Home Siding Options: Pros & Cons of Various Types of Siding
Home siding options are the number one thing you should research before starting an exterior facelift for your home. Why? It’s important to understand the pros and cons of the various siding options because it will have such a profound effect on your home. Did you know: the Cost Vs. Value Report which is done every year consistently shows that replacing a home’s siding yields one of the best returns on investment which can provide the optimal resale value for a home.
Other benefits will kick in once you’ve re-sided your home, including:
1) Improve the appearance of a home
2) Lower utility bills
3) Lower home maintenance costs
Your siding options will include four main types, and there are pros and cons for each that should help you decide what’s right for you, your home, and your budget. They are:
- Fiber cement siding
- Engineered wood siding
- Vinyl siding
- Stucco siding
Fiber Cement Siding Overview
Fiber cement siding is a great siding option for homes in Colorado for many reasons.
Just like it’s name indicates, fiber cement is made from cement mixed with ground sand, fly ash or cellulose fiber, and other additives. Fiber cement siding can be manufactured to resemble stucco, wooden horizontal lapboards, or cedar shingles. It’s also very strong.
Pros of Fiber Cement Siding:
- Durable and strong
- Resistant to hail damage
- Resistant to fire
- Baked in color lasts for decades
- Prevents woodpecker & termite damage
- Never rotes
Best Applications for Fiber Cement Siding Options:
Fire cement siding is a strong, beautiful product that can come with a Class 1 fire rating. This makes it ideal for homeowners concerned about fire danger. It also is ideal for homeowners who’ve experienced problems with woodpeckers, termites, or other exposure-related problems with their siding. It’s also a very heavy product that makes it harder to install, and it’s not the most environmentally friendly. All this should be considered when selecting this product.
Engineered Wood Siding Overview
Engineered wood siding has come a long way in recent years, with a third-generation product that’s durable, beautiful, with natural wood grains that provide a natural look. Engineered wood is made from strands of wood compressed with resin into composite boards. These composite boards are then treated with a coating that can be embossed to look like naturall wood grain.
Pros of Engineered Wood Siding:
- Comes in 16-foot lengths (means less waste and fewer seams)
- Resists rot and termites
- Highly impact resistant
- Lightweight and easy to install
- Strong finish that can last for decades
- Excellent product warranty
Best Applications for Engineered Wood Siding Options:
Engineered wood siding is a technologically advanced product that’s very versatile. It is easy to install and can come with strong warranties on the finish (up to 50 years). It can be used anywhere especially when homeowners want to maintain the aesthetic of wood siding without the maintenance. It’s also important to note that engineered wood siding is not Class 1 fire rated, which may make it less ideal for homes in areas with high fire danger.
Vinyl Siding Overview
Traditional vinyl siding is made of polyvinyl chloride – and it comes in a variety of pre-specified colors so there’s no painting involved. In recent years, new “insulated” vinyl siding systems have emerged. These insulated siding systems have rigid foam laminated to the back of the vinyl siding panels, which dramatically improves the “R” value (insulation capabilities) of the vinyl siding, thus reducing energy costs. Because of the rigid backing, these new insulated vinyl siding systems don’t dent as easily. They also can create a very straight wall on a house where exterior walls have bowed with age. Insulated vinyl siding also provides sound insulation.
Pros of Vinyl Siding:
- The most affordable siding option
- Comes in two versions: regular and insulated
- Can provide a straight line across bowed exterior walls (insulated vinyl siding)
- Very low maintenance
- Comes in a variety of colors
- No need to paint it
Best Applications for Vinyl Siding Options:
Vinyl siding is the most cost-effective material when it comes to siding your home. At least in the short term, vinyl siding is the best choice when you are on a budget. It can improve a home’s curb appeal as well as lower the long-term cost of maintenance and painting that come with traditional wood siding.
Superior Products Colorado’s stucco siding option uses a special process developed to encapsulate a home with a special stucco process. Our stucco siding process involves applying layers of stucco material directly over existing siding, including insulation. This is a real plus if your home’s existing siding has asbestos in it. Why? The asbestos is encapsulated, meaning the environment is protected, and you don’t have to pay special disposal fees to haul away the old siding with asbestos. This process results in a beautiful, strong stucco finish, and significantly improves the energy efficiency of the home by preventing heat loss.
Pros of Stucco Siding:
- Significantly improves the energy efficiency of the home
- Protects the environment
- Minimizes special disposal fees
Best Applications for Stucco Siding:
Stucco siding has a lot of benefits but it is susceptible to cracking, flaking, and wearing out over the years. It does not come with strong warranties like many other siding options available in today’s market. But stucco siding does come with a look that many homeowners desire that can’t be replicated by any of the other siding options.
How Do I Choose From These Siding Options?
The decision on home siding is as individual as each homeowner and each home. But here are some general guidelines on how to choose from among the various siding options.
- If your main concern is PRICE, then vinyl siding will be your best bet. Insulated vinyl siding will pay you back with increased comfort and lower utility bills.
- If your main concern is FIRE DANGER, then fiber cement siding is the best siding option.
- If your main concern is a NATURAL WOOD LOOK, without the maintenance requirements of real wood siding, then Engineered Wood Siding is a good choice.
- If your main concern is OLD ASBESTOS SIDING, and you’re concerned about demolition, environmental concerns, and extra disposal fees, then Superior Product’s special stucco siding (Stucco-lation™) is a great choice.
There are many excellent siding options on the market today. Ultimately, determine what you are willing to invest to give your home a facelift, take the time to calculate the ROI of each of siding option, and make your decision based both on aesthetics, budget, function, and practicality.