Is Aluminum Siding Right for You?

Aluminum siding has been outpaced by other home-exterior products. Here's why.

Quick to install and inexpensive, aluminum siding has nonetheless fallen out of favor as a home-exterior siding solution for a number of reasons.

Aluminum siding was used extensively in the 1970s, says Phil Davis, a spokesperson for the National Association of the Remodeling Industry who works with Harris Exteriors and More in Streamwood, Illinois. "The problem is that aluminum is a commodity, and its price fluctuates with the price of metal," Davis says. Translation? It's gotten more expensive over the past several years.

When it is installed, aluminum siding usually does not have seams; it's cut to exact size on the job. But aluminum siding is easily dented and damaged, even by normal home activities -- a stray rock from mowing the lawn, kids throwing a ball. "Once you dent it, it is very difficult to repair," says Davis. "You need to take the whole wall from the top down to repair it."

Aluminum siding does have a long life, though, and it's resistant to rot, fire, and insects. It can be painted or purchased in a variety of grain patterns and factory colors, which may fade. If the paint on aluminum siding has faded or chipped, it will need to be repaired and repainted, which usually requires professional power-washing and paint application. Finally, aluminum siding isn't suitable in locations near saltwater; it will rust and corrode, particularly if not covered in the right kind of paint and maintained vigilantly.

Use these tips to choose a home plan that works for your lifestyle, lot size and location.

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