There is nothing else you can do to change the entire exterior look of your house more than a siding remodel. Choosing your contractor is step one in this process. Looking at years in service, Better Business Bureau rating, and warranty are all very important. We’ll make this part easy for you…Minnesota Exteriors has been a family business since 1947, we are A+ rated by the BBB, and we have a lifetime workmanship warranty! Now that the hard part of choosing a contractor is over, let’s get on to the fun part: picking out siding! With the amount of choices available, making a decision can be a daunting task for any homeowner. At MEI, we don’t try to cram one option down your throat like some companies do. We take you through all the options and find the perfect siding for you. VINYL One of the most popular options today is vinyl siding, due in part to its affordability and its lack of needing continued maintenance. Minnesota Exteriors carries Heartland vinyl siding, which boasts two of the best rated siding panels by Consumer Reports. The number one rated overall panel is CedarMax, which is the thickest vinyl available backed by a form fit foam insulation. This adds strength and insulation value to the panel. CedarMax even guarantees in their warranty a 20% home energy savings! CedarMax also comes in wider expsosures than the typical 4” vinyl that is the most prevalent today. You can choose a 6” or 7” exposure that mimics more of the composite boards that we’ll talk about later. Heartland HeartTech siding is the number six rated overall panel with the distinction of Consumer Report’s “Best Buy” rating. You would be hard pressed to find someone that beats our price on a vinyl siding job when we are pricing out HeartTech. It is a quality panel at a fantastic price! Vinyl is for you if your main concerns are price and low-maintenance with a sharp clean appearance. There are many colors and styles available, but keep in mind the darker shades are more expensive because extra fade protection needs to be added to these panels to retain their color. Vinyl shakes and half-rounds are also made if you would like to dress up some front gables or bump-outs. STEEL AND ALUMINUM Steel siding is vinyl’s more rigid older brother. Steel and aluminum have been around for a long time and have many of the same advantages as vinyl with a few extras. First, let’s talk about steel. Rollex and Edco are the brands of steel siding we use, giving you many styles and colors to choose from. Both use high quality PVC finishes to protect the panels from fade and dents. One advantage steel has over vinyl is its rigidity. Vinyl panels will stay straight with a form fit foam backer; otherwise they have a slight cup from lap to lap. Rollex also makes aluminum siding, which has lost some popularity over the years as many homeowners have opted for steel in the battle of metal siding. Aluminum is a softer metal, which makes it easier to dent. However, it is a nice option to have a metal siding that is less expensive than steel but still has rigidness and low maintenance. Steel or aluminum siding is for you if you like the maintenance free idea in a product that has a stronger structure to it. Steel and aluminum have many styles and color options, as well. The choice between vinyl, steel, or aluminum siding in many cases comes down to the homeowner liking the look or feel of one over another. That’s why we always encourage anyone getting a siding estimate in the Twin Cities area to come by our showroom and see them all in person. We’re also happy to give you addresses to see them on houses in your area. COMPOSITE BOARDS Composite board siding is definitely on the rise in the Twin Cities market. They had a bad name in the 70’s and 80’s as panels made of sawdust and glue sprang up as a cheaper alternative to wood. You could say they led directly to the boom of vinyl as homeowners weren’t happy with siding panels swelling and deteriorating on their house and wanted to move to maintenance free material (though many preferred a traditional painted board look). However, since that time composite boards have greatly changed their formulas to stand up to the drastically changing climate we live in here in good old Minnesota. Just as you need a hearty (or slightly insane) person to live here, you need just as hearty of a composite board to survive on your house. Minnesota Exteriors proudly installs a wood composite siding called LP Smartside and a cement composite board siding from the very popular line of James Hardie products known as “Hardie Board.” Both hold up to moisture and our climate while keeping the traditional look of painted wood. They can be ordered primed for you to paint or we can get them prefinished in any color you can imagine. These are the strongest panels available in holding up to a hail storm. Vinyl can crack, steel and aluminum can dent, but the composite boards will very rarely be affected by storm damage. Thankfully, all panels are covered by homeowner’s insurance. We at Minnesota Exteriors know insurance restoration well and we’d be happy to help you if the hail finds your house, but that is a conversation for another day. The point I’m trying to make is that with composite boards you most likely will not need to file a claim on your siding. Your roof is another story…did I mention we do free insurance inspections? Ok, enough about that. Composite boards are for you if you love the traditional look and a strong product. Many styles are available and any color can be used. Shakes and trim boards are very popular for accents. You will need to have it painted again some day…it comes prefinished with a 20-yr paint warranty. Some people love having the ability to change the color of the house in the future without residing. If that is you, come into our showroom and compare the composite boards which we would happily quote for your “New House at Your Old Address!” This only scratches the surface; please call us with any other questions or have one of our reps out for a NO PRESSURE free estimate. Also, keep in mind we can take pictures of your house and superimpose some different looks and colors using our software to give you some more ideas. Thanks again from Minnesota Exteriors!