If you’re looking for a super durable house siding material, you might want to consider steel siding.
There are multiple benefits to choosing steel siding, primarily, that it’s one of the most economical, durable, long lasting and environmentally friendly house siding materials.
To get started on your siding replacement project, contact your local siding pros for FREE ESTIMATES!
How Much Is Steel Siding?
On average steel siding costs $4-9 per square foot, including materials and professional installation. On a 1,500 sq.ft. ranch style home, steel siding costs $6,000-13,000.
Steel siding prices vary greatly depending on the panel type, as well as gauge of steel you want.
The cheapest option is to install corrugated steel siding panels from Home Depot or Lowe’s for as low as $1 – 1.5 per square foot for materials.
Steel Wall Tiles cost $1 – 10 per square foot, depending on the tile design and manufacturer.
Steel cladding, which comes with insulation, costs $4-8 per square foot for materials only.
Moreover, adding house insulation will drive up your total siding replacement cost by at least $1.00 per square foot.
Complexity of installation, as well as local siding labor rates can also impact your total project cost.
Which Gauge Of Steel Siding Should You Install?
Steel siding is manufactured in standard 26 or 29 gauge steel. Alternatively you can get lighter 24 or 22 gauge steel siding panels.
While lighter gauge steel is about 15% more expensive than heavier steel, its preferred for residential siding installs. This is because its easier to cut and design, as well as faster to install.
Any type of steel panel can be installed either vertically or horizontally, as well as cut to your specifications to fit the architectural design of your home.
More expensive, high-end panel designs and arrangements can significantly reduce the look of visible seams, creating a very sleep and modern aesthetic.
Steel Siding vs Vinyl Siding
If you’re an environmentally conscious person, you’re more likely to gravitate to steel siding, given that it’s completely recyclable. Vinyl siding isn’t the best option when it comes to sustainability.
Plus, durability is an important factor, and this is where steel siding also takes the lead. In areas with harsh weather conditions, heavy rains, wind storms and hail, severe temperature fluctuations, steel siding will surpass the durability of vinyl by many years.
Moreover, unlike vinyl or most other siding types for that matter, steel is not susceptible to expansion and contraction as a response to high/low temperatures, which also extends its service life.
The warranty for steel siding is usually more extensive too, and includes protection against hailstorms, which is unheard of for vinyl siding.
Finally, cost-wise, low to mid-range quality vinyl siding, such as Georgia Pacific, may be more initially more affordable or on part with cheap steel panels, poor durability doesn’t make the investment into cheap vinyl worth while.
More expensive vinyl siding that costs $5-7 per square foot is similar in price to better quality metal siding, and many choose vinyl simply because they prefer its aesthetic appeal.
Steel Siding vs. Fiber Cement Siding
Steel and fiber cement are the biggest competitors when it comes to durability and low-maintenance.
Still all things being equal, good quality steel siding will require a lot less maintenance and will last a few decades longer compared to fiber cement.
Fiber cement siding, such as James Hardie will require repainting about every 15 years, but similar to steel, it offer good fire, insect and rot protection for the house.
In terms of looks, fiber cement certainly takes the lead in the eyes of most homeowners, especially those looking for a more traditional look on a Cape, Victorian, Ranch, Colonial, Mid-Century Modern, etc style home.
Steel siding can be more appealing for homeowners with a vision to build an ultra modern, or farm/barn style house.
Importantly, steel siding is a much better option if you’re building a sustainable home because it’s a natural material that doesn’t pollute the planet.
Finally, when it comes to price, fiber cement is often more expensive than steel siding. And not only because of the volatile prices of steel.
Overall, the average cost of fiber cement siding $9-12 per square foot
Steel Siding vs. Wood Siding
For many people, wood siding is the only option they will ever accept. What’s better than authentic wood for your home? But wood siding, especially high-quality wood, is usually costly.
On average, wood siding costs $7-13 per square foot or more, so steel siding costs at least 50% less.
While both steel and wood siding can both last a very long time, the amount of effort and maintenance that you need to put into real wood siding cannot compare to almost zero effort required with steel.
