Today’s siding choices have evolved with the times, with a focus on environmentalism, energy conservation, and last but not least, architectural beauty. Homeowners have nearly limitless choices of patterns and color options, plus fiber cement, vinyl, and aluminum siding options. Siding manufacturers are crafting new and innovative enhancements which can increase your home’s value while earning back your investment.
Siding: A Quick and Easy Home Facelift
You’re ready to get new siding! Great! This is a huge opportunity to upgrade and change the exterior of your home. Whether you’re looking for a more modern look, to get back to your home’s roots, or simply put a little more of your personality into your curb appeal, your siding is oftentimes one of the first things people notice about your home.
You have a unique opportunity to leave your mark on your home for years to come – don’t be afraid to do something new and different than you currently have. You’ll be surprised at how much you can change the way your home looks with a simple siding switch.
The key to creating a unique exterior design for your home is to identify architectural details and then customize them in ways that reflect your taste and personality.
So, head outside and check out the bones of your house, its structure, how it sits on the lot, how other houses in your neighborhood look and feel. Walk around your lot at various times during the day (and during the year) to see how your house presents in different light and in different seasons. Take into consideration landscaping and plantings. And it’s good to zero in on a few design features common to nearly every type of home and look at them with a new eye.
- Gables and dormers
- Doors and entries
- Windows and shutters
- Porches and patios
- Hipped roofs and eaves
- Corners and trim
- Bump-outs, bays and additions
In each of the materials sections below, you’ll discover more about the visual aesthetic of each type – from the old-world charm of Cobblestone to the versatile and elegant vinyl siding options, to classic looking vinyl shake, you’ll be able to find something to suit your needs.
Vinyl siding is the most popular siding material, seconded by Fiber Cement Siding. Vinyl siding is popular because of its durability, affordability, and versatility. Additionally, vinyl siding can add to your home’s energy efficiency. Alco offers Insulated/Fullback Siding that acts as and additional layer of insulation keeping the outside weather where it belongs- outside.
James Hardie Siding
James Hardie Fiber Cement siding, when installed properly, can withstand winds up to 130 mph, and also is designed to withstand the humidity that a Mid-Atlantic summer brings. Additionally, fiber cement siding doesn’t become brittle in cold weather and easily withstands the freeze-thaw cycle that happens frequently during Maryland, Virginia & DC winters.
Stone Siding is also known as Stone Veneer Siding, and is quickly becoming a popular option for many homeowners who want a high-end look for their home. Stone Siding offers many advantages over wood or vinyl siding, most notable of which is its fire and rot resistance. Additionally, stone siding is able to withstand many of the weather conditions here in the Mid-Atlantic.
There are a few terms you should know:
Fascia board is the flat horizontal board along the edge of your roof. It’s responsible for holding your gutter along your roof. Vinyl fascia trim is installed on the fascia board to provide an aesthetic contrast with the siding as well as protect the fascia board from the elements
Rake board is the board that is installed along the slope of your home. The boards not only hide the seam of your siding but give your home clean lines along your roof.
Your roof overhang has multiple benefits – it shades windows to keep energy costs down, protects the side of your home and windows from rain, snow and sleet, and they help keep basements and crawl spaces dry. The overhang can be updated to complement the colors of your new siding.
James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding
James Hardie Siding
James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding has just four materials: Water to dissolve wood pulp and activate the cement, Wood Pulp to improve flexibility, Portland Cement to bind the ingredients, and sand to act as a filler.
These ingredients mix to create a siding that’s rot-proof, fireproof, wind and cold resistant, termite proof… and that can give you the look of painted wood clapboard, stone or brick.
And James Hardie is the leading manufacturer of Fiber Cement Siding in the industry.
Why James Hardie Siding is the Most Popular Choice Among Homeowners
James Hardie Fiber cement siding, when installed properly, can withstand winds up to 130 mph, and also is designed to withstand the humidity that a Mid-Atlantic summer brings. Additionally, fiber cement siding doesn’t become brittle in cold weather and easily withstands the freeze-thaw cycle that happens frequently during Maryland, Virginia & DC winters.
James Hardie is designed to mimic wood siding, which is a luxury alternative. However, James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding doesn’t carry many of the problems and issues that wood siding carries – like rot, termites and other wood eating insects, paint peeling and chipping.
