9 Best Modern Metal Siding Options for Your Home

modern metal siding options

If you consider upgrading your home and turning it into a more aesthetically pleasing and attractive facility, replacing the cladding system is one of the essential things you should do. Manufacturers offer various cladding systems, from traditional wood to contemporary metal panels or vinyl sidings. However, architects prefer metal sidings for current designs. Thus, we want to introduce you to the best modern metal siding options for your beloved home.

Modern Metal Siding Options in Terms of Material

Current construction contractors and suppliers provide modern metal siding options with different materials. Here are the best ones you should consider using in your next project.

  • ACM Panels
  • Aluminum Siding or Cladding
  • Steel Siding
  • Galvanized Steel Cladding Panels
  • Vinyl Siding
  • Copper Cladding Systems
  • CORTEN Steel Siding
  • Zinc Cladding
  • Corrugated Siding
modern metal siding

Advantages of Modern Metal Siding Options

Each of these modern metal siding options has its unique advantages and characteristics. They can all be practical for your home cladding system. However, all of these options have some primary and mutual benefits that you should know, making them perfect for any building design.

  • Metal sidings are low-maintenance construction materials.
  • All of the modern metal siding systems repel insects.
  • Modern metal sidings are durable and can withstand the harshest weather conditions.
  • Most of the metal sidings, including aluminum composite panels, are anti-corrosion.
  • Modern metal claddings are energy-efficient materials. They will decrease your energy costs during all seasons.
  • ACM panels are perfect sound-insulating solutions.
  • With modern metal siding options, you can have limitless design ideas for your home. Aluminum sidings, composite panels, steel cladding panels, and other systems come with various colors and patterns to fulfill your design requirements.
  • Metal panels are recyclable materials, and you can use cladding systems that are made with old and recycled metal sidings. Manufacturers utilize various ACP recycling methods to create new and beautiful sidings for your home.
  • Fire-rated metal cladding systems will protect your building against fire. This characteristic of modern metal siding options makes them the preferred construction material in industrial cities and countries.
modern aluminum siding

Design Ideas with Modern Metal Sidings for Your Home

Now that you know what the best metal siding options are for you, it is time to help decide which design or style you would like to use for your home. Although architects can design whatever style you desire, there are some beautiful design ideas we want to suggest to help you in your next project.

Here is the list of design ideas we recommend for your house with modern metal siding options:

  1. Stacked Style
  2. Standing Seams
  3. Mixed Material Cladding
  4. Accented Areas
  5. Industrial Design with Modern Material Siding
  6. Continual Board-and-Batten with Metal Cladding Panels
  7. Horizontal Metal Paneling
  8. Pops of Colors and Patterns

Stacked Style with Modern Metal Siding Options

Suppose your home is broken up into vertical sections by the wrap-around porch and the roofing system overhang to cover it. In that case, you should use modern metal siding systems by breaking them up into vertical sections as well.

With this design idea, you can complete the look and appearance of your home facade by getting a lot of depth that mixes perfectly with your windows.

Standing Seam Design

One of the most traditional forms of metal sidings is using corrugated metal panels to cover the facade. Modern architects utilize this designing method with flat-seam panels and standing seam metal sidings.

With a standing seam design, you will get a more weathertight exterior, and it will offer a sleek and modern look with vertical lines.

Mixed Material Cladding

Architects can design a home for you featuring different materials in various facility parts. Even traditional cladding systems can be mixed with modern metal siding options for creating a unique appearance.

In this design idea, you can use different materials and colors horizontally or vertically, which will offer an exciting appearance for your home’s exterior.

Accented Areas of Home Facade with Modern Metal Siding Options

You can use modern metal siding as accents on different sections of your home facade. With this, you will add a modern appearance and stunning visual effects to your house.

Industrial Design with Modern Metal Sidings

Industrial design is one of the trendiest home styles nowadays. You can create homes with industrial design with all of the metal siding options. However, the best material for industrial style is the aluminum composite panel.

This design idea combines well with the oversized glass windows and can add some contrast to the wood trim giving your home’s design depth and details.

Continual Board-and-Batten

Another practical design idea for your home’s facade with modern metal sidings is board-and-batten. With this method, you can create contrasting angles which will offer a unique appearance.

Horizontal Metal Paneling

If you want to provide more dramatic lines on your building facade, horizontal metal paneling is the best option for you. The horizontally installed metal cladding panels will help your home’s exterior highlight and attract more attention. Moreover, you can add ACM panels with wood patterns to add warmth to your design.

Pops of Colors and Patterns

The last design idea with modern metal siding options is to use pops of colors and patterns. Having some body-colored cladding panels can help you add some interiors to your home’s exterior.

What Should be the Qualities of External Cladding Materials?

Aluminum Cladding System with ACM panels

External Cladding Materials are essential elements of a building that ensure the exterior is protected from damaging sources. Building cladding systems extend the lifespan and longevity of the facility. They also provide other benefits, including strength to the structure and thermal insulation, resulting in better energy efficiency. These exterior materials not only protect the construction envelope but also enhance the aesthetics of the building. Thus, the facade design and the correct finish choice of the external cladding materials must have the right balance of functionality, efficiency, and aesthetics.

