To make your home a focal point of attraction, you must create some special looks that make it stand out from the crowd. Modern architecture has provided some options to beautify the external looks of homes by using siding, which is a specially crafted material that creates an outer covering for home exterior. There are several options for providing an outer cover or façade for the home structures, depending on the tastes and preferences of homeowners. Besides considering the aesthetic appeal of the siding material, you must consider its functional aspects and durability too.
Siding protects homes from water penetration, and you must consider its ease of installation and versatility too during selection. The siding material must perform well to protect the house and make it look beautiful by creating a style that is very much your own and unique. You can combine different design elements into the siding to highlight some special feature like the entrance of the home. The siding gives you the opportunity to enhance the curb appeal, and you must take full advantage of it.
However, you must have knowledge about the types of siding available for proper selection.
This article provides information about various siding materials that you can consider.
Vinyl, wood, brick, stucco and some other materials are popular with each having its pros and cons. Let us begin the discussion with Vinyl siding which is most popular.
Vinyl is a tested material for siding that can withstand all kinds of weather and is very versatile and pocket-friendly too, which makes it most popular for use in siding in the US. Indeed, the looks are plastic which many homeowners might not like, but the other positives like a wide range of colors and affordability contribute to its popularity. Technological improvements have refined the appearance of vinyl siding that has now shed most of its plastic looks, but then, after all, it is plastic, a fact that you must accept. The intense competition in the market is helping product betterment.
The installation of vinyl siding is also quite simple and requires just a few tools that you can find in any home product store, which is a reason why you can even think about doing it on your own. In case you want to take it up as a DIY project, prepare well by gathering information from the manufacturer about proper installation. You can also learn from some self-learning videos that explain in details the process of correct installation.
You might have seen wood siding in cottages and bungalows that look rich and beautiful and often rustic that adds a special dimension to its appeal that underlines elegance and class. Wood does not have good weather resistant properties, and you must maintain it well with periodical painting or staining and chalking to enhance its strength for resisting the elements of weather. But still, there are problems with rodents and insect attacks that afflict wooden sidings. If you can maintain it well, wooden siding can last very long, even a century but be ready to bear the cost, which is a reason why only a few people can choose it.
Clapboard, shakes and shingles are the three forms of wood siding. Clapboard siding consists of horizontal wooden planks placed one against another with some overlap. Redwood and western red cedar are the best choices from the aesthetics and durability perspective.
Shingles are thinner than shakes but have a more uniform appearance that gives smooth and consistent looks. You can carve different shapes of shingle to add a special appeal to your home exterior. Fire retardant shingles treated with chemicals are also available. Engineered wood siding made from faux wood can help to lower the cost.
Fiber cement siding
Fiber cement siding is a popular choice for those who want the looks of stucco, wood or masonry at a lower cost. Fiber cement siding is termite resistant, non-flammable and requires little maintenance. Available in a variety of textures and styles, opting for factory finishes and painting is the recommendation of architects. However, fiber cement siding is susceptible to moisture problems and siding that dates back to a period before the eighties might also contain asbestos which can harm health. Depending on the manufacturer, the life of fiber cement siding can vary between 25 to 50 years.
Brick siding has restricted use as it goes well with some selected architecture styles like Colonial, English and Tudor cottages. The exterior created with brick siding not only looks beautiful but also have stood the test of time for hundreds of years. The brick siding used today is a veneer or façade constructed on the wood frame structure of the home exterior, and the bricks are held in place by using mortar. There are chances of water penetrating the brick veneer and to prevent it and protect the structure; you must use a membrane installed between the outside wall of the home and the brick veneer. The cost of brick veneer is high as it involves a lot of labor but done correctly, it can last the life of the house.
Stone and veneer siding
Homeowners who want to add some special visual feature to homes can rely on the natural beauty and durability of limestone, granite or some other stone that makes the home exterior look gorgeous. But you should think about it only if you are ready to bear the cost because stones are expensive and perhaps the most expensive siding option. However, the use of synthetic stones can lower the price by giving a stone-like appearance that is also lightweight.
A mixture of Portland cement, building sand, lime and water is the recipe for making traditional stucco. To apply stucco on wood walls, a galvanized metal screening and waterproof barrier must be applied over wood walls for providing a good base to protect the wall underneath. Stucco is also applicable on brick and stone surfaces, and the rigid installation can reduce cracks.
Regardless of the type of siding, its life depends on how well you care for it.