Siding gives the exterior of your home its final shape and appearance and also affects certain interior elements. There are many exterior cladding options, each with its own advantages and disadvantages (pun intended). All the options and sometimes the obvious differences between the materials can be confusing and overwhelming for someone new to the field.
But don’t worry, help is on the way!
In this article, I will try to present clearly and simply basic types ofexteriors – all in the hope that it will help you make an informed decision without breaking the bank.
Introduction What is a sidetrack?
In architecture, cladding refers to the material that covers the exterior wall of a building. It serves not only to protect, but also to improve the aesthetics of your home.
Whether you want to improve protection from the sun, snow, and rain, or simply freshen up the look of your home and add to its charm, a siding is always a great way to accomplish this.
There are many different coating options – it all depends on the material you prefer and, of course, your budget. Their popularity varies, but they can be found all over the world.
This selection is based on the most common in Europe and North America. The most popular are vinyl, metal, wood, brick, stone, stucco and cladding. I will try to detail their advantages and disadvantages to help you decide which is best for your home.
1. Stone cladding
Stone cladding is one of the oldest materials used in the construction of houses. The beginning is in the Roman Empire. The Romans used granite, marble, travertine, limestone and slate. The type of stone used depends on the type of stone that is naturally available in a particular area.
Stone veneer is also one of the oldest ways to maintain the elegant and authentic look of your home. At the beginning of the 19th century, a beautiful stone cladding appeared. For centuries. These days you have many choices and it all depends on your budget and the style you want.
Today there are many types of stone cladding. Not only can you choose between different types of stone, but also whether you prefer natural or artificial stone. The modern industry offers a wide range of high quality artificial stones. Generally speaking, you can’t tell the difference in distance.
1.1. Hard rock cover
Solid stone provides durability and a classic look to your outdoor space. It has undergone many improvements so far and is much easier to transport and install than before. Finally, you can easily recycle it, i.e. reuse it if you move somewhere else.
This type of siding has a very long life span and is much more durable than other materials such as wood and does not need to be repaired or replaced. However, the installation of this device is much more expensive, which you should consider when comparing other options.
1.2. Stone lining
stone facings are cut to smaller and more specific dimensions at the builder’s request. It is usually made of granite, which is resistant to cracking. This stone type is well suited to cold climates because it is water and frost resistant. It is necessary to hire a professional to install it because the process can be long, complicated and tedious. But if you do it right, you’ll have a beautiful, high-quality exterior.
1.3. Veneer sheet covering
Another option of natural stone is a veneered top. Veneer wood panels use simple panel system technology that makes the installation process easier and faster. It is available in different colours and sizes. You just need to be careful in your choice, as not all varieties are suitable for the outside.
1.4. Imitation stone
If you don’t like natural stone for financial or other reasons, you can choose between two options. False Stoneis made from concrete pigments. It is considerably cheaper than natural stone, although it has a similar durability. It is also much easier to install. However, the aesthetics of imitation concrete are not as authentic as those of natural stone.
Another stone imitation is polyurethane foam forpanels. It is a foam composed of UV inhibitors, flame retardants and polyurethane. She looks like a real rock until you touch her. While it is the cheapest option, it can have the shortest lifespan, making it financially burdensome in the long run.
2. Brick lining
In addition to the red brick traditionally used in the UK, there are now many options for brick facades. You can choose between real or fake brick cladding, and they come in a variety of colors and textures.
Today’s brick houses are generally wooden houses with only decorative brick cladding. Real brick houses went out of fashion about a century ago. New types of masonry are often calledthin brick. They are made of concrete, not clay, and are installed like ceramic tiles. An air space of at least one inch must be left to allow the wall to shed moisture during installation.
The traditional masonry method uses solid bricks. Unlike thin layers of facing brick, it’s not just the exterior wall, but the entire house.
With proper care, brick cladding can last almost forever. In this case, proper maintenance consists only of occasional pressure washing. In addition,does not fade over time, but ages quite well in terms of aesthetics. The brick cladding is also weather and fire resistant.
The only way to get such a siding is its high price, both for installation and for the material (the brick) itself. But once you’ve paid, your home is safe for years to come.
3. Fibre cement coating
Fibre cement panels are the most common cladding material in UK and Australianarchitecture. It is robust and durable, with little maintenance. It is a composite material consisting of cement and cellulose fibres which, for safety reasons, replaced the asbestos used until the 1980s.
