Siding: types and scope of their application

The choice of siding for outdoor use is carried out quite often. This is partly due to the functional characteristics of the material, partly – its decorative qualities. It is not so important for what reasons you opted for siding cladding. But before making a purchase, you need to understand many of the subtleties and nuances of this material..


Siding is a material for external cladding of buildings and structures. It appeared in the 1950s, when a group of builders decided to place the boards not as usual “butt joint”, but a little overlap, as a result of which the moisture permeability of such cladding was greatly reduced. Of course, the first siding coverings did not last long, because they were mainly made of wood..

Now there are many options from which siding can be made. Both the materials and the appearance of the panels differ. But the whole variety of species does not guarantee that any of the varieties will be completely devoid of flaws. On the contrary, many complain that the variety of siding only confuses.

However, siding houses are becoming more common. Of course, the characteristics of the material play a significant role. Looking ahead, we can count among them the versatility and low price, as well as excellent performance. However, many are attracted not by the urbanistic and practical functions of the material, but by its appearance..

Despite the abundance of various options, in the traditional sense, siding is presented as a semblance of finishing with a ship board. By installing the siding panels in the right way, it will be possible to create a cozy facade appearance. A wide variety of options will allow you to choose the most suitable sample, while siding will not look cheap. On the contrary, a beautiful finish will be a testament to the refined artistic taste of the owners..

Advantages and disadvantages

The siding material has many advantages. Positive features include the following:

  • Durability. With proper care, siding can last up to 50 years.
  • Wide decorative possibilities. Due to the abundance of varieties, you can set the facade upholstery in almost any stylistic direction..
  • Ease of care. Exterior finishing made of this material does not need periodic touch-up. Caring for her is also extremely simple..
  • Ease of working with the material. Siding is lightweight and flexible. The panels are equipped with a convenient fastening system. Thanks to these features, the cladding with this material can be carried out even alone..
  • Sustainability. Siding panels do not respond to temperature fluctuations, do not corrode or the harmful effects of pests.
  • The role of the barrier. Siding does an excellent job with its protective function, protecting the rough walls of the building from all kinds of destructive effects of environmental factors.
  • The ability to “breathe”. Since the panels are designed with special ventilation gaps, the building gets the opportunity to “breathe”. In addition, condensation does not accumulate between the siding and the rough surface..

However, not all so simple. The material has a number of disadvantages:

  • Low environmental friendliness. Siding, even made from natural materials, goes through many stages of processing, so it cannot be called environmentally friendly. In addition, the vast majority of models on the market are made from synthetic raw materials..
  • Flammability. A number of samples support combustion well, so this type of finish cannot be called fireproof.
  • Fragility. Some varieties are extremely unstable to mechanical stress, especially as a result of long exposure to low temperatures..


There are many varieties of siding. First of all, it is categorized according to the type of material from which it is made. Some materials are suitable for finishing country houses, others for those that should seem reliable and solid. In any case, not all options are suitable for decorating private estates..

Before choosing a material, you need to decide on the form of siding. So, distinguish between vertical and horizontal. The vertical one has not received proper distribution, since it does not look very comfortable. You can meet him mostly in non-residential premises..

The horizontal option is another matter. It is successfully stylized under a tree. The panels are produced in two types of masonry: under the shipboard and herringbone. The herringbone shape is more common, since it is it that is considered optimal for protecting the rough walls from dirt, besides, dirt flows from its inclined surfaces, so it is easier to care for walls finished with this type of material.


Foam siding is produced by extrusion of foamed PVC. The material turns out to be lightweight, porous, which has both positive and negative values. On the one hand, the increased porosity allows the material to conceal noise and vibration well. On the other hand, the porosity does not prevent heat loss, which is why it is imperative to lay a film for hydro and thermal insulation under the material.

The foamed version has increased resistance to mechanical stress, such as impacts or scratches. Damaging it is not so easy. Even if the panels are damaged even under special circumstances, this does not lead to the loss of the material’s protective properties. The panels can be used in almost any climatic conditions. They do not shrink or expand due to temperature changes.

