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Various House Sidings

Nothing impacts the appearance of your home more than the type of siding you choose. As you shop for siding, look for a material that will suit the style of your house and also your lifestyle. Listed here are some of the more popular materials for exterior siding.

Stone is the most durable of all building materials. Granite, limestone, slate, and other stones are beautiful and nearly impervious to weather. Unfortunately, they are also extremely expensive. Pre-cast stone veneers and facings look and feel like real stone, but are much more affordable.

Brick is made of fired clay, brick comes in a wide variety of colors. Although expensive, brick is desirable because it can more than a lifetime and it will probably not need any patching or repairs for the first twenty-five years. Quality brick veneers are also attractive and durable but they don't have the longevity of solid brick.

Cedar Shingles
Cedar shingle homes (also called "shakes") blend beautifully in wooded landscapes. Made of natural cedar, the shingles are often stained with browns, grays, or other earth colors. Shakes offer the natural look of real wood, but usually require less maintenance than wood clapboard.

Wood Clapboard
There are many synthetic wood-look products, and still, solid wood such as cedar, pine, spruce, redwood, cypress, or Douglas fir remain favorite choices for higher end homes. When stained or painted periodically, wood siding can outlast vinyl and other imitations. Many wood frame houses built hundreds of years ago still look great today.

Fiber Cement
Fiber cement siding can have the appearance of wood, stucco, or masonry. This is a durable, natural-looking material. If real wood is beyond your budget, fiber cement siding is a strong and attractive alternative. Fiber cement siding is fireproof, termite-proof, and may have a warranty up to fifty years.

Traditional stucco is cement combined with water and materials such as sand and lime. Stucco has been used for hundreds of years. It can be finished in many ways for different looks. Genuine stucco walls are hard, solid, and moisture resistant. Many homes built since the 1950s use a variety of synthetic materials that look like stucco. Synthetic stucco can look authentic, but may not offer the same durability.

Engineered Wood
Engineered or composite wood, is made with wood products and other materials. Oriented strand board (OSB), hardboard, and veneered plywood fall into this category. Engineered wood usually comes in panels that are inexpensive and easy to install. The panels can be molded to create the look of traditional clapboards. Because the textured grain is uniform, they do not look exactly like real wood. Still, they appear more natural than vinyl or aluminum.

Seamless Steel
Seamless steel siding is extremely strong and it resists shrinking and bulging when the temperature changes. This siding must be custom fit to the exact measurements of your house. You can purchase steel siding with a wood-like texture. For a modern houses you can consider the industrial look of corrugated steel.

Aluminum siding may be thought of as an old-fashioned option, but some builders offer it as an alternative to vinyl. Both materials are easy to maintain and fairly durable but aluminum can dent and fade. Unlike vinyl though, it won't crack. Aluminum is fireproof and is not usually considered harmful to your health or the environment while vinyl is difficult to dispose of.

Vinyl Siding is made from a PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastic. Unlike wood or cedar, vinyl won't rot or flake. Vinyl is also less expensive than most other siding materials. Unfortunately, even the best vinyl siding can crack, split, or look dingy after a few years. Vinyl produces hazardous byproducts; it will release toxic chemicals when burned thus making it difficult to dispose of.
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