A home’s siding makes up a lot of its personality, it also keeps the home protected from elements that could harm it—like a fancy coat of armor. Fortunately for homeowners, there are nearly as many options to dress up your home with siding as there are ways to dress up yourself. Residential siding comes in a huge array of colors across several different types of materials to make your home either blend into the neighborhood or standout.
Your most popular choices in residential siding
The most commonly used siding material on the market is vinyl. Vinyl is an excellent choice for most homes because it is maintenance free, the color is saturated all the way through so nicks and scratches don’t show, and it can mimic wood siding, wood shingles, and even stone.
Pros of vinyl residential siding
It is lightweight, durable, can be installed quickly, and can be retrofitted over existing siding, eliminating the need, extra cost, and time of removing the old siding.
It’s not uncommon to find vinyl siding that has a lifetime warranty that is also transferable to whoever owns the home.
Also, newer vinyl siding has the option of containing pockets of expanded polystyrene foam. This gives the siding an insulation value of R-2 to R-6, making it 15 percent more energy efficient than traditional vinyl siding. This will help your home reach Energy Star qualification.
Cons of vinyl residential siding
Vinyl siding comes standard in 12 foot long panels that overlap, creating noticeable seams. You do have the option to buy extra-long panels, but they cost 30 percent more on average.
Avg. cost of vinyl siding
The average cost of vinyl siding is $2–$7 per square feet or $6,000–$13,000 installed to side an entire home.
Wood siding is a premium product with a wide variety of species and grades to choose from. High-grade woods are best offset with clear finishes to highlight the grains. Lower grade wood should be painted with an opaque wood paint or, at the very least, a semi-transparent stain to cover up the wood’s imperfections.
Pros of wood residential siding
High-quality wood siding can last generations if it is maintained. The beauty of wood siding on a home is incomparable and is a favorite of architects and designers. Not only is it extremely durable, its appeal is timeless and fits nicely with all home styles—from ultra-modern to Victorian.
Additionally, wood is easy to cut and has the potential to be a DIY job if you are a generally handy and able-bodied person. This makes sizing and customizing fairly easy.
Cons of wood residential siding
It’s expensive for high-grade wood and the upkeep is tremendous. Wood siding must be sealed and painted every two to five years depending on the type of paint you use. Transparent seals must be reapplied every two years to keep the wood from rotting. An opaque coating of wood paint needs to be applied every five years.
Another downside to wood siding is that it cannot be retrofitted over existing siding. Whatever siding is already in place must be removed prior to wood siding installation. This adds extra time and cost to a siding project.
As you may have guessed, this frequent painting and upkeep add to the expense of wood siding, costing a homeowner another $2,000–$5,000 every few years to paint and maintain.
Avg. cost of wood siding
A homeowner can expect to pay between $5–$8 a square foot for wood clapboard siding and $6–$9 per square feet for wood shingle siding, totaling anywhere from $14,000–$23,000 installed for the average two-story home.
Fiber Cement Siding
Fiber cement is a mix of wood pulp, cement, clay, and sand. It can mimic nearly any material, such as clapboard, stucco, and stone.
Pros of fiber cement residential siding
Fiber cement siding comes in many finishes and can also be painted, allowing you to fully customize the look of your home.
Fiber cement siding does not expand and contract with weather changes, so the joint caulking doesn’t take a beating, adding to the lifespan of the siding.
It is also fire-resistant, rot-proof, and termite-proof, making it a great choice for those who live in regions prone to wildfires, wet/damp weather, and termite infestations. Some fiber cement siding brands come with a lifetime warranty, and most include a 30-year-warranty on the finish.
Cons of fiber cement residential siding
The downside of fiber cement siding is that it is very heavy, so the home’s structure must be strong and reinforced enough to handle the weight. Its installment also requires specialized tools and techniques so not just any siding installer can do the job. You must hire a siding company that is skilled in fiber cement siding installation.
Not only is it heavy and not at all DIY, it can’t be placed over existing siding like vinyl siding can, causing the siding job to take longer and cost more money.
Another thing to note; it hasn’t been on the market very long, so it’s true durability and longevity is untested.
Avg. cost of fiber cement siding
The price of horizontal fiber cement siding averages $5–$9 a square foot or $13,000–$22,000 installed for the average two-story home.
Stucco homes have a very unique look, and its use has been applied to homes and other architecture for centuries. It is most often seen paired with clay roofing tiles in Mediterranian style and Tuscan style homes as well as with slate or cedar shingles on Tudor style homes.
Pros of stucco residential siding
Well-maintained stucco lasts a lifetime, and the color is throughout, so abrasions and nicks won’t be unsightly. There is no need to paint stucco because most brands come saturated with color, but you can if you want to.
Stucco siding is resistant to fire as well as insect infestations, making it visually appealing and durable.
Cons of stucco residential siding
Stucco takes a lot of prep work before it can be applied—it’s also not a DIY siding. A stucco specialist must be used so that its application is correct, allowing the stucco to properly protect your home.
Avg. cost of stucco siding
If you want stucco siding to be applied to your home, you’ll pay around $6–$9 a square foot or $12,000–$22,000 for the average two-story home.
Finding the best residential siding installation pro for your home
The most important aspect of siding installation is hiring a qualified siding installation pro. Cutting corners on the quality of the product isn’t such a good idea, but cutting corners on the quality of the installer is terrible. You’ll end up with more problems down the line, causing damage and costing you money in repairs to your home.
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