Siding is an aesthetic choice that can show off your personality and style. It is also essential when considering your home’s resale value, so you must weigh all your options. Here, we’ve written a breakdown of the different kinds of siding available.
Vinyl siding first appeared after WWII, but don’t let its age fool you! Vinyl siding has come a long way. Today, you can invest in durable vinyl siding with unique finishes that last decades.
Many northern NJ homeowners choose vinyl in the vinyl vs. wood siding debate, and one major reason is cost. Compared to wood, vinyl siding is quick and simple to install, reducing the project’s overall cost.
Vinyl siding is impact-resistant and can cope with temperature extremes common in New Jersey. Unlike wood siding, it’s immune to water damage and insect-resistant. Termites, ants, beetles, and even wasps find the “taste” of wood irresistible, so vinyl is a great option to avoid the headache of pest control. However, if you are set on wood siding, well-maintained cedar and redwood resist moisture and insects.
There are many options when it comes to the look of vinyl siding. Manufacturers like CertainTeed and Alside offer textured siding that mimics natural wood, split cedar and other materials. Smooth vinyl siding, the most traditional option, also remains popular.
Vinyl siding is crafted from a synthetic product called polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Recycled material is increasingly used in the fabrication of new vinyl siding, and the U.S Green Building Council recognizes some vinyl siding among its sustainable products. It is sometimes possible to install new siding over the existing vinyl siding, which reduces the energy consumption associated with the hauling and disposal of the old siding.
Many tri-state homeowners still prefer the look and feel of wood siding, specifically when re-siding classic or historic homes. After all, wood cladding is often what other siding styles try to emulate.
However, installation of new wood siding is only a good idea if the homeowner is willing to commit to maintenance and upkeep. Timely re-painting, re-staining, and re-sealing helps wood siding resist rotting, warping, and cracking. Loose or wind-damaged boards must be repaired or replaced when discovered, as deteriorating siding is not only unsightly but can allow unwanted moisture and pests into the walls.
One advantage of wood siding is that it is easy to work with, so craftsmen can customize the siding and trim to work with the architectural detail of historic homes.
When deciding which siding style to choose, you should always consider the total cost over its expected lifespan. Consider the need for repairs as the years go on and factor in re-painting, re-sealing, and re-staining costs.
If the architectural style of your home lends itself to wood siding, you should certainly consider it. Alternatively, look at premium composite or polymer siding that delivers a similar look with less maintenance.
Shakes & Shingles
In New Jersey, you’ll find many Cape Cod and Victorian homes clad in shakes and shingles, but they work on various home styles. The three-dimensional, handcrafted look is lovely on any home.
Beveled cedar is often the first thing that comes to mind when people think of shingle siding. Remember that today’s manufacturers also fabricate shakes and shingles from other materials. There are vinyl, polymer, and fiber cement shakes and shingles. Top manufacturers offer three popular cuts: straight-edge, staggered edge, and scalloped (half-rounds).
James Hardie offers durable fiber cement shingles. CertainTeed’s Cedar Impressions polymer shakes mimic the look of cedar. Their TrueTexture process transfers the grain of actual cedar boards to the shakes. Alside offers Pelican Bay One shingles in a hand-split look, among others.
Natural cedar requires periodic re-staining and re-sealing, whereas polymer, vinyl, and fiber cement shakes and shingles need very little maintenance. Some synthetic products come with a lifetime, transferable warranty, which provides real peace of mind and comes in handy should you ever decide to sell.
Cedar siding comes in various styles, such as beveled boards or beaded panels. Though natural cedar is more costly than vinyl and other common siding types, with proper maintenance, it will last a very long time. Natural oils in the wood resist insects and wood rot, but those who disregard the maintenance may shorten the lifespan of their cedar siding. When cedar is not re-sealed or re-stained from time to time, it can dry out, leading to cracking, splintering and even rotting. Moisture that gets behind damaged siding can also accelerate deterioration of the wood.
Natural cedar is one of the more environmentally-friendly siding material choices, as cedar is a renewable resource, though its growing period is relatively slow when compared to pine trees.
Cedar is a very workable building material valued by architects, builders and artisans alike. It is also impact-resistant and has a natural scent that many appreciate.
The proper siding selection could add thousands of dollars to a purchase offer on your home if you choose to sell. Even if you aren’t currently planning on selling your home, it is important to consider what siding prospective buyers might value.
When the time comes to re-side your house, a reputable siding contractor will provide a variety of options and recommendations to find the best solution for your home based on your budget and needs. Whether your home needs brand new siding or requires a simple repair, the right contractor will be able to help you make the best choice.
CRS is a full-service roofing and siding contractor. We offer siding installation, maintenance, and repair services. We work with leading siding manufacturers like CertainTeed, James Hardie and Alside. Our design specialists can help you consider which siding choice is best for your home.
We’ve been serving northern NJ homeowners for more than 40 years. Contact us today to arrange a visit from a specialist who can help you with all of your residential needs. We offer competitive financing options, and our estimates are always free.