Deciding which type of siding is best to install as a DIY project requires taking in to account various factors. Beyond the cost and aesthetics, all parts of the installation must be considered. What type of prep work is needed prior to installation? Will there be a need for special tools? Is this a job that can be completed with minimal assistance? Can this project be completed in the time available? To answer these questions and help narrow down the choices, below is a rundown of four common siding options available at most hardware stores.
Wood siding comes in many shapes from simple clapboard to intricate shingles. It is the oldest type of siding in the list. Wood requires more labor to install and will require more maintenance over time than other options. Installing wood siding usually requires stripping the exterior of the house down to the sheathing. It will also require a competent hand at carpentry to make it look good once installed. After installation, regular maintenance in the form of painting and caulking will be necessary to keep it up to spec.
Aluminum siding was the one of the first low maintenance options available for home owners who were tired of endless repainting. Aluminum can be installed over existing wood, provided that there are no issues with mold and rot. Installing aluminum siding is easier than wood as the pieces are formed with a nailing flange and interlock with each other. It will require at least a good pair of metal shears for cutting and an extra set of hands to hang. The cut edges can be quite sharp so extra care when handling will be necessary. The major downsides to aluminum are the tendency of the paint to powder over time and its susceptibility to denting.
When it comes to durability and ease of installation, it is hard to go wrong with vinyl, according to Home Repair. Vinyl siding is inexpensive compared to other options. It also requires little to no maintenance to keep it looking great. No special tools are required to install it and it can be hung over the existing wall covering. Vinyl holds its color better than other types due to the fact that the pigment is fused into the material. Cracking and chipping are the main concerns down the line, but replacing damaged sections is a simple task that can be completed quickly.
Fiber cement is the newest technology in the siding market. It is available in a broad range of styles and finishes. This versatility allows homeowners to simulate almost any wall covering imaginable. It is also extremely durable and low maintenance. The only marks against this material are the costs (it can get quite expensive) and the special tools and safety precautions necessary for installation, according to Green Home Guide.
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And the Winner Is…
Vinyl Siding. While it is possible to install any of these siding materials as a Do it yourself home improvement project none offer the ease of installation and lack of maintenance that come with vinyl. The fact that it is also easiest on the budget makes this an easy choice when deciding which type of siding is best to install as a DIY project.