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Siding Choices: Which look is right for you?
When it comes to a home’s exterior, the choice of siding can make a world of difference.
When choosing siding for your house, a number of factors must be taken into consideration:
What look do you want?
Do you want your home to blend in with others in your neighborhood, or are you seeking a totally different style?
How durable is the product?
How much are you willing to spend?
As with so many home improvement products, there are a wide variety of choices available in siding.
Here’s a brief overview to help you determine what will best suit your needs:
Solid wood siding has long been seen as the classic choice and with such a strong aesthetic appeal it remains very popular. One of the biggest advantages to choosing wood is that you can paint it any color you wish. The downside, however, is the ongoing need for maintenance…and the price. Engineered wood products, however, offer a similar look — at a lower cost and with less maintenance. Engineered wood products are cut and installed like hardboard, making them much quicker — and therefore cheaper — to install. The product is also treated to resist mildew and deterioration.
Over the past number of years, significant improvements have made this product far more durable and attractive than it once was. The maintenance required is significantly less than wood, but still necessary to keep it looking its best. The wide variety of styles, colors, as well as the lower cost of the product and the lower cost of installation, continues to keep vinyl a very popular siding choice with North American homeowners.
A popular choice in other global markets, fiber-cement siding is still considered fairly new in North America. It is beginning to gain momentum, however. Consisting of Portland cement, ground sand and wood fibers, this product features great durability and a “wood-like” look at a much lower cost than wood. Unlike wood, fiber cement siding doesn’t expand and contract in different temperatures, making it a hardier product in terms of maintenance as well.
Proper installation is key to the success of this product so be sure to choose a contractor who has experience working with fiber-cement siding.
Aluminum siding and steel siding are a good choice for homeowners who want a brighter color than vinyl typically allows, but don’t want the cost of wood siding. This product does require regular maintenance to keep the paint looking its best.
The beautiful look of brick or stone can be replicated with some newer products. Brick panels, for example, offer the classic brick look — at a fraction of the cost usually associated with brick. Cement molds can also create an attractive stone look — without the time and money stone traditionally requires.
A good contractor will have suggestions about the best siding choice for your climate and your budget. Be sure to discuss warranties for both installation and the product with the contractor before purchase.
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