Installing new siding is certain to increase the curb appeal of your home, particularly if your home exterior is old and faded. Advance Remodeling expertly installs siding of various types, including vinyl, aluminum, composite and wood. Not only that, but while Advance Remodeling is installing new siding we can also install other exterior features such as windows, window trim, gutters, downs, soffit and fascia.
When Is It Time For New Siding?
If siding becomes decayed or displaced, it could affect your home’s interior and the foundation. Old or otherwise damaged siding makes your home susceptible to the elements. There are many tell-tale signs that signal when it is time to replace the siding on your home. Check for the following:
- Swollen or discolored boards
- Separation between seams
- Siding that is cracked, corroded, or appears chalky and dull
- Siding that no longer lays flat against the home
Only a professional contractor can assess the damage and decide if the siding must be completely replaced or a repair will suffice for now.
Replace Siding vs. Painting: Pros and Cons
One of the most common questions asked when it comes to siding is whether or not paint is a better choice. In the short term, painting is definitely less expensive than installing new siding on your home, but after a few years this changes. Whereas paint usually needs re-painting after two-three years, replacement siding is more of a long-term investment.
Painting can be very time-consuming, while on the other hand there are siding options that do not require any painting at all. Siding materials are often manufactured with color, so there is no need for that extra work.
When deciding on a siding option, determine how much you want to spend, how much maintenance you plan to do, and what look you want to achieve. The key to this decision lies in knowing that there is no perfect answer to what is best. You must find what is best for you and your lifestyle. Here is a list of some of the most common types of siding today.
Made from PVC plastic, it will not rot or flake, and is less expensive to buy and install than most other siding materials. Vinyl can be hazardous to the environment due to its release of toxic chemicals when burned. Vinyl siding can crack, split, and come to look faded after a few years.
- Competitively priced
- Available in a variety of colors
- Virtually maintenance free
- Second in strength to aluminum
Although it may seem out-of-date, aluminum is easy to maintain and fairly durable. Aluminum will not crack, but may dent and fade. It is also fireproof and poses no health risks to occupants of the house. Aluminum is easily dented when a ladder is placed against it, which may make other home repairs, such as repairs on windows and gutters very difficult.
- Competitively priced
- Offers a broad selection of colors
- Durability is only second to vinyl
- Very low maintenance, but requires extra care for dents
- Stronger than wood and vinyl siding
Solid wood can outlast vinyl and other products with periodic staining or painting. Many old homes still look beautiful with the wood clapboard siding from when they were first built. Cedar, pine, spruce, redwood, Cyprus, and Douglas fir are the woods used most often in siding. Genuine wood is quite expensive when compared to other types of siding material.
- Genuine wood is quite expensive
- Results in the most aesthetically pleasing and unique look
- Offers an unlimited amount of color choices
- Subject to damage, especially from climate and moisture
- Requires a lot of maintenance such as resealing
- The weakest siding material compared to vinyl and aluminum
Fiber Cement Siding
This durable, natural-looking material can take on the appearance of wood, stucco, and masonry. It can provide the authentic look of wood with less maintenance. Fiber cement siding is fireproof, termite-proof, and often has a warranty of up to 50 years.
- Durable and natural looking
- Can mimic wood, stucco, and masonry
- Requires less maintenance than wood
- Material is fireproof and termite-proof
Taking maintenance into consideration is extremely important when choosing siding for your home. Siding is exposed to all weather elements and must be repaired if its material becomes vulnerable to them.
The longevity of your siding depends on two things: the durability of the siding and how well it is maintained. This means that you must make sure you choose a material that you know you can maintain. If you do not plan to do much maintenance, you should choose a siding material that requires less maintenance.
Here we offer advice on how to maintain some of the most popular siding materials.
Vinyl is the easiest type of siding to maintain. It must be washed and inspected about once a year. It is said to be maintenance free, but there are a few factors you want to keep in mind.
- Wash it annually.
- Be careful with vinyl siding – keep lawn mowers and bicycles away to prevent cracks and breaks.
- Keep hot things away from it that can melt the vinyl such as grills and patio torches.
Aluminum requires little maintenance, but there are a few precautions you can take to ensure it maintains its appearance and lasts a long time.
- Aluminum should be painted when there is chalking or oxidation, which is the result of weathering.
- A power washer should be used annually to keep it clean and looking new.
Wood siding needs a lot of maintenance. All types of wood are subject to damage from termites, rot, moisture problems, cracking, splitting, etc. Some steps are essential in maintaining wood siding.
- To prevent wood rot, wood must be treated with oil or stained at least every three years and painted every five years.
- In wet climates, wood needs special care due to absorption of moisture, which causes boards to expand.
- Wood must be checked for holes from woodpeckers and insects and replaced if damage is found.
- Wood can be cleaned with pressure washing, although if done improperly pressure washing can ruin the wood.
Fiber cement siding is not “maintenance free” as it does require painting. However, because fiber cement does not expand and contract with the weather, paint adheres to it very well helping it last longer than it would on wood siding.
- Insect nests and accumulated dirt can easily be removed by power washing. It’s also a good idea to inspect caulked joints each year between butt ends of boards, windows and doors.
- Gaps that open when caulk pulls away can easily be filled with a high-quality acrylic or latex readily available in hardware and paint stores.
- A well maintained fiber cement siding product generally requires repainting only every seven to fifteen years.
A square-edged design made to resemble cedar shingles. Shakes can be used all over or as a decorative accent to your home.
Each board overlaps the one underneath. Mimics the look of wood plank siding.
A decorative variation of the traditional siding style. Effect cut into the bottom of the panel creates dimension.
Another decorative variation of traditional siding. Dutchlap has a beveled edge at the top that creates dimension.
A decorative design normally used as an architectural accent. Scallops are rounded on the bottom and overlap each other.
Today, siding is offered in a variety of colors and materials, and has new and improved options that make the installation process easier. There are many siding options to consider before choosing what is best for you and your home, so remember to take your time going through the options and have fun with it. Your new siding is going to last a long time.