Siding Ideas Every Contractor Should Know

Siding is one of the most important exterior choices you can make for your home. It protects it from our dry Sacramento weather and can increase its resale value.

Vinyl is the most popular choice because it’s inexpensive and requires minimal upkeep. It also resists water and insects.

Wood siding offers a classic look but can be more expensive and needs regular upkeep. It can also burn, but some manufacturers add a flame retardant to prevent this.

Aluminum Siding

Aluminum siding is a popular choice for many homeowners because of its versatility, affordability and durability. It comes in a wide variety of colors and textures, so you can find the perfect match for your home’s style. It also offers a high level of energy efficiency, so you can save money on your utility bills while still keeping your home comfortable.

In addition to being a great insulator, aluminum is also fire-resistant and will not crack or rot like wood can. It is easy to maintain, too. All you need to do is rinse it off periodically to keep it looking good. You can also apply a waterproof sealant to protect it from the elements and increase its longevity.

One drawback of aluminum siding is that it can be susceptible to rust and corrosion. If you notice any rust or corrosion on your aluminum siding, you should remove it and repaint the area. It is important to use a primer and paint that are designed for this type of surface. It is also a good idea to use a quality caulk around the perimeter of your home to prevent moisture from seeping in.

It is recommended that you hire a professional when working with this material. They will be able to ensure the job is done correctly and efficiently. They will also be able to advise you on any maintenance that may be required in the future.

To cut aluminum siding, you can either score it with a utility knife and then bend it back and forth to make the break, or you can use a nibbler. The latter option is preferred as it allows you to make smooth, long horizontal cuts without leaving any visible marks on the siding.

Once you’ve installed your aluminum siding, you can complete the look of your home with some thoughtful landscaping. Choose plants and shrubs that complement the color of your siding and create a cohesive look. A well-designed landscape can also help direct the eye to your home’s most attractive features and accentuate them.

Stone Veneer

Stone veneer has become one of the hottest trends for homeowners and contractors alike. It offers a natural look and feel to a home at a fraction of the cost of real rock siding. It is also easy to install, making it a great choice for do-it-yourselfers. The varying textures and color options of thin stone veneer add visual interest to the home. It can be used in a number of ways from fireplace surrounds to exterior sidings. It can also be used indoors to create an eye catching focal point for the living room or kitchen.

Real stone is a beautiful material but it can be costly and difficult to install. Manufactured stone veneer is a much more affordable alternative and comes in many different colors, styles and textures. It can mimic the look of rock, wood or brick and is available in a variety of finishes to complement any design scheme. It is also highly durable and does not fade in sunlight.

However, like any other type of siding it is not without its problems. If it isn’t properly installed moisture can collect behind the veneer and lead to a host of issues. These can include mold, wood rot and structural damage. In addition, if a reputable home inspector does not test for moisture levels behind the veneer before a sale, potential problems can go unnoticed for years.

To prevent these problems, it is important to follow the installation guidelines that come with the product. A proper installation starts with covering the entire area to be covered in the veneer with a weather resistant barrier, such as tar paper. Then metal lath should be installed over the barrier, overlapping joints 4″ in a shingle fashion and penetrating the studs a minimum of 1″. At both inside and outside corners, the lath should extend beyond the edge of the veneer at least 1″.

Once the lath has been secured, back butter each piece of veneer stone to build up a bond coat. To do this, place a good dollop of mortar on the back side of the stone and spread it evenly. This step is often neglected but is essential for a long lasting, successful veneer installation.

Vinyl Siding

The vast majority of homes use horizontal vinyl panels to wrap their structures. This style is simple and classic, making it a good choice for almost any home. Horizontal panels are also a great choice for homeowners looking to reduce their maintenance list because they do not require repainting or caulked joints like other types of exterior cladding.

If a homeowner wants to have the look of wood siding without the additional cost, he or she can choose a vinyl with a wood grain pattern. These vinyl siding planks are manufactured to look and feel like natural wood. The advantage is that this type of vinyl is more durable and requires less upkeep than wood, which can rot or warp over time.

When selecting a color for vinyl siding, many contractors offer samples for homeowners to take home and look at in their surroundings. This will help them determine if the siding will blend with the rest of the neighborhood’s homes and is likely to last for years. In addition, many reputable vinyl siding companies have portfolios or websites where they showcase the work they’ve completed. These can give a homeowner an idea of what the contractor is capable of and provide inspiration for their project.

Another benefit of vinyl siding is that it can be cut into shapes to fit within unique or tight spaces that other cladding materials cannot. For example, a contractor can create a unique Victorian scallop with vinyl or mimic the traditional look of cedar shakes by cutting the material into strips that resemble shingles. These unique accents can make a home stand out in the neighborhood and increase its curb appeal.

Vinyl is quite flexible, especially in warm weather, so it is important to not nail or screw it too tightly. This can cause the siding to buckle over time, causing a sloppy appearance (Fig. 15). A nail or screw head should be about 1/16″ (0.25mm) above the siding nail hem to allow for expansion and contraction with temperature changes.

During the installation of vinyl siding, contractors should apply a water-resistive barrier to the foundation, walls, and roof to prevent incidental water intrusion. Code-compliant flashing should be used to seal any gaps or cracks where the wall meets the roof and where the corner posts attach to the soffit or house framing.

Wood Siding

Wood siding is a classic option for homes. Even though many modern alternatives exist, many homeowners prefer the look and feel of real wood. While wood can cost more than vinyl or stone, it is a durable and aesthetically pleasing material that will add value to your home. A good contractor will be able to provide a variety of wood choices and finishes that suit your style.

Cedar is an excellent choice for siding because it is weather-resistant and has natural insect repellant properties. It also accepts stains well and does not warp or shrink as much as other types of softwood. Spruce, hemlock and redwood are other popular choices for siding because of their durability. However, these woods may not be easily available in your area if they are not grown locally.

Another reason why wood is a popular siding choice is because it has excellent insulation properties. It stops heated air from escaping during the winter and keeps cooled air in during the summer. In addition, it also protects the exterior of your home from the elements, including wind, rain and snow.

When a homeowner decides to side their house with wood, the first step is to determine how much material they need. It is best to measure the height and width of the walls before ordering any materials. The contractor will then use this information to calculate the amount of material needed. It is a good idea to order slightly more than the actual measurement, just in case there are any mistakes made during the installation process.

A primary drawback of wood siding is that it needs regular painting, staining or varnishing to prevent damage from the elements. Without the proper care, it can become rotting and insect-ridden very quickly. It is important that the contractor uses a high-quality stain or paint that will stand up to harsh weather conditions. In addition, it is essential to keep a close eye on the caulking on the siding. Any cracking, deterioration or bubbling can be an early sign of water intrusion and should be replaced immediately.