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Wood, vinyl, aluminum house siding: Pros and cons of each type

House siding is an exterior cladding of a building structure such as your house. The correct siding can greatly improve the appeal and appearance of your house as well as protect it from outside elements. SidingA house installed with siding has a higher property value compared to a house without siding.

Over the years, the materials used for house siding have varied from wood siding to cement fiber siding. Below are the most common types of house siding.

Wood siding

Wood siding is one of the oldest types of siding and can often be seen on historic homes. The aesthetic value of wood siding is great. However, due to its high maintenance — such as regular painting and caulking — vinyl or aluminum siding is often installed as a replacement for the wood siding.

Installing wood siding over existing siding is difficult and requires a professional carpenter. Wood siding is also prone to warping over time, as well as rot.

Wood siding is available in various types such as beveled siding and board siding. Beveled siding is a horizontal siding with overlapping joints, while board siding is a vertical siding that comes with either a batten or a channel-grove. Pine, cedar and redwood are used for wood siding.

Aluminum siding

Aluminum siding is a popular type of siding due to its low maintenance cost. It is used in new homes and comes in different prefinished colors and textures, such as shingle and wood.

Aluminum siding is a strip of plastic- or vinyl-coated aluminum perforated with holes so it can be fastened to the wall. It also has interlocking flanges to seal two strips of aluminum siding together against the weather.

Although aluminum siding is moderate in price, it is prone to denting. A loose piece of aluminum siding is also very noisy when being blown by the wind. Aluminum siding can be used as a vertical or horizontal siding.

Vinyl siding

Vinyl siding is another type of house siding preferred by homeowners for its relatively cheap price and low maintenance cost. Like aluminum siding, it also comes in various textures and colors.

Vinyl siding comes in strips with perforated holes to secure it into a house wall and interlocking flanges to seal the vinyl strips against rain and snow. A zip tool is needed to join or separate the vinyl strips. Installing vinyl siding should be done carefully to prevent it from buckling or sliding.

Although relatively inexpensive and with low maintenance cost, vinyl siding is prone to crack when struck by a falling branches or hailstones, especially during the cold months.

Cement fiber siding

Cement fiber siding is durable, cheap and low-maintenance house siding made of various recycled materials. It comes in various styles and textures such as beveled, stucco and shingle.

It is very difficult to distinguish the difference between cement fiber siding and wood siding. Furthermore, cement fiber siding is installed and cut like a wood siding. Cement fiber siding can last more than 50 years with virtually zero maintenance.