When to Replace Your Siding

Eventually, most siding material will need to be replaced due to the effects of weather and age. This is especially true of siding materials popular during the 1960’s and 1970’s, such as hardboard and aluminum, which have an effective life span of about 20 to 30 years. Other types of materials, such as brick and wood clapboard, are known for their longevity, but do require ongoing maintenance. The most current vinyl and fiber-cement siding promises to be long-lasting.

Vinyl Siding

Since its introduction in the 1960s, vinyl has become the No. 1 siding in the United States because of cost, versatility, and low maintenance. More than 300 color choices are available in profiles that include horizontal and vertical panels, shakes, shingles, fish scales, lap, and beaded designs. The only routine maintenance is an occasional wash. Warranties offered by vinyl manufacturers generally are lifelong and transferable.Vinyl is the least expensive of all siding materials to install and can be cut dramatically if you're able to do the work. Vinyl siding is sold by most home centers and requires few tools to install. The siding needs to be installed on flat surfaces, so the wall will need to be lined with 1/2-inch-thick sheets of rigid-foam board to provide a nailing surface.


Wood Siding: Shakes and Shingles

Shakes are machine- or hand-sawn from wooden blocks called bolts. Shakes are thicker than shingles and less uniform in appearance and thickness, but they do last longer. Wood shingles are sawn for a smooth and consistent look and can be cut into an array of shapes to create visual interest. Both come from a variety of woods but most common are Western red cedar and redwood.Shakes and shingles are available with a fire-retardant treatment, which is a requirement in high-risk locations. They are installed over a solid surface, such as plywood, with a moisture barrier between the two and a finishing coat (paint or stain) and caulking on the outside. Shake and shingle siding require periodic maintenance including painting and caulking to prevent weather damage.


  • Shake
  • Vinyl
  • Wood
  • Clay
  • Aluminum
  • Inspections
  • Quotes
  • Licensing
  • Repairs
  • Restorations
  • Site Cleanup
Engineered Wood Siding

Engineered wood siding is made with wood castoffs, such as sawdust, and bonding agents. It is a strong, lightweight product that is less expensive than real wood. Engineered wood comes in an array of typical wood siding styles. It does need to be painted for weatherproofing purposes, but factory-applied finishes are available. The standard life expectancy, if installed properly and maintained, is about 20-30 years.Engineered wood cuts, handles, and is applied like solid-wood siding, but you do not have the imperfections that often accompany and must be negotiated with in real wood.

Choosing The Right Siding

When selecting siding, there are six basic issues to consider:

1. Water Resistance. Water-resistant types of siding will have longer life spans.

2. Ease of Installation. If you're installing the siding on your own, make sure it is within your skill set, requires no special tools, and creates no harmful dust when cut.

3. Energy Efficiency. Check the R-value rating for energy savings and understand what will be needed as far as insulation beneath the cladding.

4. Aesthetics. Your siding will be in full view as you come and go, so make sure it is beautiful to you.

5. Versatility. Make sure the siding has the versatility to meet the varied needs of your specific project. If there are aspects of your home's exterior that will make using a particular type of siding more challenging than others, make sure you understand what the added costs or necessary adjustments will be.

6.Durability. Does it have the strength to resist temperature shifts present in your climate? How does it stand up to everyday wear and tear?


Siding Overview


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Wood Siding: Bevel Siding

Bevel (also called clapboard or lap) siding is one of the oldest forms of exterior cladding used on homes. It is made by resawing a board at an angle to create two pieces that are thicker on one edge than on the other.Pine, spruce, cypress, and Douglas fir are the favorites because of their longevity and price. Cedar and redwood are great options, as they contain natural rot resistance, but cost more.Bevel siding is installed horizontally with the upper piece overlapping the lower. Wood siding is installed over a solid surface, such as plywood, with a moisture barrier between the two and a finishing coat (paint or stain) and caulking on the outside. All wood siding requires ongoing maintenance including painting and caulking to prevent weather damage.