When you’re scoping out the home siding market, it all comes down to two things: toughness and curb appeal. Plain and simple, your siding is there to protect your home and look good doing it.
The type of siding you choose can make or break the impression it leaves with others. But even more importantly, the right kind of siding lasts for decades with minimal maintenance and lowers your energy costs due to tighter insulation. You may even be eligible for tax credits when you add energy-efficient insulation during the process.
To check siding prices in your area, click here.
Below I’ll cover the basics for uber-sleek, durable home siding. If you want to learn how to boost your home’s value, protect it for years to come and lower your energy costs at the same time, keep reading.
How Strong is Strong Enough?
Which type of siding stands up best to your area’s climate? First, take a look at your neighbors’ siding materials. Yours should keep in line for the most part with surrounding homes, though that doesn’t mean you can’t add uniqueness with texture, color selection and eye-catching trim. Next, assess your siding needs based on the local climate. Is your area prone to storms, hurricanes and severe weather, or is it mild and temperate?
Tough Climate Siding
For tough climates, you’ll need siding that adequately defends the structure of your home and repels moisture, snow, hail and high winds. For that, brick siding, stone siding, and seamless steel could be your best bets. Some products may be on the higher-end scale, with brick costing about $6-$12 per square foot, stone from $15 to $30, and seamless steel at about $7-$8 or more. Compare all siding costs here.
James Hardie‘s HardiPlank or HardiBoard lap siding is one of the most popular siding brands in the U.S. for a couple reasons. One, the fiber cement material can last for years if properly installed and maintained. It’s also recommended in areas prone to thunderstorms, hurricanes or tornadoes because it withstands windblown debris. And of course, it looks absolutely gorgeous day and night.
Mild Climate Siding
For those blessed with a mild climate, less expensive versions are also great fits:
- Fiber cement is very durable and often manufactured to mimic the look of wood.
- Vinyl siding, which comes in a large range of styles and colors, is currently the most popular and affordable siding type in the U.S. Typical costs of vinyl range from $2 to $7 per square foot.
- Stone veneer siding also looks great, does a fine job at protecting the home and costs about half the price of natural stone ($11 to $15 per square foot).
- Hardwood siding, on the other hand, is one of the least expensive types available, but doesn’t have a good reputation for holding up well against rain or storms.
- Cedar shake siding is low-cost ($6 to $9 per square foot), and looks beautiful in cooler, rainy climates like the Pacific Northwest, as it blends well with the area’s natural scenery. However, it’s prone to splitting and damage from high winds.
Tax Credits and Energy Savings
If you add energy-efficient insulation to your home while you’re installing siding, you may be eligible for federal tax credits available through 2011. If you installed qualifying siding in 2009 or 2010, you can also claim tax credits on amended returns.
But even if you don’t take any tax credits on your home siding, you’ll see savings as the improved insulation lowers your annual energy expenses. According to experts, you can see a 30% savings in your energy bills, particularly if you choose insulated siding. Insulated siding can improve your home’s R-factor, the rating that indicates how well the insulation performs. According to experts, insulated siding can raise a home’s R-factor by 300% to 600% over traditional siding.
Finding the Right Installer
Once you’ve found the siding of your dreams, you’ll need to choose an installer. You can request a few estimates from our licensed siding contractors by clicking here. Once you’ve narrowed down your list to two or three candidates, interview each one.
Ask to see the siding contractor‘s portfolio and past siding jobs, and use their resources to get ideas for your own installation. Ask how long the project should take to complete and when it will be started. Finally, get a detailed estimate of the cost of the project, and whether the installer will remove the siding that is to be replaced.
Once you’ve compared estimates, you can choose the installer that offers the best price and service for your project. After the siding is installed, you’ll enjoy an attractive home exterior and, even more importantly, energy savings for years to come.