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Choosing Sides Part 1: Vinyl Vs. Steel Vs. Cement Siding

home being sided

Choosing the perfect home siding material and profile can be a daunting task full of questions. With significant advances in siding technologies in recent years, however, you really can’t go wrong choosing between vinyl, steel or cement siding materials. It really depends which siding attributes are right for your tastes and home.

Vinyl Siding

Delivering exceptional performance in an array of colors and designs, vinyl siding is more popular than ever. Another reason vinyl siding has remained popular through the years is its affordability as a practical and desirable home cladding.

Following are some of the attractive attributes of vinyl:

  • Choose from several colors and styles.
  • It replicates the visual look of other materials, especially wood.
  • Available in horizontal, vertical, shake, shingle, dutch lap and seamless installations.
  • Holds up very well under the elements.
  • It won’t rot, rust or dent, and it’s insect resistant.
  • Requires less maintenance than wood sidings.
  • Energy-efficient installations are available with solid core.

Steel Siding

Steel siding is a very durable home cladding that, like vinyl, is available in practically any color you may want. The strong steel sheets, panels and shingles are typically coated with a protective layer of zinc or vinyl, which protects the steel from rusting.

Following are some of the attractive and strong attributes of steel siding:

  • Steel siding is resistant to fire and insects.
  • It’s also durable against extreme temperatures, ice, dents and cracking.
  • Maintenance is on par with vinyl siding — occasionally washing it to keep it looking new.
  • Steel may be manufactured to replicate the look of practically any cladding — including brick.
  • You may choose darker colors since steel is resistant to fading.
  • Give your home a seamless look with on-site fabrication.
  • Coated with cool-technology materials, steel siding is energy efficient.
  • Steel can be installed any time of year.
  • Steel siding typically offers fantastic warranties.

Cement Siding

Fiber cement siding is a composite manufactured of sand, cement and cellulose fibers. Aesthetically, cement siding is often installed in an overlapping horizontal board profile, clapboard and imitation shingles. Additionally, fiber cement is manufactured in sheets, which is also used for soffit lining and tile underlay, and utilized for fascias substitutes.

Following are benefits of installing fiber cement siding:

  • Fiber cement may be manufactured to give the warm look and feel of wood, but without the more intensive maintenance.
  • It may be manufactured for a smooth finish, or to replicate practically any material.
  • Cement siding is resistant to water, fire, rot and insects.
  • Paint your fiber cement siding any color you like!
  • Extremely durable, fiber cement siding may last 50 years.
  • Fiber cement is environmentally friendly.

Unlike vinyl and steel, fiber cement siding needs to be painted every 15 to 20 years. This requires more labor and expense down the road, but it also means you can change the color of your home as you see fit.

To learn more about your options for siding materials, please contact Innovative Building & Design. Also, be sure to catch next month’s article, “Choosing Sides Part 2: Horizontal Vs. Vertical Vs. Shingle Siding.”

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5 Home Improvement Ideas to Consider Before Fall

Home improvement projects offer many benefits, from energy savings, improved comfort, increased home value, additional living space and just happier everyday living. After all, why move when you can remodel? Consider these five home improvement ideas to spruce up the home you love this fall.

Kitchen Upgrades

kitchen-remodeling-innovative-building-and-design-mn-2The kitchen is the heart of the home for many people. So, remodeling your kitchen can pay off in quality of living and with greater energy savings. From modest kitchen upgrades, such as some fresh paint and drawer roll outs, to installing Energy Star-certified appliances and new counters and flooring, you can make your home more inviting and boost your home’s value.

  • Look for energy-efficient refrigerators and dishwashers. Remember, your refrigerator is on all of the time. Paying a little more for your new model pays off in better features, beauty and lifetime energy savings.
  • Functionality is an important element of any kitchen. Maximize storage and space with customized cabinets and counters suited to your tastes and your home’s personality.
  • Updated kitchen sinks add better service, features and style. Don’t forget to install a point-of-use water filtration system for more healthful and better tasting water.

Bathroom Remodeling and Construction

luxury-home-bathroom-remodeling-1Another home improvement idea that adds to the enjoyment of your home is Remodeling your bathroom, and you can save energy and water with the right upgrades! Installing a new shower, efficient and beautiful LED lighting, a fresh sink and even a skylight or light tunnel saves energy and hundreds of gallons of water each year.

Whether you are updating your master bathroom or constructing an additional half or whole bathroom, work with a professional contractor that can help maximize your space and investment.

Sealing and Insulation

Air sealing and insulation helps keep your home more comfortable and efficient all year long, and they are practical upgrades that you may do yourself. Use these tips:

  • Air seal your home before you insulate.
  • A lit incense stick can locate air leaks around entry doors and windows. When the smoke wavers, you’ve found an air leak!
  • Use caulk and weatherstripping to seal cracks around window frames, doors and the attic hatch. Door sweeps stop drafts under your doors.
  • Add insulation up to 20-inches depth for maximum energy savings.

Window Treatments

siding-contractor-mn-800x321Your windows can add charm to your home’s interior and exterior. Windows are also notorious to adding to your energy bill, too. Consider the following window treatments to spruce up your home, improve comfort and save energy:

  • Solar shades are available in many transparencies to keep your views, add more privacy and to block all sunlight.
  • Install awnings on sun-struck rooms to substantially reduce heat gain and your energy bills.
  • Storm shutters are one of the most energy-efficient window treatments that also protect your home from harsh weather.

Home Siding

james-hardie-siding-home-mn-800x321Boost your home’s curb appeal and efficiency by upgrading your cladding. Siding of various materials are the way to go when it comes to eye-popping beauty, ease of maintenance, durability and energy efficiency. Moreover, you have your choice of the ever-popular vinyl siding, steel siding, cement board, cedar and many more options, styles and colors.

To learn more about these five home improvement ideas, please contact the experts at Innovative Building & Design today!