Choose the right siding for your home

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With all of the types of siding options for your home, how do you decide which one is best? There are pros and cons to each style of material for your home’s exterior. Bob Sansivero, Alure Home Improvements’ exterior design expert, shared the four types of home siding and the benefits and disadvantages of each so you can make an informed decision.

The winter season is approaching, so if this is a consideration for you, now’s the time to complete the project before it gets too cold, explained Sansivero.

“There’s no issue installing siding during any part of the year, but the quality of the work could diminish because of the outside conditions,” he said.

One of the most cost-effective forms of siding, vinyl is a modern material to use for your home’s exterior. It’s one of the highest recommended because of its effortless upkeep and low price point.

“They say ‘vinyl is final,'” Sansivero noted. “Once it’s installed, it’s virtually maintenance-free.”

Aside from those benefits, it’s also an extremely energy-efficient choice. Unlike the other siding options, vinyl comes with the ability to insulate your home with some of the most effective materials on the market. Additionally, it’s available in a wide variety of colors and styles and comes prefinished, which means there’s no added expense of painting your home, and you won’t have to worry about the maintenance associated with painting. All you need to do is powerwash it when it becomes dirty. Many siding companies provide lifetime warranties that cover fading and peeling, should they occur.

Fiber cement
Slightly more expensive than vinyl, fiber cement siding is another style of siding that can be appealing to those with smaller budgets. It’s also the top choice for safety standards, as it doesn’t burn, explained Sansivero. Since it’s a cement-based product, it has the best fire rating out of all of the other siding materials. It can come unfinished or prefinished, but beware: It has the potential to fade. The product itself comes with a 50-year guarantee, but the finishing only covers the first 10 years upon installation. Once the color fades, you’ll need to repaint it, which then requires regular, costly maintenance.

A popular choice for siding your home, wood is the top choice for aesthetics, as it provides your house with a classic look that’s difficult to duplicate with other materials. While it’s on the more expensive side of options, some choose to spend more for their home to achieve their desired look. However, Sansivero warned that it’s not the most energy efficient. For the best protection from the cold of the winter and the heat of the summer, you may want to seek a different option.

“There is insulation that can be installed in wood homes, but it’s not as good as with vinyl or other materials,” he said.

Another disadvantage of the beautiful siding is that it needs to be painted or stained, which can cause additional time and money spent periodically sanding and repainting faded wood.

Fiber glass
One of the newest forms of siding, fiber glass is also one of the most expensive. However, there are many benefits to spending the extra money, noted Sansivero. For starters, it won’t expand or contract with the weather, unlike every other siding material. With the drastic changes in weather that are characteristic of Long Island, wood, vinyl and fiber cement could cause issues for your home’s exterior.

“Severe weather conditions can cause other materials to lift up to a half inch off the house,” explained Sansivero. “Fiber glass siding is more forgiving.”

Additionally, the warranties are typically strong, as it’s extremely durable and the color won’t fade. However, this type of material comes in limited styles. While the others offer horizontal or shake style, fiber glass can only come in horizontal.

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