As a rule, the foamed variety mimics the plank flooring, including not only its color, but also the characteristic woody pattern. This is achieved by pressing.

The option can be used on facades made of any material: brick, block, wooden, frame. Fastening is easy. Each of the manufacturers itself provides for one or another set of add-ons and anchors used during installation. Foam siding is laid from the bottom up, like other siding varieties.. Since the material is lightweight, the guides under it can be fastened with an increased pitch of 70 cm.This will greatly simplify installation and save time on preparatory work.


Like the foamed version, vinyl siding is made from PVC. In fact, it is PVC panels with different dimensions. Vinyl options are stylized not only for wood, but also successfully imitate some other materials: stone, brickwork and the like. Thanks to a wide variety of colors and ornaments, it is possible to choose the right solution for any exterior, making the exterior cladding of the house in harmony with the environment.

The material has many advantages, including not only a wide range of colors. Vinyl siding is lightweight so it can be installed alone. It also tolerates well various atmospheric influences, be it rain or ultraviolet radiation.. Vinyl fading, but evenly and not much.

If the material is installed correctly, then it will not lose its operational properties at extremely high (up to +50 degrees) and low (up to -50 degrees) temperatures. In addition, the cost of this option is very small..

However, vinyl also has a number of significant disadvantages. So, during installation, it must be borne in mind that it tends to expand and contract depending on the temperature regime. Vinyl panels are easily damaged mechanically, so when carrying out repairs and finishing work, you need to proceed with extreme caution.. The material does not last long by the standards of siding – only 5 years, so you should not count on long-term operation.


Acrylic models are made from acrylic styrene – a substance that is the latest polymer. Acrylic for siding panels is many times superior to vinyl in a number of indicators. Among them – resistance to burnout. The durability of acrylic is 10 times that of vinyl. Other characteristics also did not pass him by. For example, the resistance to all kinds of chemical compounds that can be included in cleaning agents is much higher. The amplitude of temperature fluctuations that this material transfers is more significant: the spread is from -80 degrees to +80 degrees.

It is logical to conclude that acrylic samples last several times longer than classic vinyl ones. So, the service life of acrylic can be 15-20 years with small losses of the appearance of the panels. This is not to say that acrylic is subject to slight deformation as a result of mechanical stress: it is much stronger than its vinyl counterpart in this respect..

When installing, it is important to take into account that it is made only on a wooden crate. It is not worth using a metal profile for these purposes.

Siding panels from above already have places for their attachment, therefore it is necessary to pass the screws through the already existing holes. Also, small gaps should be left between the panels to compensate for possible small expansions. In the future, these slots, called expansion gaps, will be closed with special plastic profiles to match the color of the siding panels..


Wood siding, also called glued clapboard, is very different from the one that was used in cladding work at the very beginning of its “career”. Now the chips are pressed using completely different technologies. The material has acquired good performance properties and durability: it can last up to 15 years. Several layers of paint and varnish are applied to the panels, which significantly prevents the appearance of fungi and mold..

There are several options for the section of wooden siding:

  • Overlap. The boards are arranged with a slight layering one on top of the other.
  • At a quarter. The variety most resembles a traditional clapboard finish.
  • Groove-comb. The appearance is similar to the previous one, but the gaps between the boards are much smaller. Most often found in the manufacture of block house panels;
  • Butt. Ordinary wood cladding of the “shipboard” type.

    Among other things, wood has excellent aesthetic properties. If the house is sheathed with it from the outside, then you don’t have to worry about the thermal insulation properties of the material: wood does an excellent job with this role. Due to its environmental friendliness, wood panels are suitable not only for external cladding, but also for interior decoration of rooms, however, the width and thickness of the boards in this case should be much smaller than for external work.

    Despite all the virtues, wood is not the best option, since the material is highly flammable and burns well, deforms and warps, as a result of which it quickly loses its original attractive appearance. In addition, wooden siding panels are quite expensive..


