Replacing the siding on your home is the decision you going to have to live with. You current siding could be in bad condition which only occurs with time and the elements that create the ware and tare. Keeping this in mind a new siding on the house will have to face the same time and elements that can cause it to breakdown. In North America there are five main siding products out there. All come with there benefits and faults, At the end you decide what is best for your home.
Most vinyl siding companies advertise a maintenance free siding and a lifetime warranty which is prorated. No vinyl warranties cover the fading of the colour. Vinyl siding can be repainted but high acrylic paint must be used as vinyl siding expands and contracts quite a bit. This expansion and contraction is has another concern which is that vinyl siding cannot be maintenance free as strips can buckle and fasteners can looses. Caulking is also used when replacing vinyl siding, after ten years new caulking is bound to in need of reapplication. As vinyl siding fades it becomes more and more difficult to replace damaged pieces as the colour difference can give a patch work appearance. Vinyl on the other hand does not scratch easily and has the ability to take hard knocks when fairly new. Older vinyl siding does become brittle over time.
Having cedar shake compared to cedar cedar siding installed makes a big difference in actual time to install. Cedar shake siding can take up to a month to install and generally requires more than just a ladder. Cedar siding should be treated or moss and algae will take over, treated cedar also keeps a fairly light colour giving it the appeal that it is much younger for much longer. Over time cedar can begin to curl due to moisture, the shake becomes very brittle and can split easily if knocked or messed with. Unless your cedar shake is half a inch thick, you have between twenty and thirty years before some cedar shake begin to split.
The downfall of aluminium is that it can cedar shake siding and dent easily, causing you grief when you need to replace a damaged piece. Replacing one piece can be harder said than done. Seamless Aluminium siding locks into place from the first piece to the last. To replace one piece you have to start at the last piece and move back to the beginning. The aluminium is pressed to resemble cedar shakes or planks, with multiple colours.
Now before money becomes the issue remember that there are fiber cement siding manufacturers that are making high quality products that are fire resistant, water proof, good layer of high quality paint and warranties that surpass some vinyl sidings. Fiber cement siding can be a big investment on the home. It can also be the biggest mistake. There are a lot of cheap imitations that fly on a few new construction homes which are not water proof at all and have a bad mix of base and fiber product. You have a nice looking house for about a year and suddenly you dealing with a failed product, do your homework before a fiber cement siding investment. It’s common for a popular fiber cement siding product from the South of North America to fail in the Pacific North West.