The Pros and Cons of Metal Home Siding
Written by: Tiffany Olson | Date: Wednesday, 27th February 2013
One of the best parts about remodeling is that the possibilities are endless. Your home is a canvas and you get to live in your own personal piece of art every single day. Sure, some people elect to simply hire an interior designer, but that's just boring and you probably wouldn't be reading this article if you were boring.
In fact, you may not think you have a single creative bone in your body, but when it comes to your home, you are truly an artist in every sense of the word. Unlike some other forms of art, designing or remodeling your home requires that functionality be taken into account. You cannot simply focus on aesthetics. The materials you use must support your lifestyle on a daily basis rather than simply serving as something pleasing to look upon.
While there are hundreds of materials that can be used in home remodeling, we are going to use this piece to focus on metal, particularly in the context of siding. Metal is a versatile, highly functional material that can be used in your home's siding, roofing, foundation, decoration, or even for standalone buildings on your property. Just like any material, it has both its advantages and disadvantages.
Siding is a huge consideration in the exterior remodeling process. The materials you use set the look of your entire home. If you have a brick home or some other material that does double-duty for both structure and aesthetics, than this article will not apply to you. Most homes, however, are comprised of a basic wood or steel framework, covered externally by a separate siding material and internally by painted drywall. For these homes, the external siding, in conjunction with the roof, determines both the look and functionality of your home's entire exterior.
In order to understand the pros and cons of metal, we need to look at our major alternative options. For siding, your basic three options include wood, vinyl, and of course metal. Wood is the traditional choice, allowing for a more classic looking home. Unfortunately, it is the most vulnerable to the elements, succumbing rather easily to rot, insects, warping, and splitting. Depending on the type of wood you select, wood siding can be extremely expensive. Expect that your wood siding will require frequent repair as well, although the repairs tend to be relatively simple to perform.
Vinyl has been extremely popular over the last few years. It is relatively low cost, low maintenance, and does not require any form of repainting as the color is a part of the material. Vinyl panels can be made to moderately resemble wood or a variety of other materials. While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, many (including us) feel that vinyl has a decidedly cheap look to it. You will typically find vinyl siding used in subdivisions where the developer opted to "cut corners," sacrificing sturdier, higher-quality materials for increased square footage at a lower cost. If you've ever walked up the stairs to a new house and been shocked to find that the cast iron railing was in fact hollow plastic that wiggled wildly as you gripped it, you can go ahead and expect to find vinyl siding covering that house. Obviously, this is a very subjective evaluation and may not be a disadvantage to you. To finish off our look at vinyl, the one clear disadvantage is its tendency to easily crack on impact in cold weather. If you live in an area where freezing temperatures are the norm for even one month out of the year, vinyl might be a bad choice.
Finally, we can take a look at metal. Metal siding (typically aluminum) strikes a happy medium between vinyl and wood siding. It has a moderate cost but makes up for it with extremely low maintenance requirements. Many manufacturers will offer an unparalleled 35 year warranty on metal siding panels. Unlike vinyl, metal has no issues with cold weather climates, and unlike wood, it won't rot or deteriorate in warm weather climates. One major disadvantage of metal siding is that the paint job will not hold up very well. This can, however, be remedied by using a vinyl or plastic coating in place of paint. Vinyl coated aluminum panels can be made to look like virtually any other material, and have a much sturdier look and feel than completely vinyl panels. Another disadvantage is aluminum's tendency to dent easily. There is not a whole lot that can be done about this; if you live in a cold-weather climate it is an obvious step up from the cracking inherent in vinyl, but of course, if you live in a warm-weather climate it is a distinct disadvantage.
That's all we have for you at the moment. We hope this basic guide gives you an advantage when it comes time to redo your home's siding.
Tiffany Olson loves reading, writing, and all things internet. Her job as a Communications Manager is to educate people on a variety of exciting topics including metal siding. Exciting right?!
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