    Siding is made from three types of metal: steel, zinc and aluminum. Each of these samples is specific, but all metals have similar features.. They are as follows:

    • Durability. Despite the abundance of equivalent siding materials, none of them can match the durability of metal. Metal elements can last up to 50 years without losing their appearance, if they are used and looked after correctly.
    • Heat resistance. Unlike all others, the metal does not warp under the influence of temperature extremes. This will especially delight those who do not like it when profiles are layered on top of siding in order to hide expansion gaps. You won’t need such profiles here..

    • Lack of fungi. The metal is not subject to infection by fungus or mold, microorganisms that can destroy it do not live in it. The only thing that can be encountered is corrosive processes, but they can also occur only if the metal strips have not been properly processed at the factory..
    • High strength. No one doubts that metal is much stronger than other materials. This radically affects its performance, which can not be damaged by any atmospheric phenomena..
    • Incombustibility. Since metals do not support combustion, they can be safely ranked as fire-safe raw materials. By decorating a house with such a siding cladding, you will minimize the risk of fire for your building..

    Different types of metals give siding panels additional advantages and disadvantages, so it makes sense to consider each of them in more detail..


    Despite the highest strength characteristics, the zinc version has not found proper recognition among domestic consumers. This is due to the very large weight of the material, its high cost, as well as a small selection of colors. So, the weight of one cubic meter is 10 kg. It is logical to note that such a cladding will significantly affect the weight of the entire structure and, therefore, will greatly increase the load on the foundation. In terms of colors, only gray and black panels are available.


    This option is appreciated so highly due to several of its features, both technical content and external. First, the panels have a wide range of dimensions. They are available in widths from 12 cm to 55 cm. The length is from 2 to 6 m. Secondly, coloring and processing allows the material to be as close as possible in appearance to the type under which it was stylized (usually wood or stone). Also, the polymer coating used in the processing of metal tiles allows you to create a beautiful combination of a metal roof and walls decorated with steel siding.

    However, panels can be painted not only by applying a polymer coating to them. There is also powder coating. If in the first case the range of colors is very limited (there are only six available colors), then powder paint allows you to give siding any color.

    Steel siding is universal. This means that he does not have any specific predisposition to vertical or horizontal placement: you can stack this way and that..

    It also plays a role in the fact that the siding is not produced with embossing, but only smooth. The desired effect is achieved by staining. However, there is one of the varieties that can no longer be found on the market, since it is made only from steel. We are talking about perforated siding panels.

    Steel siding can only be fastened to a metal profile crate, wood is not suitable for these purposes – it simply will not withstand. In addition, the wooden frame is susceptible to rotting and in the case of not very high-quality processing, the steel panels at the joints with the wooden elements may begin to peel off. So, choosing steel siding as a facing material, you can start work at any time, regardless of whether it is summer outside or winter.

    Steel panels look attractive, which is why they are chosen so often for cladding the facade of a house for year-round use. However, there is one drawback: insufficient shock resistance. Steel does not have elasticity, so if you leave a crease or a dent on it, it will not return to its previous appearance, and in the future, to maintain an aesthetically pleasing appearance, it will be necessary to replace the siding. However, this does not affect the strength characteristics in any way..


    This option is quite expensive, due to which it is rarely chosen as a facing material for private households. It has a lot of weight, which is why it is better not to try to install such panels alone. The advantages of aluminum include the choice of both embossed and smooth surfaces. This achieves maximum believability: aluminum panels are virtually indistinguishable from wood. It is worth noting that cladding with such material does not make the overall structure of the house heavier, does not increase the load on the foundation..

    However, aluminum has more disadvantages than advantages, and not only is it expensive. This material is easily deformed, making transportation difficult. Inadvertently, it can be bent at the moment when it will be transported. Straightening the panels back will not work and the kink will remain. In this regard, at the time of receipt of the goods, it is necessary to carefully check the components for the presence of any dents or creases..

