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Vinyl siding as a building material is less than three-quarters of a century old, but the debate over using it seems as timeless as the universe itself. Proponents praise its cost-effectiveness, ease of maintenance and beauty. Detractors insist that the only truly beautiful building material is wood.
You can probably guess where we stand on the subject! While wood, and even other siding types like brick, stone and stucco are all beautiful in their own right, only vinyl affords you the flexibility in colors, styles, and shapes. And it’s the only siding type that you can keep looking beautiful for years to come with a simple bucket of soapy water and a sponge.
It never needs painting, staining, sealing, plastering and shouldn’t even require power washing. If getting your Saturday afternoons back to enjoy time with your family or your favorite hobby isn’t enough to convince you of the merits of vinyl, then perhaps the style options will.
Long gone are the days of ordinary, “cookie cutter” vinyl siding. Today’s styles afford you enough options to keep you busy browsing catalogs long into your newly carefree Saturday evenings.
Here’s some of what you can expect to see.
1. Vinyl Shake Siding
For die-hard cedar shake lovers, vinyl shake is a popular option. It captures the appearance, texture and naturally random patterns of authentic wood in a durable, easy-to-care-for shingle.
Even within the vinyl shake family you can choose style and texture options that suit your home and aesthetic preferences. Some styles exemplify a rustic charm that is reminiscent of hand-cut wood. Others offer a “sawmill” texture that replicates the effects of early American pioneer building styles. Still others are designed with exacting grooves to create smooth, elegant lines for a more sophisticated, refined look.
Your color options are just as varied. Choose popular neutrals from white to beige and gray, or go bold with the deep, rich hues of ocean blues, forest greens and autumn reds. The best part is knowing that the color won’t fade or require painting and staining every few years.
2. Fully Insulated Vinyl Siding
If you’re looking for an exceptionally durable vinyl siding that’s designed to help you reduce your energy consumption, then insulated vinyl siding may be the right choice for you. It protects your home against the elements, and can even reduce noise pollution from traffic or other street sounds.
Insulated vinyl siding has a rigid foam backing that is impact-resistant and ideally suited for irregular walls. The panels have a straight, even appearance with clean lines and simple styles. But don’t let the simplicity fool you! The color options are just as diverse, from neutral browns and clay colors, to rich reds and blues, and soothing greens.
As an added bonus, insulated siding can sometimes even be installed right over existing siding, which can reduce your installation costs. And the panels are longer than typical vinyl panels, which means fewer seams for a cleaner, more streamlined look. Combine beauty with lower energy bills and a more comfortable, quieter home, and you can see why insulated vinyl is so popular.
3. Horizontal Clapboard Siding
Clapboard consists of long, narrow boards nailed horizontally across your house, reminiscent of building styles that date as far back as old-world Europe and early Americana. Smooth styles create the effect of painted wood boards and textured styles are designed to simulate the deep grain lines of real wood.
For added style, choose a Dutch Lap variety, which is clapboard with an extra notch along the top edge of each panel, designed to reproduce the effects of a hand-cut plank. These panels produce distinct shadow lines and since hand carved panels were traditionally harder to make and more expensive, they quickly became the symbol of wealthy homeowners.
In addition to its smooth “freshly painted” and natural wood grain styles, clapboard is available in colors across the spectrum, whether you want to recreate a historic New England look or make a bolder, more modern statement.
4. Vertical Siding
It’s a lot less common, so if you’re looking to make an architectural statement, vertical siding affords you the opportunity. From rustic country to modern barn, New England cottage to summer beach home, vertical siding can be used to cover the whole house or as an accent along lap siding. It is particularly effective at adding visual interest to a house that lacks design character.
Vertical siding enhances height on low walls, adds drama to entryways, and makes a great accent outside second-story rooms. Choose styles with beveled edges, or in the alternating wide and narrow boards favored by early colonial settlers.
One of the nicest features of vertical siding is its versatility. It can be used to create looks from traditional to modern, in similar color options that you’ve come to expect from vinyl.
Choosing Vinyl Siding
When it comes to choosing a vinyl siding to beautify your home and improve curb appeal, the distinction is in the details. Start by choosing a reputable manufacturer like CertainTeed so that you know you’re getting the best in quality and craftsmanship.
If a wood look is your priority, vinyl shingles that are molded from true cedar produce the most natural effects, so check on the manufacturing process as well.
Then take the time to consider the look you want to achieve. Light colors tend to make a home look larger, while dark ones are more dramatic and eye-catching. Light colored shingles with dark accents can draw attention to details that you’d like to highlight. And remember that there’s more to your home than siding! The shingles you choose should also complement your roof for a cohesive style and appearance.
If you’d like to explore the possibilities of vinyl and improve the curb appeal of your home, let us know. We’re available to answer your questions and show you just how beautiful your home can be.
Call us today for your free estimates: (973) 487-3704
The post appeared first on Siding & Windows by Tim Cahill.