Exterior Siding

Vinyl, aluminum, and brick siding are all popular choices today. In this part one of two on exterior siding, we wanted to address the pros and cons of each. If you are ready to update the appearance of your home, siding not only adds style but it also creates a protective layer around your home from moisture, wind, dirt, insects, and so on. For these reasons, exterior siding is usually an excellent investment.

Vinyl Siding

We will begin with vinyl siding, which has advantages and disadvantages. For instance, the benefits include a material that is rot and peel resistant. Unlike wood, vinyl siding is not affected by insects such as termites or annoying birds like woodpeckers. However, it is imperative that you choose top quality material and have vinyl siding installed by a professional.

The downside to vinyl siding is that many manufacturers will often make over the top promises, ones they cannot support such as no maintenance or lifetime guarantee. The result is vinyl siding being sold with great expectations whereby consumers are disappointed. Keep in mind that overall, siding is a good choice but with new materials, products, and technologies now available, you might look into other choices along with vinyl.

Aluminum Siding

One of the primary advantages to going with aluminum siding is that it is virtually maintenance free, at least for the first five years or so. When new, aluminum siding looks great. In fact, if washed and repainted occasionally, this type of siding does well. Unfortunately, aluminum is also a material that can dent, ding, and scratch. Therefore, if damage were done, you would likely have to replace entire panels. One of the best ways to keep your aluminum siding in good shape would be to have it primed and then painted.

Brick Siding

Finally, brick siding is truly one of the best options available today. Whether choosing regular brick or veneer, this material is strong, durable, and it looks great. Other pros with brick siding is that it provides a great insulation barrier so your home stays more comfortable while reducing your monthly utility bills.

Now, while you will experience more benefits than cons when it comes to brick siding, you do need to keep in mind that two specific factors will make this a good or bad choice. First, brick siding should always be installed by a professional. Second, the installer should use the right type of mortar while applying it correctly. If done right, brick siding makes a wonderful solution that will last and last.

In this second part on exterior siding, we wanted to focus on stucco, wood, and other types of siding. Remember, siding can boost the value of your home while keeping you cool in the summer and warm in the winter but the wrong siding could make your home unattractive and full of problems.

Stucco Siding

Stucco siding is beautiful, lending the home a Mediterranean or Spanish style. One of the main benefits of choosing stucco is that it works exceptionally well regardless of climate. For that reason, people around the country can enjoy this enhancement to the exterior of the home. Made from lime, cement, and sand, stucco is typically a great option when it comes to siding.

The only real concern associated with stucco is going with synthetic materials. Today, you will find a number of manufacturers that produce the "fake" stucco, which some people love and others hate. Although you might find a quality product, we recommend you stick with the real deal. As with other types of siding, the key to success is having a professional complete the installation of your stucco siding.

The synthetic option is also known as "Exterior Insulation Finish Systems" or EIFS. Actually plasticized cement, the problem is that manufacturers will often promise the moon but without delivering the goods. Today, a number of reports have shown that with EIFS, moisture can become trapped in between the siding and the underneath frame or wood, which causes all types of problems. Again, we feel EIFS still has some growing to do, which is why we suggest real stucco.

Wood Siding

Probably one of the most popular materials for siding is wood. The appearance is gorgeous and when installed properly, it provides a low maintenance, economical, and long-lasting siding option. Again, the key with wood siding (among other materials) goes back to the installer. If not installed right, you could end up with gaps whereby moisture seeps in, thus causing problems with mold, mildew, rot, and so on.

Now, when choosing wood siding, you want to choose the right wood and the best grade of wood you can afford. A professional can provide you with guidance and tips on the best choice for the look, feel, and functionality you prefer. It is important that wood siding be installed so it can breath so no high level of humidity content develops.

Cement Asbestos Siding

Now, this type of permanent and no maintenance siding can work and in some cases, is preferred. However, sometimes the cement asbestos board will turn brittle, which causes serious cracking. Although some people shy away from this material simply due to name, it is yet another siding option to consider.