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Siding 101 With Webfoot: Pick The Siding That's Best Suited For Your Home!

Siding 101 With Webfoot: Pick The Siding That's Best Suited For Your Home!

When was the last time you took a good look at your home’s siding? Chances are it’s been a while. Today we are taking a dip into home siding! Your home’s siding is important because it protects the integrity and durability of your home’s frame, walls, and consequently, your roof. For this reason, it’s important to inspect your siding frequently. If your siding is damaged or has deep gouges or missing pieces, it may be time for some repairs or a complete overhaul. Trust us—this is something you’ll not want to wait to take care of; siding is an investment for protecting your home now and in the future. 

When it comes to siding, the options available on the market have changed dramatically in just the last ten years alone; we have more choices now than ever before. Siding comes in an array of finishes, textures, colors and prices. Some siding fares better than others when it comes to extreme weather conditions and longevity, while other options are more budget friendly.

Popular Siding Options for Your Home

Vinyl Siding

While vinyl siding has been around since the 1950s, it is still a popular choice today given its wallet-friendly price point as well as the availability of color and texture options. Vinyl siding has come a long way since the 1950s. With increased durability and wood-like texture options, vinyl is here to stay. Many homeowners also favor vinyl siding as a great go-to DIY option. Some of the advantages of this well-known home siding material include:

  • Cheap: Vinyl siding will cost you anywhere from $3.50 to $7.50 per square foot installed for an average 1,500 square ft. home with installation

  • Low Maintenance: Aside from the occasional hose down, vinyl siding doesn’t require much maintenance and is less likely to rot than other materials.

  • Long-Lasting Colors & Textures: Because the colors and textures are not painted on but rather part of the manufacturing process, the color and texture of your siding will stay in good shape for a while. 

Some vinyl siding can also be painted when it does begin to fade, resulting in a low-cost way to freshen up the exterior of your home.

Materials and workmanship have definitely improved over the years as we have said before, but as we all know, there is no such thing as a perfect product and the use of vinyl siding does not come without a few downfalls. Some of the disadvantages to using vinyl siding include:

  • Wasteful: Vinyl siding remains to live amongst the cheapest options for siding on the market today. This also means it has to be replaced more frequently than other higher

end options, making it a waste of plastic that has the potential to end up in our oceans, rivers and landfills.

  • Low Durability: Susceptible to cracking and breaking or melting, siding made from vinyl is likely to fail when used in areas with extreme temperature fluctuations.

  • Bad Insulator: Vinyl can look great on the outside of your home, but won’t keep the inside of your home any cooler or warmer when needed. For this reason, homeowners that gravitate towards the use of vinyl should consider adding additional insulation to the inside of their homes.

  • Difficult Replacements: Vinyl siding can become damaged if it has a run-in with any flying debris. Replacements can be challenging if you’ve decided not to paint your vinyl, this is due to difficulty with color matching the existing, faded vinyl siding

Wood Siding

Wooden siding is quite popular on the East Coast where sand and salt is a concern for many homeowners. This is because it can take a beating and still look great; it is also the easiest to repair. Wooden siding can be stained or painted and is cost efficient. Some popular choices for wooden siding are cedar and redwood. Other reasons to love wooden siding include:

  • Easily Repaired: Wooden siding can easily be repaired and refinished with a little wood glue and some elbow grease. It is also easier to match than vinyl if you need to replace entire panels.

  • Great-Looking: Siding that weathers well year after year can only be wooden siding. The distinct characteristics of wood are incomparable to anything artificial.

  • Eco-Friendly: A renewable resource, wooden siding is also biodegradable, naturally chemical-free, and energy-efficient to produce.

In addition to being one of the most expensive options, the disadvantages to using wooden siding on your home include:

  • High Maintenance: In order for wooden siding to look its best year after year, it does need a good washing and a repainting or restaining job every few years.

  • Rotting: Wooden siding is susceptible to mold if you live in a particularly hot and humid part of the country.

  • Pests: Termites and rodents can cause costly damage to your wooden siding if not treated and eradicated promptly.

