• Aspen Construction

Should you install aluminum siding on your Spokane or Coeur d’Alene House?

True, aluminum siding is pretty quick to install based on it’s weight and lengths of pieces. But is this something that benefits the homeowner? Or the installer?

Lets look at some simple facts about aluminum siding that you should consider when looking at new cladding for your Spokane or Coeur d’Alene home!

Aluminum siding came on the scene in the 1930’s, and almost instantly started to replace the more traditional wood siding that was most common in that era for several reasons. Namely, aluminum siding was cheaper, easier to install, fireproof, and required less maintenance than wood siding. You didn’t have to nurture it like wood sidings with new paint or stain every 5-7 years.

However, it’s adoption curve was quick - the onset of World War 2 in the early 40’s and then the energy crisis of the 1970’s took their toll on the aluminum industry altogether and then it was ‘next man up’ so-to-speak. Vinyl was the next man up and it took over the siding industry due to it’s characteristics that were more favorable to both the installer (ease of installation) and homeowner (cost).

The advantages of aluminum siding are simple; insects don’t eat it, it’s not flammable, and it doesn’t require much maintenance. It’s painted at the factory and comes ready to install - once it’s installed, the project is done - no need to wait on a painter. (hmmm, where have I heard that before? Thinner gauge aluminum siding is a little less expensive to install than fiber cement, but can be equally as expensive based on thicker, more durable gauges. Aluminum siding can also be recycled, however, don’t expect to get much for your siding that you paid dearly for … we tore off 1700 square feet and took it to the recycler last summer. I had my boys help me, encouraging them with all the loot from the payoff. They landed about $12.00. Not each, mind you, total. But, of course you’re not considering ROI on a recycle venture when choosing a siding, that’s for sure. With that in mind, it is considered “green”, due to the fact that it is able to be recycled. James Hardie fiber cement is considered “green” as well, due to several factors as well.

Another advantage of aluminum siding is that it can typically be installed right over your existing siding - in most cases. Just like vinyl. This is definitely a cost savings, however, any issues you’re having on your siding now are going to remain there and just be masked. Sometimes that okay, sometimes not. Are you having issues with wasps? Don’t think those little buggers aren’t going to find a way under the aluminum and back to their little nests to continue to hassle you all summer long.

Aluminum siding has some, although very little, R-value when it comes to insulation. Vinyl has none and James Hardie Fiber Cement has none, either. However, all of them can be backed with rigid foam to attain an R-value of 2-6 or more, depending on thickness.

Aluminum siding, like fiber cement and vinyl, are offered in a variety of styles - smooth lap, woodgrain lap, vertical, etc. It’s pretty limited, though, when compared to Fiber Cement. There’s no shake look, there’s only a couple of exposures as far as plank size for horizontal lap, and you’re forced to use their option when it comes to a vertical “board & batten” look. With James Hardie Fiber Cement, there are three styles of cedar shake (straight, staggered, and half-rounds), there are three sizes of pre-painted smooth horizontal lap, three sizes of woodgrain horizontal lap, 6 sizes of smooth and woodgrain primed (ready for field paint) horizontal lap, they have smooth and woodgrain 4x8 sheets for board and batten that you can change the width of battens to 8”, 12”, 16”, or 24”. And as far as trims go; the sky’s the limit almost. Trims are available in standard nominal widths from 4” - 12” in both smooth and woodgrain. Call Aspen today to schedule your curb appeal consultation and see what we can do for you!

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