Siding is the outer covering or cladding of a house meant to shed water and protect from the effects of weather. On a building that uses siding, it may act as a key element in the aesthetic beauty of the structure and directly influence its property value. Siding may be formed of horizontal boards or vertical boards (known as weatherboarding in many countries), shingles, or sheet materials. In all four cases, avoiding wind and rain infiltration through the joints is a major challenge, met by overlapping, by covering or sealing the joint, or by creating an interlocking joint such as a tongue-and-groove or rabbet. Since building materials expand and contract with changing temperature and humidity, it is not practical to make rigid joints between the siding elements. Siding may be made of wood, metal, plastic (vinyl), masonry , or composite materials. It may be attached directly to the building structure (studs in the case of wood construction), or to an intermediate layer of horizontal planks called sheathing.
Natural Stone Veneer is made from real stone that is either collected i.e. Fieldstone, or from quarried stone. The stone is sawn so that it is a consistent thickness and weight for use as a veneer. This stone is often called Thin Stone Veneer. Manufactured Stone Veneer is a decorative building material manufactured to replicate the look of natural stone. The names artificial stones, stacked stone veneer, manufactured stone, flexible stone veneer are also used for stone veneer. Stone veneer is fabricated by pouring a lightweight concrete mix to rubber forms of different style and then painted with a coloring process which makes it resemble real stone. The stone veneer produced is then attached to walls with special mortars. Flexible stone veneer is fabricated by pulling a thin layer of stone from a slab of slate, sandstone, or mica schist. It is backed by a composite material.
As a building material, stucco is a durable, attractive, and weather-resistant wall covering. It was traditionally used as both an interior and exterior finish applied in one or two thin layers directly over a solid masonry, brick or stone surface. The finish coat usually contained an integral color and was typically textured for appearance. Stucco or render is a material made of an aggregate, a binder, and water. Stucco is applied wet and hardens to a very dense solid. It is used as a coating for walls and ceilings and for decoration. Stucco may be used to cover less visually appealing construction materials such as concrete, cinder block, or clay brick and adobe.
Fiber cement is a composite material made of sand, cement and cellulose fibers. In appearance fiber cement siding most often consists of overlapping horizontal boards, imitating wooden siding, clapboard and imitation shingles. Fiber cement siding is also manufactured in a sheet form and is used not only as cladding but is also commonly used as a soffit / eave lining and as a tile underlay on decks and in bathrooms. CSR Fiber Cement sheet cladding – dwelling addition, Hardys Bay, NSW, Australia. Fiber cement siding is not only used as an exterior siding, it can also be utilized as a substitute for timber fascias and barge boards in high fire areas.
Vinyl siding was introduced to the exterior cladding market in the late 1950s. It was first produced by an independently-owned manufacturing plant in Columbus, Ohio. The process was originally done through mono-extrusion. At that time, blending of colors was done manually, and the product was little more than a replacement for aluminum siding. This original process made it difficult to produce and install a consistent, quality product. Beginning in the 1970s, a transformation of the product began, with the industry engineering formulation changes. These changes affected the product’s production speed, impact resistance, and range of colors. In the following decade vinyl siding grew steadily in popularity in large part due to its durability, versatility, and ease of maintenance. Today, vinyl siding is the most commonly used siding product in the United States. As the product continues to grow, the Vinyl Siding Institute regulates manufacturers and sponsors installation certification programs for contractors.
Engineered wood siding is easier and less costly to install than real wood siding. It is lighter in weight than wood and features advances that make installation easier, like LP’s SmartLock self-aligning edge design. Engineered wood siding can be purchased pre-primed, ready to paint, or pre-finished in any number of finish options, which reduces the field and labor time once installed. The boards are coated with a moisture-resistant overlay that is embossed with a cedar-grain pattern for an authentic appearance. The process of treating each wood wafer with zinc borate, using a heavy-duty exterior glue, and pressing the product under heat and pressure, results in one solid piece of wood.
Having a Professional Home Inspector inspect your home prior to purchase will allow your new homes cladding to be inspected by a Professional like the Barrie Home Inspector. He will inspect for cladding of siding failure or poor installation techniques. Having all the information available is paramount prior to purchasing real estate, whether for investment or for your new home.