When it is a matter of the exterior of the home, most homeowners are looking for a way to enhance the beauty of their house and protect it at the same time. There are many possibilities that you can choose from for the exterior, but one tried and true style is lap siding or bevel siding. This relatively simple siding choice, which involves boards or planks that are placed horizontally and then overlapped until the exterior is finished, remains a popular design choice. Along with wood (the original material used), lap siding is now available in many synthetic and other non-wood materials including vinyl, aluminum, metal, fiber cement, and others. Some of the material options were developed to respond to the lack of availability of wood, and some were developed merely out of healthy competition for consumer business. At any rate, many manufacturers have come up with their lap siding products meant to rival the manufacturers of the wood version. The bottom line is that you, the consumer, have more options than ever from which to choose. What you want may have a lot to do with price, the weather where you live, the integrity and protective nature of the material, and a host of other reasons. As was mentioned previously, many of the manufacturers of alternative materials have muscled their way into the lap siding market and positioned themselves as trouble-free, low-maintenance siding solutions.
Every material has its pros and cons. Take a look at the fiber cement or Hardiplank siding, for example. With its composite construction of wood fibers and cement, the result is a product that is resistant to infestation and fungus, unlike its wood counterpart. Furthermore, many manufacturers claim that fiber cement lap siding needs repainting less than half as often as wood. Many builders have opted to use this material as it offers an exciting wood imitation choice.
Vinyl siding manufacturers make similar claims. They will often add that maintaining and cleaning a vinyl lap siding home is a snap. An annual hosing down or power washing of the exterior is all that is needed to keep the home looking good. Repainting can be a bit of a challenge. However, many vinyl lap siding manufacturers stand behind their products with rock-solid warranties.
Aluminum and metal, as alluded to before, are also popular choices for this siding style. Many of the material choices tend to be more popular in regions with specific climate challenges. They all carry different energy efficiency ratings, so make sure to inquire as to how each material is rated.
For the purist, there still is no replacement for wood lap siding. The natural wood grains give a classic look and feel that no other non-wood material can replace. And, with regular care and maintenance, you can protect the wood to have a problem-free exterior. The real positive of all the material choices is that there is now an abundance of lap-siding options. Compare and contrast all the materials, taking into consideration your taste, budget, and willingness to do regular maintenance. Regardless of what you choose, your home will be protected and attractive.