Siding is the material that goes on the outside of your home and protects it from extreme weather conditions, such as rain, heat, snow and more. Siding also provides a way to express your own personal style, while still maintaining the integrity of your home. Siding is a big decision for homeowners because there are so many options to choose from- including vinyl, aluminum and composite. This article will cover what you need to know about siding before making an informed decision about which type best suits your needs.

Siding vs. Shingles

The most important thing to know about siding and shingles is that there are differences between the two. Shingles have three layers: a back layer, a moisture barrier and the top layer which is the actual shingle you see on your roof. Siding only has one layer (or possibly two for composite), made of an exterior grade material such as vinyl, aluminum or wood. Shingles can be placed directly on your home’s existing wall; however, when it comes time to paint those walls often times cracks will form between the siding and the existing wall allowing water and air to enter into these spaces causing mold growth and rot problems with your home’s substructure.

Siding requires its own support; it will need either a new or existing wall, which is typically constructed with wood studs and Siding Accessories such as Siding Bead to secure the siding in place. Siding can also be attached directly to brick or stucco walls. Shingles can visually add character to your home because of their three-layer design. Shingles come in many shapes, sizes and colors so you are sure to find a style that fits your unique taste.

Siding Materials

Siding comes in many materials including vinyl, aluminum and composite material. Each material has its own benefits that make them attractive to homeowners. When deciding what type of siding is best for your home there are two main factors that can help you decide: cost and durability. Siding can range in price, from around $1.00 per square foot for vinyl to as much as $4.50 per square foot for wood composite material. Shingles can be even more expensive at upwards of $10/sf. Siding that lasts longer is worth the investment because it will save you money in the long term by needing fewer repairs or replacements.

Vinyl Siding

If you are looking for a low maintenance exterior with an affordable price tag, vinyl siding may be your best choice! Vinyl has made a big comeback over the past 20 years because it is durable, easy to maintain and affordable when compared to other materials like wood (composite). With many style options and color choices, vinyl is a great way to add curb appeal and value to your home.

Siding Installation

Siding can be attached on wood or block walls by using Siding Accessories such as Siding Bead and Siding Sash. Shingles are installed directly on top of the existing wall without having any additional support underneath. Shingle installation typically takes about 5-10 days depending on weather conditions and the size of the project while siding usually only takes 2-3 days. Shingles also require a professional roofer to install them because they are placed on top of an existing roof. Siding doesn’t have this extra step so homeowners can install it themselves if they feel comfortable doing so or hire someone who offers Siding installation as a service. Shingles also require that the pitch of your roof be correct for proper drainage, which can be costly to fix up if it isn’t already done correctly. Siding is much more forgiving and will still perform well even on an improperly pitched roof.

Shingles cannot easily be painted, while vinyl siding can be painted with almost any type paint! Siding comes in many different styles ranging from modern design features like Colonial Sash Windows or French Doors, to traditional designs such as Raised Panel. Siding can also be custom designed to fit your style completely and give you a one-of-a-kind look. Vinyl siding installs quickly and most projects only take a few days versus weeks for Siding. Shingles come in various colors and styles to fit every home’s unique taste! Shingles can be installed on almost any type of roof system such as asphalt shingles, wood shake, metal roofs or traditional slate roofs.

Siding Maintenance

Siding should be inspected after it has been placed on your home and also every year during routine maintenance checks to make sure no cracks have formed around the seams where the siding meets the house, especially if you live in an area prone to storms or hail damage. Siding can become loose over time and should be re-secured every year to prevent deterioration of the material. Shingles typically last between 10 – 15 years before they will need to be replaced, while Siding usually lasts between 25 – 40 years. Siding is a great way to revitalize your home! Siding comes in many different styles and colors that can suit any style. Shingles come in just as many colors but do not have as many style choices. The biggest difference with Siding versus Shingles is cost, especially if you live in a windy area where Shingles may need replacing more often than Siding would need to be repaired or replaced for the same amount of damage.

Siding Pros

Siding usually costs less than Shingles, especially if you are comparing Siding that is more durable and longer lasting. Siding can be used on almost any type of roof system versus Shingles which only work on certain types of roofs. Siding comes in many different styles that will help your home stand out from the rest! Best of all, Siding looks great just after it’s installed so you won’t need to wait for paint to dry or Shingle colors to fade before enjoying your new siding!

Siding Cons

Like Shingles, Siding needs some maintenance and repair each year due to weathering. If repaired correctly by a professional every year, Siding should last around 30-40 years depending on the Siding material used and where you live. Siding is a great way to revitalize your home’s look, Shingles are much more expensive than Siding in most cases. Shingles can sometimes be difficult to install on an improperly pitched roof versus Siding which will still work well if there is not a proper pitch like Shingles require for drainage. Siding doesn’t come with any warranties or guarantees so make sure that it is installed properly before signing off! Some materials also don’t offer warranties compared to those that do, so make sure you know what your specific Siding offers before installation.

Other Factors to Consider

If you have pets or small children who might be tempted to reach out from an open window, Siding is a great choice as it doesn’t allow anything to reach out from the outside of your house just in case. Siding is also much better suited for windy conditions than Shingles usually are, especially if they are only installed on one side of the roof versus Shingles that should be installed all the way around the roof. Siding makes a great addition to any home and can revitalize an older structure. Shingles tend to last longer but can cost more over time in repairs and replacement while Siding will last about 10 – 15 years before being replaced or repaired!

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