James Hardie treats all their siding with Color Plus, a specialized process that allows them to guarantee their color stays put and won’t peel or flake.
After studying the long-term effects that different climates have on siding, we created the HardieZone® system, to ensure that you get the right product for your region. HZ5® products are made to resist wet, freezing conditions. HZ10® products protect homes from heat, humidity, blistering sun and more.
James Hardie, as a manufacturer, requires their certified installers to follow strict guidelines on how their product is prepared and installed on your home. This is for a few reasons, including OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) guidelines, including PEL (permissible exposure limit) requirements for safety.
But beyond that, these guidelines ensure that your siding will meet the guarantee that James Hardie offers on its products – that it is high-quality, durable, and will last a long time on your home. By requiring that their installers meet a series of stringent requirements, they can ensure that your new siding is installed properly.
Proper James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding Installation Starts With Proper Storage
Storing James Hardie Fiber Cement is the first step to ensuring that it’s installed perfectly on your home. If the siding is wet when it’s installed, it can cause shrinkage at the joints.
Additionally, we’ll transport the materials carefully to ensure they don’t break off at the edges before they’re installed – While the finished product is strong enough to protect your home from Maryland, DC & Virginia weather, the raw materials are slightly more delicate. ALCO will never install broken or damaged materials on your home.
HardiePlank® Lap Siding
James Hardie Fiber Cement Lap Siding is designed to be installed HORIZONTALLY on your home.This style is also known as clapboard siding, and the style originated long before modern technology. Formerly made of wood, craftsmen would hand-split logs into triangular shapes and install them so that they overlapped – hence the name, Lap Siding.
James Hardie Fiber Cement Lap Siding is stronger, more durable, and more rot resistant than wood siding, and is available in a wide variety of factory finish colors and styles to complement any home.
HardiePlank® Lap Siding SELECT CEDARMILL
Select Cedarmill is designed to most closely resemble natural wood siding, and comes in 18 ColorPlus® Technology colors. ColorPlus® Technology is the factory finish that allows James Hardie products to resist peeling, chipping, and fading while looking new for decades.
This type of siding looks best when you’re trying to blend your home into the natural surroundings – when you have natural landscapes around you, woods or mountain homes, or even ranch and farm houses!
DESIGN ADVICE: A great choice for historic homes, mountain chalets, woodsy retreats and ranch houses
HardiePlank® Lap Siding SMOOTH
Hardie Smooth is a more modern take that’s also available in 18 ColorPlus® Technology finishes.
This style of siding is best suited for a more modern, coastal home that’s defined by clean lines. This is perfect since Hardie siding is designed to even withstand the salt spray from the ocean!
DESIGN ADVICE: Try it on ranches or breezy coastal homes
HardiePlank® Lap Siding BEADED CEDARMILL
Similar to Select Cedarmill, Beaded Cedarmill has added character that makes your unique home stand out even more. Also available in 18 ColorPlus® Technologies, this siding is perfect for bungalows, cape cods, cottages and other homes with lots of personality.
If your home has an undeniable charm, Beaded Cedarmill might just be the siding for you!
DESIGN ADVICE: Works great on cottages, bungalows and homes with lots of personality
HardiePlank® Lap Siding BEADED SMOOTH
Not to be left out, smooth siding also comes in beaded! Beaded Smooth siding is ideal for modern homes with a bit of old charm, or homes in established high-end neighborhoods. The beaded edge breaks up the siding to give your home visual interest – especially good on homes with little to no other architectural focal points.
Again, Beaded Smooth siding is available in 18 ColorPlus® Technology finishes so you’re sure to find the right one for your home
DESIGN ADVICE: Perfect for newer construction that wants to feel cozier and more traditional, and quaint cottages with a modern twist
HardiePanel® Vertical Siding
Vertical siding used to be only seen on commercial buildings, but recently it’s come into play as a residential option because of the unique appearance it gives even the most commonplace home. Additionally, vertical siding is easier to clean which means less work for you while you enjoy your beautiful home!
If you’re considering installing vertical siding, James Hardie HardiePanel siding gives you four options to choose from so that you’re guaranteed to find one that fits your needs
HardiePanel® SELECT CEDARMILL
Select Cedarmill vertical siding is designed to mimic wood siding without the rotting, cracking or peeling that wood siding is prone to. And by mixing HardiePanel vertical siding on the second floor with HardiePlank horizontal siding on the first floor, you can create a stunning effect on any style home.