Fibro-cement is resistant to rot and insects. However, it can be damaged by moisture and dirt, and will probably need to be repainted every 10-15 years, depending on local weather conditions. It is widely used throughout Australia because of its fire resistance.
One of the advantages of fibro-cement is that it can resemble any other material, even wood, while having a longer lifespan than many others. Like concrete, it is used in modern architecture and is usually contrasted with, for example, a natural wooden entrance door to create a modern and elegant accent.
Stucco or Gypsumis a traditional building material of cement, sand and water. It is applied wet and then hardens into a solid state. Historically, it has been used since ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire as a decorative cladding material and as a sculptural material.
Plaster is currently used for exterior cladding. It provides a solid and durable home covering. Its low maintenance and fire resistance make it a safe option. However, it is preferable to use it in a dry climate, as it does not withstand moisture well.
During installation, different textures and shapes can be given to it, creating different architectural styles. It can be tinted in any color imaginable and can be mixed in different ways to create different textures.
5. Metal coatings – aluminium and steel
Aluminum , as an exterior cladding material, has been in decline since the advent of vinyl due to its price and affordability. However, aluminium – like vinyl – is quite durable and will last for over 50 years. However, it can be easily damaged due to its softness, especially if it is cheap and thin.
Steel siding is the most durable choice over aluminum and vinyl. It has high resistance to moisture and scratches because it is harder. In addition, steel holds paint well and rarely rusts. However, it is more expensive than aluminum and more difficult to install because of its composition. But once you have it installed, you won’t have to think about it for long.
In general, the natural properties of the metal make it an excellent choice for those who live in wet or extremely cold areas.
If you live in a hot area, aluminum is not the best choice because it expands with heat and can cause noise. The same applies to areas with strong winds. In these areas, it may be preferable to choose a different siding material for your home.
6. Concrete lining
Concrete siding is another effective insulation option for your home.
Concrete consists of cement , water, sand, gravel and . The result is a thick mixture that hardens as it dries. Once cured, it becomes one of the most durable coating materials that can last for over a century. Another advantage is that you can make this mixture in different shapes and sizes.
Concrete cladding is typical of modern and minimalist architectural styles. It is considered one of the symbols of modern architecture. Concrete has changed the way buildings are designed and built since it took over the exterior.
The maintenance cost is very low, while its installation can be quite expensive due to its composition. Yet it is one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to build energy-efficient buildings, especially in the long run.
It is quite resistant to fire and flooding. It is also a strong insulating material, which reduces heating and cooling costs.
7. Wooden sheets
One of the best known types of siding in North America, including the United States and Canada, is wood siding. This is mainly due to the long tradition of timber construction and processing on the continent, especially in the densely forested parts of both countries.
Wood siding comes in many different shapes and styles. The most popular woods used for siding are cedar, cypress, pine, spruce, pine, redwood and engineered wood. Some are preferred because of their appearance, while others are preferred because they are resistant to decay and degradation. It’s up to you to set your priorities. Whatever type of wood you choose, it is important to maintain it regularly by staining and sealing it to prevent moisture and damage and to preserve its properties.
7.1. Cedar siding
Cedar is resistant to rot and grit, which makes the initial cost higher, but makes the siding more durable in the long run.
7.2. Pine siding
Pine is another very popular type of wood. Unlike cedar, it is not resistant to decay. It should be cheaper than the tree. Pine is a light and elastic wood and can be easily bent during assembly. For this reason it is very suitable for decoration.
The spruce is another type of conifer. It shares most of its characteristics with the pine tree, including a favorable price. If you live on the east coast, spruce may be the best choice for wood siding because it is used as a replacement for pine siding.
7.4. Spore tree
In the west, spruce is used instead of fir. It is also flexible, easy to cut and install, and gives a more rustic look to the building. Redwood is also available in the West, but it is more expensive and harder to find elsewhere. Thanks to its rich texture and resin, it can be used in all climates. Moreover, no special maintenance is required.
7.5. Wooden siding
There are different types of wooden siding. The most common horizontal cladding options are block cladding, Dutch circle cladding and shingles and shakes.
7.5.1. Horizontal branching options
7.5.2. Woodland side
Log Siding is an emblematic North American rustic style siding. It can be quite durable if you take good care of it. It is generally used for mountain cabins and shelters, but you can always break these rules and install it at home.
