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Siding 101: Everything You Need To Know Before Your Home Makeover

Our home’s exterior plays a significant role in its overall appearance, curb appeal, and protection against the elements. When it comes to revamping your home’s exterior, one of the most impactful upgrades you can make is investing in new siding. Siding not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your home but also provides insulation and protection from weather damage. Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or considering a renovation project, this guide will equip you with the knowledge to make informed decisions and achieve the perfect look for your home.

What is Siding?

Siding is the exterior covering on the outside walls of a house or building. Siding protects the walls from weather damage and provides an aesthetic look. It is installed by nailing or gluing panels or planks to the structural framing of the walls during construction or remodeling. The most common types of siding are wood, vinyl, and fiber cement.

Types of Siding

  • Wood Siding

Wood siding like cedar shakes and shingles has remained popular for its attractive, natural look. However, it requires frequent repainting or staining to maintain its appearance and resist rotting.

  • Vinyl Siding

Vinyl is a top choice for its durability, low maintenance, and affordability. It comes in clapboard, dutch lap, shake, and other styles mimicking wood’s look. But it can dent, fade over time, and look “plastic-y.”

  • Fiber Cement
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Fiber cement sidings combine wood fibers and cement for a versatile product that’s impact, fire, and insect-resistant. It needs occasional paint touch-ups but less frequent full repainting than wood.

  • Engineered Wood

Engineered wood siding offers the look of wood with added durability. Options like LP SmartSide resist moisture and last longer between paint jobs.

  • Brick/Stone Veneer

Real or faux brick or stone veneer brings a classic, upscale look. It’s very durable but heavier and more expensive than other sidings.

  • Metal Siding

Aluminum and steel siding is extremely durable, low maintenance, and energy efficient. Look for painted or specialty finishes for aesthetics.

Installation Considerations

Before starting a siding project, consider your home’s size, number of windows/doors, and desired siding style to estimate materials needed and overall costs. Prepare your budget accordingly.

Removing existing siding takes time, as does prepping the structure underneath. Make sure to account for additional materials like flashing, sealants, framing repairs, or sheathing replacement that may be needed. Factor in the need to paint new siding if applicable.

While do-it-yourself siding replacement is possible, most homeowners hire professional siding installers for their experience and access to special equipment. Installation typically takes 2-3 days for an average single-family home.

Replacing siding requires proper permitting and may be subject to HOA approvals or local building codes for wind resistance, fire safety, and environmental factors. Research these requirements before planning your project.

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Maintenance Tips

New siding can transform your home’s look but don’t neglect maintenance. Inspect regularly for damage, leaks, or gaps at joints/edges. Repair as needed to prevent moisture problems.

Keep siding clean by washing annually with a garden hose and mild detergent; avoid high-pressure power washing. Refinish painted or stained siding per manufacturer recommendations, generally every 3-10 years.

Trim back vegetation to prevent rubbing/scratching siding. Install gutters to direct water away from the structure. Use downspout extensions to keep the lower siding dry.


When pondering a home exterior transformation, siding is vital to visual appeal, endurance, and expenses. Evaluating siding materials offered by local siding companies will shed light on the advantages and disadvantages of each. Devoting time to an informed siding decision reaps the rewards presently and upon selling. Connecting with a reputable siding company in Seattle guides to make the siding selection process straightforward.


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