What to Look for in House Siding

The process of picking out new siding for your old house can be an overwhelming plight. But with the help of the Schaumburg Siding Replacement Company and the information below, you can be confident in choosing the perfect style, texture and color of your new siding. The following article will teach you the six fundamentals that a proper siding installment should provide and show you the main differences in various siding options.

Choosing the Right Siding

When selecting siding, there are six basic issues to consider:

  1. Water Resistance. Water-resistant types of siding will have longer life spans.
  2. Ease of Installation. If you're installing the siding on your own, make sure it is within your skill set, requires no special tools, and creates no harmful dust when cut.
  3. Energy Efficiency. Check the R-value rating for energy savings and understand what will be needed as far as insulation beneath the cladding.
  4. Aesthetics. Your siding will be in full view as you come and go, so make sure it is beautiful to you.
  5. Versatility. Make sure the siding has the versatility to meet the varied needs of your specific project. If there are aspects of your home's exterior that will make using a particular type of siding more challenging than others, make sure you understand what the added costs or necessary adjustments will be.
  6. Durability. Does it have the strength to resist temperature shifts present in your climate? How does it stand up to everyday wear and tear?

Wood Siding: Shakes and Shingles

Shakes are machine- or hand-sewn from wooden blocks called bolts. Shakes are thicker than shingles and less uniform in appearance and thickness, but they do last longer. Wood shingles are sawn for a smooth and consistent look and can be cut into an array of shapes to create visual interest. Both come from a variety of woods but most common are Western red cedar and redwood.

Shakes and shingles are available with a fire-retardant treatment, which is a requirement in high-risk locations. They are installed over a solid surface, such as plywood, with a moisture barrier between the two and a finishing coat (paint or stain) and caulking on the outside. Shake and shingle siding require periodic maintenance including painting and caulking to prevent weather damage.

Metal Siding

Metal no longer has to masquerade as other materials; aluminum or steel adorns the outside of many modern-look homes.

Whether the metal is copper, zinc, aluminum, or one of the various types of steel, the beauty of metals is that they can be formed to meet required shapes, curves, and edges. The strength and the longevity of metals surpass most of the common siding materials currently on the market.

The application process generally requires a frame to attach it to, a backing material such as plywood, and a moisture barrier (these needs will vary depending on the specific material and the location of the house). The surface of metals such as copper and weathering steel will change when exposed to weather, but most will maintain the factory finish indefinitely.

Vinyl Siding

Since its introduction in the 1960s, vinyl has become the No. 1 siding in the United States because of cost, versatility, and low maintenance. More than 300 color choices are available in profiles that include horizontal and vertical panels, shakes, shingles, fish scales, lap, and beaded designs. The only routine maintenance is an occasional wash. Warranties offered by vinyl manufacturers generally are lifelong and transferable.

Vinyl is the least expensive of all siding materials to install and can be cut dramatically if you're able to do the work. Vinyl siding is sold by most home centers and requires few tools to install. The siding needs to be installed on flat surfaces, so the wall will need to be lined with 1/2-inch-thick sheets of rigid-foam board to provide a nailing surface.

Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement siding comes in an array of textures that give the appearance of actual types of wood. It is more durable than wood since it is termite-resistant, water-resistant, nonflammable, and guaranteed to last 50 years (depending on the manufacturer). Fiber cement siding is composed of cement, sand or fly ash, and cellulose fiber.

You will find that fiber cement siding is typically more expensive than vinyl but less than wood siding. It is installed over studs or exterior wall sheathing on a moisture barrier. Factory painting is highly recommended and generally warranted for 25 years.

Read the rest of this article from Better Homes and Gardens here

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