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Help! Too Many Siding Options
Hoopoe-Clover installs a variety of siding and surfacing systems. Some of systems we install, along with a discussion on major features and advantages/disadvantages are discussed below:
1. Vinyl Siding
2. Fiber Cement Siding
3. Aluminum Siding
4. Steel Siding
5. PVC Siding
6. Cellular Siding
7. Stone Veneer
Vinyl siding is one of the most popular siding choices. Most vinyl siding styles mock the look of wood planking to various degrees, at a fraction of the cost, require little maintenance besides the occasional cleaning, and come with a lifetime warranty. Vinyl is the most popular siding choice because of its low cost, low maintenance, and range of styles and colors.
The main options to narrow down your choice are:
Manufacturer - Most of the major manufacturers put out a reliable product whose price varies more with the style chosen than the manufacturer. The manufacturers we recommend are Certainteed, Mastic, Royal, Norandex, Exteria, Provia, Napco, Variform, Foundry, Exterior Portfolio, and Vytec. Among them pick a style you like at a price you can afford, but don't worry their claims of how much better they are than the competition - they are all quality products, proper installation matters much more than the manufacturer's name.
Thickness - The thicker the product, the more damage resistance, and the less warping it is subject to. Thickness are either expressed in decimals of an inch (.026" for example) or gauge thickness (20 ga for example). The smaller the gauge, the thicker the product. A thicker product has a higher material cost, but normally the same installation cost.
Insulation and Substrate - What goes behind your siding matters - A LOT! Siding first needs a proper mounting surface. Installation over plywood requires building wrap only. Installation over concrete, stucco, and a lot of other surfaces requires furring strips with insulation between them; not just to insulate, but also to provide a continuous backing that protects against wind damage and warping. Lastly, insulation can be laminated to the back of the siding to reduce your heating costs.
Style - Style vs. cost is the main consideration for most people. Some of the style options are:
- Horizontal Board - Mocks traditional wood board finishes. Horizontal board comes in flat board or boards with a partial (dutch lap)or complete angle (clapboard). Board width is 3-7" with 4" and 5" being most common. A variety of other profile options are available.
- Vertical Board - Also called board and batten, aligns flat boards in a vertical configuration.
- Shingles - Mock wood shingles with none of the maintenance! Typical options include straight or staggered edge, and rectangular or half-round edges. A large range of colors are available, whether painted, natural, or [mock] stained.
- Trim - Typical trim is a simple overlapping edge finish. Trim boards mocking wood profiles are also available.
Fiber Cement Siding
Fiber cement siding is a great alternate to those who want a different look than vinyl siding. The largest manufacturer is James Hardie. Hardie has panels that mimic horizontal or vertical wood siding, shingles, flat panels, and stucco. Particular attention needs to be paid to details, since unprotected edges can warp and split, and trim can get expensive quickly.
Aluminum siding is a largely discontinued product. We can attempt to repair aluminum siding, but typically steer clients towards vinyl or Hardie siding for any new installations. Aluminum siding is prone to chalk with age (the finish comes off in powdery deposits) and it is difficult to match colors on aged siding with new materials
Steel siding provides a slick, glossy, architectural look to your siding, but is fairly expensive. Other than the look, steel siding is similar to vinyl.
Stone veneer provides looks like a solid stone wall, while remaining less expensive and more thermal resistant that full stonework. Due to expense, typically this is installed as wainscotting to the larger siding system above. Stone banding provides a gorgeous accent band to your how.
Stucco is a cementitous coating parged over a sheathing system using fastened metal lath as support and cracking control. It comes in smooth or textured finish. The topcoat can be pigmented to a limited variety of colors, or an elastomeric coating applied to give more color options.
Hoopoe-Clover does not install EIFS systems. In the Mid-Atlantic region, EIFS systems often have problems with moisture and damage and require an installer specifically certified to work with these systems.