A Buyer’s Guide to Choosing Siding Panels

Published on: August 18, 2021

New siding panels can provide an instant home makeover and have an excellent return on investment as far as home improvement projects go. 

Although installing new siding can be a large investment, it offers a 74 percent return on investment, according to Remodeling Magazine.

So what can you expect to pay for new siding? The average vinyl siding project costs $14,000. That’s why it’s important to learn about different types of siding, how timeless the look of that siding is and what you can expect as far as durability.

This guide offers insights to help you balance your style, budget and maintenance requirements for a variety of siding styles and materials.

How to Pick Siding Panels

There are three main considerations when evaluating siding panels. 

  1. Color fading: you don’t want to go through the work of selecting new siding only for it to look tired and faded within a few years. As you evaluate siding styles, carefully consider the impacts sun fading will have on your new siding.
  2. Temperature change: some materials perform better under hot and cold temperatures. Thankfully, Washington is temperate, meaning most homeowners in the area don’t have to worry too much about this. But you also don’t want one day of extreme weather to damage your siding investment.
  3. Wind: once again, Washington isn’t known for being especially windy, but your home could sustain a windstorm during the life of your siding. You want to make sure your siding can stand up to the elements if that happens in your area.

Siding Purchasing Best Practices

Thanks to modern manufacturing techniques, siding materials like vinyl can look like a variety of siding styles. Now you can focus on picking the material that is right for your home and way of life and then select the style you want that material in.

With more options, now you can choose your siding based on durability and long-term wear instead of design. Learn these best practices when selecting the best siding.

  • More expensive doesn’t always mean better: just because you pay more for a type of siding does not mean that it will wear better. You have to weigh the pros and cons of various siding types. In fact, it might even be beneficial for you to look at siding materials before reviewing pricing materials so that you’re certain you’re selecting the best for your home.

Let Us Help You Choose the Right Siding Panels

  • Cutting corners to save money can be expensive: just like you can’t just select the most expensive siding, be careful of cutting too many corners to save money. Homeowners sometimes want to just put new siding over the old. But that will provide a strange look to your home and mask any damage to the sheathing that you should repair as part of the siding job.

  • Carefully select your installation team: poorly installed siding is a nightmare. Buckling and warping could become a serious eyesore and present hazards to protecting your home. If left untreated, it could lead to water damage or even structural damage. Select your installation team carefully. Read reviews, ask for referrals and look into warranties. You want to make sure that your siding installation partner knows what they are doing and will stand behind their work.

  • Get multiple quotes: savvy shoppers get at least three quotes from local siding installation teams. That way, you know whether the contractor’s pricing is fair and you’ll get the chance to meet various teams to see which ones are right for your home. Ask about what’s included in the quote and how they handle payment. Requiring full payment before the work is done could mean that you’re left without any leverage to request fixes or changes if the work is not done properly.

  • Do the required maintenance: to get the most out of your siding, you’ll need to be prepared to do any required maintenance or repair. If you see siding coming off your home or buckling in any way, get an expert out to look at it as soon as possible. Don’t let these issues linger as they could cause structural damage or expand beyond the original location.

Siding Options

Armed with more information about key considerations for selecting siding, you’re ready to begin selecting the siding for your Seattle area home. Here’s a look at the primary siding types, the styles you can accomplish with them and important things to keep in mind.

Vinyl Siding

vinyl siding
Vinyl is one of the most popular siding panels. It’s durable, inexpensive, and comes in many options.

Vinyl siding is some of the most affordable siding options available. You won’t have to paint this type of siding or worry about warping. Plus, vinyl siding offers great protection from insects and water damage. 

Double-hem nailing areas on siding can provide a stronger installation to help keep your siding from rattling. Plus, it can stand up better to severe weather. Also, adding a foam backing to vinyl siding could offer your home better insulation to aid in energy efficiency. 

Selecting longer paneled siding reduces the number of seams. This helps prevent damage to your siding to keep it looking better longer.

Vinyl Siding Styles

  • Woodgrain
  • Beaded seam
  • Board and batten
  • Cedar shake
  • Straight edge/hand-split shakes
  • Half-round shingles
  • Log

Vinyl Siding Considerations

  • Rattling (though proper installation and maintenance can prevent this)
  • Cracking
  • Melting

Plastic Siding

plastic siding
Plastic siding is another good paneling option. However it’s more expensive than vinyl.

Plastic siding is another great lookalike option for some of the more modern siding styles. And it is significantly thicker than vinyl, which can mean better durability with minimum maintenance. However, since it is thicker, you’ll probably pay more for it.

Plastic Siding Styles

  • Shingles
  • Shakes

Plastic Siding Considerations

  • Expense

Composite (Fiber Cement) Siding

fiber cement siding
Fiber cement siding is an excellent option, but one that needs to be painted more often.

Composite siding is a blend of sand, cellulose and cement that manufacturers design to look like wood. HardiePlank is one of our favorite composite siding options. This type of siding is fire and insect resistant. However, it can be susceptible to water damage, and you’ll need to paint it every 10-15 years. 

Composite Siding Styles

  • Wood lookalike

Composite Siding Considerations

  • Requires regular painting
  • Limited color selection for factory-painted planks

Wood Siding

wood siding
Wood is a classic siding panel solution. It looks beautiful, however it is one of the more

There’s nothing more charming than wood siding for a home. However, it’s also one of the most expensive siding options. You have many finishing options for how to complete your wood siding. You can keep its natural color and grain or paint it a certain color. But no matter how you finish your wood siding, be prepared for repainting it regularly. 

Wood Siding Styles

  • Shingles
  • Clapboard
  • Log

Wood Siding Considerations

  • Expense
  • Warping
  • Rot
  • Insects
  • Susceptible to fire
  • Requires regular painting/staining

Stone or Brick Siding

stone siding

Stone and brick siding are some of the most durable options available. But even though they can last up to 100 years, many homeowners choose to go other routes for their siding due to the expense and installation timeframes. The look of a stone or brick home is timeless but to make it worth the money, you’ll need to plan to stay in the home for many decades.

Stone or Brick Styles

  • Stone
  • Brick

Stone or Brick Siding Considerations

  • Expense
  • Lengthy installation times

Seattle, Washington, Siding Contractor

No matter what siding panels you select, having a good siding contractor will be essential to the longevity and quality of your siding. And a good contractor can recommend siding styles and materials that will work best with your home. 

Contact us for a free in-home consultation and estimate. We’ll walk through key considerations based on what we see during our assessment. We promise we won’t use any high-pressure sales tactics.

Further reading:


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