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Composite Siding Material & Cost Guide

One of the most common materials used for siding is composite. It's functional, visually-appealing and more affordable than alternate choices such as wood siding. Also known as cladding or weatherboard in many areas, composite siding is available in a variety of different color choices, so that homeowners can choose the shade that best suits their home and their own personal taste. It does not need to be painted, which helps to reduce time and money spent on maintenance. The overall price for this type of siding depends on the style and quality of the materials that are used. While it is possible for some homeowners who have experience with installing siding to complete the job on their own, most people require the assistance of a professional contractor in order to do the job correctly.

The Costs

(500 Square Feet)

  • Minimum: $1,685
  • Maximum: $2,230

The Different Types of Composite Siding

There are various types of composite siding available to homeowners, and each one serves a different purpose or has its own unique advantage. The most common materials used include hardboards, veneered plywood and oriented strand board. These materials are popular among many homeowners because they are eco-friendly, affordable and easy to care for. They require very little maintenance and can be purchased in a variety of styles and colors.

Another option when it comes to composite siding is to use fiber cement composite house siding, also commonly referred to as cement cladding. This siding material is made of a mixture of cellulose fiber, sand and cement. Fiber cement composite has plenty of benefits such as fewer cracks to deal with thanks to the cellulose components.

Another benefit of fiber cement materials is that they may be used to create siding that looks very similar to natural wood. Only by close inspection can one tell the difference between real wood and this form of composite housing material. This allows homeowners to have the look of real wood without the added cost or maintenance. This alternative form of composite siding may have more designer options available for consumers to choose from, but it can also be more expensive than regular composite siding that is made from hardboard or plywood.

Cost Based on the Quality of the Materials

For a 500-square-foot space, homeowners can expect to pay anywhere from $1,290 up to $1,710 for discount or value-grade siding materials. This is the lowest-average price range for composite siding made with low or average-quality materials. Those who would like to have premium-grade composite siding instead can expect to pay from $2,270 up to $3,010. Designer grade siding, which is made from the highest-quality materials available, can cost homeowners anywhere from $3,050 up to $4,040. Buyers will also need to factor in the cost of supplies and tools as well as labor costs if the siding is to be professionally installed by a local company or an independent contractor.

Advantages of Composite Siding

Composite siding is an affordable option for homeowners who would like to protect their home from the outdoor elements without having to pay the high cost that is often associated with natural wood siding materials. They are available in a variety of textures, styles and colors, and they can be constructed from numerous materials. Composite siding is available in boards, shingles, shakes and planks. They can also be found in large over-sized panels, which are ideal for commercial buildings. They are easy to maintain and clean and can last for many years without visible signs of age or wear. They also never need to be painted. 

Disadvantages of Composite Siding

Composite siding may have many benefits; however, it also has several disadvantages that can deter some homeowners from installing it. The edges of the composite material are easy to crack when exposed to heat and humidity. This can turn the exterior of a home from attractive to unsightly very quickly. Since the material has a high-moisture content, it can be easy for fungal infestations to take over. This can cause mold and mildew to form on the siding that will need to be cleaned or sprayed on a regular basis in order to get the siding back to its original condition.

Composite siding can also have a buckling effect, especially during the humid summer season. They can be very heavy to carry, which makes the material difficult for homeowners to install on their own. This fact alone may cause some individuals to turn away from the idea of composite siding because they may have thought that they could save some money by doing the job themselves.

Homeowners who would like to find out more about the cost of installing composite siding should take the time to call around and compare rates on the price of materials per square foot. Exterior siding is a big investment for any home and it is best to get as much information as possible before settling on a product and a price.

Last updated on May 20, 2016

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