Colonial Contracting, Inc. Siding Installation

Siding or wall cladding is the protective material attached to the exterior side of a wall of a house or other building. Along with the roof, it forms the first line of defense against the elements, most importantly sun, rain/snow, heat and cold, thus creating a stable, more comfortable environment on the interior side. The siding material and style also can enhance the building’s beauty. There is a wide and expanding variety of materials to side with, both natural and artificial, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Masonry walls as such do not require siding, but any wall can be sided. Walls that are internally framed, whether with wood, or steel I-beams, however, must always be sided.

Most siding consists of pieces of weather-resistant material that are smaller than the wall they cover, to allow for expansion and contraction of the materials due to moisture and temperature changes. There are various styles of joining the pieces, from board and batton, where the butt joints between panels is covered with a thin strip (usually 1 to 2 inches wide) of wood, to a variety of clapboard, also called lap siding, in which planks are laid horizontally across the wall starting from the bottom, and building up, the board below overlapped by the board above it. These techniques of joinery are designed to prevent water from entering the walls. Siding that does not consist of pieces joined together would include stucco, which is widely used in the Southwest. It is a plaster-like siding and is applied over a lattice, just like plaster. However, because of the lack of joints, it eventually cracks and is susceptible to water damage. Rainscreen construction is used to improve siding’s ability to keep walls dry.

Types of Siding

Cedar “shake” siding was used in early New England construction and was revived in Shingle Style and Queen Anne style architecture in the late 19th century.

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Clapboards

Wood siding in overlapping horizontal rows or “courses” is called clapboard, weatherboard (British English), or bevel siding which is made with beveled boards, thin at the top edge and thick at the butt.

In colonial North America, Eastern white pine was the most common material. Wood siding can also be made of naturally rot-resistant woods such as redwood or cedar.

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Drop siding

Jointed horizontal siding (also called “drop” siding or novelty siding) may be shiplapped or tongue and grooved (though less common). Drop siding comes in a wide variety of face finishes, including Dutch Lap (also called German or Cove Lap) and log siding (milled with curve).

Vertical boards

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Vertical siding may have a cover over the joint: board and batten, popular in American wooden Carpenter Gothic houses; or less commonly behind the joint called batten and board or reversed board and batten.

Wooden sheet siding

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Plywood sheet siding is sometimes used on inexpensive buildings, sometimes with grooves to imitate vertical shiplap siding. One example of such grooved plywood siding is the type called Texture 1-11 T1-11 or T111 (“tee-one-eleven”). There is also a product known as reverse board-and-batten RBB that looks similar but has deeper grooves. Some of these products may be thick enough and rated for structural applications if properly fastened to studs. Both T-11 and RBB sheets are quick and easy to install as long as they are installed with compatible flashing at butt joints.

Wood clapboard is often imitated using Vinly siding  or upvc weatherboarding. It is usually produced in units twice as high as clapboard. Plastic imitations of wood shingle and wood shakes also exist.

Since plastic siding is a manufactured product, it may come in unlimited color choices and styles. Historically vinyl sidings would fade, crack and buckle over time, requiring the siding to be replaced. However, newer vinyl options have improved and resist damage and wear better. Vinyl siding is sensitive to direct heat from grills, barbecues or other sources. Unlike wood, vinyl siding does not provide additional insulation for the building, unless an insulation material (e.g., foam) has been added to the product. It has also been criticized by some fire safety experts for its heat sensitivity. This sensitivity makes it easier for a house fire to jump to neighboring houses in comparison to materials such as brick, metal or masonry.

Vinyl siding has a potential environmental cost. While vinyl siding can be recycled, it cannot be burned (due to toxic dioxin gases that would be released). If dumped in a landfill, plastic siding does not break down quickly.

Vinyl siding is also considered one of the more unattractive siding choices by many. Although newer options and proper installation can eliminate this complaint, vinyl siding often has visible seam lines between panels and generally do not have the quality appearance of wood, brick, or masonry. The fading and cracking of older types of plastic siding compound this issue. In many areas of newer housing development, particularly in North America, entire neighborhoods are often built with all houses clad in vinyl siding, given an unappealing uniformity. Some cities now campaign for house developers to incorporate varied types of siding during construction.

Imitation brick or stone–asphalt siding

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A predecessor to modern maintenance free sidings was asphalt brick siding. Asphalt impregnated panels (about 2 feet by 4 feet) gave the appearance of brick or even stone. Many buildings have this siding, especially old sheds and garages. If the panels are straight and level and not damaged, the only indication that they are not real brick may be seen at the corner caps. Trademarked names included Insulbrick, Insulstone, Insulwood. Commonly used names now are faux brick, lick it and stick it brick, and ghetto brick. Often such siding is now covered over with newer metal or plastic siding. Today thin panels of real brick are manufactured for veneer or siding.

Insulated Siding has emerged as a new siding category in recent years. Considered an improvement over Vinyl Siding, insulated siding is custom fit with expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) that is fused to the back of the siding, which fills the gap between the home and the siding.

Products provide environmental advantages by reducing energy use by up to 20 percent. On average, insulated siding products have an R-value of 3.96, triple that of other exterior cladding materials. Insulated siding products are typically energy star qualified, engineered in compliance with environmental standards set by the U.S. Department of Energy and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

In addition to reducing energy consumption, insulated siding is a durable exterior product, designed to last more than 50 years, according to manufacturers. The foam provides rigidity for a more ding- and wind-resistant siding, maintaining a quality look for the life of the products. The foam backing also creates straighter lines when hung, providing a look more like that of wood siding, while remaining low maintenance.

Manufacturers report that insulated siding is permeable or “breathable”, allowing water vapor to escape, which can protect against rot, mold, and mildew, and help maintain healthy indoor air quality.

Metal siding comes in a variety of metals, styles, and colors. It is most often associated with modern, industrial, and retro buildings. Utilitarian buildings often use corrugated galvanized steel sheet siding or cladding, which often has a colored vinyl finish. Corrugated aluminum cladding is also common where a more durable finish is required, while also being lightweight for easy shaping and installing making it a popular metal siding choice.

Formerly, imitation wood clapboard was made of aluminum (aluminum siding). That role is typically played by vinyl siding today. Aluminum siding is ideal for homes in coastal areas (with lots of moisture and salt) since aluminum reacts with air to form aluminum oxide, an extremely hard coating that seals the aluminum surface from further degradation. In contrast, steel forms rust, which can weaken the structure of the material, and corrosion-resistant coatings for steel, such as zinc, sometimes fail around the edges as years pass. However, an advantage of steel siding can be its dent-resistance, which is excellent for regions with severe storms—especially if the area is prone to hail. Which we here at Colonial can help maximize the full capacity of your claim. 

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