Your Siding Options
What color? Which style? These questions deal with the visual aspects of siding. Looking at small samples, there may appear to be little difference between profile choices. When installed on walls one or two stories high, the differences will be dramatic. You should understand the options you have when choosing a Minneapolis/St. Paul siding style in order to make the best decision for your home.
Traditional, also called clapboard style, is the profile most often chosen by homeowners. Each “board” appears to overlap the one below it, creating the look of wood siding. Traditional panels set closer to the exterior wall for a slimmer profile.
Dutchlap profiles are similar to bevel style, but with the addition of a sharply angled bevel directly underneath each “overlap.” This gives the siding softer shadow lines and a more distinctive look.
Board & Batten
If you’re looking for a unique exterior accent that will give your home a casual, earthy look, Board & Batten is the style you want. Its rugged design, marked by vertical panels with a decorative overlap, gives board & batten excellent design flexibility.
Vertical Siding provides a solid exterior with a virtually seamless look. Vertical siding can be used for whole house applications or to specific areas of your home’s exterior – such as a gable ends, garage or a wall span with strong vertical lines. Vertical siding provides a distinctive, clean look to the appearance of the completed job.
Specialty siding is formed to mimic wood siding. Shake siding simulates the look of wood siding with square-edged vertical lines and the texture of cedar. Scallops add a timeless wood-grain finish, with the romantic touch of soft, rounded edges. They can be used on an entire home or for accent on larger homes for a spectacular visual contrast.
The Quality of Your Siding
You want the best quality siding you can afford to put on your Minnesota home. Given the numerous siding choices on the market, it’s difficult to distinguish clear differences in each one, but there are structural characteristics that can help you tell the merely adequate from the top performers. Here’s what to look for:
What it is: Joins two panels together. Enables the siding to stay firmly in place and resist uplifting up in strong winds. It creates a rigid beam along the panel to help span wall imperfections.
What to look for: A properly designed locking system should always allow the panel to slide freely within the lock.
What it is: The top edge of a panel that’s nailed to the wall.
What to look for: Elongated slots that allow the panel to slide on the nail and to expand or contract with weather extremes. For areas that experience high winds, insist on reinforced double hems designed to withstand hurricane-force winds.
Panel Thickness and Rigidity
Why it’s important: Thick, rigid panels with double nail rails provide greater wind resistance, withstand dents and lie flatter and straighter against the wall.
What to look for: Optimum panel thickness should be .040″ to .046″ depending on style and design. Thinner gauge works well for stable climates; thicker gauge is recommended for areas with high winds and extreme temperature changes.
Finish and Profile
What it is: Finish refers to the texture of the panel. Typical finishes are brushstroke, woodgrain or cedar grain. Profile refers to the specific design and exposure size of a panel. Typical profiles are clapboard, board & batten, Dutch lap, vertical, and shakes and scallops.
What to look for: Both finish and profile are a matter of personal choice and your home’s architectural style.
What it is: Panel projection is a measure of the distance a siding panel extends out from the wall. Projection affects panel performance, rigidity, and shadow line.
What to look for: A projection to give the look and shadow line you desire.
What it is: Measurement of how well a panel can be expected to perform in high wind areas.
What to look for: Negative windload pressure rating which determines actual windload capacity. Positive windload tests are not a true measure of windload pressure.
Why it’s important: Panels formulated with high quality ingredients retain color much longer and make matching panels during repairs or remodeling easier.