Essential Tips for Choosing
the Best Home Siding Options

With all the options today, it’s hard to choose which type of siding will be best for you and make the most of your investment. Whether you ask for the recommendation of an architect, talk to contractors, or do your own research, it pays to understand the pros and cons of the best home siding options.

Choosing siding for your Massachusetts home?

Are you deciding on whether to get home siding for the first time, or do you plan to upgrade your current, worn-out siding? Here’s a short primer to help you learn about the types of siding in today’s market.

Know the decision-making factors for siding 

Let’s start by narrowing down the essential elements that depend on your personal situation. Some key considerations would be the siding’s appearance, durability, weather and water protection, ease of maintenance, and cost.

The pros and cons of four major siding categories 

Before jumping into what your home needs, let’s first identify the pros and cons of four types of siding from well-known, high-quality manufacturers:

After looking at these decision-making factors, there are a few examples of how to start thinking about the direction to take to choose the best home siding option.

Looking at the cost of each home siding

CertainTeed Vinyl:
Vinyl siding is the most affordable option upon installation, but the cost of maintenance is a long-term consideration

Tando Composite:
Composite siding costs more than vinyl, but requires less maintenance in the long run. Tando has a 10-year “looks like new” warranty and a 50-year performance warranty.

James Hardie Fiber Cement:
Fiber cement is a high-quality product that costs more than vinyl and composite but is still moderately priced. James Hardie has a 50-year limited warranty.  

Everlast Polymer Composite:
Everlast is a premium product that costs more than the other three options. However, there are near-zero maintenance costs and a limited lifetime warranty.  

Appearance of home siding

CertainTeed Vinyl:
Vinyl siding is fade-resistant and comes in the widest variety of colors, plus it offers a broad range of textures, grades, lengths, widths, and covers.

Tando Composite:
Available in many colors and styles, Tando’s Beach House Shake looks nearly identical to cedar and is fade-resistant.

James Hardie Fiber Cement:
James Hardie comes in many textures, styles, and colors. It holds paint well and can be repainted for a new look. However, it will fade over time.

Everlast Polymer Composite:
Everlast offers a realistic look of rough-sawn cedar planks and is available in a variety of widths, styles, and covers. It provides extreme protection against fading and UV light.

home siding installation process - house siding process

Ease of home siding installation

CertainTeed Vinyl:
It’s the fastest and easiest siding to install, resulting in few craftsmanship issues.

Tando Composite:
Tando is lightweight and easy to install. However, it must be installed over a weather-resistant house barrier system, such as house wrap.

James Hardie Fiber Cement:
Fiber cement can put off installers because the boards are bulky, it takes more time to install, and workers require special tools.

Everlast Polymer Composite:
Because Everlast is light and comes pre-molded, installation is relatively quick and easy. Everlast technology removes the risk of water infiltration.

Everlast composite siding job in Massachusetts

Siding Maintenance and Upkeep

CertainTeed Vinyl:
If vinyl siding is well-installed and maintained, it requires little maintenance—other than an occasional power wash. It is fade-resistant, moisture-resistant, and easily serviced if damaged by weather events. Depending on the home’s setting and level of maintenance, it can last 20-40 years.

Tando Composite:
Beach House Shake provides strong protection against weather events, moisture and salt air, fungi, and pests. Tando can last up to 30 years and will need repainting every 5-10 years. 

James Hardie Fiber Cement:
James Hardie resists insects, mold and fungus, weather-related forces, and UV rays. Its durability gives it a life span of 50+ years if properly cared for. However, it requires regular maintenance, caulking, and touch-up if it chips.  

Everlast Polymer Composite:
Everlast’s zero-maintenance technology makes it the most durable in different climates and weather conditions. It’s impervious to water and insects, plus there’s no need to paint, seal, or caulk. Everlast offers a limited lifetime warranty.

Water tightness for each home siding

CertainTeed Vinyl:
If properly installed and well-maintained, vinyl siding is durable and resists moisture, wind, extreme temperatures, and UV.

Tando Composite:
Tando Beach Shake is moisture-resistant, but not watertight.

James Hardie Fiber Cement:
James Hardie is leak-resistant, but contains many seams installers must seal to prevent water from infiltrating behind the siding.

