One of the most exciting things about building or renovating a home is that you get to take part in the creative process by making important choices concerning materials, design aesthetics, and more. When it comes to siding, the task at hand is quite important. Siding can influence the overall feeling of a home, impacting curb appeal, setting integration and more.
But there’s a lot more at stake when choosing the material type that will be used for your home’s exterior siding. Take a look at these four aspects of siding, which can impact the longevity of the exterior and more. When comparing these two powerhouse materials used for siding—steel and fiber cement—you will find that steel has the edge, after reading this article.
Differences in Upkeep
Maintenance is a key distinguishing factor when selecting a material to invest in. While traditional, cheaper or easier options may be enticing on the surface, they often require much heavier upkeep standards. This can be quite costly for the homeowner—not to mention having a massive impact on your free time.
Steel and fiber cement are two materials that are well-known for providing increased durability. The strength that is inherent in each of these materials ensures that there will be minimal upkeep required in order for them to continue looking in pristine condition, when compared to other, more traditional siding options, like wood or vinyl. However, there is still a slight difference between the two.
While fiber cement is extremely low-maintenance when compared to wood or vinyl, fiber cement siding still requires repainting about every 15 years. This can be a costly and time-intensive endeavor. Steel siding, on the other hand, does not require any painting—it will maintain the same beautiful surface appearance without your help!
Another important quality to consider is the ability of the siding to tolerate the elements of the outdoors. Siding that is not equipped to endure heavy exposure to the sun, rain, hail or humidity can often become damaged in a wide variety of ways.
Fiber cement is an incredibly durable siding option when compared to wood or vinyl. However, even fiber cement is not impervious to inclement weather. While it is much better equipped for maintaining its appearance, fiber cement can still become damaged from heavy hail, extreme wind and more.
With catastrophic weather events happening with more frequency, it’s wise to invest in a siding option that is built for the toughest level of exposure. Steel outperforms fiber cement, when it comes to weather tolerance. Ideal for buildings in nearly any region with any climate—humid coastal areas with risk of hurricanes, dry and dusty plains with heavy tornado-like winds, and more—steel siding is the smart choice to withstand severe weather.
Unique Design Options
Aesthetics still weigh heavily in the determination of which building material to choose for the exterior. Certain materials offer more variations than others, so it’s important to realize that the choice of material can, in some ways, limit your design options.
Fiber cement siding can imitate wood, making it a creative and innovative siding choice with unexpected design opportunities. However, the selection for designs can sometimes be more limited.
When comparing steel with fiber cement, steel certainly provides more possibilities, offering a plethora of unique appearances, colors and layout options. Steel log siding can even replicate the appearance of real wood grain, available in an assortment of stains, too. This allows for an impressive amount of design options.
Furthermore, some designers like to integrate rough, unfinished steel with polished and stained steel log siding for a twist on contemporary, mixed-media design. In addition to the log-style siding, TruLog’s steel siding is also available in the board and batten design, so you can benefit from a time-honored aesthetic while also getting the durability of this incredibly strong building material. Steel allows homeowners to think outside the box in order to create a truly unique exterior.
There’s no doubt that both fiber cement and steel serve as fine examples of innovative building materials that allow homeowners and designers to take their creative conceptions one step further. However, when comparing these two materials side by side, steel siding simply offers more opportunities for creating unique exterior designs, while also providing enhanced durability and weather tolerance.