SidingComplete Guide to Siding Types

January 4, 2021
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At Solid State Construction, we want to give our customers options. That’s why we don’t just offer one type of siding. We offer vinyl siding, wood siding, and James Hardie fiber cement siding. For our wood siding, we use premium cedar siding for the best appearance and resistance to rot and swelling. But you may have questions before you can make a decision when it comes to your siding. It’s a good idea to thoroughly do your research before you choose your siding, which is why we’ve created this complete guide to siding types. What kind of siding are you considering?

 

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl is the most common type of siding that you’ll find, especially in Central Massachusetts. It’s colorful, lightweight and easy to install, and it’s typically affordable compared to wood or James Hardie fiber cement siding. However, it can vary greatly in terms of quality. Vinyl is loved because it’s so affordable, so many homeowners will opt for the cheapest vinyl siding they can find. Unfortunately, you’re likely to get what you pay for.

 

Cheap vinyl siding is unlikely to last long when it stands up to the elements of Central Massachusetts and Boston. It can melt in the heat of the summer, fade in color, peel or crack. Cheap vinyl siding does little to truly protect your home from the elements, and when heavy storms come, water could damage the siding or even get into the wall. We estimate that only 10% of vinyl in Central Massachusetts is actually worth the cost. 

 

High quality vinyl siding is available, however. It can be more of an investment, but is still more of a value than competitive siding materials of similar quality. Better news is that high quality vinyl siding lasts for much longer than the cheaper counterparts and holds up against the elements. Truly high quality vinyl siding can be energy efficient with great thermal performance and stunning color.

 

Vinyl siding is easy to clean and fairly low maintenance. Mold and mildew stains can be removed with a combination of 70% water and 30% vinegar. The color that comes with our vinyl siding is rich and vibrant, but you can paint vinyl siding if need be with acrylic paint and an adhesive primer. They can be made to look like woodgrain, but are less porous than real life wood so they resist water damage more easily.

 

Wood Siding

Wood siding is matchless in its beauty and texture, so much so that other siding material manufacturers often attempt to give their siding a texture similar to authentic woodgrain. It also has excellent natural thermal performance, and it’s easy to paint any color you would like. But wood siding, over the years, has had its own challenges. Without regular maintenance, wood siding can take in too much water, causing it to swell or rot. It can also be susceptible to mold or mildew, or even termites. Because wood siding is already a steep investment, many homeowners don’t see it to be worth the cost and energy of all the maintenance.

 

That’s why we offer cedar wood at Solid State Construction. Premium cedar is not only beautiful, with exceptional woodgrain character, but it’s stronger than most wood species, resisting rot, swelling, and termites better than the average. This siding will still require staining or painting, but it will hold up much more durably in the Central Massachusetts climate than standard wood siding. We offer it in several different forms: cedar shake siding, shingles, clapboard, and bevel siding. 

 

However, you’ll never get finger-jointed cedar siding here. Because cedar siding is an investment, many siding contractors in Boston attempt to save themselves money by using “finger-jointed” siding. This is to use cedar siding boards that would otherwise be too short to use on their own. They’re connected by finger joints and, on the surface, appear to have a smooth look. But under the pressure of heavy winds and storms — or even just the expansion and contraction of the house — finger joints can begin to come apart, which could lead to your siding falling apart. We make sure our siding is secure so that it lasts for years to come.

 

Cedar siding is easy to paint and should be either painted or at least stained. It can be washed with chlorine and oxygen bleach, and even by pressure washing on a low setting. It is the most expensive option of the bunch, but it typically lasts long enough to make up for it, when well-cared for.

 

James Hardie Siding

James Hardie is a big name in siding, and for good reason. For eleven years in a row, James Hardie fiber cement siding has been reported to offer the best ROI of any remodeling project, not just siding projects, by Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report. Hardie makes fiber cement siding, made of a combination that’s 90% sand and cement, so it’s tough and essentially non-combustible. But despite this tough make-up, it has a beautiful appearance, sometimes taking on the look of woodgrain and a variety of rich colors. Although this is a bit more expensive than vinyl siding, it is sure to raise the value of your home and offer energy efficiency benefits that make it well worth it.

 

Hardie siding goes above and beyond by making their siding fit to the climate in which it’s installed, through their thorough HardieZone system. Central Massachusetts is located within HZ5, which works to stand up against snow and ice of the harsh winters here. James Hardie siding is also five times thicker than vinyl, making it better able to stand up to impact from hail storms or storm debris. It makes this siding remarkably low maintenance, easy to clean and able to stay vibrant for years to come.

 

We like to offer our customers options, but we also make sure to offer the best products within those options. No what kind of siding you want for your home? Contact Solid State Construction today for more information or to get started with a free estimate