Log cabin siding materials and options – wood, vinyl or aluminum?

by Kremy

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We shall look at some of the most popular log cabin siding materials and options. The choice of exterior material determines the appearance of your house and in addition it is most important for the insulation of the home from heat and cold or keeping the moisture out. The siding has to meet several requirements and most important are the individual criteria for aesthetic appeal as well as the practical function of it. If you have decided that it is time to make an external cladding of the house, but have not yet chosen the material, here are a few options.

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Log cabin siding comes in wood, vinyl or steel. As each of these materials has different characteristics, maintenance requirements and application, we shall compare the pros and cons of each one to help you decide which material is best for you.

Log cabin siding materials and options – wood

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Many people love the rustic look of a log home but the investment for building one is quite considerable. Wood log siding attached to the outside of the house provides an authentic look and the house will blend with the natural surrounding. What are the pros and cons of wood log cabin siding?

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Wood log siding has been used for centuries and offers the most aesthetically pleasing look of natural materials. Durability is one of the most important qualities of wood log siding. Pine or cedar wood are traditionally used as exterior siding and it has a long life span and good insulating properties. This means that with cedar you could expect to reduce your energy costs. In addition wood has the greatest visual appeal and is an environmentally friendly material. It is especially important to many people looking for green architecture solutions and renewable resources. Wood is easily repaired or replaced, if needed.

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On the downside of wood siding is the regular maintenance as wood requires regular painting or staining. Wood is susceptible to termite infestation, mildew and moss and if not treated properly, it will begin to rot. The higher price tag is also a factor and many homeowners turn to alternative materials.

Pros and cons of vinyl log cabin siding

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Vinyl log cabin siding is one of the most affordable materials available on the market and if you are on a budget, this is a good solution. Known as a low maintenance  material, vinyl offers many benefits but has its cons as well. Manufactured from PVC, vinyl log siding is offered in a variety of colors. If your choice is log cabin vinyl siding you will have a durable, dent free, bend free, long lasting which does not rot or flake. Some manufacturers guarantee a lifespan of 50 years. Once installed, this type of log siding hardly requires maintenance expenses.

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What are the cons of vinyl log cabin siding? On the first place it is not a natural material and not a green option. Many people have environmental concerns as vinyl releases toxic fumes and is flammable as well. Its insulating properties are lower that the properties of wood log siding and experts advise that it is paired with additional insulating materials. Severe weather conditions may damage the vinyl and over time it may crack and fade.

Pros and cons of aluminum log cabin siding

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Aluminum log cabin siding was quite popular but is going out of fashion. However, it is an option that is available to homeowners and we shall see the pros and cons of aluminum log siding. On the first place aluminum is not flammable, it is fireproof and its appearance not affect ted by extreme temperatures. It is easy to maintain, durable, with a long life span and a more environmentally friendly option than vinyl log siding. Aluminum is offered in colors but it can be repainted if you wished to refresh its appearance. However aluminum does not offer good insulation properties. The significant weight is also a disadvantage. This type of log siding is much more pliable and if bent it retains the form. It is susceptible to scratches as well and can be hard to repair. The higher price tag compared to vinyl is another con.

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Nowadays, the market offers alternative options like concrete log siding which comes as a prefinished insulated and fiber cement and they are manufactured with the appearance of wood or masonry. They are cheaper than wood log siding but require a professional installation which means more expense for the homeowner.

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Log cabin siding can be installed on a new construction or can be used in remodeling your existing exterior. Whichever option you choose, it has to meet your personal preferences for quality, your budget, and of course to give your house an appearance of an authentic log home.

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