DESIGN ADVICE: This texture is especially nice for a farmhouse or cottage. Also makes a great accent on the second floor of a house.
HardiePanel Smooth gives you a clean, minimalist look while still bringing the vertical effect that creates interest. James Hardie recommends using this to add height to low porch walls or to add drama to an entryway. Here at ALCO, we think HardiePanel Smooth looks good in any situation, but it’s especially stunning on gabled roofs, along feature walls, and on large modern homes.
DESIGN ADVICE: Use to emphasize height (on low porch walls or in gables, for example) or lend drama to an entryway.
If you have a Spanish or Tudor-style home, HardiePanel Stucco is designed to keep your home’s unique flair while giving you protection from rotting, cracking & peeling siding. HardiePanel Stucco can be installed over the entirety of your home, or just a portion – for instance, along a front porch wall to add visual depth and draw attention to the feature area.
DESIGN ADVICE: A classic choice for Tudor or Spanish-style architecture.
Even though shingles were originally designed for Cape Cod style homes, they can add character to any style home, anywhere in the country. In Maryland, DC and Virginia, they’re being used as renovations are made on older homes and during new builds alike to create a sense of uniqueness and visual interest to neighborhoods across the region.
Shingles are a classic architectural element that have been around for centuries. Traditionally made of Cedar, James Hardie brings the rot, insect, and crack-proof qualities of cedar with the fireproof and durable qualities of masonry.
James Hardie offers two styles of HardieShingle siding, both of which are available in 18 ColorPlus® Technology finishes, ready to be installed on your home.
HardieShingle® STAGGERED EDGE
Staggered Edge HardieShingle is a rustic look, designed to be inviting in its “imperfections.” This style is perfect on woodsy homes, cottages and bungalows, or even on a ranch or farm style home.
DESIGN ADVICE: Good for a relaxed cottage, classic Cape Cod, or a ranch in a wooded setting.
HardieShingle® STRAIGHT EDGE
Straight Edge HardieShingle is a more contemporary, classic look that brings a soft and inviting appeal to any style home. Whether you use Straight Edge HardieShingle all over your home or mix it with HardiePlank or HardiePanel siding, you can achieve a unique look for your home that will surely set it apart from others in your neighborhood.
DESIGN ADVICE: Shingles can soften a contemporary design.
When you have your Complimentary Siding Design Consultation with your ALCO Design Consultant, you’ll work with our team to ensure that you’ve chosen the best siding for your needs. From the material to the color choice, we’ll work with you to develop a look that will complement your home and create the look you want.
We’ll walk you through all the different vinyl siding types that are available to you and we’ll help you create a unique and maintenance-free look that you’ll absolutely love.
We at ALCO applaud the beauty available in today’s siding choices. But with tens of thousands of installations, we understand that siding is far more than just fine beading for a historical aesthetic or a cement blend to convey the look of freshly painted wood. The latest siding technology offers customers protection against the elements like never before. We use a 3/8″ foam wrap insulation on every job to enhance your home’s energy efficiency up to 20%. The materials are also impervious to termites and wood boring insects, with 10 times the life expectancy of wood siding.
Vinyl siding is maintenance-free, easily cleaned without ever requiring sanding or painting. Properly installed, new siding can transform the look of your home while enhancing your home’s energy efficiency.
Myth: Vinyl siding is boring and looks cheap
Vinyl siding has come a long way since it was introduced in the 1950s and manufacturers have made strides in research and development efforts for design and performance. Nearly 350 vinyl siding colors have been certified for color retention, according to the Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI). The variety offers homeowners a virtually endless palette of fade-resistant colors, combined with complementary trim, accents and accessories. Additionally, the texture and attention to detail on the siding panels make high-end vinyl siding nearly indistinguishable from wood clapboard, cedar shake shingles or other traditional materials.
Thanks to these advancements in color and technology, top designers on shows like “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and “George to the Rescue” have recently made vinyl siding a focal point of their renovation and new-build home designs. And many historical societies across the U.S. have turned to vinyl siding for historic home renovations because of the wide selection of period colors, architectural details and low-maintenance benefits.
