Weighing Varieties of Siding
LESLIE: Charles in New Jersey is looking to talk about some siding options. How can we help you?
CHARLES: Yes, I was just curious. I wanted to know the benefits in regards to stone siding as compared to like a panel siding or a vinyl siding.
TOM: When you say panel siding, what kind of panels are you talking about, Charles?
CHARLES: Well I know down in Texas a buddy of mine has – it’s almost like a concrete panel.
TOM: Oh, you mean a fiber cement panel.
TOM: OK. Well, those are all real maintenance-free opportunities. I mean vinyl’s going to be the least expensive. Fiber cement is a little more expensive but it probably gives you a better return on investment when it comes time to sell the house.
Now, in terms of the stone, that’s probably – I would think that’s probably the most expensive but, again, it’s very maintenance-free.
LESLIE: But isn’t it also the most energy efficient as well?
TOM: No. Well, you think the stone is going to be more energy efficient?
LESLIE: Well, wouldn’t it be because it sort of acts like a fuller layer of insulation because you’re dealing with the mud base and the stone itself?
TOM: (overlapping voices) No, I don’t – you know, there could be some trapped air inside the stone but I’m telling you, I wouldn’t think of siding as my insulating layer. I would concentrate on the insulation in between the wall cavities. When it comes to siding what you want to do is stop the drafts and if you have a good vapor barrier underneath that – you know, something like Tyvek or something of that nature – that’s going to stop the drafts.
So, in terms of ranking these: vinyl – perfectly acceptable, inexpensive; fiber cement – looks great, very strong, very durable; and stone – if you like that look I would kind of put that right up there with fiber cement. Either way I think you’ll be in good shape, Charles.
CHARLES: OK. And what about durability as far as where I live there are a lot of rocks and when I mow the lawn sometimes rocks will shoot out and actually put holes in the vinyl siding.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) In the siding.
TOM: Yeah, well that’s a real good point and it’s very difficult to repair siding. We occasionally will get calls from folks that do have holes in their siding and usually we tell you to swap out the piece with the hole for another good piece somewhere else on the house; possibly in an area that’s not quite as obvious.