Plus, with wood siding you do have to worry about fire, cracking, chipping, thermal expansion and contraction of the wood, water damage, rot, insects, rodents, regular staining or repainting. Needless to say, these are all a none-issue with steel siding.
If you really want the look of real wood siding but the benefits of steel, consider cutting edge products from companies like Quality Edge.
Their line of TrueCedar Shake Steel siding is truly impressive. While this type of steel siding certainly will cost most than your average corrugated steel panel, it will still be few thousand dollars cheaper than natural wood.
Did you know? Compared to other newer materials, like vinyl, fiber cement or engineered wood, steel siding has been the oldest alternative to the original wood siding that used to grace the majority of homes in the US.
Steel siding has been introduced way back in 1903, and has been used as cladding for homes and buildings ever since.
Can You Paint Steel Siding?
While many manufacturers offer their steal siding panels in a wide range of colors ( there are 15-25 colors to choose from), its also possible to paint steel on your own. The cost of painting steel siding ranges from $1,500-2,500 for a 1,500 sq.ft. house.
If you decide to paint your steel siding, its extremely important to pick top quality paint coating such as Kynar 500 or Hylar 5000. These paint coatings provide an extra layer of protection against corrosion and can extend the life of your metal siding by as much as 10-15 years.
Pro Tip: many homeowners have the misconception that the color of steel siding will fade and chip, and will need to be eventually repainted.
However, this is no longer the case, thanks to the highly advanced metal color coatings that are used in manufacturing of steel siding panels today.
This technology uses special color pigments and resins which are essentially baked into the metal at a very high temperature, so that they do not fade or crack over time. Once installed, you will actually not need to repaint your steel siding, so pick your color carefully!
Is Steel Siding Good In Cold Climate?
What’s one of the most frequent complaints from homeowners who live in areas with harsh winters? Well, the creaking sounds their homes make might not only be annoying, but a sign of damage.
This usually happens when moisture finds a way in, meaning that steel siding is an excellent option for cold climates. Water can’t penetrate steel, and the panels can’t absorb it.
Plus, steel siding allows for additional insulation when necessary. And unlike some other types of siding, there’s enough room underneath the panels to install as much insulation as you want.
In fact, because of its superior protection in harsh weather, steel siding is found more and more frequently in Northeast, in states like Montana, Rhode Island, North Dakota, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, Maine, etc.
How Long Does Steel Siding Last?
Steel siding is the choice to make if you’re gunning for the longevity of your home. If you do some minimal maintenance, it will likely last about 40 years without any issues arising.
But more often, it exceeds that period and will even last a few decades more. Many homeowners have steel siding that is 70 years old and is still going strong.
Of, course, the milder your local climate and the less rain and snow the longer your steel siding will last without any corrosion issues.
Steel Siding Manufacturers
The siding industry is flooded with many brands that focus on one type of siding or the other. If you’re set on installing steel siding at your house, these are the top manufacturers to consider.
EDCO: this is a company with a rich history. They take pride in the fact that all of the materials they use for siding and roofing are 100% sustainable.
Their steel siding is paintable, and their products include traditional lap, vertical, shake, or even a combination of them all. Also, EDCO offer 100 colors and 4 finishes to choose from!
Bridger Steel: these guys have an innovative solution to any kind of metal siding or roofing problem. They provide an excellent selection of siding panels, including rustic, bare, and vintage.
Bridger Steel siding products stand above the rest in terms of style and aesthetic appeal. Bridger Steel has one of the widest selections of panel types and sizes in the residential metal siding market. This is frequently the go to steel siding specified by architects for high-end custom built houses.
Quality Edge: if you are looking for a modern sleek look of metal siding, this company has what to offer. All their steel siding has a stunning contemporary aesthetic, and a wide range of choices to consider.
For example, their newest offering, Vesta Steel Siding product line has 8 unique solid colors and 4 rich wood grain colors to choose from. If you want the look of real cedar shakes, they have the TrueCedar Shake siding that has a wide range of colors from new to aged cedar wood.
PlyGem Steel: this is a huge, well-known company that has distributors all over the country. They are primarily known for their vinyl siding, but also offer steel and aluminum siding.
