You have several options in regard to residential siding, so it might be hard to make a decision when selecting new siding for your home. Appearance is very important, but so are maintenance needs and cost. Here's a look at some popular residential siding options and their pros and cons.

Vinyl Siding Is An Affordable Choice

If cost is a major concern, then you may want vinyl siding. You can buy basic vinyl panels, or you can spend more and buy foam insulated panels that help control heat loss in the winter. Vinyl siding comes in several colors, and it can also be made with textures to look like wood.

One downside to vinyl is that it doesn't offer much fire protection since vinyl will melt. Vinyl might crack under certain conditions, such as extremely cold weather, but with general use, vinyl could last a long time and be a good choice in new siding.

Wood Siding Is Expensive But Classic

If your budget isn't the deciding factor, you might want wood siding for your home. Pine and cedar are two common choices, with cedar being the most durable. Wood siding has a classic appearance and gives you the ability to paint the siding any color you like or stain it for a natural look.

The drawback to wood siding is that it is susceptible to water and insect damage. Wood may require a lot of maintenance to keep it in good shape, which you may not like if you don't enjoy home improvement chores.

Fiber Cement Is Durable

Fiber cement siding is a good alternative to wood because it can be made to look like wood, but it doesn't rot or attract insects. Fiber cement is made from a mixture of wood fibers and cement, so it's durable and it has a long life.

This type of siding is less expensive than wood, and it also needs regular care, such as painting, to keep it attractive and in good shape. A possible downside is that the siding is heavy, and that might drive up the difficulty and cost of installation.

Engineered Wood Resists Insects

Another type of residential siding that's a good alternative to wood siding is engineered wood. It's made from recycled wood and wood waste combined with binders, such as resin. Different manufacturers use different binders, but the result is siding that looks and feels like natural wood, but that doesn't attract insects and decay like real wood does.

A possible disadvantage to engineered wood siding is that it requires more maintenance than vinyl siding. If not maintained properly, engineered wood can develop moisture issues. Manufacturers may wax, seal, or prefinish the siding to prevent moisture problems, but you may still need to paint the siding regularly to keep it in good shape.

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