How do I Choose the Best Commercial Siding?

Vasanth S.

There are several types of commercial siding, including wood, aluminum, cement, and vinyl. Choosing the best commercial siding for a particular home can be a challenge. Consider the cost, maintenance, and features of the siding when making a decision.

Improperly installed vinyl siding can warp and buckle.
Improperly installed vinyl siding can warp and buckle.

Wood clapboard is traditionally found on older houses, but is available for new homes and commercial buildings in a variety of styles and textures. It is extremely high maintenance, requiring painting and caulking. Installing wood siding over existing siding can be time consuming and difficult. For some building owners, the extra work to maintain the siding is rewarded by the historic appearance it conveys. Wood siding is moderately priced when compared with other types of siding.

Wood clapboard is traditionally found on older houses.
Wood clapboard is traditionally found on older houses.

Aluminum siding requires less maintenance and is available in both pre-finished and vinyl coated finish. The pre-finished aluminum siding does tend to fade after being exposed to rain. Building owners can select from a variety of colors and several styles, including horizontal and vertical panels. Aluminum siding is easily dented, which could be a problem in regions that have frequent hail storms. Pre-finished aluminum siding is moderately priced, but the vinyl coated aluminum is more expensive.

Another type of commercial siding that is commonly used is vinyl siding. Vinyl siding is less expensive than aluminum siding, and is very low maintenance. It doesn't require painting, but is prone to cracking from impact during cold temperatures. Broken vinyl siding generally needs to be replaced. The installation must be done properly, otherwise the siding will warp or buckle.

The most expensive type of commercial siding is cement fiber siding. Cement fiber siding is very similar in appearance to wood siding, and it has a similar installation method. Unlike wood siding, which is susceptible to rot and insect damage, cement fiber siding is damage-free. Homeowners and other building owners can select from several different styles, including stucco panel, beveled siding, and shingle/shake. Cement fiber siding is largely maintenance free, and manufacturers usually sell the siding with a 50 year warranty.

It's a good idea to select a siding that protects the home from the weather. Wood siding features overlapping joints that create a seal against the weather. Aluminum siding and vinyl siding utilize interlocking flanges to protect the building from the weather.

Cost is another important factor to consider when choosing commercial siding. Wood and aluminum siding are the least expensive, but they have problems in term of rot and color fading. Cement fiber siding is the most expensive, but it combines weather protection with longevity.

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