Siding Styles: Pros and Cons.

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When selecting siding, there are six basic issues to consider:

1. Water Resistance. Water-resistant types of siding will have longer life spans.

2. Ease of Installation. If you’re installing the siding on your own, make sure it is within your skill set, requires no special tools, and creates no harmful dust when cut.

3. Energy Efficiency. Check the R-value rating for energy savings and understand what will be needed as far as insulation beneath the cladding.

4. Aesthetics. Your siding will be in full view as you come and go, so make sure it is beautiful to you.

5. Versatility. Make sure the siding has the versatility to meet the varied needs of your specific project. If there are aspects of your home’s exterior that will make using a particular type of siding more challenging than others, make sure you understand what the added costs or necessary adjustments will be.

6. Durability. Does it have the strength to resist temperature shifts present in your climate? How does it stand up to everyday wear and tear?

Stucco Siding –

With the reasonable costs of stucco, its variety of applications, and the untold numbers of recipes for making it, stucco as a siding has been in use for hundreds of years. Traditional stucco is a cement type of mixture added to sand or lime. Because it can be shaped and textured, stucco is used to achieve an array of architectural styles. Generally for application, a wooden wall is covered with galvanized metal screening and tar paper, then covered with stucco. Stucco is often applied to brick or stone surfaces, as well.

Stone Siding-

Stone is among the most durable of all building materials. Granite, limestone, slate, and other types of stone are beautiful and nearly impervious to the weather. And stone siding — being nature’s creation and thereby green — comes with everlasting advantages. In most cases, the initial materials costs of stone are more than other types of siding — often considerably more. The level of difficulty in adding stone siding to an existing structure is high, and work should be done by a professional, further increasing costs. As time passes, the upside of the investment becomes clear; stone will be as natural and attractive decades later as when first installed, with little in the way of maintenance.

brick-

The durability, light maintenance, and appearance of brick siding make it popular with homeowners. Made of fired clay, brick comes in different colors, textures, and sizes. Brick siding is generally not a structural part of a house but rather a veneer that is constructed on the outside of the wood frame structure. The brick veneer is held together with mortar, a mixture of cement — or lime and sand — and water. Water can penetrate brick veneers, so it is important that a water membrane is installed between the wood and brick layers to protect the home. Due to the cost of installation and materials, brick is at the high end of the siding costs scale. Under normal conditions, brick siding will last the life of the building, with nothing more than the occasional washing. *

Bevel (also called clapboard or lap)-

siding is one of the oldest forms of exterior cladding used on homes. It is made by resawing a board at an angle to create two pieces that are thicker on one edge than on the other. Pine, spruce, cypress, and Douglas fir are the favorites because of their longevity and price. Cedar and redwood are great options, as they contain natural rot resistance, but cost more. Bevel siding is installed horizontally with the upper piece overlapping the lower. Wood siding is installed over a solid surface, such as plywood, with a moisture barrier between the two and a finishing coat (paint or stain) and caulking on the outside. All wood siding requires ongoing maintenance including painting and caulking to prevent weather damage.

Shakes-

are machine- or hand-sawn from wooden blocks called bolts. Shakes are thicker than shingles and less uniform in appearance and thickness, but they do last longer. Wood shingles are sawn for a smooth and consistent look and can be cut into an array of shapes to create visual interest. Both come from a variety of woods but most common are Western red cedar and redwood. Shakes and shingles are available with a fire-retardant treatment, which is a requirement in high-risk locations. They are installed over a solid surface, such as plywood, with a moisture barrier between the two and a finishing coat (paint or stain) and caulking on the outside. Shake and shingle siding require periodic maintenance including painting and caulking to prevent weather damage. * *

Engineered wood siding-

is made with wood castoffs, such as sawdust, and bonding agents. It is a strong, lightweight product that is less expensive than real wood. Engineered wood comes in an array of typical wood siding styles. It does need to be painted for weatherproofing purposes, but factory-applied finishes are available. The standard life expectancy, if installed properly and maintained, is about 20-30 years. Engineered wood cuts, handles, and is applied like solid-wood siding, but you do not have the imperfections that often accompany and must be negotiated with in real wood. better home and gardens: http://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/exteriors/siding/house-siding-options/?slideId=1ef44111-944b-4171-a781-3567cf3a090f