Siding Exterior Material

                             What Exterior Materials Should I Use?

As far as exterior finishing goes, the siding material that you choose is one of the biggest decisions you will have to make.

Siding may be dictated to varying degrees by the developer of the area that you have chosen to build in, or by other factors such as durability and cost.

There are many types of siding to choose from here we give you the pros and cons to some of the most commonly used types of siding.

·      Vinyl or aluminum siding

Vinyl or aluminum siding is perhaps one of the most widely used siding materials.

Pros: Comes in a myriad of colors and grades, and it is relatively maintenance free. These sidings are also economical and never require painting.

Cons: Vinyl siding is not an environmentally friendly material.

Vinyl is made from a PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastic resin that is thought to cause cancer in humans.

Although vinyl may be safe while it is on your home, some scientists believe that manufacturing and disposing vinyl is hazardous to our health and to the environment.

There are also increasingly frequent stories in the news of home fires spreading quickly to neighboring homes when vinyl siding quickly melts and allows fire to enter the next house. (this is not entirely the fault of the siding- the oriented strand board often used under the siding is also to blame) . Vinyl can fade in the sun and it can also crack, be damaged by hail, or lifted in violent wind. Aluminum can dent.

·      Cement Fiber Siding

Pros: Looks like real wood siding without any of the required maintenance. Is available pre finished or paint- ready. Trim and millwork pieces are available to match. Comes in a variety of styles such as cedar shake, or board and baton. It is not prone to insect damage or to rot and is not easily damaged by hail. Cement fiber siding also has a very long warranty, some products up to 50 years.

Cement fiber siding is quite expensive. Limited colors are available so if you want a particular color you may have to paint it. This reduces it's truly maintenance free attributes and also increases the cost of the product.

·      Masonite Siding

Pros: Has a look similar to cement fiber siding. Is a little less expensive than cement fiber.


Cons: Masonite siding deteriorates over time and requires painting, caulking and upkeep.

Brick or Stone

Pros: Brick or stone are a permanent, maintenance free siding material. They give a home a sense of importance and have lasting appeal. Brick and stone are also fire proof and will not burn.

Cons: Both brick and stone can be very expensive though this depends on the area of the country that you live in. These materials are not easily changed so should be chosen carefully. While stone can look fabulous on a home if it is used in an area where it is unusual it can sort of stick out like a sore thumb and look overly ostentatious. Be sure to use it in an area where it will fit in.

·      Stucco

Stuccocan be smooth, or rough. Both applications giving a somewhat different look. The smoother variety is often used for more modern polished looks, while the rougher gives a more rustic effect.

Pros: Stucco is relatively maintenance free. Stucco is hard, durable, rot and fungus resistant, low-cost and does not need a lot of maintenance. It is also versatile and can be used over concrete, concrete masonry, brick, wood frame or steel frame. It is fire resistant and color retentive, meaning that various pigments can be added to give your stucco exactly the effect you are looking for.

Cons: Stucco needs to be water tight. If water seeps under the stucco, it will separate the material from the home. Stucco is difficult to repair as the color is mixed in with the product and is hard to match should repairs be needed.

Choose your siding material carefully. Consider not only cost and durability but also the particular look that will suit both your homes design and the surrounding neighborhood.

Kathy Evans is the author and Owner of - <a href="">Designer Plans Inc</a>. was founded in 2006 to meet the growing needs of home builders in today’s lucrative building market. Learn about what <a href="">Exterior Materials</a> you should use.

Kathy Evans is the author and Owner of which was founded in 2006 to meet the growing needs of home builders in today’s lucrative building market. Learn about what – siding exterior materials you should use.


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