Over the years there have been seven main types of siding which include, wood, asbestos, aluminum, vinyl, hardboard composite, fiberglass, and cement fiber. Throughout the years, it has been whittled down to four major types. Asbestos, because of it’s health risks is no longer used, and fiberglass and hardboard composite are nearly extinct.
When deciding between wood, aluminum, vinyl and cement fiber, consider the following characteristics of each. Wood siding, although it has a lot of character is a lot of work. Constantly repainting, caulking and keeping pesky insects out of your wood can be an ongoing job. If you do decide to opt for wood, the price will vary based on which wood you choose and the style that you prefer. Hanging wood siding is pretty easy. Clapboard siding has overlapping joints, and board siding usually has grooves that fit into one another.
Aluminum siding has in many ways replaced wood siding. Many newer homes install aluminum siding because it is relatively low maintenance. Coming in a variety of colors, grains and patterns, aluminum siding offers you the option of “wooden siding” because of it’s variety of textures. Aluminum siding is very easy to hang, arriving in planks you simply interlock the planks together. Prices range from moderately to high if you choose vinyl or plastic coated aluminum. The disadvantages of aluminum siding is that it is prone to denting and fading over time. It is noisy and you lack the flexibility for detailed trim work.
Vinyl siding, is a low cost and low maintenance siding. It is easy to install with perforated holes that interlock, and like aluminum siding is available in a variety of colors, designs and textures. Although vinyl siding can crack in cold weather if there is an impact, there are few if any repairs other than an occasional break. Since the color is actually in the vinyl, there will never be a need to repaint.
Cement Fiber Siding, is the most recent siding. It is durable and low maintenance. Although it is slightly more expensive that other options, it does have a 50 year warranty. For environmentally conscious consumers, you will be happy to know it is made out of recycled materials. Cement Fiber siding is almost indistinguishable from natural wood siding since it can match grain and be manipulated into trim and detail just as wood would. The advantage to using Cement Fiber siding is that it has curbside appeal like wood, but is durable, prefinished, does not need to be repainted year after year, and has no problem with insects.