Metal Siding Installation

Metal siding is a popular option for upgrading the exterior of your home due to its strength, versatility, and energy-efficiency. It comes in either aluminum or steel. Both types are easy to install, long-lasting, and fire-resistant. Unlike wood or stucco, metal siding won’t rot or crumble and is impervious to termites.

Metal siding provides an attractive look for your home and can withstand almost any kind of weather. It’s highly energy-efficient, especially when coated with paint that helps regulate a home’s interior temperature. It’s also very easy to maintain. All it needs is an occasional hose down to remove dirt and stain removal with detergent and paint touchups as needed.

To ensure metal siding is installed and repaired correctly, it’s important to hire a reliable, licensed contractor who understands how to work with these materials. Get free quotes in minutes for licensed, insured metal siding contractors from CLAD Siding.

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Metal Siding Repairs

Metal siding, whether aluminum or steel does have a few drawbacks. While it won’t warp or rot, it easily scratches and dents, and if not properly maintained, it can rust. Common repair issues include:


Aluminum isn’t as strong as steel and can dent or scratch easily. A licensed installation company may be able to pull out the dents or may have to replace sections, depending on the extent of the damage.


Aluminum also has issues holding color over time – it can often develop a chalky residue or become stained. The siding’s original color should last from five to ten years, but if not, aluminum siding is easy to paint. All you need to do is clean it well and then re-paint with 100% acrylic latex paint.

Aluminum Corrosion

If your aluminum siding develops holes from corrosion, it’s also easy to repair. A contractor will coat the holes with metal primer, fill with waterproof caulk, and then apply a coat of acrylic paint once the caulk is dry.

Steel Rusting

Most steel siding is treated with a rust-resistant compound, but if the finish is scratched or not treated, it can rust. It’s important to stay on top of rust problems as it spreads quickly.

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Aluminum Siding Pros and Cons

If your home is looking weathered, one of the easiest ways to give it a makeover is to consider refinishing the exterior with metal siding. Easy to install and economical, metal siding has long been a popular choice both for the polished look it offers and the protection it gives the structure beneath. Metal siding comes in two varieties, aluminum, and steel, each of which has distinct advantages and drawbacks. The following are some pros and cons of aluminum siding that will help you decide which is more appropriate for your home.


Looks good

Aluminum siding comes in a wide variety of patterns and colors and can add an elegant, streamlined look to any kind of home. It can even be laid over existing siding for an instant refresh.


One of the biggest benefits of choosing aluminum siding is that it’s very cost-effective. It’s often made of recycled materials and is lightweight, reducing the cost of goods and labor required to install. In many cases, aluminum siding can cost up to 80% less than other siding materials, a real boost for a homeowner on a budget.

Low maintenance

Aluminum siding is extremely low maintenance. Unlike other types of siding, it won’t rust, rot, or get moldy. All it requires throughout the year is light cleaning with soap and water to remove dirt. And because aluminum is waterproof and doesn’t expand or contract with moisture or heat, the siding won’t rust or buckle in inclement weather.


Aluminum siding is also a good choice because it’s made from aluminum coil stock, making it quite durable. It’s then coated with a protective top layer to prevent erosion and finished with color and texture. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, aluminum siding can last 40 years or more but may need painting every 5-10 years.


If you live in an area that’s prone to wildfires, you might consider aluminum siding for its fire-resistant qualities. Most metal siding is rated as non-combustible, which means that in fire safety testing, it was shown to withstand heat and lower the spread of fire.


Metal siding can be recycled and doesn’t have to end up in a landfill when its useful life is over. But if you’re conscientious about your carbon footprint, you should be aware that aluminum is energy-intensive to manufacture and is not a renewable resource.


Dents and scratches

One of the biggest problems encountered with aluminum siding is its propensity to dent easily. Aluminum is a soft metal and can easily be scratched, exposing the underlying material. Even a strong pressure wash or stray object can mar its surface. If the dents are small, they can usually be pulled out, but larger damage is harder to fix.

Doesn’t provide great insulation

Metal doesn’t insulate well by itself. You’ll have to add additional insulation underneath the siding for the best effect. It also doesn’t protect you from outside noise as well as other materials might. You might hear the sound of rain, hail, or heavy winds more with aluminum siding than you would with other materials.


Because aluminum is finished with a top-coat of color, it often doesn’t stand up well to harsh weather. Over time, rain, snow, sun, and wind can take their toll, fading the color and making the siding look worn. If you need to replace a small section due to damage, it can often be hard to match colors. One way to avoid this issue is to make sure the siding is painted with high-quality exterior paint when it’s installed.

