Siding can be an eye-catching element of your home.
When considering the best siding material for your home, it’s vital to take into account the cost, the strength of the material and the R-value (the energy-efficiency rating of building materials). The higher the R-value, the more efficient the material is, and the more you save on energy bills.
There are a few different options for siding materials, each with different benefits and drawbacks. It’s important to find a material that fits your budget, while being efficient and visually appealing.
Vinyl is the most commonly used siding material in single family homes. Historically, vinyl was seen as an affordable siding material that would wear in extreme conditions. However, with advances in technology, vinyl has become stronger and more durable, while remaining cost-effective.
One of the advantages of insulated siding is counteracting what’s known as “thermal bridging.” Thermal bridging occurs when the exterior and interior of a home are connected, or “bridged,” by poor insulating material, allowing heat and/or cool air to escape. Insulated siding is a bit more expensive than traditional vinyl because of the added insulation benefits, but the energy savings can be worth the extra investment.
Composites are made from a fiber combined with bonding materials. They’re manufactured to look like wood, but hold color longer and are more durable than wood.
Fiber cement siding, which was introduced in the late 1990s, is a combination of wood fibers mixed with sand and cement. It’s much thicker than vinyl and withstands harsher climates, generally requiring less maintenance. This increased sturdiness comes as a price, with fiber cement being more costly than both vinyl and insulated siding.
A new type of composite launched in 2020 that’s more insulating than fiber cement, is easier to install and has a better warranty. ASCEND® Composite Cladding by Alside is made from polymers infused with glass fibers and graphite. It has an insulation R-value of 2.0 and comes with a lifetime non-prorated warranty.
Engineered Wood Siding
One of the newer materials on the market, engineered wood is a combination of wood by-products, like sawdust and wood shavings, held together by bonding agents. This makeup gives the siding the look of natural wood with the added benefit of increased strength. The composition allows the siding to be lightweight and easier to install than most of its counterparts.
The popularity of engineered wood is on the rise because it is typically offered with a 50-year manufacturer’s warranty against rotting or defects. There have been some reports of this material being susceptible to moisture-related problems, however for the most part they’re due to improper installation and not the integrity of the siding itself.
When it comes to siding, there is no iron-clad right answer for your home. It’s important to do your research and weigh all available options before making a decision. Siding is a product you’re going to have to live with for a long time, so be patient and make a decision that is best for your home, and your wallet.
Call Sears Home Services for a free siding installation consultation today.