All About Aluminum Siding

Homeowners looking for exterior siding on their homes, should look into aluminum siding, which still remains a popular alternative to cheap vinyl siding and overly expensive wood siding. Aluminum siding offers many advantages to discerning homeowners who want a quality product for their home at a reasonable price. It is important to consider all the pros and cons of aluminum siding to decide whether this material will be a good fit for the style of your house and your personal needs.

PROS of Aluminum Siding

Resistant to extreme temperature fluctuations

A big benefit of aluminum siding is that it is a stable material at all temperature ranges. While extreme hot or cold temperatures can damage vinyl siding, aluminum siding remains unaffected, continuing to protect your home. This property makes aluminum siding a smart choice for homeowners who live in areas with extreme temperature variations.


Of all siding materials available, aluminum is one of the most durable and long lasting. The aluminum itself can last virtually indefinitely, and it is also a rotproof, waterproof, corrosion and termite resistant material. As a result, aluminum is able to withstand years of exposure to the elements. In terms of durability, aluminum by far outperforms vinyl siding. If your home is in a coastal area, aluminum siding would be a ideal choice, since aluminium reacts with air to form aluminium oxide. This is an extremely hard coating that seals the aluminium surface from further degradation and provides superior protection for your home.

Low Maintenance

Apart from removing occasional dents, aluminum siding requires very little regular maintenance. Once the aluminum siding colors will fade, it can be easily repainted to look like new. An added benefit is that the extra layer of new paint will not only improve the appearance of your home, but will actually improve the durability of the siding as well. A good paint job on aluminum siding can last for about 20 years.

Provides insulation and energy efficiency

Aluminum siding is a great insulator. It adds more insulation to your home then vinyl siding. Additional insulation can help reduce your heating and cooling costs, particularly if you live in a colder climate.

Aesthetically appealing

Many homeowners really like the attractive look of aluminum siding. This material is available in a wide range of styles including horizontal, vertical panels and a broad array of prefinished colors. Alumnim siding is also available in a variety of textures including wood shake/shingle style. Note that it is not possible to do detailed trim work with aluminum siding.

CONS of Aluminum Siding

Cost and availability

Aluminum siding is expensive. Much more expensive than vinyl siding and even more expensive than cedar. On average, 1 square of aluminum siding will cost $275-300, just for panels. This cost does not include trim.

Additionally, aluminum siding is very hard to find. I had to call 5 different suppliers until I found on carrying aluminum siding and their on hand stock was nine 8″ x 12′ clapboard panels, only available in white. Others did not even sell it. So to today if you plan to have horizontal aluminum siding installed, plan to spend an are and a leg, and hope you can find enough for your home. You can use our Siding Calculator to estimate aluminum siding cost.

Issues with color

Unlike vinyl siding, the original color of aluminum siding will eventually fade. In addition to gradual fading, the prefinished paint is known to also chalk, and run off onto the walls below siding and it can even wear down to bare metal. Scrubbing, washing or even steam cleaning aluminum siding cannot make it look the way it used to when it was new. This means that sooner or later you will have to repaint it. If you are willing to spend extra money, now you can purchase vinyl coated finishes that will help alleviate paint problems of cheaper aluminum siding products, significantly prolonging the fresh new look of your aluminum siding.

Difficult to repair in case of damage

In case aluminum siding gets damaged or punctured, it is a challenge to patch in a piece of metal. As a result, large scale repair jobs are both difficult and costly. Repairing a hole or damaged part of aluminum siding requires removal of a very large piece of planking, or the use of metal sheers that can leave visible cuts if not used properly.

Prone to denting

Alluminum siding can be dented or damaged by impact. If you live in a area that gets a lot of hail storms, aluminum siding would not be a good option to protect your home. Similarly, aluminum may get easily damaged if you live in a high traffic area where debris or sticks could hit the siding, or there are lots of children who may bounce balls off of it. Dents on aluminum siding will not spring back like they might in vinyl siding and the strip may need to be replaced or refinished to make it look right.

