You’ve decided it’s time for new siding on the exterior of your home, and before just using the type of material you had previously, it’s a good idea to consider the options available today. There might be an option that’s better suited for your home or lifestyle that you’re missing out on.
To start, there are four primary different types of siding to choose from: vinyl, fiber cement, aluminum and cedar lap siding. The factors that will affect your final decision are personal preference, cost, the style of your home and tolerance of maintenance. “It doesn’t make sense to put aluminum siding on say, a Victorian style home,” says Normandy Designer Gary Cerek, “The siding you choose should reflect the style of your home or it’s just not going to look right.”
Cost and maintenance are huge factors; although a homeowner may love the look of cedar lap siding, they need to be willing to perform the required maintenance every couple years, or expensive problems such as rotting and peeling will arise. “One of the best siding options today is James Hardie fiber cement siding,” commented Gary, “It’s extremely durable and low maintenance, comes in a variety of colors and textures and is resistant to problems such as termites and rotting. Plus, they have a 15 year guarantee on their paint and are a strong leader in the siding industry.” Fiber cement siding can even imitate the look of cedar siding, giving homeowners who like the look of cedar look the best of both worlds. Not to mention, cedar lap siding is the most expensive of your siding options, so you’d save time on maintenance and money in the pocket book by opting for fiber cement siding instead.
Vinyl has come a long way in colors, textures and durability; and if you’re on a budget, this is a very feasible option. Keep in mind with vinyl though, that the color will fade over time from the sun and cannot be painted over, only replaced. “Aluminum is comparable to vinyl in costs, but it’s not something I’d recommend to people,” says Gary, “For starters, it only comes in white and it’s not dent resistant or very durable; vinyl is definitely the better option of the two.”
Once you’ve selected a material, it’s time to pick a color. “Taupe has been a big color choice for 2012, and I don’t see it leaving as a top contender in years to come,” commented Gary, “A lot of times homeowners play it safe with neutral colors, and especially when considering to resale value, a neutral color is a good route to go. When homeowners are having trouble deciding, I encourage them to drive around their neighborhood to get a feel for what colors would fit in.” To get a better idea of what colors would look like on your home, try visiting the James Hardie online Exterior Design Center where you can pick your style of home and “paint” it various colors.
If you’re still not sure which option to go with for your upcoming project, it’s a good idea to schedule a complimentary appointment with Gary and use his expertise to your advantage. It’s also a great time to start thinking about adding some sort of porch, and Normandy will create realistic renderings of your new exterior color and type of porch you have in mind.