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Twenty-first Century Siding Comparisons

The most obvious, but most dramatic decision you will make when building a new home or remodeling an old one is the siding you will use. Years ago, your choices would have been limited to wood, brick or stone. request a no obligation cost estimate »

The old options are still available with many variations, but the newest competitors to wood are vinyl and aluminum or metal siding. Regardless of the type of material you choose, you will find that your color choices are virtually unlimited and in many cases, even the less expensive materials can be made to simulate something more expensive. For example, vinyl can be made to look like many different types of wood, and even wood itself can be prefabricated in panels that look like logs or whatever you want it to look like.

Although aluminum and vinyl siding are readily available, many people still prefer the warmth and elegance of real wood. This has led to the development of such sidings as “modulog,” a cedar siding that looks like whole logs but is actually applied like ordinary wood-lap siding. Other innovations include factory finished wood siding which makes the long term maintenance much simpler and less expensive than in years past.

The following chart will provide you with some easy comparisons to help you decide which type siding is best for your home.

Material Advantages Disadvantages
Wood/Log

Attractive

Long lasting

Some insulation value, greater insulation value with logs

Easy to repair and install

Biodegradable unless treated with preservatives

Can be pre-fabricated with factory applied paints and stains

Usually more expensive than other types of siding

Will eventually require painting or staining, although factory finishes now reduce the maintenance

In damp climates, may be susceptible to mildew and algae growth unless treated with preservatives

Annual termite checks may be necessary in certain areas
Vinyl/Vinyl Log

Popular and easy to find

Low maintenance, never needs painting

Very inexpensive

Available in a wide variety of designs and colors to simulate nearly any type of appearance, including stone, brick and logs

No insulation value; should be backed with insulation board

Can be damaged by severe storms and prolonged exposure to direct sunlight or heat

Difficult to repair

Difficult to dispose of damaged or unneeded pieces; releases a toxin if burned and does not decompose in a landfill

Aluminum/Metal

Durable once installed

Fireproof

Better than vinyl in areas subject to severe storms; however, steel is better if hail is a problem

Generally low maintenance

Relatively inexpensive

Poor insulation value

Fewer colors available than in vinyl

Difficult to install and repair. Professional installation is recommended. Sheets are easily creased and have sharp edges


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