Unwanted Noise

Because aluminum siding is made of light, flexible metal it is prone to being noisy when the wind starts to blow hard. As a result you get a lot of “pinging” sounds when aluminum siding rattles in high winds. Similarly, you may hear additional unwanted noise if it rains really hard. Consequently, if you live in area that is prone to strong winds and/or heavy rain fall and you are also sensitive to outside noise, aluminum siding may not be the best option for you.

Siding Calculator software update: Siding prices udjusted for house/roof type, roof pitch and number of floors.

Today we’ve added some major changes to the siding calculator algorithm which make it calculate siding materials and installation price much more accurately. New major algorithmic changes include addition of two new settings which will better define the type of your house and will help calculate siding materials more accurately:

Added House / Roof type settings for Gable, Hip, Multi Gable and Raised ranch types of homes

Before adding this function the siding calculator assumed that your house is just a box. Now it can account for the triangular sections of the wall, which are different depending on your roof type. Now it can make a difference between Hip, Gable, Multi-gable and Raised ranch types of roof and correctly calculate additional siding materials needed to be installed an these triangular walls sections, or not at all in case of a Hip roof, where the roof line is straight and the home is in fact a box.

Added roof pitch calculation to account different roof slopes

With the addition of house/roof types, it became important to also use the correct roof pitch can make a big difference in total siding cost calculation. Also even if your home is not that big, you still want to calculate siding prices as accurately as possible. We added a roof pitch selection with Flat, Low-slope, Medium-slope and High-slope options. These correspond to roof pitch of 0, 4, 8 and 12 respectively. Unlike calculating a roof size, in a siding calculator roof pitch will not make that huge of a difference when you go from 4 to 6 in 12 roof pitch. That is why we included only 4 options for the roof pitch.

Other changes to siding calculator algorithm

New siding calculator now assumes that you have 8-foot ceilings in your home, an thus each floor of your home is about 9 feet high. Before, siding calculations were based on 10 foot floors. Now a 4 story house will have a height of 36 feet instead of 40 feet previously, which can add significant error to overall siding prices calculation.

Also the siding calculator can now account for the odd shaped Raised Ranch homes, by adding 54 sq. ft. to the total siding area (a 3×9 feet bump-out on each side of the house). Roof slope is also calculated by adding 3 feet to the gable side (width). It is important that if you calculate siding materials for the raised ranch home, you measure the house at the bottom – just above the foundation, and do not add the front bump-out – the calculator will do it automatically.

Future features to be added to the calculator:

Functionality: Right now the siding calculator is nearly complete – the only few things we plan to add improve are the option to select ceiling height of your home, which can make a big difference in overall siding materials and prices calculation. Another major update we plan to include is the Soffit / Fascia installation which is common on most siding jobs – typically siding contractors will install perforated vinyl soffits and aluminum wrapping on all fascia boards / rakes, etc. The calculator already includes windows and door wraps with aluminum copping.

Under the hood: – right now the calculator does not account for siding materials waste on gables, and additional labor involved in installing the siding on an angled plane – we plan to add waste factor to gable roof types, to make siding prices calculation more in line with what siding contractors would charge. Second, we plan to add progressive siding prices algorithm for small jobs such as sheds, etc. Although most of the time, siding will be installed on entire house some jobs are small, while setup costs are the same, so we need to account for higher per sq. ft. pricing.

Siding Calculator for your company website

We plan to make the siding calculator available for construction companies and siding contractors who want to install it on their websites, so your customers can calculate the cost of a siding project online. This feature will be implemented within few days of this article. The siding calculator for website will be free of charge and will include reference to – optionally we can make a custom version for you, to match your site design, colors, and the siding materials that you install / siding prices that you charge – second option will come at a small annual fee.

