Which siding is right for you ?

Choosing siding for your home is an important decision.
When deciding which siding type is right for you, keep these points in mind.

Cost

STEEL

Medium upfront cost. Very low maintenance cost.

WOOD

Low upfront cost. High maintenance cost.

FIBER CEMENT

High upfront cost. Low maintenance cost.

VINYL

Low upfront cost. Mid-low maintenance cost.

While steel siding does not have the lowest purchase and installation costs, year over year, the maintenance costs are so low they offset any upfront costs. By comparison, wood siding is tempting with its low upfront costs but can end up costing more in ongoing maintenance. Fiber cement also boasts fairly low maintenance costs but has a bigger price tag at the start. Vinyl siding is affordable in its upfront costs, but its faster deterioration means a little more maintenance over its entire lifetime.

Painting & Staining

STEEL

Never needs staining or repainting

WOOD

Repaint or stain every 3 to 5 years

FIBER CEMENT

Repaint every 15 Years

VINYL

Suppliers recommend replacement over repainting

Steel siding arrives as a finished product, with color and finish that lasts a lifetime. Compared to wood, which needs regular repainting, or fiber cement siding, which needs repainting every 10-15 years, steel siding is an easy, low-work choice. Vinyl siding can be repainted, but suppliers generally recommend replacing instead.

Durability

STEEL

  • Rot proof
  • Insect proof
  • Fire resistant
  • Weather resistant

WOOD

  • Rot inspection
  • Insect inspection
  • Danger of Fire
  • Weather damage

FIBER CEMENT

  • Rot proof
  • Insect proof
  • Fire resistant
  • Weather resistant

VINYL

  • Rot proof
  • Insect proof
  • Fire resistant
  • Weather resistant

Your siding is continually exposed to the elements. Options like steel and fiber cement are more durable against rot, insects, fire and weather than wood siding. And while vinyl siding is technically fire-resistant, after the fire reaches a certain temperature, it will warp and melt. Vinyl’s fire temperature threshold will vary by manufacturer.

Replacement

STEEL

Up to 50 years.

WOOD

Some sections may need replacement annually.

FIBER CEMENT

30- 40 years.

VINYL

10- 20 years.

Wood siding may need to be replaced piece by piece, year after year. Fiber cement siding stands up better, with many products lasting 30 to 40 years, while vinyl siding needs to be replaced every 20 to 30 years. But if you want something that will truly last, steel is your best bet.

VOC Potential

STEEL

Produces no VOC’s

WOOD

May produce VOC’s, depending on the paint or stain used

FIBER CEMENT

May produce VOC’s, depending on the paint used

VINYL

May produce VOC’s, depending on the manufacturing process

VOC exposure can pose a number of human health risks. With steel siding, there is virtually no potential for VOC off-gassing. With wood and fiber cement siding, the potential for VOC exposure depends on the type of paint or stain selected. For vinyl siding, VOCs may be released, but the majority are released during manufacturing.

Maintenance

STEEL

Pressure wash as needed, usually less than once a year

WOOD

Annual cleaning with soap, pressure wash, before repaint, check for cracks, insect holes and make repairs

FIBER CEMENT

Annual caulking inspection and pressure wash to prevent staining

VINYL

Annual pressure wash to prevent staining

Steel siding is long-lasting and rarely-if ever-requires maintenance. Install it and enjoy your property for years to come. By comparison, wood and vinyl siding need regular maintenance to prevent staining and discoloration. Fiber cement siding needs less maintenance to keep it looking good, but caulking should be checked annually, and a pressure washer used to prevent mold and mildew growth.

WHAT IS A VOC?

Volatile Organic Compounds, which the EPA defines as gases emitted from certain solids or liquids, like paints, cleaning supplies, furnishings, pesticides, building materials, adhesives and more. Categorically, a VOC can encompass a medley of chemicals, and some of those have varying degrees of both short- and long-term adverse health effects.

Color & Texture

STEEL

40+ Color options and available in woodgrain textures

WOOD

100+ color and stain options and available in many textures

FIBER CEMENT

40+ color options and limited textures available

VINYL

100+ color options and many textures to choose from

Most every siding option today offers a wide array of color and texture options. No matter what siding you choose, you are sure to find something to match your style.

Sustainability

STEEL

Environmentally friendly

WOOD

Potentially environmentally friendly

FIBER CEMENT

Partially environmentally friendly

VINYL

Harder to recycle

Green building isn’t just a trend. It’s a requirement. Steel is durable, needs no ongoing treatment or maintenance, and is fully recyclable at the end of its usable life. Wood siding may be a natural product, but its finishing process and potential depletion of forest resources mean it may not be a long-term sustainable solution. Fiber cement siding has not been in use long enough for the industry to know if it is biodegradable in landfills. Vinyl siding is a plastic-based product but is not easily recycled in most