Siding FAQ: Answers to the Most Popular Questions About Siding

What is siding?

If you look at your home exterior, you’ll notice that your walls are covered by a protective layer of material to shield it from the elements. This layer is your siding. Siding comes in a variety of materials and doubles as exterior decoration for your home, adding personality and curb appeal to impress visitors and buyers.

What are the different types of siding?

A few of the most popular materials installed by siding contractors are wood, vinyl, and fiber cement. Other siding materials include metal (aluminum and steel), engineered wood, and composite materials such as brick, stucco, and stone.

What type of siding is best for my home?

The best siding for your home depends on your budget, location, and maintenance expectations. 

 

  • Wood siding – A traditional choice that gives your home a cozy appearance, but needs routine exterior treatments to prevent moisture problems. Wood is one of the more expensive siding options, and doesn’t fare well in areas with high risk of fire or moist climates. 
  • Vinyl siding – One of the lowest cost options, vinyl siding requires a yearly wash with a mild cleanser and sponge. Vinyl does well in most climates; however, it is weak to extreme winter weather and can become brittle and break.
  • Fiber cement – Fiber cement siding works across the climate spectrum and is ideal for areas with high fire risk or brittle winters. Its cost falls between those of vinyl and wood siding, and it only needs a mild wash once or twice a year. The budget-friendly cost and high durability is why Mares & Dow exclusively installs fiber cement siding.

What are the benefits of fiber cement siding?

Fiber cement siding is an extremely durable material that holds up well in the rainy Bay Area climate and under various damaging conditions including UV rays, high winds, and freezing temperatures. James Hardie fiber cement siding, popular among many siding contractors’ residential projects, is specifically engineered to withstand particular climates. For example, San Francisco homeowners would use James Hardie’s HZ10 siding, which is formulated to help resist cracking, splitting, rotting, and swelling.

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