Siding Prices and Installation

The least expensive siding materials are vinyl and aluminum. Wooden siding is usually much more expensive and it therefore has a reputation as a more luxurious, high end material, although it does not usually cost as much as stone or brick siding. The cost of installation can be just as influential on the overall cost of your new siding as the price of the material itself. You should make sure that you find out exactly how much it will cost you to buy your new siding and have it installed. It is also a good idea to shop around for a number of different quotes before you choose your supplier, in order to ensure that you are getting the best possible price. You may also want to consider the cost and effort involved in maintaining different types of siding when you are making your choice.

Quality Considerations

The quality of the material that you purchase for your home siding will be an important consideration since it will affect the appearance, durability and cost of the siding. Many home centers and other suppliers offer a selection of different types or qualities of siding for each type of material. This is particularly true with wooden siding. Higher quality materials will be more expensive, but this extra cost can be worthwhile in order to achieve the best aesthetic results and durability. The highest quality wooden siding will have fewer knots and it will be produced from the best types of wood. High quality vinyl siding, meanwhile, can be recognized by its superior appearance, which will look less artificial than the cheaper varieties of vinyl siding. The higher quality vinyl siding products will also tend to be heavier than the lower quality ones.


Wood siding can last for up to 30 years or more when it is being cared for properly. Vinyl siding is intended to be able to last as long as your home, although the quality of the material will determine how long it will actually last. Thicker, seamless vinyl tends to be more durable. Fiber cement siding can last up to 50 years. Natural and manufactured stone, and brick siding can last as long as your house. Stucco can last for 50 years or more.


Suppliers of siding will usually offer warranties on their products, with the length of the warranty varying between different types of siding material and siding of different qualities. The length of the warranty is a good indication of how durable the material is and how long it is likely to last. A longer warranty also offers you protection against any problems that may affect your siding in the future. It is, therefore, a good idea to find out about the warranties offered by your supplier and exactly what will be covered by these warranties.


Vinyl and aluminum siding is typically the easiest to maintain, requiring very little work. This can help to increase the savings of both time and money that can be made by choosing these types of siding. Wooden siding, while it is considered more luxurious and aesthetically appealing, usually takes more effort to maintain. This is particularly true if you have chosen to paint your wooden siding rather than to stain it, as the siding will then require more regular maintenance and repainting in order to keep it looking its best. Wood siding usually needs to be repainted or stained every four to ten years, depending on the climate and the quality of the paint or stain. The amount of maintenance that wood siding requires will also depend upon the type of wood that has been used to construct it. Cedar siding, for example, is a very durable material that typically requires little maintenance. In most cases, the maintenance required by wood siding will simply involve repainting or re-staining it when necessary, which could be as often as every few years.

Vinyl Siding installed on a Cape house

Fiber cement will require periodic repainting, but usually less often than wood. It usually only needs to be painted once every 15 to 20 years. Natural stone may require occasional mortar repairs, but is otherwise very low maintenance. Manufactured stone requires even less maintenance, although its appearance may occasionally be improved through washing it. Brick siding rarely requires maintenance. Stucco siding does not usually require much maintenance, although it will need to be repaired if a crack develops.

Fiber Cement Siding Installed on a house

Suppliers and Installation

You can buy your siding material directly from a home center, or you can buy it through the installer. Even if you intend to purchase your siding from the service that will be installing it, it is still sensible to consider the options that are available in order to ensure that you choose the right material for your home and avoid overspending.

If you are hiring a professional to install your siding, as most homeowners will find it necessary to do, then you should make sure that you choose a professional, reputable installation service. Brick and stone siding typically require professional installation, but you may be able to install some types of siding yourself. Ensuring that your siding has been installed properly will help to make sure that it lasts longer and that it looks as good as possible on your home. You should check that the supplier has experience fitting the type of siding that you have chosen, so that you can be sure they know exactly what they are doing. It is also a good idea to ask for recommendations from friends and relatives who may know a reliable supplier, or to try to find out more about a supplier’s reputation by checking online or consulting the Better Business Bureau. This will ensure that you choose a supplier who you can trust to do the job well. You should also make sure that you ensure your supplier knows the exact size of the area that needs to be sided and that they are aware of the quantity of material that will be required. It is also sensible to find out how long the work is likely to take to complete.