The siding on your house is a protective barrier as well as an aesthetic element. With so many options out there, it can be hard to decide which siding material to choose. This article gives an overview of the most common types of siding installed in Indiana as well as their pros and cons.
What is siding?
Siding is the protective barrier on the walls of your home. Just like a roof, it’s a system meant to keep the moisture out and the inside dry. It’s also designed to provide another layer of insulation to regulate the interior temperatures. For more on insulation, check out our insulation blog!
Fun Fact: Not all leaks come from the roof! If you notice spots on the walls or areas where the roof meets the wall, the problem could actually be with the siding or flashing.
All the commonly used siding products in Indiana will have a vapor barrier underneath to help prevent moisture penetration. Well, they are supposed to have this barrier. It is a common installation problem that we see: houses without the correct insulation and/or vapor barrier.
Choosing siding for you home can feel a bit overwhelming. There are just so many options! Let’s talk about 3 of the most popular siding choices in Westfield, Carmel, and the rest of Central Indiana.
Vinyl is basically plastic molded into panels that tie together to form a barrier. If you’re wanting to get into the finer details associated with vinyl siding, take a look at this article [link to older vinyl article] describing vinyl in more detail.
Vinyl-siding is the most cost-effective type of siding in Indiana. The product is durable, very long-lasting, and comes in a large variety of colors.
Vinyl siding commonly comes in two panel shapes: traditional vinyl (or straight) and dutch-lap. But you can also find accent panels, like shake or board and batten.
Vinyl comes in various thicknesses, and the lower-end (.040-.042) is more prone to breakage, although all types of vinyl are susceptible to penetration by hail, tree branches, or other flying objects. Vinyl can also be ripped off in wind storms, and it may be just a small piece or a whole side. If your vinyl siding is just hanging in one or two spots, we recommend calling a handyman rather than a roofing/siding company. This will likely be the most cost-effective option for you.
On older homes, it is common to find wood siding. The typical choice for the wood is cedar because it naturally withstands temperature fluctuations and severe weather. As this used to be the most widely available product, wood siding on older homes may now be in need of some attention. To ensure the longest lifespan, wood siding should be painted every 3-7 years, depending on the weather in your area. If you have stained siding, which shows off the natural wood, you should re-stain the siding about every four years. This of course means that one of the cons of wood siding is that it is much higher maintenance than most all other kinds of siding.
Wood accents on homes (porch beams, shutters, or just accent walls) have recently become fashionable. Be aware that you will need to maintain your accent elements just the same as you would a full siding. The good news is that with proper maintenance, your wood siding can last for 20-40 years.
The other pro of wood siding is that you can paint it in any color you want! And, because it will need to be painted regularly, you can change the look of your house without having to replace anything other than the paint.
Price-wise, cedar siding is expensive, especially when compared to vinyl siding. It will likely cost you about as much as other, longer-lasting materials on the market, like cement board, given the need to paint the wood. But it can’t be beat for the natural look!
The most common type of cement board siding is James Hardie. This system is well-recognized within the industry for its superior lifespan compared to most other siding products. It comes in primed (meaning it needs to be painted) and painted. The painted colors are in two tiers: stock and special order. The stock colors are standard colors that would be used by most homeowners, and will be readily available as well as slightly less expensive.
The special order James Hardie, called the Dream Collection, offers 700 colors, so you can get the exact shade you’re wanting. The product features ColorPlus Technology, which is a process of paint application done in their factories under controlled conditions. James Hardie says the ColorPlus Technology allows for excellent fade resistance, UV-ray resistance, and baked in color (for color consistency and longevity).
In addition to a wide range of colors, James Hardie also offers different panel profiles, allowing for a traditional lap siding to a modern, flat panel look.
Not sure which type of siding is the best for your home? Call a Rojas Roofing specialist to get a free consultation today! Don’t forget to ask your representative for suggestions and to make you a 3D rendering of your house. It’s the best way to find that perfect color to match your vision!