While the aesthetics may not be as stunning as some of the specialty steel siding manufacturers, you have the benefit of easier availability, cheaper pricing and a decent selection of styles and colors.
PlyGem offers higher end seamless steel siding, board and batten, shake, as well as steel lap siding.
Whirlwind Steel: in case you are looking for the unadulterated look of metal, Whirlwind has what to offer. Their panels offer superior durability without any fancy looks or specialty colors that mimic other siding materials.
Steel siding is what you get, in its simple glory. They offer a wide selection of ribbed panels that can be used for both siding and roofing applications.
MBCI: this is another company that offers high quality steel siding that looks more like metal than anything else.
They offer metal wall systems with concealed or exposed fasteners, as well as insulated steel panels, ideal in harsh climates and will boost the energy efficiency of your home with improved R-value.
TruLog: this company’s main objective is to install the strength and durability of steel while presenting the beauty and elegance of wood.
Their “logs” are very realistic and one of the best in the industry. They also have Board and Batten steel panels to consider.
Overall, TruLog siding is ideal if you are looking to side a cabin in the woods, a garage, a horse barn or a shed. This steel log siding is also very low-maintenance and relatively simple to install.
Steel Siding Pros & Cons
Now let’s highlight some of the most relevant advantages and disadvantages of steel siding.
Low to high end pricing available
The beauty of steel is that you can make it as cheap or expensive as you want. From DIY projects using corrugated metal roofing panels at $2.5 per square foot, to high-end custom cut steel panels at $12+ square foot and everything in between, you can find steel siding that suits your needs and budget.
One of the features that we keep coming back to is the relentless durability of steel siding. For any other siding material, it’s difficult to compare.
Steel is sturdy, pest-resistant, and won’t warp or crack. Steel panels will not blow off during a wind storm or dent from hail. Moreover, this siding is going to retain the same color and shape for a very long time.
Again, no other siding material can compare to steel siding when it comes to being kind to the planet. Other natural materials like wood are great, but deforestation is a serious problem that affects the environment. That’s why steel siding is the best option for homeowners looking for more sustainability.
Long and almost maintenance free service life
Once you install steel siding, you will only need to do minimal maintenance and you can enjoy your siding for at least 40 years.
Wide range of panel sizes, colors and styles Exterior metal siding has come a long way since the days it was installed on barns or industrial buildings.
Today, metal siding and steel in particular offers a huge selection of profiles and styles to choose from that can match pretty much any architectural style.
Like any siding material, steel is not without its disadvantages that are important to be aware of:
– Overtime steel siding can rust, especially if its not protected by a manufacturer’s baked on coating.
– Painted steel of cheaper varieties, or bare metal steel that you paint yourself can scratch easily, compared to high-end panels with special color coatings. Overtime, multiple scratches can not only degrade the curb appeal of your house, but can also contribute to corrosion.
– Steel siding can be noisy during a wind storm. Most homeowners report that it makes a ping-like sound.
– It may be difficult to find a qualified metal siding installer, and as a result you may have to settle for paying higher installation fees, compared to more common siding materials.
– Aesthetically, the look of steel siding on your house may just not be your thing.
– The color of new steel siding that is currently manufactured will not fade or chip overtime.
Is Steel Siding Worth It?
Unsurprisingly, this is one of the first questions homeowners in search of new siding will ask. Granted, some people might find the idea of metal siding unusual.
But if you’re living in an area where winters can be harsh, hailstorms frequent, and where frost is your worst enemy, you’ll likely appreciate the fact that steel blocks any moisture from penetrating.
And that also means that you’ll never have to worry about mold, fungi, and all those moisture-related annoyances that can damage your home and even your health.
Plus, you won’t have to worry about insects either, because bugs don’t really like steel. These are just some of the reasons why choosing steel siding could be the best decision you make for your house. But we’ll highlight even more benefits as you read on.
Steel is an ideal choice for a wide range of siding projects:
– Traditional, contemporary style architecture house
– Ranch or Farm house
– Log / Cabin / Mountain home
– Wood working shop
– Home Addition
– Pool house
– Horse barn
– Chicken coop
– Boat house