Aside from vinyl which deteriorates quickly from UV exposure (and therefore not recommended) metal siding is the most economical exterior for residential properties. Metal siding is not just economical; it’s durable and nearly maintenance free. And it’s certainly as pest free as anything in this world gets – termites and mice won’t dine on it.
Once educated in the benefits of painted steel siding the next question from most people is, “Can it look like it belongs at my home?”
It certainly can and we’d like to go over a few of the types that look great on residential properties as well as some tips we’ve learned over the years.
There are horizontally applied metal panels that have attributes very similar to the different types of wood sidings that have been traditionally put on the exterior of homes for years. Sometimes referred to as “shiplap” siding for the way the wood boards are overlaid next to each other. This is a great look – it’s what one might expect to see on a Cape Cod style home.
True shiplap siding is not used much any longer because it is somewhat labor intensive and uses a lot of wood to pull it off. However, you’ll still find it on existing homes because up until around the 1950s it was used extensively in subdivisions.
Today’s “shiplap siding” is typically T-111 siding which is a particle board product with grooves milled into it to simulate shiplap siding. Shiplap siding is called shiplap because it has overlapping joints, as a rabbet, between every two boards which are joined edge to edge.
What Absolute Steel offers in lieu of wood, which lasts for years and years and is virtually maintenance and pest free, is our Grand Beam paneling. This is a great profile if you’re in search of the original shiplap siding look. The “boards” are 9 inches wide, so if you’re trying to match old shiplap siding used back when lumber was more available and they used wider boards, this is probably the only product on today’s market that’s going to work for you.
Here’s a picture of a new building going up that is using the Grand Beam panels and next to it, behind the construction worker to the right, is an older shed building with original shiplap siding on it.
So in today’s world that’s about as close as you’re going to get.
More Advantages to Metal Siding Panels
There are other advantages to using metal panels for your siding project and that’s the energy efficiency of steel. Most all our colors and models are Energy Star rated. This means you’ll save on utility bills while enjoying your new metal siding and if you wanted to kick those savings up we recommend radiant barrier insulation put between the metal siding and the framing or old exterior as the case may be.
Radiant barrier insulation works very effectively with metal because metal transfers temperature very well—that’s why Mom’s frying pan was made of metal. This insulation helps to prohibit the transfer of temperature though the metal and is really all you need. You could, if you wanted, put additional insulation behind the radiant barrier but it would do nothing and would be a complete waste of money if you did not put the radiant barrier directly behind the metal siding first.
Basic Design Principals
It’s difficult if not sometimes darn hard to match up things perfectly when you’re dealing with older exteriors and today’s new products. However, if you use your head and keep these two factors in mind you can pull off surprisingly good combinations that you can be very satisfied with.
- LINES: Run your metal wall panels in the same fashion as the “run” on the exterior of the other structures on your property. For example if you have a primary residence that is made of horizontally placed logs we recommend you run your panels horizontally even if their initial appearance is nothing like a genuine log home. You’ll be surprised at how good they’ll look.
- COLOR: Keep within the same color family as what you’re trying to blend in with. Of course an exact match is better but sometimes getting an exact match is unrealistic.
The shed in the background is horizontally run metal roofing panels, that is not even a product originally designed to be used in such a way but is perfectly functional.
So if you keep “Lines and Color” in mind you don’t have to have an exact match. You don’t even need to use metal siding that was meant to look like it was siding – the fact is you can use about any profile of metal panels you want regardless if they were originally designed as metal roofing – it really won’t matter if you use sound, basic, design principals.
They all look good and they last a long time! Call one of our experts and see how we can help you come up with a long lasting and economical way to use metal siding for your property!