Siding is meant to protect your home — and look good while doing it! If you’re about to have your home re-sided, you’ll quickly discover just how many different options there are. Looks are just one thing to consider. You also want a product which fits your needs in terms of home protection, maintenance, and efficiency. To ensure you make a wise choice, pay attention to these key features when shopping for siding.


The thicker your siding, the less prone it is to cracks and other damage. Thicker siding also offers greater protection from flying debris, wind damage, and precipitation. The thinnest siding is sold as “builder’s grade” and comes in around 0.40 mm thick. Standard residential siding is about 0.44 mm thick and offers ample protection for most homes. Premium grade siding is even thicker — about 0.55 mm — and offers top-notch protection for homes in harsher climates.

The thicker the siding, the more it costs. A good rule of thumb is to buy the thickest siding you can afford. Note: even thinner siding meets building code requirements and provides a reasonable level of protection. 


Do you prefer vertical siding? Dutchlap siding? Shingle and scallop siding? Choosing a siding profile is mostly about looks. Vertical siding tends to look more modern, while shingle or shake vinyl siding looks more rustic. Horizontal siding profiles tend to look clean-cut and contemporary.

If you’re not sure which siding profile you prefer, take a drive around your neighborhood. Look at the profiles on homes similar to your own, and note those which you like best.


Of course you should choose a siding color which you love. However, it’s also important to consider how the siding is colored. With either vinyl or fiber cement siding, look for a product with the color “baked in” rather than painted over the top. This way, the color won’t chip off of your siding.

Vinyl siding will fade over the years due to UV exposure. Higher-end siding experiences less fading, but it still occurs. If your home gets a lot of sun, consider choosing a lighter siding color. This way, any fading will be less obvious.


Thicker, more durable siding lasts longer. Often, it is worth spending a little more on siding you know you won’t have to replace anytime soon. If a siding manufacturer does not state the expected lifespan of a siding product, check the warranty. If siding is backed by a 30-year warranty, for example, you can count on it lasting at least this long, and often longer. Siding with a shorter warranty period generally has a shorter lifespan.

Maintenance Requirements

Vinyl siding requires very little maintenance beyond cleaning. Keep in mind that textured siding, such as siding made to look like real wood, will be harder to keep clean than smooth siding. Debris gets ground into the “wood grain” and may only come off with power washing,

Fiber cement siding requires a bit more maintenance than vinyl. You’ll need to keep shrubs and bushes trimmed back from the siding and avoid spraying it with sprinklers. If you’re considering fiber cement, make sure you’re able to meet these requirements.


Some vinyl siding comes with insulated backing. This adds another layer of protection for your home. It helps keep your heating and cooling bills lower. If you have an older home with less insulation in the walls, you may want siding with foam insulation. It costs more but will save you money on energy long-term.

On the other hand, if your home is already well insulated and you’re on a tight budget, insulated siding isn’t necessary.


When comparing several brands of siding, look closely at the warranties. You may find it’s worth paying a bit more for siding with a longer warranty. In addition to the length of the warranty, pay attention to what, specifically, is covered. Some warranties only cover manufacturer defects. Others cover almost any type of damage. The more extensive the warranty, the better. 

Installation Options

The contractor you choose to install your siding matters just as much as the siding you choose. Siding must be properly installed to perform well and to uphold the manufacturer’s warranty.

Look for a contractor who is willing to give you an on-site estimate. Preferable, they should install several types of siding. If you tell them your budget and other priorities, a good siding contractor can recommend a product which gives you the most “bang for your buck.”

There are many different types of siding available today, and choosing between them is not always easy. Above all else, make sure you pay attention to the features above and work with a reputable installer. Contact KM Construction for all of your siding needs in McHenry County, IL and the surrounding areas.