    Separately, it is necessary to make a reservation that aluminum is a valuable metal, therefore it is dangerous to cover with it the structure in which they do not live all year round. Walls can simply be stripped for the sake of non-ferrous metal, which is highly valued when handing it over to scrap metal collection points.


    Cement samples are prepared from cement and cellulose. This species is relatively young. It has not been used as long as wood varieties, and appeared at the same time as metal siding panels. The idea to use cement appeared when the need arose to find a material that would absolutely not support combustion. This is extremely important in cases where more serious fire safety requirements are imposed on buildings.. Cement siding is an ideal cladding material for such structures..

    It is rarely used for cladding residential buildings due to its many shortcomings. The primary one is the price. It is much higher than for vinyl counterparts, which significantly benefit in appearance..

    Weight also plays an important role: cement slats weigh a lot, as a result of which it becomes necessary to make a reinforced crate.

    When working with this material, many difficulties arise, since it is first necessary to take enhanced security measures. The fact is that as a result of sawing the panels, toxic silicon dust is emitted into the atmosphere, the inhalation of which is fraught with health problems..

    It is necessary to protect the respiratory tract with a quality respirator every time you start sawing work, which may not always be convenient.

    Recently, a new and improved type of siding panels has appeared – fiber cement. This material is devoid of many of the disadvantages of the traditional cement “progenitor”.

    Fiber cement

    Fiber cement siding is often referred to as plank due to its incredible similarity to wood. Another similarity between fiber cement and wood is their naturalness.. Fiber cement is an environmentally friendly material that has unique strength characteristics:

    • combustion resistance;
    • is not exposed to pest infestation;
    • does not perceive negative chemical influences;
    • tolerates subzero temperatures well.

      The composition of fiber cement directly includes cement, river sand of fine fraction, sawdust, mineral additives and water. Previously, asbestos was also added, but after it turned out that it was hazardous to health, it was excluded from the composition. After complete drying, such a mixture is not inferior in strength to stone. You can sculpt anything from it, so it is easy to give a drawing to siding panels made of fiber cement..

      In addition, for greater reliability, they can be painted, and in the future, periodically renew the paint and varnish layer or completely replace it..

      Fiber cement siding panels must be equipped with metal or vinyl components to provide ventilation, which can also be painted.

      The only weighty drawback is the high cost of the material, but many homeowners who have cladded with fiber cement panels say the material is totally worth the money.. Installation is also not easy, since you have to spend a lot of time on arranging ventilation..


      Basement siding is made in the form of solid panels of a small format. The material of manufacture can be any, but most often either vinyl or metals is chosen for these purposes. Some requirements are imposed on basement panels, the main of which are moisture resistance and strength. Such panels are used for finishing the basement level of the building. On the one hand, this allows you to protect this section of the building from atmospheric influences, on the other hand, to decorate it.

      Among others, basement siding must meet the following requirements:

      • No shrinkage changes. It is unacceptable for plinth panels to expand and contract due to temperature changes, so the best raw materials must be used here. The same applies to their ability not to respond to a strong imbalance in the temperatures of the rough surface of the walls and the external environment..
      • Impact resistance. The lower part of the building has a large load, and therefore it is necessary that the panels do not crack or deform as a result of mechanical stress.
      • Ease of installation. In which case, the panel should be easy to dismantle and install again in order to fully carry out the necessary repairs.

      When choosing, it is important to pay special attention not to appearance, but to technical characteristics, since basement siding is more needed to serve rational purposes. Be sure to pay attention to the manufacturer.

      Block house

      The name “block house” comes from the English “block house” – a block house. In the West, this name refers to houses hastily erected from blocks and looking like log cabins. In Russia, this is how they call siding panels of a specific shape, after cladding with which any, even a frame house takes the appearance of a solid Russian hut or an exquisite Scandinavian chalet.

      Block house panels or lamellas are made from different materials:

      • metal (mainly aluminum);
      • vinyl;
      • wood.

