Are you thinking about updating the exterior look of your older home? Or are you a new homeowner looking to transform your newly purchased house? Typically, homeowners look to invest in new siding when they want to make an aesthetic and functional improvement. With plenty of available siding options on the market nowadays, though, which material should you choose for your Northern Virginia home?
Whether you have a damaged siding that needs immediate replacement or you want to install a new one for a newly built house, you will need to familiarize yourself with the different types of materials that can be used on the exterior of your home. When you consult with expert home improvement contractors in Springfield, VA, like Orion Home Improvements, you’ll be able to choose from a variety of siding options so you can achieve the look you want without sacrificing comfort. In this blog post, we list six of your best siding options in our region, along with their features and benefits, to help you make an informed decision for your home.
Understanding Virginia’s Local Climate
Here in Virginia, we’re lucky enough to enjoy a “Goldilocks” climate—one that is not too hot and not too cold. From a temperature perspective, that’s a pretty good description. When you start considering the elements we have to deal with regularly, though, constant fluctuation might seem like a more accurate description. The truth is, Virginia, particularly the Northern region, experiences year-round rainfall and big swings in temperature. We could experience below freezing at the start of the year, and in the summer months, temperatures could eclipse 100°F. Harsh elements such as hail, high winds and thunderstorms can also impact the exterior of our Northern Virginia homes.
Keep in mind that siding is among your first line of defense against these weather conditions. Ignoring maintenance or choosing the wrong material can lead to premature wear-and-tear that ultimately degrades your home value. Not to worry, though. We can help you choose the right siding materials to balance protection and curb appeal in the Northern Virginia climate.
6 Ideal Siding Materials for Local Homeowners
In the Northern Virginia region, your home might experience anything from coastal salt and sand, to high humidity and mountain winds. In an area where weather patterns are dynamic, your siding in Springfield, VA, needs to perform excellently to withstand whatever nature throws its way. Some of our top siding picks are the following:
Who needs it: If you’re looking for a wide array of choices in style, texture and color, but want one that is economical and low-maintenance, vinyl siding is for you.
According to data from the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction and National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) analysis, nearly two-thirds of homes in the Northern Virginia region have vinyl siding, so you know it’s a good choice. Also used for replacement windows in Fairfax, VA, this siding material is great for wet, humid areas because it has the ability to resist water absorption and won’t flake or rot. It also performs against heat and wind excellently. Known to be low-maintenance, vinyl siding is probably the most popular among other siding materials on the market. Once installed, you may not need to paint your exterior every two or three years.
Fairfax, VA, and the rest of the Northern Virginia areas gets around 38.29 inches of rainfall per year, more than the popularly wet and humid Seattle area at 37.7 inches. To keep your vinyl siding in good shape, you may need to protect it with a good roof overhang. Watch this YouTube video by Consumer Reports to learn more about this great siding material.
2. Fiber Cement
Who needs it: If you want an authentic wood look without the common downsides of wood and at a more economic price, fiber cement is the siding material for you. Also, if you live near the ocean, fiber cement is a better option than wood in terms of upkeep.
Fiber cement is an increasingly popular siding material choice for homeowners, and is actually the second most commonly used material, after vinyl. This innovative option is a mixture of wood fibers, sand and cement. Due to its components, it can be made to look exactly like natural wood, minus its downsides. For example, fiber cement is more inspect-proof and fire-proof than real wood and won’t also succumb to wood rot in the same way that real wood can. In fact, even if you live near the ocean here in the Northern Virginia region, fiber cement will surely hold up far longer than natural wood will in the salty, moist air. It’s also a cost-effective option, even if it is slightly costlier than vinyl.
Many Virginia homeowners fancy fiber cement because as far as color choice goes, you’re only limited by the paint color you use. James Hardie®’s fiber cement siding, in particular, is available in virtually any color possible. Thanks also to its ColorPlus® technology, you’ll get a gorgeous color that has longevity compared to the average paint job.
Who needs it: You want aluminum siding if you’re looking to have a stylish exterior that is easy-to-clean and long-lasting.
Although it’s a bit pricier than vinyl, aluminum siding is another popular option among Northern Virginia homeowners. Aluminum offers a wide variety of color and style choices, helping make your Fairfax, Alexandria or Springfield home look its best. Aluminum, however, can easily sustain rust. Fortunately, it is easy to clean, and if kept in good condition, can last for many years. Dents is also a common problem among aluminum siding products. To protect against issues like this, you need to schedule regular inspections and repairs with a trusted provider of home improvement service in Alexandria, VA.
Who needs it: If you want an exterior that looks like wood but is more lightweight, go for fiberglass siding.
The biggest benefit you could get from fiberglass siding is the fact that it’s lightweight. The reduced weight it offers could make it easier for your home’s structure to maintain the siding. This is also low-maintenance, which means you do not have to paint or caulk it regularly to preserve its aesthetics. This also means you can spend more time on more important tasks or hobbies than maintaining your exterior siding.
Another great thing about fiberglass is it’s versatile. Like fiber cement, this particular siding material comes in a plethora of color options. Most fiberglass products have an acrylic finish that is thicker, and therefore lasts longer, than the paint on other siding alternatives. Finally, fiberglass is environmentally friendly; after all, one of its major components is sand, which is a sustainable material.
Who needs it: If you like a strong aesthetic, a long-lasting home façade and don’t live in a rain-soaked or quake-prone area, stucco is an excellent choice.
Traditional stucco is composed of lime, sand and cement, but with today’s technological advancements, you can now purchase a synthetic alternative. When most homeowners picture stucco, they imagine the typical boring, monotonous exterior, but stucco siding can actually be installed in a variety of textures.
One reason stucco remains one of the most popular siding materials not only in Northern Virginia but in the whole country is because of its lasting power; it can last for up to 100 years with little to no maintenance. In addition, dealing with damage is fairly easy because minor issues can be fixed alone, rather than having to replace the whole façade. There are two areas, however, where stucco isn’t ideal: areas with frequent heavy rainfall and earthquakes. Stucco can dry quickly under normal cases of rain, but frequent heavy rainfall can soak the material to the point that it promotes mold growth. Likewise, it may crack with a shift on the foundation, allowing moisture to creep behind the material.
Who needs it: If you’re going for a warm, inviting aesthetic combined with an old-world charm, and if you’re willing to put up in the maintenance effort wood requires, then wood siding can be a good choice.
Many homeowners in Northern Virginia choose wood siding primarily for its aesthetics. As with lumber decks in Springfield, VA, wood siding has that rustic, timeless appeal that can complement traditional and modern homes alike. You can either choose to finish it or leave it as is, making its natural look the focal point of your exterior. Keep in mind, however, that painted or stained wood siding will need to be retouched through the years to preserve its beauty.
In the end, you should feel safe about choosing the siding that suits your taste and meets your needs. If your home’s overall protection, beauty and value is the main focus, however, understanding which material is best for the Northern Virginia climate can help boost each aspect a bit more.If you’re looking for a professional to sit down with you and discuss what your home really needs, get in touch with Orion Home Improvements! As your go-to siding installer and deck builder in Fairfax, VA, and the surrounding communities, you can trust us to recommend the best siding option that meets your specific needs. We’d love to help you make the choice that is right for you, your home and your budget.
Planning to invest in siding replacement? Give Orion Home Improvements a call at (571) 364-6399 today! We’ll be happy to give you a FREE consultation and quote.