4 Common Types of Siding for Commercial Buildings

The material that you use for the siding of your commercial building can have a huge impact on both its functionality and appearance. There are business owners that choose to go for a more utilitarian approach while others lean towards giving their businesses more curb appeal, thereby choosing for a siding material that has more cosmetic charm.

Before settling on a specific siding material, you should consider several factors such as the primary use of the building, the people who will be using it, and its locale among other things. Of course, your budget must also factor in your decision. The cost of new siding can vary, as can the maintenance that is needed for specific materials.

That being said, here are the four common types of siding materials that are used for commercial buildings:

1) Steel

Steel is a practical choice because these are fairly easy to install and reasonably priced. With steel, you can customize the look, giving you complete control over specifications for your building. Business owners, though, choose steel to be the siding for their structure for these three reasons:

  • Easy on the budget: Steel buildings are fundamentally sound and easy to make, so they can be bought without burning a huge hold in your bank account.
  • It’s durable: Steel can endure better than most materials, lasting for decades with minimal maintenance.
  • It’s fireproof: Steel does not burn, making it ideal for specific industrial and commercial applications.

If you are keen on installing commercial metal siding, you must also realize that it has flaws, the most glaring of which is its look. Steel looks dull and utilitarian, and business owners — especially those that operate retail stores and restaurants — that want their businesses to stand out right off the bat tend to go for flashier siding materials.

2) Stucco

If you are looking for a siding material that will hold its own and do well during hot summers and bitter winters, you should check out stucco. Stucco is capable of providing sufficient insulation, making it energy-efficient, and a material that you can utilize in creating comfortable interiors. Stucco is low-maintenance as well, as its blemishes and imperfections can easily be concealed with caulk and paint.

Also, stucco is a versatile material that can assume odd shapes. So, whether your building has a conventional shape or is curved, stucco will still suffice. Stucco is so versatile that you can paint it with any color to match your brand. Lastly, stucco can last as long as you want when given proper and timely maintenance.

3) Brick

Another popular siding material is brick veneer. Part of its popularity comes from the fact that it is a reasonably priced material, which is placed over a wooden frame that lets the building “breathe” and shift accordingly, making it hold its ground even when the weather shifts dramatically all through the year.

One thing that you should always take note when installing brick veneer is to have the work done by experienced professionals. Veneer has to be installed to make sure that drainage is possible and that the interior is well protected. This is to keep mold and mildew from growing, which could damage the structure and harm the health of the residents of the building.

4) Non-Brick Masonry

While stone veneer may look different from brick veneer, both siding materials function in very similar ways. Akin to brick veneer, weep holes are needed to promote drainage. Also, masonry must be installed well to keep moisture from becoming a problem.

Commercial Siding vs. Residential Siding

A building can’t be considered entirely complete without a siding. Siding is an inherent feature that protects a structure from weather elements and external trauma. It also provides a nice-looking finish that gives a building curb appeal.

Different properties require distinct forms of siding to meet their particular purpose. This diversity causes the durability, costs, and maintenance among siding types to vary widely. In this article, you’re going to look at the differences between siding a commercial property vs. a residential one.

Commercial Building vs. Residential Building

To make a clear comparison, you must first understand the difference between commercial and residential properties.

Basically, the latter is a dwelling, often single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments. It’s easier to get emotionally attached to a residential structure since it’s usually inhabited for personal use.

On the other hand, commercial buildings have larger premises than their residential counterparts. They are widely accessible to the public and mostly utilized for business purposes. Common examples include hotels, retail shops, hospitals, and offices.

Differences Between Commercial and Residential Siding

Materials Used

Several factors affect what siding is used for a given building. What type of siding you choose depends on what the siding aims to achieve. For example, is the primary goal aesthetics, to save money, or to choose a low-maintenance option. Some components are cheap, like steel but don’t look nice, which could be inconvenient for a high-end commercial office but could work well for a manufacturing plant. Other elements might be expensive, such as wood, but they offer a more classic façade that’s perfect for homeowners looking to beautify their property.

Purpose

The primary purpose of installing siding is for protection. This applies to all types, no matter how big or small the area it covers.

Commercial property owners tend to use low-cost material to maximize profits. Plus, businesses also operate with the public’s opinion in mind. That’s why aside from being durable, commercial siding should also give a good first impression.

On the other hand, homeowners tend to gravitate towards siding that is functional (i.e. resistant to local weather conditions and low maintenance) or that goes with the home’s aesthetics.

And that brings us to our next comparison:

Cost

Between commercial and residential siding, a significant price gap exists since each structure has different needs. In general, commercial siding costs more because a larger surfer needs to be covered. Depending on the material used, you’ll spend around $20 – $35 per square foot to clad a building. You should anticipate $3 – $10 per square foot to install siding for an average home.

Appearance

Every property owner wants their building to be eye-catching. However, commercial siding demands a more presentable look as it needs to appeal to customers. Don’t worry, though. You can still find plenty of attractive options for spicing up your home exterior.

Durability

Siding is mostly known for its cost-effective features. It can last for several years with proper maintenance. The durability of a siding comes down to what material it’s made of. Commercial siding is commonly made out of metal and can last for many decades. As for residential siding, vinyl is a popular choice since it is low cost.

Maintenance

Most siding is not that difficult to maintain. You only need to inspect for cracks and color fading. Since a commercial building has to look good at all times, you’ll have to check the siding once or twice a year. You can leave residential siding for a decade, and it’ll still be in perfect condition. However, just to be on the safe side, examine your home once every few years.

Best Commercial and Residential Siding Types

It’s mentioned earlier that the factors above would depend on the type of material used. To give you a rough idea, here’s a small table listing popular siding types and the pros and cons of each:

Commercial Siding Type Pros Cons
 

Steel Siding

 

Easily produced, low-cost, extremely durable, and fire-proof. Less attractive than other siding types. Common among industrial infrastructure.
 

Brick Siding

 

 

Compact, looks natural, and pleasant to the eyes. Low-maintenance.

 

 

Prone to cracks. One of the most expensive siding used mainly by restaurants.

 

Fiber Cement

 

Used in both residential and commercial buildings. Highly affordable and durable. Can be painted to imitate other materials..

 

Quite tricky to install. Chips away or breaks apart if not applied properly.

 

Residential Siding Type

 

Pros

 

Cons

 

Vinyl Siding

 

Inexpensive, low-maintenance, and extremely durable. Primarily used for average homes.

 

Prone to getting affected by moisture and mold formation over time.

 

Wood Siding

 

Widely appreciated for its looks. Natural and authentic. Superbly durable if maintained properly.

 

Requires lots of maintenance. Expensive to install and maintain.

 

Stone Veneer Siding

 

Undeniably beautiful. Low-maintenance. Less expensive than natural stone.

 

Not entirely natural (unlike real stone!)

Please note that these siding types are not commercial or residential specific. A business can install siding that is normally used for homes and vice versa. In the end, it all comes down to your preference and budget. Choose wisely!

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