Choosing Sides Part 2: Horizontal Vs. Vertical Vs. Shingle Siding

Siding makes a big difference in the way your home looks. This is an obvious point covered in our previous blog, “Choosing Sides Part 1: Vinyl Vs. Steel Vs. Cement Siding”. However, it’s an important point to keep in mind when you are designing your home’s new look.

Some of your design choices may quite literally put weight on the costs of materials and labor, such as with heavy fiber cement clapboards or shingles. Or, you may consider the ease of maintenance that vertical vinyl siding affords.

When you are considering the curb appeal and character of your home, however, you’ll need to decide between siding installation styles of vertical, horizontal or shingles. Here are some tips to help you decide.

Horizontal Siding

Horizontal siding installation is the most traditional style of the three options. Regardless of the siding material used, horizontal siding is designed to replicate wood cladding. Further, considering that roughly 80% of homeowners choose horizontal siding, horizontal siding style must be the most aesthetically pleasing, too!

However, there are other factors involved in choosing horizontal siding over vertical or shingle siding — materials, labor and weather resistance.

Vertical Siding

Vertical siding style is more commonly installed on commercial buildings, schools, libraries, retail businesses and other non-residential buildings. However, vertical siding installations are becoming more popular. Following are some of the reasons:

  • Aesthetics: Vertical siding style makes a home look taller. It draws your eye to the roof. A vertical siding style makes your home stand out among others on your block, and it may be used to accent a horizontal siding installation.
  • Maintenance: It’s simply easier to clean a vertical siding installation than it is to clean a horizontal siding style. Less maintenance saves time and money through the years.
  • Weather resistance: It would seem to appear that a horizontal siding style would be more weather resistant than a vertical style. After all, clapboards overlap in a horizontal style, which allows water to wash straight down with gravity. However, horizontal clapboards typically don’t extend the entire length of your home. This means that seams are susceptible to lifting over time and allowing in the elements.

Vertical siding style also has a few drawbacks. The costs of materials and labor are more for vertical compared to a horizontal siding style. This is because furring strips must be installed between the vertical siding pieces to protect against water leakage and to give a level, smooth finish.

Shingle Siding

Shingle siding creates a distinctive appearance for your home that is charming, rustic and rugged all at the same time. Shingles also give your home depth that horizontal and vertical siding styles don’t.

Vinyl and fiber cement materials are most often used for shingle siding, and both replicate cedar shingles very well. In fact, it is quite difficult to differentiate between vinyl, cement fiber and cedar shingles from just a short distance.

Your design options are the same as installing real cedar, such as lap, beveled, traditional straight edge, traditional staggered edge and round edge.

If you have questions about choosing siding styles or materials, contact the professionals at Innovative Building & Design to learn more!


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.”


Should I Repair or Replace My Shingle Roof?

By the time you detect a problem with your shingle roof, such as water stains on your ceiling, your roof may have already suffered damage too expensive for repair. However, a shingle roof replacement isn’t automatically necessary.

Each roofing system and home are different, and each requires a comprehensive evaluation. If you are facing the touch decision whether to repair or replace your shingle roof, read on for helpful tips and advice.

Indicators of Major Roofing Problems

A troubled roofing system should be inspected by your professional roofer. Though, there are telltale signs to the type and extent of roofing damage your home has suffered.

The following signs of roofing damage are good indicators that a shingle roof replacement may be your best option:

  • Shingles are missing, buckling or cracking.
  • Water stains are found in your home.
  • Attic insulation is wet from roof leaks.
  • An abundance of shingle granules in the gutter system indicates widespread shingle failure.
  • This isn’t the first time your roof needed repairs.
  • Ice dams form on your roof every winter.
  • Your roof isn’t professionally inspected or serviced each year.
  • Your shingle roof is more than 15 years old.

Cost Considerations

If cost weren’t a factor, you wouldn’t be reading these roof repair and replacement tips. Cost is always an important factor. However, you should be smart about how you factor the total cost of a roof repair or replacement.

Ask your roofing pro to conduct a lifetime cost analysis of repairing or replacing your roofing system. For example, if you are facing a costly repair and your roof is older than 10 or 15 years, it’s average service life is nearing.

This means your old roof won’t offer security against future problems, nor will it be energy efficient — costing you in higher energy bills.

On the other hand, if it’s estimated your roof has plenty of good years of service left, a repair may be just what the doctor ordered. To determine this, your roofing contractor can show you the cost of the repair, estimated costs of future repairs and energy efficiency losses or savings.

This is compared to the lifetime cost of your new shingle roof replacement. A new roof will save you energy dollars for the life of the new roof, save money on repair costs and may provide you 30 years of excellent service life.

The benefits of a roof replacement are clear, but do they outweigh the less expensive first cost of the immediate repair?

Decision Time

If you decide to go with the repair at hand, keep in mind any additional damage that could occur is you experience roofing problems again.

  • Do you have to replace any attic insulation?
  • Were your walls, paint, wallpaper or other materials damaged?
  • Is there potential for insect or mold infestation in decaying timber?

These are all important and realistic questions to ask and answer. If you want the best answers about shingle roof replacement or repair, work with a reputable, honest and qualified roofing contractor. Contact Innovative Building & Design today!