Siding is one of the most crucial parts of your home’s façade. So, when the time comes to replace it, you may find yourself faced with one of the biggest decisions a homeowner can make. After all, your siding will help dictate your home’s curb appeal, but will also determine how much time you’ll spend on your home’s upkeep. You have a number of options available to you for siding; which one you choose should be dependent on several factors from appearance to longevity.
While your first consideration for how you’ll reside your home may be style, it’s actually the material that should get the most weight. Nearly all materials from vinyl to wood can be found in a variety of styles that can allow you to complement any type of architecture and any type of façade.
Therefore, your first consideration should be the material you choose to reside your home with. Because while each type of material is likely available in a range of different sizes, colors, and styles, the way that they will look and perform long term can be vastly different from one another, influencing the final appearance of your home and your upkeep of it.
Wood is the most commonly used material for siding, likely because it’s also been in use for the longest amount of time. Wood has a natural grain and texture, is fairly easy to work with and install, and if treated properly can last for decades.
However, wood also requires a great deal of upkeep on the part of the homeowner to keep it looking its best and to help it reach its maximum lifespan. Wood siding needs to be scraped and repainted or stained every few years. It peels, chips, and flakes easily, and if not restained or painted soon, the exposed areas could allow for moisture infiltration, which in turn could lead to wood rot and the eventual need to replace the siding again. Some species of wood are also susceptible to insect damage as well, which may mean needing to treat your home and siding with chemicals periodically, depending on the area you live in.
Vinyl siding is a lower maintenance alternative to wood that comes in a range of sizes, styles, and colors. Unlike wood, it requires no scraping or painting and is not susceptible to either moisture or insect activity. Because the color goes straight through, it won’t peel, chip, or flake over time.
However, vinyl siding is a type of thin, molded plastic, and even the best quality vinyls still look like plastic. They have a very obvious, overlapping seam, and a fake wood grain or texture that is visible from the road. They’re also more limited in terms of color, and can fade in places in the sun. Worse, vinyl may crack in cold temperatures or melt in hot climates, so you may still need to replace the siding in sections on your home over the years as they become damaged.
Fiber cement siding is a good alternative for those that want the look of real wood without the maintenance. Because it’s made in a mold with real wood, it has a more realistic looking texture than vinyl. It’s seams also more closely resemble real wood, giving you a better appearance from the street. Unlike wood, however, the color doesn’t peel, chip, or fade so you can go longer between repainting – up to 10 years as opposed to every two or three years with wood.
Fiber cement siding is also impervious to moisture and insect damage, which means that you’re less likely to need to replace or reside your home any time soon. It also comes in a wider range of styles and colors than vinyl, including shingles, shakes, and board-and-batten styles that can give you more choices for appearance.
Style, Color, and Trim
Once you’ve settled on a material, then it’s time to consider things like the style, color, and trim of the house. Most architectural styles have a color palette that it works best with. For example, Victorian homes work best with multiple colors that have a “somber” hue to them, as the original colors had a small amount of black added to them to dull or darken the tone.
To get the best style or appearance for your home, take a look at areas where there’s a natural break between sections. These areas can be accentuated with trim, or they can be used as a break between siding styles. For example, you may want to have a section of half-round shingles below the eaves while the rest of the home has a traditional horizontal lap siding, or you may wish to use a darker color on the lower half of the house, and a lighter color above. By following your home’s cues, and taking advantage of your materials’ assets, you’ll find it easy to choose a new siding that will bring out your home’s best.
Reside in Style
While residing a home is never an easy process, materials like fiber cement make it easier to determine the look, style, and overall appearance, while ensuring you years of maintenance free upkeep. Be sure to weigh your options carefully to choose the best siding for your home.