Category Archives: Exterior Remodeling Costs

Best Types of House Siding: Top Brands, Costs, Pros & Cons

We’ve put together a comprehensive residential siding guide to assist you in researching your options for replacement and new construction projects.

Kaycan DaVinci Siding

What’s Included: Seven possibilities ranging from affordable to upscale – Vinyl, steel & aluminum, fiber cement & composite, genuine wood, stucco, brick & stone and faux stone.

The information for each siding type includes:

  • Materials and installation cost
  • Tables that allow you to compare these materials at a glance in all key areas
  • An introduction to each material, its construction and options
  • Pros and cons such as durability/longevity, maintenance and repair requirements and appearance including the home styles that each siding types is best suited to
  • Final summaries that might help you make your decision
  • Tips for saving money on a siding project

Cost

Siding Type Materials Installation Total Cost per sq.ft.
Vinyl $2.55 – $4.50 $1.60 – $4.00 $4.15 – $8.50
Aluminum & Steel $3.15 – $5.65 $1.95 – $5.00 $5.20 – $10.65
Fiber Cement & Composite $1.80 – $5.50 $4.00 – $6.50 $5.80 – $12.00
Wood $2.35 – $7.50 $1.80 – $6.50 $4.15 – $14.00
Stucco $4.90 – $6.50 $3.00 – $6.00 $7.90 – $12.50
Brick & Stone Veneer $7.35 – $15.00 $6.30 – $11.00 $14.65 – $26.00
Faux Stone $6.15 – $20.00 $8.55 – $11.00 $14.70 – $31.00

Breakdown of costs by materials and installation

* The materials column in the table above includes siding, trim and the supplies needed to install it.

* The installation column in the table above reflects the cost of professional labor.

The last column is the total installed cost for comparison.

Note: Each siding type in the table above is normally available in a wide range of quality and style options that affect material costs. Installation ranges from easy to difficult due to onsite factors which affect installation cost. Your project’s geography and local economy will also have a major impact on costs.

Types of Siding Material

This table summarizes the information in this section:

Siding Type Options Weatherproof Durability
Vinyl Excellent Good 20-30 years
Aluminum & Steel Good Good 30-50 years
Fiber Cement & Composite Good Good 35-50 years
Wood Excellent Fair 50+
Stucco Fair Good 50+
Brick & Stone Good Excellent 75+
Faux Stone Good Good 30-50 years

The next section provides more details for each siding type, including its options and pros and cons.

Vinyl Siding

This is an extruded plastic material made from PVC resin for durability and resistance to the elements. The material is tinted in the production process, so the color goes all the way through.

There are three appearance options: Horizontal, vertical and shingle/shake panels.

Horizontal siding comes in Dutch lap, smooth and beaded styles. Panels are typically formed into single, double and triple board profiles.

Vertical siding in board & batten, cedar plank, beaded and additional styles are produced in a more limited range of options.

Board and batten vinyl siding via Alside

Vinyl shake and shingle panels feature 2 or 3 rows with up to 6 shakes or shingles per row. These panels are used either as the primary siding or accent siding in gables or above brick or stone.

Shake & Shingle Polymer Vinyl Siding Cedar Shake Impressions via CertainTeed

You have a wide array of colors to consider from white and light shades to deep reds, greens, blues and charcoals. Complimentary trim colors allow you to customize the look you want for your home.

Pros and Cons

The appeal of vinyl siding is its relatively affordable cost and low maintenance.

Pluses:

  • Affordability
  • Style and color options
  • DIY-friendly installation
  • Moisture and insect resistance
  • Good fire rating, though it will melt in high heat
  • Reduced fading with new color technology
  • Very low maintenance

Insulated (R2 to R3) options, though not a good value compared to attaching siding to wall sheathing beneath the siding

Minuses:

  • Shingle and shake styles cost up to 100% more than panels
  • Brittleness and cracking with age/impact
  • Falls short of “genuine wood” look
  • Potential leaks, buckling and cracking with faulty installation
  • Warranties of 25 years to “lifetime,” but expected longevity of 18 to 30 years
  • Recyclable – but few locations accept it

Top Brands:

CertaintTeed, Georgia Pacific (GP), Alside / ABTCO, Kaycan, Mastic, Mitten, Timbercrest

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Tamko vs. Owens Corning Roofing Shingles: Cost, Pros & Cons, ROI 2019

Owens Corning and Tamko are two asphalt shingle manufacturers sharing the adage, “we’re second-best, so we try harder.” CertainTeed is the consensus leader for overall asphalt shingle quality.

GAF is the largest producer of shingles, and its products get high marks. Right behind those giants are Owens Corning, certainly one of the most recognizable names in roofing products, and Tamko (or TAMKO), a brand that has its fans, too.

The Bottom Line from the Beginning

The bottom line, which all the details in this guide lead to, is that the Owens Corning vs. Tamko comparison is about as even as it gets in the roofing products industry.

Owens Corning Roofing Shingles Display

Both get ratings in the “good” to “very good” range from roofing contractors who install them every day and from home inspectors who have seen their share of durable shingles and shingles that have failed before they should.

