In this wonderful process of building a custom home choosing materials to use as exterior siding is one of the more important decisions you’ll make. As with almost every other aspect of your home, there are many factors to consider.
AestheticsA home’s curb appeal is not only important for resale value, it’s probably one of the reasons you’ve opted to build a custom home in the first place. Choosing a material that provides the look you desire is one of the great joys of customizing your new home. This one is totally subjective. Spend some time considering your options as they relate to the other considerations in this guide and the environment in which your home will be built. Would a white stone complement the wooded area around you as much as a wood or brick exterior? Need professional help with these questions, we always reccomend hiring an interior designer.
DurabilityThe big question when it comes to siding: which is the last man standing? Which material can outlast all the others, look amazing, and not break the bank? If there were a simple answer we wouldn’t have so much discussion around this topic. As far as durability goes brick wins the day in the eyes of many developers, builders, and clients alike. Brick can last generations with little to no maintenance, is generally fire-tested, and won’t get eaten up by insects.
CostWe all generally want the most bang for our collective buck. Your project’s budget it something you definitely want to keep an eye on, however, your exterior is, as mentioned earlier, one of the more important decisions you’ll make in the custom home building process. Materials that are more durable, require less maintenance, and are resistant to weather and insects are going to be more expensive generally. This includes materials like natural clay brick and high-quality stone.
Water ResistanceIf you’re in an area like South Texas, you may not be as concerned about water damage, considering we don’t have as much rain relative to an area like the Pacific Northwest. A material prone to water damage can mean repairs or replacements early and often. For example, wood is very vulnerable to water damage (as well as insects) while brick and stone alternatives are impervious to these effects.
MaintenanceRelated to water resistance but on a bit of a broader scale, the recommended maintenance for your chosen exterior can affect not only your project budget but your calendar as well. Materials like engineered and natural wood may require painting and replacement on a 2-5 year basis. If you enjoy DIY on the weekends or plan to continuously work with a contractor for maintenance, this may not prove as vital a factor.
Energy EfficiencyIn the Texas Hill Country when it comes to energy efficiency you want two things out of your exterior materials: keep heat out in the summer, keep heat in during the winter. Simple enough, right? Well, measuring the impact of the siding on your utility bill can be dependent on the location of your lot and its exposure to the elements. Generally though, brick is an excellent and very efficient choice if energy conservation is a priority for you.
Installation EaseSince you will more than likely hire a contractor to do your exterior, this factor may seem irrelevant. However, if a material takes a lot of prep work, like stucco, or requires specialized tools or other materials, like fiber cement, the labor costs could drive up your project budget in a big way. Additionally, if and when the time comes for replacements and repairs you would need to plan another visit with your contractor. If you’re working with a good firm, this shouldn’t be too big of an issue. When you consider the importance of your exterior, we believe it’s well worth a little extra effort.
Still having trouble making these tough decisions? We can help! Drop us an e-mail today!