(BPT) – Selecting new siding is one of the most important decisions homeowners face when building new or remodeling an existing home. With so many options — both classic and modern materials — there’s a lot to consider.
Many manufacturers are now combining traditional styles and materials with high-tech finishes, delivering a product homeowners can love for years to come. Among all the options on the market, vinyl siding – with its various styles, textures and colors – remains the most used product. In fact, 2015 marked 21 straight years vinyl siding held the top spot in cladding for new single-family houses, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual home report.
Whether you are building a home or remodeling one, there are four key areas homeowners should account for when determining which siding option meets your needs: durability, design, maintenance and affordability.
Siding selection is typically a once-in-a-lifetime decision, making durability a key factor for many. Homeowners should look for a siding option that is resistant to every element, including rain, wind and even the sun. Manufacturers now offer siding products with technologies that resist the damaging impact of the sun, preserving color for the lifetime of the home. Options, like Mastic Home Exteriors by Ply Gem SolarDefense, expand exterior home design with darker, on-trend colors that make your home the envy of the neighborhood.
Perhaps the most-overwhelming decision for most when considering siding options is deciding on a style and color. There are seven primary siding material options available to homeowners — vinyl, metal, wood, brick, fiber cement, stucco, and stone — and countless color and style options within each material type. To guide you in determining what would look best, it is recommended to ask a siding specialist like a contractor, builder or architect for help. They can educate you on color coordination and what would go well with the neighborhood, while still giving personalized options for your home. They will also be able to weigh in on accent pieces like trim and shutters, which can help bring out your style.
“Homeowners are looking for more creative and colorful options,” said Pat Verlodt, president of Color Services & Associates, an organization that identifies color trends and educates consumers and manufacturers about those trends. “Whether you’re looking for a specific panel texture, such as cedar shake or wood clapboard, or a certain period-specific color scheme to align with historical significance, my recommendation is to look at vinyl. It provides the homeowner the freedom to add low-maintenance color and definition that will never be out of style or need painting or refinishing.”
Beyond style and color, homeowners are also seeking siding that is low-maintenance, which reduces or eliminates the cost and personal time expended for proper upkeep. Each siding material type has a different level of care and maintenance required. Vinyl typically requires just soap and water for periodic cleaning. Wood and fiber cement can require repainting every five to seven years. Stucco will need to be repainted and sealed. Brick and stone require re-pointing of mortar. The earlier point about durability plays a part here too, ensuring the option you select is free from potential time-consuming — even costly repairs — due to storm damage such as wind and moisture.
Lastly, set a budget. Do your homework on the options and secure estimates, then compare them with your budget. Don’t forget that sometimes investing a little more into the project up front may reduce issues and maintenance costs down the road.
As you look to select new exterior siding, be sure to keep in mind these important factors — durability, design, maintenance and affordability — to make the best choice possible for your home and lifestyle. To get started on siding your house, look to manufacturer websites such as plygem.com for siding choices, as well as home visualizer and color selection tools that help homeowners experiment with different color and textures before making a decision.