Siding is one of the best and most essential additions to a house. Not only does it provide protection and insulation for the home itself but it also allows for the homeowner to spruce up the property with customizable siding options. This work adds instant equity — first in the form of protection and second in the form of the home’s curb appeal.
A common question is “what kind of siding should I put on my house?” A detailed and comprehensive answer to this question is best achieved by speaking with a professional siding contractor. But this piece should provide you with some basic information that should help inform your search for the perfect siding moving forward.
There is a lot to think about — shakes, shingles, board and batten, materials, and more.
Types of home siding
There are many different styles and colors of house siding. But these details can only be hashed out once you’ve answered the most basic of all siding questions: What siding material would be the right one for me and my home?
Here are a few different kinds of siding (those you’re most likely to see and hear about as you continue your research):
- Fiber cement
- Stone veneer
Each type of siding has its own individual pros and cons. And each type of siding has its own ways and methods of customization. Many of these siding materials can be manufactured to mimic the look and feel of other kinds of siding, so that’s a bonus.
Joseph Ketner Construction works throughout the Portland metropolitan area. They install James Hardie fiber cement, which they prefer to use for many reasons — most of all because it won’t warp during extreme weather like vinyl is prone to do. Plus, it’s noncombustible in a fire, which can save their clients money on their homeowners insurance.
Fiber siding is produced using Portland cement, sand, cellulose fibers, and water. Some of the other main reasons to work with fiber cement siding in general and James Hardie siding in particular:
- Resilience to weather, moisture, rot, insects
- Superior durability over most masonry products in hot and humid climates
- Engineered for specific climates
- Most beautiful and durable fiber cement siding on the market
- 15-year warranty
- Less fading, chipping, cracking (compared to wood siding)
- Five times thicker than vinyl
But there are also good reasons why a homeowner might choose a different siding material. For example, brick siding is durable, looks great, and seems to cool down better than other materials. Brick veneers do, however, tend to deteriorate over time, especially at the joints.
Let’s take a brief alphabetical look at a few pros and cons of each of the remaining siding types listed above. Hopefully, this will help guide you toward an answer to the question of which kind of siding to put on your house.
Pros: Resistant to rust, less expensive than other options
Cons: Metal siding is susceptible to dents from falling debris, including tree droppings and weather events such as hale, and it may lose its shine over time. Note: Many contractors won’t even offer aluminum as a siding option.
Pros: Can look just like natural stone (although opinions vary widely on this point), customizable — even to the point of mimicking stones that abound in your area of the country
Cons: Labor-intensive installations
Pros: Stucco siding lasts for decades, customizable colors and textures, prevents moisture buildup
Cons: Expensive to install compared to other kinds of siding
Pros: Super durable and will last for years depending on variables such as climate, weatherproof, water-repellant, resistant to insects and rot, won’t fade, inexpensive relative to other siding materials, and can be made to mimic the look of other, more expensive siding
Cons: Takes a lot of maintenance, especially to prevent mold and dirt buildup, seams are visible and often unattractive, not eco-friendly
Pros: Wood shingle siding is beautiful with loads of attractive grain options (spruce, redwood, fir, cedar siding, etc.), board and batten patterns look great, relatively inexpensive to install (unless tear off of existing siding is necessary), can be painted and stained to personalize the look
Cons: Expensive (depending on wood grain), can’t usually be placed over existing siding (requires a tear-off), can rot or split over time without proper maintenance, requires lots of upkeep, including restaining and resealing in sunbaked climates