Applying exterior siding and trim is a great way to both protect your home from the elements, as well as to add interest, color and texture to the structure. But, as property solutions manager Charlie Schloegel points out, siding is certainly not 'one size fits all.'
"You need to consider how much maintenance you're comfortable with, cost, and, of course, the style of your home before you choose what type of siding you want," Charlie said.
Below are varieties of exterior siding and trim to consider for your home:
Fiber cement siding combines wood pulp and cement to create an incredibly versatile and resilient material. It can look like stucco, wood or masonry, but wears like concrete, lasting up to 25 years. Fiber cement is flame, as well as insect resistant and typically sells for much less ($6 to $12 per square foot installed) than its traditional counterparts. The downside? Fiber cement can encounter moisture-related problems and homes built before the late 1980s may have siding that contains asbestos that requires a professional abatement contractor for removal. Charlie recommends checking out James Hardie to see how fiber cement may work in your home.
The style and function of stone siding need no explanation. Stone siding creates a warm and established look on a home and the materials are even more resistant to the elements than fiber cement siding. In fact, if maintained properly, stone siding can last the life of the house. Unfortunately, it can get expensive ($10 to $30 per square foot installed) and professional masonry may be required. An alternative may be to consider stone-veneer siding. Stone-veneer comes in natural and synthetic materials and is available in a wide variety of styles.
Wood siding offers a rich and classic style you'll often find on a bungalow or cottage exterior. It can come in clapboard, shakes and shingles at anywhere from $5 to $10 per square foot installed. Shingles can provide a smooth and consistent look, but you can also always customize the siding to include different shapes for a unique flare.
The biggest downside to wood siding is its durability. While some manufacturers offer siding treated with fire-retardant chemicals, it's largely susceptible to insect or rodent attacks and will need to be maintained regularly. Maintenance can include everything from chalking and painting to staining to prevent weather damage. If you're interested in wood siding, Charlie recommended speaking to the team at the Owen Lumber Company.
Known more commonly as vinyl siding, PVC siding is popular for its easy maintenance, low cost and versatility. While it was known for looking like plastic in the past, recent advances in the technology behind polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin has improved its look dramatically to include a wide variety of colors and textures that closely resemble wood grain. Additionally, today's PVC siding is almost indestructible. It's fire, insect and fade resistant and some varieties can resist wind speeds up to 240 miles per hour. Many can install PVC siding, available in most home improvement stores, with relative ease and only a few tools.
While few homes are constructed from brick anymore, brick veneers can create the beautiful aesthetic popular in Colonial, Tudor or English cottage homes that will stand the test of time. The veneers are usually built outside of the home's wood frame structure, using mortar to hold the brick together. Craftsman also install a membrane between the home and veneer to protect the house from moisture leaking. Brick siding can last the life of a house, however the cost ($6 to $15 or more per square foot installed) of installation is typically higher than other siding alternatives.
Interested in learning more about exterior siding? Contact the Schloegel Handyman Service team today to get started!