When your siding starts to show its age, you have some important choices to make. Whether your old siding simply looks outdated or its structural integrity has been compromised, eventually a day will come when you need to have new siding installed.
Our team at Moss Roofing is here to answer all your questions and make an informed decision about your siding. The question we get asked most often is a simple one, “Which type of siding is best?”
Choosing the Right Siding
While it might seem like a cop-out, the truth is there’s no simple answer to that question. The best siding is different for every home and depends on what you want most from your siding. Looks? Strength? Longevity? Energy efficiency? Let’s take a deeper dive into the most common siding types, and how to choose which one is right for your home.
There are solid reasons why vinyl siding has been the most popular siding choice for decades. Chief among them is its affordability. In addition to being budget-friendly, vinyl siding is also versatile and easy to install. It can be installed over other materials, which makes it a popular choice for retrofits over existing siding (whether or not this can be done depends on the existing material and its condition).
Vinyl siding is also available in a virtually limitless selection of colors. Its biggest flaw is it’s not as durable as other types of siding. While it is low maintenance and can easily last 60 years or more if it is not damaged, it is somewhat brittle. It’s susceptible to being cracked or punctured, and water does sometimes find its way through. Vinyl siding will also melt in a fire, and can become warped by years of direct sunlight. It provides little to no insulation on its own and is usually installed with a separate insulating layer underneath.
Many homeowners still love the classic look of wood siding, and it’s not hard to see why. Wood has a rustic charm which is simply timeless. Wood siding also has pretty good insulating qualities, and is easy to paint. It’s also easy to re-paint as needed, so you can change the look of your house without changing the siding.
Wood has some drawbacks too, most notably its lack of fire resistance. Wood siding also requires more maintenance than other types of siding, and if it isn’t properly maintained, it can begin to break down quite quickly. Wood is, of course, vulnerable to water and rot, as well as insect pests like termites and carpenter ants. With attentive maintenance and care, quality wood siding can last 40 years or more, but it still has less longevity than other types of siding.
Fiber Cement Siding
Fiber cement siding is notable for offering the look and feel of wood siding, without its disadvantages. It’s impervious to water, pests, and fire, plus resistant to weather and the elements. While it comes with a bit of a higher price tag, high quality fiber cement siding like the products made by James Hardie Siding, are remarkably tough and durable. It’s also energy efficient and just happens to look great.
In terms of longevity, fiber cement siding outlasts most wood siding, but falls a bit short of vinyl’s potential lifespan. James Hardie fiber cement siding comes with a 30-year manufacturer’s warranty, but with proper care it can far outlive its warranty, easily lasting up to 50 years.
Another thing to know about fiber cement siding is it requires professional installation. While an average homeowner with some basic DIY know-how can usually handle vinyl siding, it isn’t the case with fiber cement. This is partly because it’s so heavy, weighing about 300 pounds per 100 square feet (compared to about 60 pounds for vinyl siding) but also because it can break if mishandled. When in doubt, go with a pro!
Choosing a Siding Contractor
At the end of the day, choosing a great siding contractor is just as important as the siding itself. Always work with a trusted company with a commitment to quality workmanship and a dedication to putting your needs first. Look for a siding contractor who is:
- Fully licensed, insured, and certified
- Willing to offer you a written estimate
- Eager to answer any and all questions you may have
- Confident enough in their work to provide a workmanship warranty
- Experienced in your local area
At Moss Roofing, we’ve been providing exceptional roofing and siding services in the Indianapolis area for more than 25 years. To us, our customers aren’t just customers; they’re friends and neighbors. Contact us today to learn more about how we can work together to find the best siding for your home.