The Pros and Cons of Installing Metal Siding

The Pros and Cons of Installing Metal Siding

Siding
Small Projects and Repairs
By Dikran Seferian September 29, 2022

The siding of your home plays a major role in boosting curb appeal as well as structural integrity. As such, there are many factors to consider when it comes to choosing your house’s siding. These include durability, aesthetic value, and how well it can insulate your house. And while there are a number of options to pick from, metal siding is one that has been gaining a lot of popularity among homeowners. Before installing metal siding, it can be worth knowing how it plays into your home. Getting familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of metal siding will help you make an informed decision. 

Pros of Metal Siding

What was once an affordable siding option for pole barns and other industrial structures is now one of the most common choices for residential applications. Installing metal siding offers a number of advantages including durability, energy efficiency, and aesthetic value. 

Strong and Durable

One of the qualities that metal siding is sought after for is its strength and durability. The material will not show any signs of warping, chipping, or cracking. It is also immune to both rot and insect damage, making it a great choice of armor for your home. The right choice of metal will even protect your house from extreme cases of hail and other flying debris. Steel siding is known to remain intact through adverse weather conditions. And while the standard 44-gauge is strong enough as is, the 53-gauge option offers even higher quality — and is the optimal choice for siding with strength

The durability of metal siding makes it a popular choice among homeowners.

The durability of metal siding makes it a popular choice among homeowners.

Non-Combustible

Metal is known for being a non-combustible material. As such, homes with metal siding are almost always resistant to fire. This — in addition to metal roofing — can come as a serious advantage if you live in an area that’s prone to wildfires. Besides the peace of mind, you may also get a better deal on your home insurance if your house features steel siding; the material’s fire resistance significantly reduces the chances of an accident that the insurance company would have to cover. 

Low Maintenance

Properly installed metal siding doesn’t require much maintenance other than the occasional spray-down. A quick inspection once a year — or as part of your outdoor maintenance — should also be enough to make sure the siding is in good condition. Adding a protective coating can minimize the need to care for your siding even more. Other options such as vinyl may require cleaning products for stain removal in addition to power washing on an annual basis. Metal, on the other hand, doesn’t allow for a buildup of mold or fungus. You also won’t have to worry about it absorbing or retaining any moisture. 

Metal siding is a practical and convenient option thanks to its low maintenance requirements.

Metal siding is a practical and convenient option thanks to its low maintenance requirements.

Boosts Energy Efficiency

Strategically treated metal siding is known to have reflective properties that block the heat from the sun instead of absorbing it. This, in turn, boosts the energy efficiency of your living spaces by allowing you to use less air conditioning and reducing your energy bills as a result. While this mainly applies to warmer climates, metal panels can improve energy efficiency in colder regions as well. Choosing a darker finish for the siding essentially allows it to absorb heat instead, resulting in lower heating costs. In other words, you can use the material to facilitate your efforts of making your home more energy efficient as well as improving indoor comfort levels.

Stylish Appearance

Another advantage of metal siding is the aesthetic value and curb appeal it adds to your home. The material is available in a wide range of styles, colors, and profiles. These include the types that come with an embossed wood grain to replicate the appearance of wood siding. Other options you can find include those that can come in horizontal panels as well as sheets with vertical ridges. Panels that are designed to have a weathered look are another example. With the variety of choices available, you are sure to find one that corresponds with your personal taste.

Metal siding comes in a large selection of colors, styles, and profiles.

Metal siding comes in a large selection of colors, styles, and profiles.

Environment-Friendly

Although the production of metal siding isn’t exactly eco-friendly, the material itself is almost always 100 percent recyclable. As a matter of fact, metal panels are generally among the most environmentally conscious options you can find. Choosing this type of siding for your house — and maybe going for a metal siding shed — can be the next big step towards a sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle. 

Repels Insects

Siding is generally known to be an ideal place for insects to hide in. In certain cases, this can pose some serious infestation problems. Installing metal siding, however, is not the best invitation for bugs including termites, carpenter bees, and carpenter ants. They can’t eat the material, they can’t bite through it, and they can’t build nests in it. Having said that, You won’t need to constantly worry about having to spray the panels for pests. 

Cons of Metal Siding

As great an option as it may be, metal siding does have a few flaws to account for. These include a hefty price tag as well as susceptibility to rust and dents. 

Bigger Price Tag

While certain metal siding options such as aluminum tend to fit most budgets, higher-quality varieties are generally more expensive than many other siding materials. This is mainly because metal panels are naturally heavy, and installing them can be quite labor-intensive.

The high quality of the material is another factor that contributes to its hefty price tag, averaging between $7 and $16 per square foot. In addition, the cost to install siding also depends on the gauge you’re opting for. Do bear in mind, however, that these are only upfront costs and that the longevity — and energy efficiency — of metal panels are normally worth the investment. 

Challenging to Install

Installing metal siding is no piece of the cake. This is largely due to the material not only being heavy but also tricky to cut. But while it’s possible for skilled DIYers to install steel panels, it’s not as simple and straightforward as vinyl. In most cases, however, it’s better to hire licensed contractors to get the job done.

A common reservation around metal siding is that it can be a hassle to install.

A common reservation around metal siding is that it can be a hassle to install.

Prone to Dents

As hard-wearing as it is, metal siding is not completely resistant to dents. Strong impacts from branches, vehicles, heavy tools, and other dangerous items can leave a huge dent in the metal panels. Repairing this kind of damage is not a walk in the park. However, you can prevent this issue by going for a thicker, higher-quality, metal. 

Replacement Can Be Tricky

Replacing a metal panel can be somewhat of an inconvenient task. This is mainly because even if a small part of the panel is damaged, the only way to repair it is by replacing the whole panel. And as mentioned before, installing metal siding is quite the handful. 

Needs a Layer of Insulation

Metal panels are not as good at insulating as other types of siding. This makes it easier for outside temperature and noise to pass through. It is possible, however, to solve this problem by simply installing insulation material inside the panels. 

To make the most out of your metal siding, it’s often best to pair it with a layer of insulation.

To make the most out of your metal siding, it’s often best to pair it with a layer of insulation.

Prone to Rust

Another disadvantage of metal siding is that it’s susceptible to rust. In general, steel doesn’t have a problem maintaining its color. It also doesn’t fade, peel, or turn chalky over time. Exposure to the elements, however, can cause damaged metal panels to rust. Typically, this isn’t an issue in arid regions. But those who live in humid environments can expect their metal siding to rust over time.

DS

Written by
Dikran Seferian

Written by Dikran Seferian

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