Wood, Vinyl or Stucco; Siding Styles for Your Home
Choose a siding material that makes sense for both your home and your budget
By Glyn Sheridan
Choosing siding for the exterior of your home involves more than just picking a color; it also entails selecting a siding type that will complement your house style while staying within your budget. When considering wood, vinyl or stucco siding, you will find a wide range in installation costs, in the amount of labor required to install each siding and in the ongoing maintenance each type of siding requires. Each siding style has its pros and cons.
Stucco siding consists of a layer of cement applied over lathe or steel mesh or over existing masonry, such as brick or stone. You can choose colored stucco or paint it after it is in place. New synthetic stucco materials increase surface flexibility, thereby reducing cracks. Available in a rainbow of colors, vinyl siding comes in long, lapped sections and installs over wallboard or insulated sheeting. Wood siding comes in various types, including pine, redwood, fir and spruce.
Stucco siding is durable and low-maintenance. Stucco holds paint very well; however, If you choose stucco with infused pigment, you may never need to repaint. Vinyl siding also does not require painting, is inexpensive and is easy to install, with a wide choice of matching and contrasting colors for corner sections, fascia and shutters. Redwood and cedar are weather-resistant, making them the top picks in the wood siding category.
Stucco is pricey, and if your home settles, it may develop unsightly cracks that are hard to repair without a visible seam. Stucco also requires an experienced installer. In cold temperatures, vinyl siding may split if struck by a ball or another object, and you may have to remove multiple sections just to replace the broken one. Wood siding requires upkeep; even redwood and cedar need an occasional treatment of wood sealer to reduce weathering. Rotting is a problem with pine, spruce and fir siding.
All siding offers some insulation factor, but wood siding is more energy-efficient than stucco or vinyl. Vinyl siding offers the least insulation factor, but you can install it over insulated backer-board to raise its energy-efficiency. Stucco offers a moderate amount of insulation, but different applications may be thicker or thinner, so check with your contractor about the specific type of stucco he uses.
Choose your siding not only by price, but by the style of house you own. Vinyl siding comes in various widths, and 4-inch laps can replace narrow siding strips on a traditional-style home, while stucco may look better on ranch-style homes or in developments that require a certain percentage of masonry on the home's exterior. Natural wood siding offers rustic appeal for resort homes, and you may choose from wood shingles or even siding that looks like logs.
About the Author
Glyn Sheridan is a regular contributor to DexKnows.
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