James Hardie Siding missing from side of home

It’s starting to turn spring in the Chicago area and its time to start thinking about replacing that siding you’ve seen deteriorating all winter. Usually, siding should last around 8-10 years but, in the Midwest, we endure brutal winters year in and year out. Due to our location, we tend to need our siding replaced more often.

Consider the following factors when choosing the right siding for your home.


As stated before, we live in the Midwest where the winters can be brutal on our homes. Durable siding is absolutely needed in this area. It’s important to discuss this topic with your contractor during consultations.

Fiber Cement siding is a durable and long-lasting product that is perfect for the Mid-West weather. Made of cement, sand and cellulose fibers, fiber cement won’t rot, warp or crack like wood. Here at Erdmann Exteriors, we prefer to use James Hardie siding.

Energy Efficiency

When choosing a siding it is important to factor in energy efficiency. On average, around half of an average month’s utility cost is heating and cooling. Finding the right siding can significantly improve the energy efficiency of your home.

To determine how energy efficient a specific brand or type of siding is, you need to refer to it’s R-value. R-value is the rating given to a material, which indicates it’s energy efficiency. The higher the R-value a material has, the more energy-efficient it is. For example, James Hardie fiber cement siding has an R-value of 3 which is quite significant. Most siding has an R-value of less than 1.


It may not seem as important of a factor in choosing siding as durability or energy efficiency, but color can have a big impact. Choose the wrong color and your house may feel small and out of place, choose the right color and you will have the most beautiful house on the block.

When it comes to choosing the color of your siding, there are certain elements that come into play. It is important to understand the color scheme of your house. Your trim and roof color should accent the color of your siding nicely. Most home hardware stores provide color wheels that can help you determine which colors complement one another. It is also important to take note of what color your neighbor’s houses are as well. This can be a big factor in choosing your color as well. You do not want to stick out like a sore thumb.


When choosing siding for your home, you want to make sure you select a style that best fits the features of your home. Below is a list of popular siding examples and how they affect the aesthetic and curb appeal of your home.

Siding Materials

  • Wood – Wood is the most popular and traditional type of siding that you can purchase. It is very versatile, as you can choose to stain or paint it to your desired color.
  • Vinyl – Created out of plastic to mimic the style out of wood. This material is durable and cleans easily.
  • Fiber Cement – Developed to endure the elements, fiber cement provides that classic wood style.
  • Aluminum – Created originally for factories and warehouses, aluminum siding has recently gained popularity with homeowners to obtain a more industrial look.
  • Brick – A timeless look that presents your house in a traditional manner. This look is especially classic in the Chicago area.
  • Stone – Stone provides a decorative and natural aesthetic to your home. Often combined with wood or fiber cement siding on a home to create contrast.

Start your project

These factors should give you an understanding of what to consider when planning your next siding project. When you schedule a consultation with Erdmann Exteriors all factors will be considered to create the best looking exterior of your home. We will work with you to make sure that you get everything you want out of your home.