From traditional aluminum siding to new vertical siding panels
Exterior siding offers an easy way to create an attractive, low-maintenance facade for your home, garage or shed. Horizontal or vertical siding panels are popular not only for their understated aesthetic appeal, but also for the weatherproofing and excellent protection they bring to buildings.
Types of Vertical Siding Panels
In the world of siding, there are four major product types: vinyl, aluminum, wood and fiber cement siding. Each type has its own advantages and drawbacks, which you should closely consider to ensure you choose the right siding for your budget and the climate you live in.
Vinyl siding is very affordable and features strong resistance to scratches and minor impacts. It is also available in a complete range of colors and shades. Industry estimates suggest that vinyl siding accounts for approximately 80 percent of all siding sales in North America.
Despite the dozens of different colors of vinyl siding, aluminum siding is available in an even greater range of hues than its vinyl counterpart. On the whole, it is also more durable than vinyl siding, as it maintains its shape across a greater range of temperatures. It is also easier to install. However, it does not resist minor impacts as well as vinyl.
Wood siding has a classic and elegant look that no other siding product can match. However, it is extremely flammable and, if left untreated, is subject to damage and decay. If you're going to go for a natural look, consider engineered wood siding: it has been specially treated to resist the elements and will last much longer than natural, untreated hardboard or fiber-based wood siding.
Finally, fiber cement siding offers an outstanding combination of high-end durability and aesthetic appeal. It is extremely strong, long-lasting and arguably the most attractive of any siding product on the market. Faux stone siding panels, for example, look fantastic both from a distance and up close. However, fiber cement siding is considerably more expensive than any other siding product.
Vinyl siding can be tricky to install, as every panel must be perfectly placed. Even a minor misalignment can ruin the entire job. Aluminum siding isn't quite as unforgiving, but it's still difficult and requires precision.
Regardless of the type of siding you purchase, follow the installation instructions to the letter and make sure you have all the hand and power tools you'll need to get the job done. Improvising leads to errors more often than not. Also, don't be afraid to enlist the help of a professional if you're not completely comfortable installing siding on your own.