The best exterior you can choose for your home depends mostly on where you live but also on your sense of style. Consider the aesthetics of the neighborhood to prevent your house from standing apart from the rest. With basic knowledge of how home exterior finishes react with weather, you will be able to choose one to suit your home, neighborhood and climate.
Vinyl siding --- a polymer created from chemical compounds --- lasts between 25 and 50 years, according to Ineed2know.org, and retains its color well. If it gets dirty or appears weathered, power wash it and it will look next to new again. Two reasons for vinyl's popularity are: 1) its low maintenance and 2) its low installation costs. This material works in wet, dry, hot and cold climates. If properly installed, it should not crack or buckle and will retain its quality.
Wood siding or paneling holds up in all types of weather, providing it is properly protected. Elements such as water and sun will affect the wood, so keep in mind that painting it will keep it from rotting. In hot weather, wood will expand, causing paint to flake away, which means you may have to paint every few years. With relatively low maintenance, wood is an ideal choice for most weather. If cared for, it will last up to 30 years, according to American Home Renewal Inc., and it is a renewable resource.
Stucco, made from Portland cement plaster, can be used in hot, cold, wet or dry climates, holds well in any weather and is low-cost and fire-resistant. This material can be used to cover other exterior finishes such as brick and concrete. It is a popular choice for its variety of colors and textures. Stucco can crack but it usually takes a long time for this to occur and the cracks can be repaired.
Metal siding can withstand hot and cold weather. It keeps its color better than vinyl and can be repainted for a new look. Consider its weakness for denting and the possibility in moist environments for it to rust. Denting can be prevented if the siding is installed as a second-floor option --- meaning you would choose another medium for the first floor --- and rust can be cleaned off the siding if you choose to use it. Aluminum is best for dry climates, but can be used anywhere.
- Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation: Before You Start Repairing and Replacing Materials---Exterior Walls
- Handy Canadian: Siding for Canadian Weather
- Concrete Home Building Council: Stucco: A Weather Resistant Building Finish
- American Home Renewal Inc.: Siding 101
- I Need 2 Know: We Know: All About Vinyl Siding
- Photo Credit house siding 3 image by Psycience from Fotolia.com
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