Because of the variance of siding materials, the ways to compare them number quite a few. For the most part, the prominent siding materials (vinyl, metal, wood, engineered wood, stucco) are all sound. They carry advantages and disadvantages depending on what you need and where you live. To determine which material is the best for your home, consider performance, cost, maintenance, and versatility. These are generalizations about these siding materials, so remember the best person to ask is a siding contractor.
Siding PerformanceThe performance of siding materials breaks down into efficiency, durability, and damage.
Stucco siding is the most efficient siding product.
The others are not far behind, but this material became popular and wide-spread in the southwest because it kept the cool air in the house even as the sun beat down. If you’ve ever lived in a brick home you understand how easily bricks heat up then warm the home, which can be murder on a summer day in the south. Stucco is thick enough that it repels the heat from getting in and cool air from getting out, and just the opposite in the winter.
Metal is very efficient,
but not that far ahead of vinyl. Both metal and vinyl are excellent insulators, not to mention vinyl comes in a very high performance breed that carries extra insulation. However, metal outperforms vinyl in extreme cold.
Wood is a solid fourth, not inefficient or non-protective, but manufactured siding products have an edge in outperforming natural ones. Engineered Wood holds up well to extreme temperatures, humidity & moisture. Special waxes & resins coat the wood to help resist moisture intrusion.
DurabilityMetal siding & engineered wood are extremely durable, but vinyl has had no problem keeping up in recent years.
Vinyl siding and aluminum siding are pretty equal. Vinyl won’t dent or scratch or need to be repainted since it is one solid material, the same color throughout. And aluminum outperforms every other material close to the ocean because it can resist the corrosiveness of the salty air. While vinyl may not need to be painted it often gets cracked, which is easy and quick to repair, but metal never breaks despite how easily it dents.
If wood is treated routinely it will stave off water damage, dry rot, and insects, although as wood begins to dry over time it will begin to split and bow and allow more elements into small places. Engineered Wood stands up well to insects, rock damages & heavy winds. Over time, engineered wood outlasts wood in terms of maintenance and damages.
Stucco siding at times can feel like it has a target on it. Woodpeckers can make softball sized holes in less than an hour, and because of its porous nature it will soak up nearly any color of stain, tree sap, or chemical and color the siding. It is also easily damaged by sports balls and direct strikes by bats or clubs or children.
siding, whatever type you have, to carry some of the burden.