Engineered Wood Siding:
Engineered wood utilizes wood products combined with other ingredients and lots of glue.
This product is usually sold as a sheet or panel and is relatively inexpensive, easy and quick to install.
The major downside is that it doesn't look natural, especially up close. Some engineered wood siding products are manufactured to take the place of clapboard siding.
As it is a wood by-product it does require regular maintenance.
Natural stone such as marble and granite is quite common on commercial office towers and other buildings.
It is generally not considered to be a siding or veneer for homes. This is because the materials are extremely heavy, require special equipment for installation, are very expensive and require engineered structural support to keep them in place.
The picture on the left shows Vermont marble used to enhance the front of a home and is blended with a vertical siding on the rest of the home.
Seamless Steel Siding:
Seamless steel siding is not a product for the home handyman as the material is made to the specific measurements of your home and actually wraps around corners without seams.
It is an extremely durable product, with a long life, that does not shrink or expand during temperature fluctuations.
Seamless steel is available in a variety of colors and is even manufactured with a faux wood finish to simulate clapboard.
Although it is yet to be overly popular on residential buildings it is being used in commercial applications more frequently.
Stucco is basically plaster (cement, sand, lime) used on the exterior of a home.
It is very durable and has been used for centuries, originating in Italy where it was used to create ornate patterns on exterior walls.
To install stucco, you must first nail a wire mesh over the surface area that is to have the stucco. The wire mesh provides a bonding surface for the stucco material.
Stucco is a relatively easy product to work with, although it does require some practice to obtain a smooth finish. Stucco can be tinted before application or painted afterward.
Vinyl siding is probably the most environmentally unfriendly siding that can be used and because of this it has lost some of its popularity.
It is popular because it is relatively inexpensive, easy to install, will not rot and it is termite proof.
However, it does have some major drawbacks. Vinyl siding is prone to, cracking, especially in climates where temperature changes are seasonally dramatic, and to fading, especially in areas with high UV concentrations.
Vinyl siding is easy to install, a project for most home handymen, and is available at most big box home improvement centers, in a variety of colors, textures and trim moldings to match.
Wood siding has been around for over ahundred years. Generally known as "clapboard" itis milled from a variety of tree species.
The major negative of wood siding is thatit is a very high maintenance material. Itrequires ongoing painting, staining or sealing in order to preserve the integrity of the product and protect your home from the elements.
Manufactured to be installed in vertical or horizontal finish, depending on the grooving of the material, it can generally be layered over other siding products.
It is an excellent product for the home handyman is works well with lumber and it requires no specialized power tools for its installation.