Common Vinyl Siding Styles
Beaded siding is designed to create a more dramatic look with a round bead at the bottom of each clapboard course (row of siding). This style was developed to mimic the handcrafted bead that was originally produced in wood during the 18th century in the Southern United States.
Regular Lap or Lapboard siding is similar to Dutch Lapboard in its overlapping nature. The clean lines of lapboard siding was originally used by the Native Americans and continued for centuries until modern building techniques took over. This traditional style will always give your home clean, modern lines.
Dutch Lap siding has multiple courses that overlap to provide strong shadow lines. This style was originally developed in Northern European Areas where wood construction was most popular and gained popularity in the mid-Atlantic Region during early settler days
Shake Vinyl Siding
Shake vinyl siding, a product that delivers the look and appeal of cedar siding at great savings. Low maintenance and available in an array of colors and styles. A time-
Vinyl Insulated/Fullback Siding
Picking the right material to dress the exterior of your home can be daunting given how many choices are available today. We’d like to point out some of the benefits of one of our favorite, easy to install materials, insulated vinyl siding. It’s important to note that insulated vinyl siding is different than vinyl siding and also represents a slightly higher investment. But you’ll find that investment pays off in several ways.
Insulated siding is exterior cladding that features a rigid foam backing secured to vinyl siding, or placed behind the siding during installation.
One purported benefit of insulated siding is its ability to reduce energy transfer, which helps maintain the interior temperature of a home. Producers report an average R-value of 2.0 – 5.5, significantly more than that of other siding
products. Homeowners also report insulated siding serves as a noise barrier to external sound. Insulated vinyl siding with added fan fold foam board insulation raises the R-value to 3.5 – 7.5. Fan fold insulation is installed under the final siding product.
The expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) insulation allows for more impact resistance than traditional vinyl siding. The rigid foam-backed siding creates straighter sight lines, and prevents denting and bending, for a more wood-like appearance than traditional vinyl siding.
Great return on investment
Aside from the fact that your home will look great, buyers love energy efficiency. So, that increased R-value and reduced thermal bridge will not only pay off in the form of lower heating and cooling bills, but increased property value.
In fact, the 2016 Cost vs. Value report shows that siding replacement recoups nearly 80% of the expense, which makes it a great investment for your home to increase your comfort now AND your profit later.
How Insulated Vinyl Siding Is Installed
When we install insulated vinyl siding, we first remove your existing material and inspect your home’s exterior to ensure that all materials are whole and safe.
We then use Tyvek house wrap to act as your home’s moisture barrier while still permitting air vapor to escape (a vital process in keeping your home moisture-free). . The siding is then installed directly over this house wrap as the insulation is installed with the siding.
All vinyl siding (both traditional and insulated) is installed so each piece overlaps the piece before it on your home – this increases the water resistance and keeps water from getting behind your siding.
After we’ve finished installing the siding and at the end of each work day, we will clean your yard of any materials and carefully remove any fallen nails or debris.
Ready to explore Insulated Vinyl options for your home?
Call us at 240-393-4338
Weather Barrier House Wrap
HardieWrap® Weather Barriers
Like all James Hardie® exterior products, HardieWrap® weather barriers are specifically Engineered for Climate®, so your home’s second line of defense stands up to the elements, no matter where you live.
HardieWrap weather barrier provides a balance of water resistance and breathability, reducing water intrusion while allowing water vapor from inside your home to escape. This keeps the area within your walls dry. The material is composed of high-performance, non-perforated, non-woven polyolefin with a unique MicroTech™ Coating that helps prevent mildew and reduces energy loss (potentially saving you money).
Together, HardieWrap weather barrier, HardieWrap Pro-Flashing, HardieWrap Flex Flashing and HardieWrap Seam Tape form an important part of a home’s weather protection envelope. When installed properly, these products help prevent water damage, mildew and energy loss.
Stone Veneer Siding
Stone Siding is also known as Stone Veneer Siding, and is quickly becoming a popular option for many homeowners who want a high-end look for their home.
Stone Veneer Siding is created by pouring a Portland Cement mixture into molds cast from real stone. This concrete “sheet” can then be cut and hung using other siding installation methods, rather than through complex masonry techniques.
Stone Siding offers many advantages over wood or vinyl siding, most notable of which is its fire and rot resistance. Additionally, stone siding is able to withstand many of the weather conditions here in the Mid-Atlantic.
