than it does on wood siding. It is available to order fiber cement siding that is pre-painted from the factory often with a 15 to 20 year paint warranty. The siding itself typically holds a 50 year warranty and is lower in cost than the average house siding. This makes fiber cement a viable option in today’s siding choices. Its’ installation is not too difficult but it does require the installer to wear protective gear to guard against breathing in particles of the material when cutting it. It can also irritate the skin. Long sleeves and gloves might be a good idea when working with this material.

Vinyl siding has become the most popular siding product of late. It has been estimated that vinyl siding is being used on as many as 40% of new homes in the United States. Typically patterned to look like horizontal wood siding, vinyl is actually available in a number of different styles and colors. Vinyl siding coloring is typically added during production meaning scratches will not reveal a different color underneath. Early versions of vinyl siding tended to lose color and become brittle but modern vinyl products have very long lasting color eliminating the need to re-paint every 5-10 years as is necessary with some other materials.

Vinyl siding is available in seam and seamless versions. Seamless siding is considered more attractive and better at repelling the elements.

Traditional vinyl siding does not replicate the appearance of a solid wood siding very well due to the fact that it is not solid. However a new version of vinyl is available. This version has a foam core behind the siding that makes the vinyl more rigid and increases its’ insulating value from an R-value of less than 1.0 to one of 4.0. This additional rigidity also adds strength to protect against damage. Most vinyl siding manufacturers offer a foam core version and while it costs more it is worth it if your goal is to make certain your siding lays flat and stays flat for a long time.

Vinyl siding requires very little maintenance and is among the lower priced options on the siding costs scale however, it is important to realize that vinyl will need to be repaired or replaced eventually.

Brick siding is valued for many reasons including its’ durability, low maintenance requirements and pleasing appearance. It is made of fired clay brick and is available in a variety of different sizes, textures and color combinations.
Brick siding is most commonly just that, siding, and is not a structural part of the house. Brick is usually placed on the outside of a typical wood frame as a veneer. It is held together with mortar that hardens in place. Under normal conditions brick siding will last the life of the building with usually nothing more needed than the occasional wash down with a hose.

Since the appearance and longevity of brick siding depends so much on the quality of its installation it requires a professional to do this job. Also, it might appear that brick is watertight but it is not. Water can penetrate past the brick veneer making it important that a water membrane be properly installed to protect the inside of your home. Because of the increased cost of installation and the cost of materials brick siding is at the higher end of the siding costs scale. This is one of its’ few downsides.

While brick siding might cost more to install it is estimated that it will increase the value of your home by as much as 6%.

The area you live in as well as budget will dictate what type of siding may be best for your home. You will probably choose a different siding if you live in the south than you would if you lived in the north. First, look at where you live and research which siding choices are best in your area.

Along with various colors and styles to choose from, siding, regardless of type have different grade levels and is priced accordingly. After you have found a style that you like, shop around for price, always comparing apples to apples in other words, make sure you are comparing the same grade of product. For instance, vinyl siding comes in different thicknesses so make sure you are not comparing the cost for a thin grade to that of a thick.
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