Re-sale value

Aluminum siding has been in use since the early 1940s. Since there are so many alternative types of siding today, some people may consider aluminum “low quality” or out of style. Be sure to check out other homes in your area to see which materials are favored. Aluminum may not be the best choice in your community and could affect your resale value.

Steel Siding Pros and Cons

Remodeling your home comes with all kinds of decisions about materials and styles. If you’re working on upgrading the exterior, you’ll need to think about not only the look, but the best materials to protect your home, reinforce its overall structure, and make your life easier. Over the years, steel siding has increased in popularity due to its strength, durability, and range of looks. To determine whether steel is a good choice for cladding your home, we’ve outlined the following pros and cons:


Doesn’t dent easily

Steel siding is incredibly durable and can withstand all kinds of weather and wear and tear. One of the strongest siding materials available, steel usually comes with incredible warranties, good for up to 50 years for storm damage and 25 years for color fading. You won’t find this kind of durability with other siding materials like fiber cement or stucco.

More durable

Most people are attracted to steel siding for its strength and durability. It won’t rot, it’s not attractive to rodents and other pests, and won’t rust if well maintained. It also holds up in a variety of climates, protecting against freezing winters and boiling hot summers. And the tighter seams ensure that rain won’t leak in and absorb water like wood siding.

Low maintenance

Like aluminum siding, steel is extremely low maintenance. All you’ll need to do is remove built-up dust and dirt with a garden hose and detergent a few times a year. And unlike softer aluminum, you can pressure wash your building if you need to do a more thorough cleaning.


Steel isn’t flammable and while it can indeed melt, it’s very rare that fire outside of the home would reach high enough temperatures for that to happen. Adding steel siding increases the R-value of your home dramatically, protecting homes in fire-prone areas.


Steel siding comes in a wide array of fashionable colors such as dark greys, blues, and greens. It’s fade- and chalk-proof, unlike aluminum, as the color coating is baked on and won’t crack, flake, or peel. With steel, you won’t have to worry about the maintenance and re-painting that other types of siding require.


In addition to its great color options, steel is also available in many sizes and textures. It can be ordered in a wood-grained finish, for example, or corrugated metal, for a more rustic feel. It can be installed horizontally or vertically making it possible to achieve any design you might have in mind.


Most steel siding is made from 25% to 50% recycled material such as junked cars and scrap metal. Once it’s removed from a structure, it can be 100% recycled into other products. Choosing steel siding is a great way to conserve resources and reduce your environmental impact.


More expensive

Steel siding is more expensive than aluminum because it’s thicker and more time-consuming to install. But it will last much longer. With proper maintenance, steel siding can last fifty years or more with minimal upkeep and damage.


Steel is as durable as it is because it’s a heavier metal. Because of its weight, it’s harder to install so you’ll spend more on materials and labor than you might with lighter materials. You’ll definitely need to hire an experienced steel siding company to handle installation properly.

Poor insulation

Steel provides poor insulation to a home. It can actually conduct more heat to the exterior of your home, so, on its own, it’s not the best choice for hot areas. But with the addition of insulation panels underneath the siding, you’ll save significantly on energy costs.


Steel can be considered a special-order product in some areas and might take a while to arrive. Be sure your contractor takes delivery time into consideration when developing a project timeline and orders a sufficient amount to complete the job.

Coastal climates

If your home is close to saltwater, you might find that steel rusts when exposed to fog or salty air. Wet climates will also worsen rusting if the steel siding is damaged. It’s important to quickly repair steel siding in these types of climates.

Cost to Install Aluminum and Steel Siding – Material and Labor Installation Cost

The cost of installing metal siding will vary by material, the orientation of the siding (i.e. whether it’s installed horizontally or vertically), and the overall complexity of the job. Aluminum is relatively inexpensive at $3 – $6 per square foot, including installation. Painting will cost extra. Steel siding is a heavier material and requires more labor. Steel siding costs approximately$5 – $10 per square foot with installation. Metal siding requires special paint, so if you’d like to paint the siding, once installed, you can expect to add an additional $2000 for a 1500 square foot house. And finally, it’s recommended that you remove old siding before installing new, and that will cost anywhere from $0.25 – $0.75 per square foot.

How to Choose Metal Siding

Once you’ve decided that metal siding is the way to go, you’ll have a number of decisions to make about which type of siding to choose; aluminum or steel. There’re many factors to consider, based on your budget, the desired look, concerns about resale value, and the constraints of the area in which you live. Following is a quick guide to choosing the correct metal siding.


An important first decision will be the thickness or “gauge” of the panels used on your home. When it comes to aluminum siding, cheaper aluminum siding will be referred to as 40 gauge, or 0.4 inches thick, standard is 44 gauge, and the better products will be 53 gauge. With steel, 22 gauge is the thickest, and 29 gauge the thinnest of most steel panels. 26 gauge is the standard steel thickness employed on most homes, with 24 gauge used in areas where the building will withstand high wind or rough weather.