      Each of them is specific. For example, wood and metal are environmentally friendly. Wooden panels look the most believable, even despite the type of wood from which the block house is made. Metal ones allow you to get an approximate effect, although they are more durable, since they do not rot and do not corrode due to special processing. Vinyl is the most popular of all. In many ways, this demand is achieved due to the cheapness of the material and its attractive decorative properties. Nevertheless, vinyl is a synthetic raw material, which repels many from it..

      Block house installation is not so easy. The thing is that the surfaces must first be prepared, treated with antibiotics, since the greenhouse effect that forms between the panels and the rough walls of the facade is a favorable environment for the development of bacteria and microorganisms, fungi and mold. It is also necessary to additionally provide ventilation gaps..


      Ceramic siding was created in Japan about 40 years ago. Today it is one of the fairly well-known materials that have both their fans and opponents. The basis for ceramics is fiber cement, which are not simply dried, as in the classical version, but are fired, hardened in a special way, and then covered with several layers of coloring materials.

      However, the paint cannot be called ordinary, since it is similar in composition to ceramics. Hence the name of such panels arose..

      Ceramic siding is used with a wide variety of rough surfaces, from wood to reinforced concrete. This option is ideal for operation in the Russian realities, since it has the following advantages:

      • Resistance to negative environmental factors: precipitation, temperature extremes, natural phenomena, ultraviolet radiation and others
      • Preservation of the original color throughout the entire period of operation. This is achieved through the use of a modern patented technology of coating with a special ceramic paint..
      • High noise insulation properties of the material, which do not allow the penetration of extraneous sounds into the house, even if it is located on the side of a busy highway.
      • Excellent thermal insulation that no other material can match. So, the manufacturer claims that the thermal insulation qualities of ceramic siding are 10 times higher than the quality of concrete..
      • Since the material is highly resistant to combustion, it does not need to be certified for fire safety..
      • Ceramic siding contains no asbestos. On the contrary, it contains only natural ingredients, which makes it possible to declare that this material belongs to environmentally friendly.

      The ceramic variety has several disadvantages: the complexity of installation and impressive weight, as well as the cost above average.

      Scope of application

      In most cases, siding is only suitable for exterior cladding. This applies to the vast majority of cases. Care must be taken when cladding, especially when processing windows and doorways. In order to decorate them beautifully, you will need special additional profiles..

      Some varieties can also be used indoors. For example, wood panels, more reminiscent of eurolining or ordinary, are perfect for creating a rustic interior, chalet or Provence.

      If, with external cladding, the quality of wood raw materials turned out to be not at the level and could compete with the others only in terms of decorative properties, then inside the room there is no equal to the tree..

      Properly finished panels can also be used inside outbuildings such as outdoor toilets and showers. Vinyl is perfect for these purposes, since it reacts favorably to moisture falling on it, and inside a closed structure it will be less deformed during the changing temperature regimes of the weather..

      In a word, siding can be used almost everywhere, the main thing is to choose the right size of panels and the material from which it will be made. Please be aware that for facade cladding, it is best to choose wide and thick panels, and for interior decoration – narrow.


      You can find siding in any color – it all depends on what material is chosen. All shades of brown are considered the most classic, since it is easy to imitate a woody pattern against this background. You can also often see gray models, as well as white ones, which in some cases look festive and solemn, and sometimes give the house a dull and official look..

      The widest range of colors, of course, is in vinyl models. There are all sorts of options here, ranging from classic brown, black and white and ending with lemon, peach, blue. There are many shades available, such as mocha, cappuccino and other brown tones. You can also find such bright colors as kiwi (bright green), pomegranate (purple-red) or sakura (soft pink). In short, everyone will find here something to their liking..

      If you choose wooden siding, then much attention is paid to walnut, oak colors, as well as a shade of mahogany..