Stucco Siding

Popular in California and other southwestern states, stucco is a great low-cost siding option. But unlike vinyl, stucco siding is a bit more challenging where application is considered. Stucco has great insulating qualities with a great finish and clean lines; other advantages include:

  • Energy-Efficient: Because stucco siding is a great insulator, it will keep your heating and cooling costs down.

  • Customizable: Color additives are added directly to the stucco mixture before it is applied to the outside of the home. Other materials, like pebbles or shells, can also be added in for variances in texture.

  • Durable: Stucco has the ability to move, expand and shrink to accommodate variances in warm or cool temperatures; cracking is not common.

While stucco can really look great when used on the outside of the home, the application is quite difficult and is best left to a professional. Stucco works best when applied to a textured surface, so your home may not be ready to accept stucco; there is a lot of prep required before application can occur. Disadvantages to using stucco as siding on your home includes:

  • Not User-Friendly: You’ll need a contractor to do the bulk of the work if you decide to go with stucco siding. Stucco cannot be applied directly to wooden sheathing on the outside of a home. Application requires a homewrap like Tyvek to be laid, followed by a metal, fence-like material called self-furring metal lath. The stucco is then applied to this metal material.

  • Multiple Layers are Needed: In order for stucco to be efficient as an insulator, more than one layer needs to be applied; ideally, three coats should be sufficient enough.

  • Longevity: While stucco does fine in warm or cool climates, it doesn’t perform well in areas that get a lot of precipitation. Wet climates can cause stucco to crumble and fail over time.

Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement siding is really the best option when comparing the current siding options on the market. It looks great and is reliable and long-lasting. This product comes in many different color options and can be painted as well. 

Fiber cement siding is made from a blend of materials making it the best choice for your home’s siding. More commonly known as Sierra Premium Shake, fiber cement siding is made from cement, ash, recycled rejects, and wood fiber making it quite environmentally friendly. There are many features and benefits to get excited about when discussing fiber cement siding, including:

  • Customization: Not only does Sierra Premium Shake siding come in a variety of colors, including Charcoal, Mahogany, Maple, and Smoke, but you can also choose to purchase it only primed. This means you can use any acrylic, latex paint to customize your siding any way you please.

  • Rot-Resistant: While some other siding materials are also resistant to rotting, fiber cement siding is really the best of wood, vinyl and stucco siding. Because it is actually made with wooden materials, the texture is more wood-like than vinyl but more durable because of the added cement.

  • Maintenance: Fiber cement siding is easy to clean and does not require the use of a power washer; just give it a quick scrub down and rinse with a regular water hose and you’re good to go.

  • Warranty: Sierra Premium Shake siding comes with an impressive 30-year warranty against defects and failure making it an easy purchasing decision.

  • Flame Retardant: Fiber cement is highly heat and fire resistant, something your homeowners insurance company wouldn’t dare scoff at, trust us. 

Homeowners insurance is serious business and there is a lot more to know than you’d think when it comes to protecting your home as the valuable investment it is. Certain changes you make to your home can even void your insurance policy. Check out our blog on Common Causes of Homeowners Insurance Claims for more information on how you can save money on your homeowners insurance as well as costly mistakes to avoid.

The main disadvantage to fiber cement siding is that it isn’t cheap. However, most homeowners find that after purchasing fiber cement siding for their homes, little maintenance is required; most often maintenance doesn’t need to occur until around year 15 or so. Purchasing high-quality siding for your home will increase its value overtime and save you a bundle of money in the long run. The durability and beauty of our Sierra Premium Shake product makes purchasing fiber cement a no-brainer.

At Webfoot Painting we’re homeowners too; we want the best for our families and community. If you’re ready to take on a new siding project, we are happy to help lead the way. We are experts in carpentry, interior and exterior paint and design, flooring and cabinetry. Let us help you make your home siding dreams come true. Visit us on the web to get a free, contactless quote, or give us a ring. We love hearing from our customers and can help answer any questions you might have about siding or any other home improvement project.

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