If you want an even more rustic look, you can choose shingles or rocks. It is more expensive than other wood. A cheaper option is to imitate them in another material, for example. B. Cement or vinyl. However, neither vinyl nor cement can replace the authentic wood tone of shingles.
The so-called Dutch circle gives your house a more classic look. It is probably the most popular wood siding because it can be easily combined with other types of siding on the same building.
7.5.3. Vertical cladding options
On the other hand, vertical wood siding has recently gained popularity in the United States. It combines a rustic look with a more modern look, so it can be used in country houses and barns as well as modern homes, adding a touch of simplicity and elegance.
8. Siding half
The so-called Tudor house is characterized by its craftsmanship. Today, only the decorative effect of working with semi-precious stones is desired. This means a combination of stucco or decorative masonry with an ornamental stone finish rather than heavy timber framing.
The sheets are applied to the wall surface, usually in a variant of the old construction. The walls of the bays are made of stucco or brick, but in theory you can combine any material.
Historically, the most famous countries for this architectural style were Germany and China, but over the centuries it has spread throughout the world. The style gives an impression of nostalgia and rusticity.
9. Vinyl covering
Vinyl Siding consists of plastic sheets made primarily of PVC resin. However, the chemical formula may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. It is one of the most common options for replacing wood siding in homes in the United States and Canada. Vinyl siding sometimes makes Canadian and American single-family homes look like ogre houses from an old fairy tale.
The main advantage of this cladding material is its durability and low maintenance. You don’t have to repair or repaint your home. It should only be flushed under pressure and checked regularly.
Unlike wood, vinyl cannot absorb moisture or rot and is available in dozens of colors, so you can always choose what you like.
Vinyl siding was developed in Ohio in the 1950s to replace aluminum and wood. Therefore, it is considered one of the symbols of residential architecture in the American suburbs, born of the optimism of the period that gave rise to the myth of the American Dream.
The problem with vinyl, however, as with the American dream, is durability. Plastic is a petroleum product and PVC is not recyclable or biodegradable in the environment. There is evidence that it can also leach certain chemicals. Nonetheless, vinyl siding can be a better option for small homes than wood harvested in an unsustainable manner.
9.1. Vinyl covering
There are many types of vinyl siding and many ways to install them.
The first and most well-known is flap lining, often referred to as horizontal lining or lap lining, which dates back to colonial times. The idea of this style is to imitate the texture of the wood. It is laid so that the narrow planks overlap.
Dutch Lapsiding creates more shadows between the boards, making it more efficient in terms of water drainage.
sidingis considered more luxurious than traditional siding. The plates have a rounded notch at the bottom. Thanks to this detail, the lines are clearly visible. Vinyl also allows you to imitate other traditional siding, such as cedar shingles and block siding to achieve an identical, but updated look.
10. Glass for external use
Since siding is not an appropriate term for installing exterior glass walls, you can simply call it Glass Exterior. It is one of the most modern, expensive and elegant upholstery options available today.
A glass wall brings a lot of light into your home, even on rainy days. All natural light will enter your room, whether the sun is shining or not.
However, it requires a generous budget as this glass facade is quite expensive. On the other hand, it can be energy efficient. This saves energy because the outdoor lights are not used for most of the day. Outdoor glass panels can provide passive heating during the winter months by using the sun’s energy to heat your home.
However, glass coating has distinct disadvantages. These include the amount of cleaning required, the high cost, and the lack of privacy. But for some, the benefits of having an Infinity window in your home can be priceless.
Choosing an exterior for your home is not easy. If you tend to be indecisive when renovating your home, be prepared for the myriad possibilities of siding.
It is always advisable to read every detail of the selected material before making a final decision. Since cladding is a big, long-term commitment, it’s essential to be informed.
For those who live on the Canadian prairies, a wooden siding is the best buy. For those who live in the south, vinyl siding may be the best choice. If you’ve decided to build a home on a Greek island (you’re in luck!), stone cladding may be the most logical option for the exterior of your home.
Modern technology allows you to choose from many colors, textures and sizes of almost any material. Whatever material you choose, always be guided by your own style. It is equally important to never neglect the environmental protection factor.
What is your favourite type of cladding and why? Let us know in the comments and start the discussion.
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