How to Choose Siding

Outside of remodeling your kitchen or building an addition, installing siding on the exterior of your home is the single most effective home renovation project that you can under take. You can expect a return on investment in the range of 85-88%, depending on the type of siding material you choose. What should you look for when choosing siding and how best to select the style and color for your home? Let’s examine the many options available to ensure the most successful installation possible.

Gauge the difference

One of the most common reasons for deciding to install siding is to provide superior protection from the elements. In areas where wind and rain can prematurely age a wood paneled exterior, vinyl siding is an excellent way to extend the life of your home and eliminate the need for painting. Vinyl siding comes in a variety of gauges – an increased panel depth equals a greater defense against weather related forces. Finding a balance between price and gauge is an important factor when choosing siding for your home.

Vinyl or Aluminum

If you live in a region frequented by severe weather, especially hail storms, vinyl siding is your best choice, as it is resistant to dings and dents. However, aluminum siding is a popular alternative in a wide range of other climates and is extremely economical. Benefits include its ability to repel water and yet remain relatively rust resistant, as well as its insulating qualities. Unlike vinyl siding, aluminum siding obtains its color from a coat of paint at the factory, so while it will remain relatively maintenance free for years to come, eventually it will need to be repainted.

There have been several recent technological advances in the development of vinyl siding that have served to increase the likelihood that vinyl is your best option. These improvements have created vinyl siding with increased insular properties and improved strength, although they come at an elevated cost. If you can afford to go the high tech route, than you will no doubt reap the long term reward of lower energy costs and above average resale value.

Keeping Up Appearances

Siding was designed with the intent to mimic the look and texture of wood. With this in mind, choose the siding that most reflects the style of your home. There are numerous profiles available to enhance its appearance and create a visually appealing façade. Variations include a traditional clapboard siding, the more decorative dutchlap or an intricate beaded profile. Further options are also available and include the cedar-like “shakes” patterned siding and the ornamental scalloped-edged design.

Of the many choices you expect to make when choosing siding, what color siding you should select will probably be the easiest decision you will have to make. While the color palette offers a wide range of options, most are fairly neutral and up until recently were rarely found in darker shades. Again, technology has pushed the envelope, adding rich red and vibrant yellow tones to the available color spectrum.