Choosing which exterior siding option you want for your home is one of the biggest choices you’ll make with new construction. There are many different choices and each of them have different pros and cons to weigh. In this article we’ll be going through some characteristics to consider when choosing exterior siding as well as some of the most common options available.
Seven Exterior Siding Option Characteristics to Consider
When it comes to exterior siding options there are seven major characteristics to consider.
Potentially the most important characteristic to consider is the appearance of the siding. Since you’ll have to look at the siding on your home every day, it should be something which looks aesthetically pleasing to you. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to sacrifice some of the other characteristics on this list so that they can have the aesthetic they want.
The durability of a particular siding option refers to how well it resists temperature shifts and the wear and tear of everyday life. Durability may be more or less important depending on the climate you live in. The Mid-Atlantic Region is one in which durability plays a major role due to the varying climate throughout the year. And this can be even more important for waterfront properties.
Today, energy efficiency is a major concern for many homeowners. Each siding option has a different R-value — the rating system for how well a material insulates against temperature shifts. Because of this, different siding options may also require different types of insulation beneath them.
There are two things to keep in mind when it comes to installation: how easy is it to install the siding and how long will the installation take? Some siding is easy enough for homeowners to install on their own, but in most cases an experienced professional will be necessary to ensure the job is done correctly. The sidings which are harder to install also typically take more time to install.
After the aesthetics, price is often the next biggest characteristic to consider. Prices vary greatly between siding options, so you may find that your first choice is outside your price range. Or, you may find that a similar option is available at a reduced price.
Versatility is somewhat similar to how easy a siding option is to install. However, the key question to ask here is: can it be installed how and where you want it? Some siding options are more limiting in their possible applications than others.
Much like durability, the importance of water resistance is highly dependent on the climate in which you live. Water resistance may be much less important to a homeowner in Arizona compared to Pennsylvania. However, water resistance shouldn’t be overlooked — mold and rot can spread quickly and cause severe damage.
Six Most Common Exterior Siding Options
While there are a couple other exterior siding options out there, these six encompasse the vast majority of homes.
Vinyl is the number one siding option in the United States and has been ever since its introduction in the late 1950s. It rose to prominence thanks to its low price (the lowest of all siding options) and minimal maintenance needed. Vinyl siding also comes in hundreds of colors to choose from, so there’s something for everyone.
Wood is a much higher maintenance option compared to vinyl due to its natural composition. And depending on the type of wood used, it can be more or less durable. However, wood is also one of the most versatile siding options available. Shakes/shingles, bevel, board-and-batten, and split log are just some styles of wood siding.
There’s also engineered wood, which is a man-made construction using sawdust and other materials. It is a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional wood.
Stone siding is among the most durable around, is fairly energy efficient, and requires minimal maintenance. However, all of those benefits come with a higher price tag. Natural stone is often granite, limestone, or slate, though other options exist.
However, manufactured stone and stone veneer are alternatives which have the same appearance, but cost a fraction of the price. Manufactured stone is man-made using a mix of concrete and other additives while veneer is a thinner slice of stone attached to pre-existing walls.
Stucco is a concrete-like mixture which is popular among homeowners thanks to its many aesthetic options, minimal maintenance, and reasonable price. It’s also extremely versatile, in that it can be used on just about any part of the home. A key benefit of stucco is that it is breathable, allowing water to evaporate from behind it when in dry conditions.
Brick is a fairly popular option thanks to its high durability, variety of aesthetic options, and minimal maintenance. However, it’s also less water resistant and comes at a higher cost than some of the other options.
Like with stone, manufactured brick and brick veneer options are also available. They look just like real brick, but come at a lower price.
Metal is a highly variable siding option. Depending on the metal chosen, the price can vary drastically, though they’re all highly durable. The energy efficiency also depends on the metal used, but it generally has around the same R-value as vinyl, which is slightly better than stone and brick. Some of the more common metals are steel, aluminum, copper, and zinc.
The most common siding options are vinyl, wood, stone, stucco, brick, and metal. But, before you select the siding for your new construction home, it’s important for you to consider how each option ranks for these seven characteristics: aesthetics, durability, energy efficiency, installation, price, versatility, and water resistance.
Alan Mancill Builders
Mancill Builders are your new construction specialists. We’ll help bring your dream home to life and take into consideration which siding characteristics are most important to you. Contact Alan Mancill Builders today to learn more about the exterior siding options available.