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Top 5 Material Options To Use For Your Home Exteriors

The exterior of your house carries a significant responsibility. In addition to safeguarding you and your loved ones from the forces of nature, it must maintain its appealing appearance regardless of any challenges thrown its way. If you’re looking to enhance your home’s facade and are uncertain which siding option to choose, this comparison will provide useful insights.

It’s worth mentioning that when undertaking an exterior siding project, it’s essential to consider the exterior trim, which refers to the casing treatment employed around window and door openings. If the current siding on your property has deteriorated, chances are the exterior trim also needs replacement. It’s crucial to ensure that any new trim matches the appearance and functionality of the new siding you plan to install.

Wood Siding: A Traditional Choice with some Maintenance Requirements

When it comes to exterior siding options, wood siding has been a popular choice for many years due to its versatile nature and aesthetic appeal. One of the advantages of wood siding is the variety of styles it comes in. Among the most common styles are board and batten, shakes, shingles, and clapboards.

Board and batten is a classic style that uses alternating wide boards and narrow strips, or battens, to create a vertical pattern. Shakes are thicker and have a rougher surface than shingles, which are thinner and smoother. Clapboards are long, narrow boards that are typically installed horizontally with a slight overlap between each board, creating a traditional look. Each of these styles adds a unique texture and character to a home’s exterior.

In addition to its distinct style options, wood siding is also popular for its natural, warm appearance and timeless beauty. Builders often choose wood siding for premium projects because it exudes an air of elegance and luxury. The natural look of wood creates a sense of comfort and warmth that is hard to replicate with other siding materials.

Overall, wood siding provides homeowners with a versatile and aesthetically pleasing option for their home’s exterior. With a variety of styles to choose from and its natural beauty, it’s no wonder why wood siding continues to be a top choice among builders and homeowners alike.

Pine and Cedar Siding

Pine and cedar are the two primary types of wood used for exterior siding. Cedar has several varieties, such as eastern white cedar, red cedar, and Alaskan yellow cedar, each displaying a distinct color that corresponds with its name. While pine siding can be more affordable, it is not as resistant to rot and insects as cedar. In comparison, cedar is more dimensionally stable, and it does not expand, contract, crack, or warp as pine can.

Regardless of the type and species of wood siding you choose, it will last longer and look better when properly protected with a finish. Paint or solid color stain is the best protection against weather and UV damage. However, if you prefer the natural look of wood grain, opt for a clear exterior finish formulated explicitly for wood siding, which provides UV protection. Suppose you’re planning to install wood siding on your property. In that case, it’s crucial to check your local building codes, as some areas require fire-retardant chemicals to be applied to wood siding.

In conclusion, when it comes to selecting the right wood for your exterior siding, it’s important to consider the advantages and drawbacks of each species. While pine may be less expensive, cedar has greater durability and stability. Additionally, to ensure your wood siding lasts as long as possible, it’s essential to apply a protective finish and comply with any local building codes.

Stone Veneer Siding

If you’re looking to elevate the appearance of your home with the look of stone, installing a stone veneer is a fantastic option. Not only is it a cost-effective way to achieve the look of natural stone, but it’s also relatively easy to install. Stone veneer can be an excellent upgrade for concrete foundation walls, providing a stylish and modern look. Additionally, it’s commonly installed on the lower half of main level walls and other structures, including fireplace surrounds, interior walls, and driveway pillars. With so many styles of stone available, you can choose the perfect fit for your home’s aesthetic.

Although it may look like genuine stone, stone veneer is actually made from a blend of Portland cement, aggregates, and pigment. These materials are baked in textured molds that recreate the appearance of natural stone. One of the benefits of stone veneer is that it can be applied directly to concrete surfaces. However, for wood-frame walls, a moisture barrier must first be applied to the exterior sheathing before installing the metal lath. Once the installation is complete, very little maintenance is required, aside from filling any cracks that may appear in the mortar between stones.

In conclusion, adding a stone veneer to your home’s exterior is an excellent way to give it a modern and stylish look. With so many styles of stone to choose from, you can easily find the perfect fit for your home’s aesthetic. Whether you’re upgrading concrete foundation walls or adding a veneer to other structures, stone veneer is an easy and cost-effective way to give your home the look of natural stone without the high price tag.

Fiber Cement

Fiber cement siding is a highly popular composite material among homeowners due to its exceptional properties. Made from cement and cellulose fibers, it is available in a range of siding products, including panels, battens, boards, exterior trims, and clapboards. This material is highly durable, solid, and stable, and is capable of taking paint exceptionally well, which increases the lifespan of the paint job. Additionally, fiber cement siding boasts a range of other noteworthy qualities.

Fiber cement siding is highly moisture and rot-resistant, making it an ideal choice for coastal areas that are susceptible to harsh weather conditions like hurricanes, storms, and flooding. Unlike wood siding, which saltwater can ruin and vinyl and aluminum siding, which high winds can easily blow away, fiber cement siding is highly resilient.

Another noteworthy quality of fiber cement siding is that it is non-combustible, which makes it a preferred siding option in areas prone to wildfire. While fire feeds on wood and combusts vinyl almost instantly, fiber cement siding is highly impervious, and some insurance companies even offer discounts for homes with this type of siding.

Pest-resistant properties also make fiber cement siding an attractive option for homeowners. Woodpeckers, squirrels, and termites will not destroy fiber cement siding, which is ideal for those living in wooded areas.

Weather resistance is another key advantage of fiber cement siding. It can withstand hail and flying debris during storms and is highly resistant to temperature extremes that can cause cracking in wood siding.

Fiber cement is sometimes referred to as Hardie board, which is a major manufacturer of fiber cement products. Some fiber cement siding can be ordered with a factory-applied primer or primer and finish coat, along with a 15-year warranty against fading, chipping, peeling, or cracking. However, a major disadvantage of fiber cement siding is its installation process, which requires special tools, safety precautions, and installation details, making it a challenging material to install for DIYers.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding has become increasingly popular due to its durability, affordability, and ease of installation. The wide variety of styles and colors available, including those resembling wood-grain lap siding, wood shingles, and even stone, make it an attractive option for homeowners. Another benefit of vinyl siding is that the color is part of the material, which means dings and scratches won’t show. Regular cleaning with a brush and hose is all that is required for maintenance.

One of the advantages of vinyl siding is that it can be installed on newly built walls, as well as over most types of existing siding. If you require additional insulation, insulated vinyl siding has a backing of solid rigid foam insulation that fills the voids behind the siding’s stepped profile. This type of siding can add an insulation value of R-2 to R-6 while making the siding more resistant to impact damage. Although it’s easy to handle, DIYers should learn about the transitional elements that are part of the siding system, such as J-channel installed around exterior trim, before installing the material.

On the other hand, aluminum siding has some notable advantages over vinyl siding. For instance, it can be painted, which allows for more style choices than vinyl siding. However, its style choices are still more limited compared to vinyl siding. Additionally, aluminum doesn’t have the same resilience as vinyl and can easily dent from hard impacts. Despite this, it’s still a great option for those who want a low-maintenance siding that can be easily painted to fit changing preferences in the future.