Stone veneer siding, however, damages more easily than natural stone in very extreme weather. That being said, it’s easily one of the more durable siding options you have for your home.
Stone Veneer Siding Styles & Options
Stone Veneer siding comes in a myriad of options – from fieldstone to cobblestone, and even brick. As the colors of the stone siding mimics natural stone, you will find an array of hues from browns and tans to reds and grays. You can speak with your ALCO representative at your design appointment to see the full range of options available to you.
Fieldstone is designed to fit together perfectly, despite the irregularity of its individual stones. Featuring intricate detail, rounded edges, and an informal array, fieldstone is the perfect addition to any size home.
Fieldstone is available in this and approximately 10 additional color schemes for exterior use.
Ledgestone is designed to show you the edges of the stone – often the most intricate and visually stunning face of stone. This option mimics the look of stacked stone with no mortar joint, and has a smooth to slightly rough texture. It’s simplicity is ideal for large spans, but is also stunning on a smaller area of your home.
There are multiple options for ledgestone looks – from ledgestone and cobblestone mixtures to create a cascade to a more serrated (rough) look, you’ll be able to choose the right option for your needs at your ALCO design appointment.
Cobblestone is designed to mimic the old-world style of Europe’s streets. Cobblestone will add visual interest, luxury and history to any façade with a more uniform profile and rough edge design. There is an option to have a smoother finish, as well, if you prefer to avoid the rough edges. With a mortar joint, cobblestone is an ideal choice for any style home, but it’s most often found on colonial style homes.
As with other stone veneer siding types, cobblestone is available in multiple color profiles and ALCO can help you determine the best profile for your needs at your design appointment.
How Stone Veneer Siding Is Installed
Stone siding is a wonderful choice for most homes – its stately look will complement nearly every aesthetic.
As stone siding is heavy, however, a few pre-installation measures must be taken to ensure that your siding looks great for a long time.
We will begin by removing your existing siding.
Removing Your Existing Siding
When we remove your existing siding, we’ll remove any insulation and house wrap that’s underneath as well. This allows us to access the exterior wall of your home.
We will visually inspect the entire exterior wall of your home to ensure that it’s structurally sound and is able to hold the weight of the stone siding. We’ll also look for signs of mold, mildew, moisture and rot.
Should we determine that remedial steps are necessary in order to continue the installation, we will let you know your options and proceed from there.
Installing Your New Stone Veneer Siding
As with all new siding that we install, we will start with a Tyvek House Wrap. This wrap protects your home from water and air infiltration while still allowing moisture to escape. This is essential for maintaining the integrity of your home’s interior structure.
After we’ve hung the house wrap, we’ll hang your chosen insulation. This adds to your home’s energy efficiency.
Then we’ll begin hanging the stone siding. Each piece has to be hand-cut and fitted perfectly to your home’s exterior – which means this process is labor intensive and takes just a little longer than other siding styles.
After the siding is fully hung, we will finish your home’s look with the trim that you’ve chosen to complement your new siding.
Your New Siding Is Guaranteed
It’s essential that stone siding be installed correctly to maintain the structural integrity of your home. If stone siding is installed on materials that aren’t sturdy enough to hold them, or it’s installed without using best practices, your home could become damaged.
ALCO stands behind not only the workmanship we provide, but the products we use.
If your new siding is still under manufacturer’s warranty and there is a defect with the materials, ALCO will provide labor free of charge to repair or replace the product that we installed.
Additionally, any product we install on or in your home will be free of defect due to faulty workmanship for the lifetime of the product’s manufacturer warranty.
That means if you need your siding repaired or replaced because of something ALCO or the manufacturer did, we’ll come and do the work for free.
If you’re ready to discuss your siding options with ALCO,
Contact ALCO for your Complimentary Siding
Design Consultation today: 301-593-1691
Alco Products Company, Inc. worked and stayed within 1.7% of our budget. Their labor teams were very experienced, well trained and polite. The job site was left clean and safe after each day. My questions and concerns were always addressed quickly through either email or personal contact. Personal professional contact was delivered throughout the project, not just during the pre-sales process. We are pleased with the final delivered products and we receive complements and inquiries into our house and what contractor we used frequently.”
PETER G., Hardie SIte