The Pros and Cons of Different Types of Siding

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With so many different options for siding, it can be hard to choose which is right for your home. Take a deeper look at each to help decide before you buy.

If homeowners could have three wishes for their homes’ exteriors, they would likely be these:

  1. Something that looks beautiful.

  2. Something that’s budget-friendly to install.

  3. Something that requires little maintenance.

Is there anything that hits this trifecta?

There are at least a dozen types of siding you can put on your home — everything from wood and engineered wood to vinyl, aluminum, fiberglass, brick, stone and stucco, says Jim Eldredge, product manager at Sears Home Services.

They all have their pros and cons, but the top choice for exterior siding in the United States is vinyl, HGTV reports. Wood is popular all over the country, but siding choices can also be regional, with stucco still popular in the West, brick in the South and vinyl in the Northeast and Midwest.

Vinyl

There’s a reason vinyl is the number one choice of most homeowners. “It’s virtually maintenance-free,” Eldredge says. “Maybe once a quarter you should wash off any cobwebs, mud or superficial algae. That’s what might penetrate wood — but in vinyl you just rinse it off.”

And vinyl has come a long way in terms of aesthetics. There are numerous grain patterns — smooth, oak and cedar — that weren’t options in the past. New extruding methods saturate the vinyl with color that will stay with it so it never needs painting.

“We have 22 different colors, ranging from tans and clays to blues, mosses and deep red brick, and we offer good/better/best options in terms of thickness,” Eldredge says.

Vinyl is easy to install, and, depending on the amount of rotted wood that needs replacing before the siding can be put on, a Sears Home Services crew completes an average-size job in two to three days.

Wood

Wood looks great, is environmentally friendly (it’s a renewable resource and biodegradable), can be painted or stained any color and comes in a lot of styles. That being said, it can also be costly to maintain and is a target for pests, water damage and rot.

Engineered wood is also eco-friendly, and the biggest plus is that it’s dimensionally stable, meaning it’s designed for long-term use and high performance in all environmental conditions. But it too has some of the same issues as natural wood: It has to be painted or stained, requires maintenance to avoid rot and is susceptible to moisture problems.

Brick or Stone

Brick or stone siding is durable and long-lasting and doesn’t need to be painted. Trouble is, these types tend to be heavy and may require structural changes if used on an existing home. There also can be maintenance issues with mortar cracking or deteriorating. ­

Stucco

Stucco, too, is long-lasting, but over time it can crack as a home expands and contracts.

The type of siding you choose for the exterior of your home will have a lasting impact on its value. Learn how Sears Home Services can help with your siding installation and replacement.