What it comes down to is the quality of the installation. You’ve got two above-average shingle brands that can deliver superior durability for 20+ years, fail in just a few years or perform somewhere in the middle.

What makes the difference is how well the installers do their job.

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More on the installation below. Along the way we’ll address where each brand has bragging rights. While OC and Tamko are close to equal in total score, each brand has strong and weak points.

OC vs. Tamko: Quality and Reliability

Quality is a product of the materials used and the production process. Here’s an overview of Owens Corning and Tamko shingle construction.

  • Owens Corning: OC makes three tiers of shingles in basic (Oakridge, Supreme), better (Duration, OC’s best-seller) and best (Devonshire, Woodmoor, Woodcrest, Berkshire) categories.
  • Tamko: This brand makes a very similar lineup with basic (Elite Glass-Seal), better (Heritage, Heritage Woodgate) and best (Heritage Premium, Heritage Vintage).

All shingles from Owens Corning and Tamko feature fiberglass mat bases saturated with asphalt and dressed with coated granules to resist the sun’s UV radiation. Each shingle is constructed with fused layers.

When installed, less than half of each shingle is exposed. The result is that 3-tab roofs (OC Supreme and Tamko Elite Glass-Seal 3-tab) have 2-3 layers of coverage at any given point on your roof.

All other shingles from both brands are architectural style shingles with 4-5 layers of coverage. The result are shingles with wind ratings of 60mph for 3-tab products and 110/130mph for all others.

The two brands have the same ratings in most ASTM materials and fire rating tests. Both are on par or superior to most other brands including CertainTeed and GAF.

Bad shingles are often the result of production rather than the materials used. The production processes for these brands are similar. The processes are slightly tweaked, even from run to run (runs of shingle batches).

When errors occur, a bad batch of shingles, such as layers that don’t properly fuse, are produced. What makes a brand worth considering is the consistency of the quality from run to run. Owens Corning and Tamko deliver good consistency.

Advantage—Tie: We’re not afraid to take sides, but there’s no clear winner here. These brands are rated about as equal as you will find in terms of quality and reliability, especially the two most-popular series, the Owens Corning Duration and Tamko Heritage.

Owens Corning vs. Tamko: Cost

Since these brands compete aggressively head to head, their prices are comparable across all products (and are very competitive with GAF, too).

Here is a breakdown of the shingle series and their costs from both brands:

Prices are per square, which is 100 square feet of coverage (and 3 or 4 bundles of shingles, so check product specs for the bundles-per-square).

3-tab shingles:

  • OC Supreme: $70-$85
  • Tamko Elite Glass-Seal: $72-$77

Average architectural/dimensional shingles:

  • OC Duration: $110-$120
  • Tamko Heritage: $84-$100

Best-selling architectural/dimensional shingles:

  • OC Duration Designer, STORM & COOL: $105-$135
  • Tamko Heritage Premium: $90-$105

Premium, architectural/dimensional shingles:

  • OC Devonshire, Woodmoor, Woodcrest, Berkshire: $175-$280
  • Tamko Heritage Woodgate, Heritage Vintage: $180-$205

Advantage – Tamko: As you can see, Tamko offers better value in each tier of products. It always makes sense to get written estimates on the specific roofing materials you’re considering, to get a direct comparison of cost.

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Marvin vs. Milgard Windows Cost 2019: Styles, Pros & Cons

Marvin operates in the premium end of the window market, making each product to order, one at a time, customizing windows to the exact specifications of the customer.

Marvin Casement Windows

Milgard primarily focuses on the mid-range window marketplace with its vinyl windows available in four different series.

Milgard Ultra Series single hung windows with colonial grids

The company has spent much less time competing in the high-end slice of the window market. Milgard currently offers two high-end lines, the fiberglass Ultra Series and the wood-clad fiberglass Essence Series.

Milgard Windows Cost

Milgard’s bottom-of-the line Style Line series standard 48-inch x 60-inch double pane, double hung vinyl windows runs $300-$350.

Milgard single hung aluminum window will cost about $200.

Moving up in class, additional series of Milgard vinyl windows are offered in the $550-$600 price range.

The Essence Series is Milgard’s entry into the premium window market. It is constructed with Douglas fir, pine or primed pine on the interior and fiberglass, with 15 colors, on the exterior. Quotes typically run between $40 and $50 per square foot, or $800-$1000 for the standard double hung window.

Marvin Windows Cost

Marvin’s go-to double hung window is its Ultimate Windows series. Prices range from $350-$680.

For Marvin’s top-of-the-line Infinity Series classic double hung window in Standard, Cottage or Oriel style you can expect to pay between $1200 and $1500, depending on your location.

Marvin Infinity Ultrex fiberglass windows feature color matched and neutral dark components with bronze and ebony interior finishes. An easy tilt finish makes cleaning a breeze.

Note that window pricing can vary considerably as manufacturers often run discounts and incentives on their lines.

Did you know? Final cost can also vary depending on design options like premium materials, locks and hardware, opening control devices, and the like.

Installation costs depend on whether replacement windows can be installed directly into the existing frames or whether new carpentry is required.

It is not unusual for a new window with options and installation to add many hundreds of dollars to the unit price.

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