Siding Material

 

Vinyl Siding

Combines vinyl and plastics, into a durable and cost-effective siding material. Widly ranging in pricing and quality with warranties from 5 to 50 years. Vinyl siding is a commonly used siding material where cost is of greatest concern. It is usually not allowed by most HOAs.

There are two large drawbacks to vinyl siding. First, the trim structure. Most use a folded and rolled-edge vinyl trim to frame the siding, which creates a channel along the bottom that can trap or direct water to the wrong places. Second, high-heat can cause warping and melting, especially in direct sunlight in very hot climates. Such warping is usually only an issue with the cheaper brands.

  • Usually fire-rated.
  • Greatest risks:
    • Improper installation.
    • Heat Sensitive.
    • Cheap materials.
    • Water management.
 

Composite Siding

Composite siding, such as Hardy Plank or Certainteed Cement Board,  and is usually selected due to low maintenance and long life. While often requiring the most investment, composite siding can outlast all others if properly maintained. Installation requires professionals experienced with composite siding, as there are special requirements regarding the rain-shield behind the planks, spacing between and under the planks, and which size is right for the house.

Improper installation of composite siding can cause buckling, and potentially rot and water damage behind the siding. Such issues usually won't present themselves without a careful inspection right before the 1-year mark after installation.

  • Very long life.
  • Little or no fire risk.
  • Can reduce insurance premiums.
  • Greatest risks:
    • Improper installation.
    • Insufficient ventilation.
 

Cedar Shakes

Usually selected for their aesthetic, cedar shakes can have a very long life if properly maintained. However, maintenance on cedar shakes is the most frequent and most costly of siding materials. Without proper maintenance, cedar shakes may quickly rot, become a fire hazard, and will attract a wide variety of pests.

Cedar shakes should be oiled at least once every 3 to 5 years, or more often if they get a lot of direct sunlight. Annual inspections, for moss or pests, are especially critical.

  • Good appearance.
  • Long life.
  • Greatest risks:
    • Improper maintenance.
    • Fire hazard.
    • Pests and rot.