Aluminum siding has gained a following with many siding contractors and homeowners. Not the bright sheets of polished metal found on the walls of older industrial buildings, today's aluminum siding is manufactured to mimic a variety of popular styles of wood-grain siding, such as traditional New England clapboard or cedar shakes. It has become a popular choice for re-siding jobs because it offers longevity and durability at a reasonable cost. Naturally resistant to fire, termite infestation, fading, corrosion, rusting and rot, rigid high-grade aluminum siding also won't chip, warp or crack like many other types of siding.
Popular manufacturers and styles
Aluminum siding has been in use since World War II and is made by several well-established siding manufacturers. Mastic Home Exteriors and Napco Vinyl & Metal Exterior Products are two respected brands of aluminum siding, both owned by Ply Gem Building Products of Cary, N.C.
A few of the most popular aluminum siding patterns made to imitate wood-grain siding include double-wide 6-inch lap siding, or single sheets of 7-inch lap siding. Mastic features three different styles: single 8-inch lap; double 4-inch lap; or double 5-inch lap. The company has eight different color choices that include white, sand, clay, charcoal grey and almond, but its single 8-inch lap siding comes with a smooth texture and is stock white in color. Napco's Dutch-lap siding comes in a wider variety of color choices, including blue, cream, ivory, linen, olive, wicker, cactus and slate. Both companies also sell trim and other accessories, such as vented soffits and smooth- or wood-grained fascia, that are designed to match and accent the siding panels. Napco even sells snap-in-place aluminum columns that can wrap existing columns or serve as standalone products.
Costs and energy-efficiency
Aluminum siding isn't the least-expensive siding on the market, but it can add slightly more value to a home for resale than vinyl siding does. Costs vary depending on the desired thickness. Although premium costs more, it is designed to outlast lower-grade products. Costs for high-grade aluminum siding can run as high as $450 per square, which is 100 square feet. Cladding a 2,000-square-foot house could cost around $10,000, excluding labor for removing existing siding. Expect to pay anywhere from $3 to $4.75 per square foot for materials. Houses with two floors or complex shapes that may require additional labor for installation may also increase a contractor's price on installation.
Aluminum siding offers higher energy efficiency than vinyl siding, and insulated panels can add an even higher degree of energy efficiency. Rollex Corp. of Elk Grove Village, Ill. sells 8-inch insulated siding panels that come with a lifetime limited warranty.
When you are ready to buy
Because there are such a wide range of options for aluminum siding and related accessories, one of the best places to get started is to contact a siding contractor who specializes in aluminum siding and discuss your needs. Things to inquire about when choosing a contractor are whether they are licensed, bonded and insured, how long the company has been in business and whether the company provides detailed written estimates that precisely lay out the cost of materials, labor and projected completion date. Completing the short form on this page can put you in touch with a pre-screened siding contractor to help you meet your siding renovation needs.