There are few home improvement/repair projects that can improve the appearance, curb appeal and value of your home like new house siding can. House siding materials have varied over the years and have included materials like hardboard composite, cement fiber siding, fiberglass, aluminum siding, asbestos siding, and wood siding. While some of these sidings are not used any more, others have been largely replaced with more modern siding like vinyl and cement fiber siding. So let’s focus on wood, aluminum, vinyl siding and cement fiber as possible siding choices and learn about their features, pricing and maintenance implications.

Wood Siding

Wood siding is among the oldest types of house siding. The main disadvantage of wood siding is that it is not low maintenance, requiring homeowners to paint and add additional caulk, or eventually to replace with aluminum or vinyl siding.  There are several aesthetic benefits to wood siding. There are a wide variety of styles, textures and finishes. Wood clapboard or beveled siding is horizontal and has overlapping joints while wood plank or board siding is vertical and comes in board and batten, board on board or channel-groove or tongue and groove styles. While wood siding can be fairly easy to repair, it can also be difficult to install over existing siding and requires an exterior finish such as paint or stain and can be damaged by rot, insects, warping or splitting. The cost of wood siding can vary widely by type of wood species and styles of siding and exterior finish.

Aluminum Siding

The amount of maintenance associated with wood siding created demand for an alternative. Aluminum siding came along and has changed over the years into a very low maintenance and popular siding choice for newer homes. Aluminum siding is packaged in strips and has perforated holes at the top for fastening into the exterior wall and interlocking flanges top and bottom to seal against weather. Aluminum siding comes in a broad range of styles which include horizontal, vertical panels and a broad array of prefinished colors. Unfortunately, common retrofit siding has often been applied over wood siding in many home improvement projects where the prospect of maintenance won out over aesthetics or the wood siding was severely damaged.

Aluminum siding is generally moderate in price while certain variations such as vinyl or plastic coated aluminum is expensive. The good news is that aluminum siding is low maintenance. Denting is one of the few issues associated with aluminum siding.

Vinyl Siding

Even after the advent of aluminum siding, the search for low cost, low maintenance siding continued. The next in line in the evolution of house siding is aluminum siding.  Vinyl siding, like aluminum siding, comes in strips and has perforated holes at the top for fastening in to the exterior wall and interlocking flanges top and bottom to seal against the weather. A special tool called a zip tool is used to join and separate the siding strips. The aesthetics of vinyl siding are similar to aluminum in several ways. Like aluminum siding, vinyl siding also comes in a range of styles including horizontal and vertical panels and a range of prefinished colors. Vinyl siding is also a common retrofit siding and is often applied over wood siding in home improvement projects.

The cost of vinyl siding is on the lower range of moderate, usually less than aluminum siding. However, vinyl siding is prone to cracking in cold weather if subjected to impact and proper installation is critical or siding will warp or buckle. The good news is that vinyl siding requires very little maintenance, save for replacement of a siding section if a portion is cracked.

Cement Fiber Siding

Following vinyl and aluminum siding, cement fiber siding is the latest development in residential siding. Cement fiber siding is durable, very low maintenance and is made from recyclable materials. Cement fiber siding comes the closest to recreating the appearance of a natural wood siding and is packaged in beveled siding, shingle/shake and stucco panel styles. Cement fiber siding is not subject to rot or insect damage like wood paneling is but the cost can be high. Cement fiber siding is virtually maintenance free and most major manufacturers offer warranties of 50 years.

As always, Fiderio & Sons would be proud to help you with any of your siding or home remodeling needs! Visit our showroom in Meriden or click below to download our Free Ultimate Guide to New England Vinyl Siding!