In the 1950’s, aluminum siding was sold by door-to-door salesmen who were often referred to as “tin men.” Sporting flashy clothes and driving fancy cars, the tin men descended upon the suburbs at dusk to greet blue collar workers coming home to dinner. They used high-pressure sales tactics to wear homeowners down, then as soon as a contract was signed, slapped a pile of siding on the lawn to seal the deal.
A 1963 set of new guidelines from the government effectively put an end to the tin men, and while aluminum is still used as a material for siding, and is less inexpensive than other types of siding, it’s now used primarily in coastal areas. Aluminum has a particularly hard surface that resists degradation from seaside air. Corrugated aluminum siding remains a popular choice for structures like sheds, as it is cheap, light, easy to install and offers protection against moisture.
Wood, stucco, brick and stone are proven siding options for providing protection against the weather, but are pricier than their man-made counterparts. When choosing siding, you have to balance concerns about siding costs, weather protection and aesthetics.
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Another consideration is how your choice will affect resale values. The more durable and cost-effective the siding, the better the return on investment down the road. Homeowners can expect to recoup 70% of the cost of installing vinyl siding, for example, upon the sale of a home. And what’s more, new installation installations typically pay for themselves within 1 to 2.5 years.
Durable Vinyl, Fiber Cement and More
Vinyl siding has replaced aluminum siding as the go-to product when homeowners want to imitate the look of wood clapboard with additional protection against the weather. The new solid-core vinyl siding (check out vinyl siding pictures here), which features a solid foam backing, not only provides better insulation – four times as much as regular vinyl—but is more impact resistant. Solid-core vinyl siding also comes in a wider variation of colors, styles and sizes than do other types.
Great options for mid-priced projects are fiber cement siding and wood composites, which offer comparable protection against weather and are less expensive than wood, but more expensive than vinyl.
When extreme weather and tough climates are a concern, it’s also important to note that no siding by itself can provide perfect protection. Many siding contractors use house wrap under siding to stop wind from creeping and water from seeping into homes.
Others prefer the older method of applying builder’s felt or rosin paper, which is effective when combined with spray foam for insulation. It’s recommended that draining strips are tacked on before the siding is installed as well. Waterproofing membrane is efficient and easy to apply, but can deteriorate under extreme heat or sunlight.
Choosing durable materials, ensuring that the siding is properly installed and well-maintained is the best way to provide protection for your home under any weather conditions. A professional, licensed and insured contractor can help you access what type of siding in best for you. Click here to search siding professionals in your area.
Photo via Houzz