Everlast Polymer Composite:
Everlast is impervious to water, resistant to mold and mildew, and offers superior protection against rain, wind, and hail.

 

Looking at the installation process for each home siding

CertainTeed Vinyl:
Installation is relatively easy and fast, resulting in few craftsmanship issues. 

Tando Beach House Shake Composite:
Lightweight and easy to install, but it must be installed over a weather-resistant house barrier system, such as house wrap.

James Hardie Fiber Cement:
If not installed properly, water may infiltrate it and damage the surrounding siding. Installation is difficult and time-consuming because the material is heavy, special tools are needed, and proper installation requires more advanced skills.

Everlast Polymer Composite:

Its manufacturing process does not require the installer to seal the planks to make them watertight. Its lightweight construction and butt joint system makes installation easy.

Golden Group Roofing - March 2023 blog post - emergency roof repair - Greta and team

Home Siding Fire Safety

CertainTeed Vinyl:
Vinyl siding does not ignite quickly, is inherently flame-retardant, and easily extinguished.

Tando Composite:
Beach House Shake is one-hour fire-resistance-rated.

James Hardie Fiber Cement:
James Hardie has the highest flame resistance class of all sidings. It’s considered 100 percent fire-resistant (but not fireproof).

Everlast Polymer Composite:
Everlast is resistant to high temperatures and has a class-A fire rating.

Home Siding Sustainability

CertainTeed Vinyl:
Vinyl siding rates high in sustainability as it requires minimal raw material, produces virtually no waste, and can be recycled.

Tando Composite:
Tando composite siding is made from polypropylene, which consumes the least amount of energy during production. It also produces the lowest carbon dioxide emissions when compared to other plastics. It has a lower density, which also means that this reduces the absolute amount of waste.

James Hardie Fiber Cement:
James Hardie products are sourced from common species of wood, have no toxic materials, and manufacturing doesn’t require fossil fuels.

Everlast Polymer Composite:
Everlast has poor sustainability as it is a petroleum-based product and uses polymers.

Choosing the best home siding options for your property

Now that we know the details about four types of siding, how do you know what’s appropriate for your budget, architectural style, lifestyle, and budget? Based on our experience, here are a few examples of how your priorities might affect your decision.

Cape Cod style and beachside homes

Cape homes are popular throughout greater Boston and New England. As the name implies, we often see them on Cape Cod, where traditional wood shingles take a beating from damp, salty beach air. Our customers with Cape-style and beachside homes want a beautiful, architecturally appropriate look that stands up to the weather and is affordable.

Our recommendation: Beach House Shake and Everlast are each appropriate choices. Tando costs less than Everlast and looks nearly identical to cedar shingles. Everlast costs more but has exceptional durability, especially when the setting is wet, windy, and salty.  

Classic colonials and historical styles

Colonials and other classically styled homes in Greater Boston have a character that demands timeless styling and weather-resistant durability. Colonial homes have many of the same needs as Capes but may need a more versatile or historic look.

Our recommendation: Architecturally appropriate products include Everlast, Hardie Plank Lap Siding, and CertainTeed Monogram Siding. Your choice will depend on your priorities, such as budget, weather resistance, maintenance, and appearance.

Best Home Siding Options, Choose the right one for your MA home.

City living

For this category, I’ll leave aside all factors except fire hazard. Densely populated areas make it easy for your home to catch fire from another building. No matter your other priorities, James Hardie’s top fire-protection rating should make it a top contender. 

Contemporary styles

What’s old is new again. If you want a contemporary look with high curb appeal, check out what’s on trend in 2023. We are seeing more designs that combine horizontal and vertical lines (called board-and-batten) to make a home’s architectural elements pop. Known in the mid-1800s as barn siding, today we use it for a new twist on homes that want an updated look, whether it’s a modern farmhouse, contemporary, or craft style.   

The choice of the best home siding option is yours

There are pros and cons to each type of siding and no absolute rights or wrongs. It all comes down to your personal aesthetics, location, durability requirements, budget, and other factors. When you decide on home siding, choose an experienced installer who can provide expert recommendations and ensure high-quality installation.

Golden Group Roofing takes pride in how we treat our customers, providing you with the information you need to make an informed decision on your siding investment and finding the best home siding option for year to come. Contact us at (508) 873-1884.