      The latter looks the most beautiful and expensive if only some bright details are finished with it, for example, the frame around the window, door trims, corner profiles. Oak, especially stained oak, is often preferred for basement levels. Looks beautiful if the main structure is light oak, and the finish is in the shade of “stained oak”.


      There are many manufacturers offering their products in the siding panel market. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish really high-quality options from low-grade ones, especially if there was no such experience before. Here is a list of manufacturers that have received the best reviews from buyers:

      • “Alta-siding”. Russian company, which is one of the leaders in the production of facade cladding materials. Offers panels in a wide range of colors. The quality is excellent.
      • Kaycan. A manufacturer from Canada with a proven track record. Has been manufacturing siding for over 40 years. During this time, the plant managed to win many fans of its products around the world..

      • Mitten. Another Canadian manufacturer that appeared on the domestic market relatively recently – in the early 2000s. The plant produces not only the siding panels themselves, but also additional accessories designed to facilitate the work of installing siding..
      • Tapco Group. A US company that has earned a lot of positive reviews for its products. Particularly noteworthy is the Foundry line, which is most popular due to its interesting ornamentation and high performance. It is worth noting that the manufacturer gives a fifty-year warranty on its products..
      • Nichiha. Famous Japanese manufacturer specializing in the production of ceramic siding. The firm has practically monopolized the Japanese siding market, which indicates that it really does produce worthwhile products..

      Tips & Tricks

      Before proceeding with the selection or installation of siding panels, it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with useful tips and take them into account in the future. Experts give several recommendations to help in the difficult choice of siding. So, when choosing, you need to pay attention to the following factors:

      • Uniformity and versatility of color. Be sure to make sure that the panel is painted on both sides, not just the outside. A uniform color indicates that you are likely to have a good quality specimen..
      • Thickness. There should be no difference in panel thickness. They should be equally thick over the entire area. The same goes for the width, unless, of course, you chose curly options..

      • Holes for fasteners. Examine all the nail holes from above. They should be of the same shape and size, neatly executed, in one line. If this is not the case, most likely the production technology was not followed..
      • Surface. If vinyl siding is chosen, then it should be completely matte on the front side. This is due to the fact that shiny glossy surfaces attract the sun’s rays more strongly, therefore, they fade and deform strongly..
      • Guarantee. Be sure to check the warranty period for the product. Its large length indicates that the manufacturer is not afraid to take on obligations, therefore, he is conscientious.


      Siding panels are easy to maintain. It is enough just to wipe them from time to time with water and a non-aggressive soapy solution. If desired, and in the presence of severe contamination, you can use a karcher – a special device that delivers water under high pressure and the jet literally knocks dirt off the surfaces. However, you need to work with Karcher carefully, as you can inadvertently damage the panels and, therefore, spoil them, especially when it comes to metal cladding..

      Do not use abrasive cleaners or products. They can scratch the surface of the panels, and they will not be able to return to their former attractive appearance..

      If there is stubborn dirt, a soft brush should be used. You can choose the car option, the main thing is to make sure that the brush is soft and does not injure the surface. If the manufacturer indicates that the siding is resistant to chemical attack, then you can use a solvent and rags. Pay attention to precautions: work with gloves, and you also need to protect the respiratory tract.

      Beautiful examples

      Sometimes some people will adapt some material to suit their needs. This happened in this case as well. Here the whole house is sheathed with basement siding under the stone. Nevertheless, this decision can be called a winning one..

      In cases where the siding peels off, it will need to be dismantled. This can happen due to non-observance of the plating technology, poor quality of the material, the wrong choice for your climatic conditions – there are a lot of options.

      Beautifully laid vinyl siding is difficult to distinguish from wood, even when viewed up close. It should be borne in mind that it is still better to choose light samples: it is so less noticeable that they fade in the sun..

      Block house panels allow you to create a decent imitation of a real log cladding. However, it is important to properly process the corner joints. It is better to entrust such work to professionals, and even then not all of them are ready to cope with such a task..

      Video instructions for installing vinyl siding, see below.

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