When considering siding for a home, the first things to think about are appearance and strength. While most siding can resist weather, two types of siding stand out as long-lasting: vinyl siding and brick siding. They are both great choices for durability and beauty.
Vinyl is a good home siding that requires little maintenance—it just needs hosing off a few times a year. There is no need to paint, as the vinyl comes in a rainbow of colors, the darker colors preserved with anti-fade agents. It is also available in a wide variety of styles and comes with a lifetime warranty. This type of siding can also help reduce heating and cooling bills by providing an insulating layer.
Not very difficult to install for the homeowner, vinyl costs less than brick and has many other advantages. Vinyl can be removed and reinstalled elsewhere. The homeowner can add a room, or just change a look fairly easily, as this siding is screwed on, then locked with the panel below it to seal it from the weather.
That said, vinyl siding is vinyl. While strong and resistant to mild weather, it will not have the durability of brick. The lifetime warranty can vary, from the life of the product to the life of the consumer. There is no legal definition, so reading small print is highly recommended. Expect it to last about 20 to 25 years.
Brick can give a rustic look to a home and can be beautiful for decades. Brick is usually installed as a veneer, not a part of the structure, and is water-permeable. This siding needs to be installed over a waterproof membrane. The disadvantage to brick is that it is pricey, especially if installed correctly. Brick is not so easily moved from place to place, and can add significantly to the price of a remodeling job. It is also not a job for the homeowner. Brick panels are heavy and are connected with portland cement, a mortar made of lime, sand, and water.
Brick is considered permanent, but it will deteriorate, especially at joints. Repointing, replacing the damaged mortar, may need to be done eventually. If installed well, however, that will not need to be done for many years.
Brick siding and vinyl are at opposite ends of the cost spectrum, but both can increase the value and beauty of a home for years.