Metal Siding Benefits: Aluminum vs. Steel vs. Wood
When it comes time to build or remodel your home, the type of siding you choose will be a very important decision, and for two reasons. Firstly, the siding you put on your home will perhaps be the largest factor in how your house is presented to others. Secondly, siding acts as an insulator and protecting shell for your house.
Metal siding is a popular choice since, firstly, it has a number of aesthetic options to make sure your house looks good, and secondly, it is also a good choice for insulation and protection. In this article we will run you through the various options when it comes to metal siding for your home, and we will also consider the pros and cons of going with metal siding.
Metal Siding Options
When it comes to metal siding for houses, there are a variety of factors to consider. The two factors we will consider are the types of metal to choose from – aluminum and steel – and the types of siding available – corrugated, horizontal, and vertical.
Types of Metal
The two most common types of metal used in siding are aluminum and steel. Aluminum siding is lighter than steel and is thus easier to work with. Because of this, contractors will generally charge less in installation fees. Aluminum siding comes in a broad range of colors and styles, yet they have also been known to fade faster than steel siding.
The heavier steel siding, on the other hand, is better when it comes to durability and insulation. Steel siding can take more of a beating than aluminum, and you will not have to worry so much about denting. Steel siding is also able to withstand the elements better than aluminum, and can thus save you some cash in electrical bills.
Overall, steel siding is more expensive than aluminum, yet at the same time should last you longer. So, they should cost about the same in the long run.
Types of Siding
Once you have chosen the type of metal you would like, the next thing to consider is the type of siding that is right for you. Firstly, you need to decide whether you want your siding to be corrugated – that is, rippled as opposed to flat.
Corrugated metal siding is known to have great structural integrity, and is a great choice concerning durability and strength. Of course, you have the option between corrugated aluminum siding and corrugated steel siding.
Next, you ought to consider whether you would like your siding to be vertical or horizontal. Common practice seems to be that vertical metal siding is used in commercial and residential establishments, whereas horizontal siding is used more in fashionable settings. The vertical layout seems to be commonplace, whereas the horizontal layout seems to grab the eye’s attention. There are further aesthetic options to consider here. Would you like a more modern design or a more rustic one? If you prefer the former, go with clean spotless metal siding, yet if you prefer the latter, consider going with a metal siding that has a rusted, old look.
Pros and Cons of Metal Siding
If you are considering going with metal siding – whether it be aluminum or steel – you should be aware of both the pros and cons of this option. For another alternative would be to go with wood. Let’s run through the benefits and drawbacks of using metal siding.
Firstly, metal siding panels have the greatest options when it comes to the look. Indeed there are a variety of metal siding colors to choose from. Of course you can keep their native metal sheen, or you can go with a more rustic and rusted look. But besides this, you can even make your metal siding panels look like wood.
Secondly, it is more difficult for insects to penetrate metal siding, as compared to the wooden alternative.
Thirdly, metal siding will have a lower cost of maintenance compared to wooden siding. You will not have to worry about refinishing the metal like you would have to with wood.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, metal siding panels are far more fire resistant than wooden siding. And considering how these panels wrap completely around your house, it may indeed be a wise choice to go with the safe option here.
In considering the cons of metal siding we will look at those of aluminum first, and then those of steel.
We have already briefly touched on the fact that aluminum siding can easily be dented – indeed, it is prone to this type of damage to a much higher degree than wood. Also, when a panel is damaged it may be a major hassle to replace it. For example, it may be very difficult to find a panel that will match the color of your old aluminum siding panel. Also, in general, metal sidings scratch easier than wood, and can be pierced much easier than wood.
Moving on to steel siding, the first problem we note is that this metal siding has been known to rust over time. When it does, it can be quite an unseemly sight. However, you might be able to get around this problem by going with the rusted look in the first place. This does, however, limit your options drastically.
Yet, there are several measures you can take to deal with corrosion, such as anti-corrosive paints, applying galvanizing materials such as zinc and aluminum, and electroplating - coating a layer of a protective agent using an electrolytic bath.
Finally, steel metal siding panels are considered to be the most expensive of the bunch. And not only do they cost the most, but, since they are the heaviest, they are also the most expensive to install.
While siding is an important aspect of any house, due to the fact that it defines its outer appearance as well as acts as an insulator and protection, there are many options when it comes to what siding to go with. Metal siding is a very popular choice, and we have detailed both particular options here – either aluminum metal siding or steel – as well as the pros and cons inherent in these options.