When it comes to the aesthetic appeal of a home's exterior it is the choice of siding that makes the biggest statement. The process of selecting siding is certainly exciting, but many homeowners end up struggling between a traditional look or going for something more unique.
When it comes to traditional exteriors, there are few materials that look as classic as brick veneer. Brick veneer allows any homeowner to give their house a notable appearance, without resorting to an extremely labor-intensive remodel.
Though there is certainly a natural warmness to the way brick veneer looks, not everyone wants such a traditional feel. Steel siding is a refreshing alternative with many colors to choose from and can complement any architectural style.
In the past, steel siding was the go-to material for commercial and industrial buildings, largely for its affordability and dependability. However, there has recently been a significant swing towards steel siding for residential homes not only because of its versatility and modern sleekness, but because it’s also one of the toughest and most durable exterior siding materials available.
Steel Siding is an Eco-Friendly Material
Though the first impression of steel siding seems far from organic, this material is actually an incredibly environmentally-friendly option. Considering the growing importance of choosing green materials in home design, this advantage quickly elevates steel as a preferred choice for eco-conscious homeowners.
Steel siding manufacturing produces less waste than traditional brick veneer, plus steel is also easily recyclable. Excess material from manufacturing and aged steel siding can be recycled or repurposed.
It is important to note that there are faux brick veneers available today made from fiber cement and are very convincing. This is a far greener option than many other siding choices, and some companies are even using recycled materials in their products.
However, considering that fiber cement goes through a more in-depth manufacturing process, steel still outperforms brick veneer on the eco-friendliness scale.
Steel Siding is Easier to Install
Reducing costs during the building phase is an important factor for obvious reasons. Compared to other materials, steel siding and fiber cement brick veneer both have a comparatively simple installation process. Both materials are pre-engineered products and essentially ready to install, minus any cutting the contractor will need to do.
Brick veneer comes in panels that are installed via an attached strip, though the exact installation process will vary between products. However, steel siding is familiar to contractors in that it installs like vinyl siding, making the process easier and more efficient.
Steel siding is very straightforward, and since the material comes ready to install, there is little chance of product failure. Brick veneer installation is a bit more involved and requires a specialized installation method.
Depending on your local area, you may also have limited sources for experienced brick veneer installers potentially delaying the installation process. Comparatively, steel siding saves in installation time reduces costs in a number of ways. Less time means less money spent on labor.
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Steel Siding is Resilient and Durable
While brick veneer is certainly a tough material, there is no doubt that steel is one of, if not the most durable siding choices for a home. Steel has an incredibly long lifespan with many companies offering limited lifetime warranties on their products. Brick veneer also has an impressive lifespan, and in many cases is comparable to steel, but only under optimal conditions.
Steel offers first-rate flexibility when it comes to withstanding earthquakes and other environmental events. Steel siding is also one of the most resilient materials recommended for use in areas prone to dangerous weather conditions such as hurricanes, tornadoes, hail, etc.
Even if dented and dinged, your home will still be protected with steel’s inherent strength, and it keeps out moisture while you wait for a repair. If a brick veneer panel is damaged, water may immediately begin to infiltrate the walls.
Keep in mind that brick veneer made of fiber cement is not often recommended for coastal regions that experience high winds, and if used, needs to be specifically installed by a professional.
Steel Siding Requires Less Maintenance and Experiences Fewer Failures
The most common reason for a siding material to fail or for problems to arise is neglect. Preserving a strong building envelope and preventing problems means you must follow proper maintenance guidelines for whichever material you choose. Fewer maintenance requirements equates to fewer chances for siding to leak or otherwise experience damage.
Steel siding is about as low-maintenance as you can get. Even more so than brick veneer, which is also considered a low-maintenance material. The difference between the two is that steel essentially maintains its uniform look all throughout its life. While brick veneer will occasionally require “pointing,” which is the replacing of old cement after age and deterioration, steel will only need simple cleaning to keep it looking and performing great.
Brick veneer doesn't usually need to be painted like other sidings, but it will likely show age faster than steel.
In the event that damage occurs, it's relatively simple to replace a small section of steel siding compared to brick veneer. More often than not, if significant damage occurs to a brick veneer panel, even if localized, the entire panel will need to be replaced.
While brick veneer undoubtedly provides a classic look, steel siding is a stronger material and is kinder to the environment. When it comes to aesthetics, keep in mind that nowadays steel siding isn’t limited to its traditional silver-gray shade.
Reputable steel siding companies like Rollex offer a large range of colors appropriate for any style home in any neighborhood. All in all, when comparing pros and cons, steel siding is a strong choice for the innovative homeowner.
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