Blog » How to Select Home Siding

Siding may only be replaced once while owning a home, so the decision should be made after receiving several estimates and conducting thorough research.

A home’s exterior features, like its roof and siding, are among the first things a person sees when they look at a house.  Naturally, most homeowners want their siding to enhance curb appeal. While siding is more a choice based on personal aesthetics, it should be a practical one as well.  Siding may only be replaced once while owning a home, so the decision should be made after receiving several estimates and conducting thorough research.  

Here are the key factors to take into account when choosing home siding:

Climate:  Siding is susceptible to weather damage.  Extreme temperatures, high winds and seasonal storms are the outdoor elements that abuse home siding most frequently. Some options are more resistant than others when it comes to cracking, warping and rotting under certain outdoor conditions.  

Maintenance/Reliability:  The maintenance home siding requires is largely based on the material’s finish.  For example, hardboard and vinyl necessitate slightly more maintenance than aluminum or cement.  As with most options, yearly power washing is recommended to keep siding clean.

Aesthetics & Architectural Style: Assuming all practical elements of the options have been identified, this decision is a personal choice.  Siding gives off an impression of the home, so it’s important for homeowners to have an opinion on how the options compliment their home’s design, style, as well as its roof.  

Energy Efficiency:  Some home siding materials have thermal and insulating properties that increase energy efficiency.  For example, insulated vinyl siding is far more energy efficient than a more expensive siding option that doesn’t have thermal properties.  The weight and thickness of the material largely determines energy efficiency.

Price: Labor, material cost, property square footage, repair and/or removal of current siding all plays into the total price for the siding project.  Also, take into account cost for extras like fascia, soffits and trims.  

Here’s how the 4 main siding materials stand up to these factors:

  • Aluminum Siding is a moderately priced material. It’s extremely lightweight and easy to install which may translate into labor and installation savings.  Aluminum includes excellent insulating properties, especially the heavier-gauge metal, which increases home efficiency.  Another benefit is that aluminum is waterproof, so it doesn’t swell, rot or rust, and protects the home from moisture problems. In terms of sustainability, aluminum is an eco-friendly option and 100% recyclable. It's important to note that while aluminum siding is still available, it is usually only used when a match is being attempted, as in only doing the back or side of a house. Vinyl has replaced the aluminum because it is less expensive and does not dent as easily. 
  • Cement Siding offers attractive long-term benefits like durability and weather-resistance.  However, with these advantages comes a heftier investment—cement siding costs more in labor and materials than many other siding options.  Cement comes in a variety of colors and styles to mimic textured, designer siding. Materials must be pre-primed and painted, and requires seasonal power-washing to keep it clean. Cement siding is now also available in pre-painted colors, and carry good paint warranties. CertainTeed has a 15 year warranty on their products.
  • Hardboard Siding is a strong, lightweight product that is less expensive than designer types of siding.  Hardboard exudes a classic look, and pieces are easily painted or stained to compliment the home.  Finishing and weatherproofing is necessary.  When installed properly, hardboard siding can last 20-30 years. The material is fairly energy efficient as well.    
  • Vinyl Siding is the most commonly used material on homes across the country.  Its low cost, easy installation, lack of maintenance and sustainability resonates with homeowners who want tasteful siding for less of an investment.   Newer versions of vinyl offer homeowners the added benefit of better insulation which increases energy efficiency.  Some vinyl manufacturers offer lifetime warranties.   

To learn more about choosing the right type of siding for your home, contact PRS Roofing & Siding today!