Curb Appeal4 min

What is Siding?


Siding is a protective material attached to the exterior of a house or other similar structure, such as a multifamily dwelling. On a house, siding is what helps defend against weather, impacts and other intrusive elements, such as insects. It also adds curb appeal and can help homeowners express their personal home style.

Here, we’ll explore more about siding’s meaning, discover different types of siding, see which siding is most durable, and learn how siding adds value to a home.

What Is the Purpose of Siding?

Siding is intended to provide an initial line of defense against any exterior elements that might threaten a structure. For example, siding can help prevent damage from insects like termites. It can also provide protection against weather issues, such as hail, wind, excessive moisture, and even extreme heat and cold temperatures.

Siding also offers defense against impacts, whether from storm debris or everyday objects, such as baseballs or material kicked up while mowing the lawn. Beyond protection, siding enhances the home’s exterior aesthetic with style elements such as color and texture.

What Is Siding Made of?

Siding can be made from many different materials. Here, we’ll examine the most common types of siding along with their benefits and drawbacks so you can decide what kind of siding is best for you. 

  • Engineered Wood Siding: Engineered wood strand technology allows this type of siding to maintain the classic, traditional look of wood while standing up to the elements. When installed correctly, LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding, for example, can resist wind gusts up to 200 miles per hour and can handle impact better than its competitors (check out these LP SmartSide durability videos for proof!). It’s also treated with the LP® SmartGuard® Process. During manufacturing, resins and waxes are mixed with wood strands, adding core strength. They also help resist moisture, fungal decay and termites. Beyond its inner strength, LP SmartSide siding also comes in a variety of textures, and LP® SmartSide® ExpertFinish® Trim & Siding comes in 16 versatile colors so that homeowners can get the look they want for their homes.
  • Traditional Wood Siding: For homeowners looking for natural charm, traditional wood siding is a sustainable choice with a classic appearance. Without treatment to protect against moisture, though, some may not be the best siding for humid climates. It tends to require more maintenance than other siding options, and it can be prone to fungal decay and termites as well.
  • Fiber Cement Siding: Made from sand, cement and cellulose fibers, fiber cement siding can offer many different styles to fit almost any homeowner’s needs. However, it can also become brittle and crack in colder temperatures. It is also more prone to damage on the jobsite, including cracking, and requires special tools to install.
  • Vinyl Siding: Vinyl siding is made primarily from polyvinyl chloride, and it generally represents a cost-effective siding option. However, design choices may be limited and it can be prone to breakage from impacts and damage in extreme weather. Hail damage on vinyl siding is common, as well as warping from high temperatures and sunlight, and all can be tricky to repair.
  • Aluminum Siding: While aluminum siding may be a win in the cost category, it is prone to dents and dings from impacts and does not provide the energy efficiency many homeowners look for. It can get very hot during warmer months, putting extra strain on HVAC systems, so it may not be the best siding for hot climates.
  • Plastic Siding: Also known as polymer siding, plastic siding is made from a slightly different plastic material than vinyl siding but offers the same pros and cons.

Does Siding Add Value to Your home?

If you’re wondering whether siding is good for your home, the answer is a resounding yes. Besides giving a home its unique look and feel, siding helps maintain a home’s structural integrity. Siding, especially engineered wood siding, adds value in many climates over other materials, such as stucco. For example, stucco can be prone to cracking in cold climates, but engineered wood siding resists freeze/thaw cycles.

Because siding is so critical, it’s important to choose a material that is proven to perform in even the toughest conditions. LP SmartSide Trim & Siding is one of the most durable siding solutions on the market, and it can help you achieve the look you want for your home without sacrificing the durability you need. When you’re weighing house siding options and cost, think beyond the basics and try engineered wood siding, such as LP SmartSide siding, which gives you the beauty and strength your home needs. 

Learn more about the durability and weatherability of LP SmartSide siding.

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