Wood, Vinyl, or Fiber Cement – A Look at the Top 3 Kinds of Home Siding
Are you ready to install some new home siding? Maybe you’re building a new home and are curious about your options. Here are three of the most popular siding choices as well as a brief list of their pros and cons.
Wood siding remains one of the most popular siding choices to this day. It is a great choice if you prefer a natural appearance. A home with this type of siding often has a classic and inviting feel to it.
You aren’t limited to a single type of wood either. The most commonly seen types are cedar and redwood. Spruce and fir are not entirely uncommon. The shape and style of the siding can vary as well. You can find wood siding made into flat boards or arranged as shingles. It is entirely up to you.
As with every siding option, wood has pros and cons.
1. This may not be everyone’s opinion, but most do agree that wood is aesthetically pleasing. Many people feel comfortable and at ease when they see a home with wood siding. It looks so good that most other siding options try to imitate its appearance.
2. It’s easy to apply just about any color or stain to your wood siding. Perhaps you want a traditional dark stain, or maybe you want a more modern appearance. It is entirely up to you. The only thing that could limit your color choices is the type of wood that you choose for the siding.
3. Wood siding is usually very lightweight. This makes installation of the siding fast and easy. The end result is that you save money during the installation process.
1. This type of siding requires a high level of maintenance. It must be regularly painted or stained if you want to protect it from the weather. Staining is required every 2 to 3 years and painting is required every 4 to 5 years.
Vinyl is now the most popular siding choice in the industry. It owns around 30 percent of the market and for good reason. It is often designed to imitate wood, but it doesn’t provide that same warm feeling when you see it. That’s not to say it isn’t without its advantages. Vinyl has quite a few pros and not many cons.
1. It is typically the cheapest option on the market. If you’re struggling to finish your home under budget, then this is your go-to option for siding. Cheap doesn’t mean low-quality. It’s just easy to manufacture and easy to install.
2. Vinyl siding happens to be very durable. Most vinyl comes with a minimum warranty of 30 years following the installation. Some products extend that warranty up to 50 years.
3. Similar to wood, you have nearly limitless color options. However, unlike wood, you can order the vinyl in the color of your choice. There are some roundabout ways to paint your vinyl siding, but they aren’t recommended. That also happens to be the siding’s weakness.
1. Your color choice is permanent. You have the advantage of never needing to paint. However, that also means you are stuck with your color choice. Make sure you choose carefully, or one day you’ll be replacing all of your siding just to change the color.
Fiber Cement Home Siding.
The third option, James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding, is nearly as popular as vinyl siding. Fiber cement is a highly-durable mixture of cement, sand, and wood. It does a great job of imitating natural wood in terms of appearance, yet it actually improves on some of the weaknesses of wood siding. Think of it as an enhanced version of wood siding with very few flaws. When it comes to home siding, James Hardie is a preferred choice in the Chicagoland area.
1. It improves on many areas where wood siding suffers. For example, it is easier to maintain over the years, it costs less, it won’t rot or decay over time, and it isn’t prone to insect infestations. Where wood siding must be painted every five years at most, fiber cement can go fifteen years without painting. Meanwhile, it looks nearly identical to wood.
2. The construction of this siding type makes it very versatile. Do you want fiber cement siding that imitates oak? They have it. What if you want it to imitate spruce? That have that as well. It can even imitate stone or brick walls.
3. It has a Class 1A fire rating. This means that it is very difficult for fire to spread across this material.
1. Fiber cement home siding is very heavy, and it’s difficult to install. It requires a large team with special equipment. Therefore, installation is going to cost more than other siding options. It is generally three times as expensive as vinyl siding.
Hiring A Siding Company
There are likely many different siding companies operating in your area. How do you know which one to choose when you’re ready to install new siding on your home? It’s a good idea to use the internet to your advantage in this situation.
Start by compiling a list of your local options. You can generate this list in one of two ways. First, you can rely on word-of-mouth. Do you know someone who has worked with a local siding company? Ask them who it was. Second, you can perform a quick Google search to see what businesses service your local area.
Narrow this list down using as many online reviews as you can compile. Try starting with the Better Business Bureau(BBB) website. You are always advised to check with the BBB before working with a business. They are a highly reputable source that keeps track of customer complaints not resolved by the business in question.
The final stage, once you have narrowed your list down to 3 or 4 options, is to receive quotes for the project at hand. Don’t only look at the price on the quote, but also the depth of the information they provided. Was it a detailed quote that explained where all of the money is going? Did they outline their schedule? Will they honor their price if they go over the budget?
Use these steps to find the best home siding company in your area. As for which type of siding you should install, that’s up to you to decide. Wood is classic, but expensive. Vinyl is cheap, but can’t be repainted. Fiber cement has the appearance of wood, but it’s difficult to install. Consider the pros and cons of each, make your decision, and then call the siding company of your choice.