How to Choose the Right Siding for Your Home
What is the best siding for my house? This question can be daunting when you are at the life cycle of your current house or a home you are building. There are a couple of main exterior wall product categories. Here’s a breakdown that hopefully simplifies their pros and cons. We will also include price points to help you see the bigger picture.
VINYL SIDING | Vinyl siding is tried and true. It is the standard in most of the United States. This is because it is the most affordable. Vinyl siding is lightweight, easy to handle, and inexpensive to ship. Plus it performs well with very little maintenance. On average you can expect around $5-$10 a square foot of wall space depending on the color selection.
Vinyl options have improved over the years. The industry has perfected ultra-dark colors that do not fade and do not warp. Manufacturers like Mastic make vinyl siding beautiful, yet affordable.
FIBER CEMENT | James Hardie Fiber Cement (JH) is taking America by storm. They are gaining 20-50% growth in the market year over year and there is a reason why. James Hardie has resolved a few main pain points by looking very similar to cedar siding without all the crazy maintenance.
- With a 15-year finish warranty, the paint intervals are 2-3x longer for JH than traditional cedar which decreases the overall cost of maintenance drastically. $3-$4 per square foot is very common to refinish cedar while JH offers $2-$3 per square foot for painting.
- Cedar is prone to rot and being worked by bugs. James Hardie is mostly concrete, so bugs will never work it. Rot is nonexistent with JH. Board degradation won’t be a problem as long as it is properly installed.
- JH is virtually fireproof as a siding. This is vital for areas like California that are seeing consistent wildfires. At an average of $8-$15 per square foot, this is an affordable, low-maintenance product that retains the beauty of natural wood.
- Masonry is the most resilient yet the most expensive for a reason. At $30 to over $100 per square foot for brick or stone exteriors, this is normally reserved for the highest-end homes. The cost is so expensive due to the weight. You will find increased costs for the foundation to carry the weight not to mention, the shipping costs are very high. Also, labor will be expensive because the process is slow. In the end, if done properly and maintained masonry exteriors can last hundreds of years.
Like anything, if neglected even masonry exteriors will deteriorate. Depending on what product you choose, some do require ongoing maintenance. For example, due to the stone being porous, it needs to be sealed. If not, water will get into cracks & crevices and cause “spalling” which is the face being popped off due to the freezing and thawing cycle. It’s the most resilient product out there, but nothing truly is “set it and forget it” when considering building materials.
Your neighborhood and home value should always be a consideration. It’s common to have HOA requirements or local law and ordinance requirements. There are districts or cities that do not permit specific building materials. Always verify local building requirements.
FINAL THOUGHT | Most people cannot visualize their home with a new product or a new color. Kingdom Roofing Systems uses a technology called Hover to resolve this issue. We take photos, then build a to-scale 3D rendering of our customer’s home. From there, we can switch products and colors with a few clicks of the mouse. This removes the uncertainty that most experience. We strongly recommend only working with a contractor that utilizes Hover to assist the customer during the process.