Each gauge represents a decimal range so there is wiggle room within standard gauges for different percentages of metal vs. coating. One manufacturer’s 26 gauge steel panel could measure 0.027 inches thick, for instance, while another’s is only 0.0179 inches, but both qualify as 26 gauge. The discrepancy is often made up of coating which can really make a difference when it comes to the actual strength of the panel. Instead of checking the gauge, be sure to look at the manufacturer’s specs on thickness.


Then, you’ll need to decide which material to use; steel or aluminum. Both are low maintenance, but steel is definitely stronger than aluminum and longer-lasting. Both provide good protection when backed with additional insulation panels. Both are fire and insect-resistant, and both are easily cleaned with soap and water. Aluminum is less expensive, but, because it’s thinner, more prone to denting and scratches. Steel, when damaged, can rust if not fixed quickly. If you live in an area that’s prone to harsh weather, you’ll probably want to go with steel, which can withstand the elements more successfully.


Most aluminum siding is painted after it’s manufactured, so it has a tendency to fade over time or develop a chalky residue. For this reason, property owners with aluminum siding find themselves having to repaint every 10 to 15 years. This fading prevents you from color matching replaced pieces should you need to make repairs, so you either need to completely replace the siding or repaint the entire wall. Steel siding has color baked on in the factory which lasts longer and won’t crack even if the steel expands and contracts with the weather.


While aluminum is a softer metal and dents easily, it doesn’t rust. Steel that’s scratched, leaving the metal bare, has a tendency to rust, especially when exposed to wet climates. Rust spreads quickly, so if you go with steel, you have to make sure to stay on top of repairs before the problem gets out of hand.

Installation Costs

Aluminum siding is lightweight and easier to install, so the material and labor costs will be significantly less, at about $3.00 to $6.00 per square foot installed. Steel siding is much heavier and requires extra expertise and labor, resulting in a higher cost of about $5.00 to $10.00 installed. Insulated versions of both increase the cost by about $1.00 per square foot.


And then finally, there’s the look. One of the beautiful things about metal siding is the range of panel profiles you can choose from. With aluminum siding, you can choose from an industrial look, metal that’s grained to look like textured wood or smooth like clapboard siding. Steel offers an even wider assortment. For an uber-modern, industrial look there are options like corrugated metals with waves that provide interesting patterns throughout the day. There’s vertical siding for a long, lean look, or horizontal for a slightly more traditional profile. These can come with hidden fasteners, providing a sleek streamlined effect. Steel can also be finished in rustic styles, looking pre-rusted, weathered, or even wood-like. The choices are truly endless with this highly durable, versatile material.

Find a Metal Siding Contractor Near Me

Installing metal siding is a very labor-intensive job that requires specific expertise working with the materials. Contractors who don’t know what they’re doing can hammer too hard and damage the siding. They might not properly remove the old siding, or level the walls. And, depending on the desired look and the orientation of the panels, the job might become very complex, requiring a true expert.

Here are some things to look for when hiring a professional metal siding contractor:

Office Location & Length of Time in Business

You’re going to want to hire a metal siding contractor who has many years of experience in the field. It’s best if you work with someone who has been in business for a long time and has an actual, physical office near you. A company that has been part of your local community for many years has more at stake in terms of local reputation and return business than someone who isn’t invested locally.

Licensed and Insured

A licensed contractor will be familiar with local building codes and be able to expedite the job for you. Should an accident happen in the course of the work, their liability, and worker’s comp insurance will ensure that you’re covered for any damage or injuries.


Metal siding installers will have a wealth of experience that you can call upon to make important decisions about upgrading your home’s exterior. Ask to look at their portfolios beforehand to ensure you like their finished work. Depending on the complexity of your job, you’ll want to make sure the contractor has the expertise to complete the work properly. The last thing you’ll want is your siding buckling or separating because the contractor didn’t know how to install it correctly.


Get three or more references so you can learn more about other customers’ experience working with the company. Be sure to check online reviews and the installer’s record with the Better Business Bureau as well.

Get Everything in Writing

If you like what you’ve seen so far, make sure to get an itemized bid that covers every aspect of the job. What’s the warranty? How long will the job take? What does the final cost cover, in detail? Who will be responsible for the cleanup of debris? A signed quote is a legally binding document from the contractor, guaranteeing the project will be finished on time, with the installation completed as promised.


Hire and work with professional metal siding installation contractors in your area. Get free estimates in just minutes from local and trusted pros.

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