Siding can make or break the initial appearance and overall feel of your home. Choosing siding to suit your needs is important.

This is certainly the most popular in terms of percentages. Understand that there are variances that run the gammet with vinyl siding. Thickness, warranty[ fading, is labor included?], color selection, wood grain, size (3", 4", 4.5", 5", 6"...), are just a few of the many aspects to consider.


Solid-core siding raises the standard for vinyl siding.
It is a step (or two) up from "hollow-back" vinyl which leaves a hollow void behind the panel among other things. Solid-core vinyl strengthens the entire run on the wall, insulates (up to an R-value of 4.0 or more), tightens seams, and even quiets the home.

products resist cupping and warping. They're factory
pre-primed to take paint well, delivering optimal adhesion and consistent application. Add the proprietary Smart Guard® manufacturing process to help protect against bugs and fungal decay.

Everyone has probably heard of James Hardie siding. Mix 93% cement with 6% wood, and 1% adhesives and there you have it; a product made to withstand the elements, provide years of durability and beauty, and like or not a product that needs painting. Yes, this is where the dreaded word "maintenance" enters the picture. You must paint this product unless of course you opt for the
pre-painted which cannot guarantee perfect touch-ups as the pre-painted James Hardie which uses a heat applied painting process that is difficult to reproduce with a touch-up kit. When installed properly, James Hardie cement siding looks fantastic.

Whether it is cedar lap siding or cedar shakes, cedar has been the standard for beauty in terms of the look people are seeking. Be aware of the many grades of cedar that are available and know that this can significantly affect pricing.


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Here are a few important tips to help you make the right choice:

The Decision Is Yours
Your options in regards to siding are certainly not lacking. Take the time to wisely discern what the best is for your home. Make an informed decision based on all of the facts and tell them what you are leaning toward, or more aggressively, what you have decided. Each contractor will certainly have their opinions as well as their motives for such (financial, experience...).

Siding Benefits
Not only should you choose a siding to suit your own individual style and taste, it should also possess its own one-of-a-kind quality that will add value to your home. Make sure it's has a lasting life, a warranty and fade resistance.

Old Vinyl vs. New Vinyl?
As recent as ten years ago, it could be counted on that vinyl siding may curve, bend, warp, fade, chip, crack, or simply take on a rather unsightly appearance after only a few years. Recent years have brought about the newest trends in vinyl siding:
Solid-core vinyl siding. The concept is simple; install an expanded polystyrene (or other) foam backer that form-fits to the panel, allowing the foam to bolster the strength of the panel, while adding an R-value of up to 4.0. The result is a high-end panel with sharp looks that adds insulation value and much-needed strength. Recent years has also brought about new technology in regards to fading. You are now able to choose darker colors than ever before without the threat of a faded panel three years down the road.

Installation Is Crucial
The crew that installs your siding should be skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable as to the product installed. Understand this: Your warranty is only as good as your install! Some warranties are actually nullified if the siding is improperly installed.

BEWARE Of Storm Chasers!
I am the first to admit that I enjoy a good hail storm with the rest of contractors, but understand that when a storm hits, the country knows about it. There are contractors and crews from all over the U.S. flocking in to get their piece of the Minnesota insurance pie. Fortunately, we happen to live in a state that guards the homeowner by requiring stringent licensing guidelines. In other words, it is NOT easy to get a Minnesota general contractor's license. So do your homework and ask for a copy of a contractor's Minnesota license as well as insurance. One more thing; almost anyone can apply for a single-trade license and get one (in Minnesota). If you were to choose a contractor with a single-trade license (just roofing or just siding), know that this person did NOT take the Minnesota general contractor's licensing exam.

Make Sure Your Contractor Has Proven Experience
And Knowledge About All Siding

At Tonka Management we have installed cedar, cedar shakes, vinyl, solid-core vinyl, vinyl shakes, steel, James Hardie, & Masonite. We would be more than happy to explain the multiple choices with you as well as share photos and testimonies from our customers.


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