Latest Trends in External Cladding Materials (Glass, Metal, Cement, etc.)

In experts’ opinion, the building facade reflects the nature of architecture at a specific time. Thus, it demands aesthetic quality and excellent functionality equally. Among all the exterior cladding solutions dotting the construction industry, dynamically electrochromic glass systems are game-changers. They maximize the light and cut glare significantly, resulting in better visual and thermal comfort. These glass claddings can be controlled directly by occupants and reduce energy costs.

When there is a need for the beauty of classic stones on a building facade, the ultra-thin and large-format porcelain slabs can be the best. Due to the flexibility radius, the cladding panels can be applied to buildings that have convex and concave surfaces. They are incredibly resistant to weather changes, tear and wear while requiring almost no maintenance.

Building materials marketers believe that in recent times, the building market demands more usage of metal claddings such as aluminum siding systems, ceramic, fiber cement, stone, etc. Metal cladding systems or Aluminum Composite Panels (ACM panels) with wood pattern finishes are being used more frequently nowadays due to their near-identical beauty and given the prolonged lifespan of the building facade. Moreover, claddings for ventilated facades have been a subject of discussion in modern cities.

According to modern engineers and architects, the latest trends in external cladding materials are using 3D printing technologies and devices. These super modern systems open up possibilities that were unthinkable in the past decades. Thus, architects and builders can use this freedom to integrate air conditioning, shading, and ventilation functions.

The Major Challenges in the Industrial Cladding Systems

Exterior cladding materials dictate how a facility appears and how the building forms part of an overall urban area. Thus, the suitable choice of cladding materials and building design are the essential factors for deciding if the facility is ultimately fit for purpose or not. Thermal and sound insulation, fire resistance, and protection are vital challenges to consider, from concept designing to maintenance. With this said, the more ambitious the project, the greater need for precision in details.

The northern American market has always been a challenging arena due to its geographical location. Access to different exterior cladding materials from across the world has never been an obstacle. However, changing the mindset of consultants and developers due to classic insulation materials for buildings by default has been a challenge. The good thing is that there has been a shifting in the understanding of thermal construction dynamics more recently, resulting in newer and more modern process developed by various building material manufacturers, architects, engineers with constantly updated and standard designs with details. For example, metal claddings such as modern aluminum siding are regaining popularity since they are upgraded to be more efficient and functional.

Smart Building Cladding Technologies for Sustainable Constructions

External cladding materials are getting more innovative and more energy efficient nowadays. For many years, builders and architects have been using concrete panels, metal screens, and timber panels as cladding systems. However, the focus is shifted on sustainability to provide cost savings to the client and help reduce a facility’s carbon footprint.

Recently, architects and builders in Canada have used various external cladding materials such as modern ACM panels, perforated screens, WPC boards, and timber panels which are perfect for high-rise and low-rise buildings. Additionally, mineral fiber panels’ usage is also increasing while replacing the old traditional metal panels.

Fritted glass double glazing is another cladding system that sees resurgence due to its versatility and the fact that it provides beautiful transparency and reduces the solar gain of the facility from thus reducing additional costs. Since the introduction of fire safety and new building codes this year, the only alternative options such as glass mineral wool to replace polystyrene removed from the approved cladding material lists are ACM or aluminum composite panels.

The choice of non-flammable and code-approved external cladding materials also applies to retrofit, as does the new constructions’ energy efficiency requirement. The selection and choice of building materials can contribute hugely to the overall insulation of the built form to reduce infiltration, which is one of the primary reasons for increases in HVAC loads, and any action or measure taken to reduce the infiltration will lessen the load resulting in the overall electricity usage reduction.

Current concerns over the increasing power consumption of the economy and energy have led the local codes and authorities across the globe to introduce ‘Green Building’ regulations. Thus, building material suppliers encourage the use of sustainable and durable exterior cladding materials, including aluminum composite panels which are environmentally friendly, carbon-neutral, and recyclable materials. Sustainable metal cladding systems, solar fitted facades, and even stone GRC have been emerging more durable options.

Researchers have designed multi-functional cladding elements that can be fabricated digitally to allow architects to create freely and provide easy installation methods for ACM panels. The new building facades characterized by their clarity and beautiful surface texture are the first functionality cladding elements from a 3D printing technology that provides ventilation, shading, and insulation.

Key Factors to Consider When Designing and Choosing External Cladding Materials

When choosing an external cladding material, there is often a misunderstanding between the service life and design working life. Cladding service life can be shorter or longer than the design life. The design working lifespan of the facade is the fixed period during which the material will meet required design parameters, subject to specific maintenance without repairs or damages. On the other hand, the service life is when the materials can be utilized economically without abuse, with or without repair or maintenance.

The key factors to consider when buying or designing external cladding materials are structural performance, water tightness, thermal resistance, corrosion resistance, permeability, aesthetics and artistic finishes, and reduction in carbon footprint. Other factors influence the design working life, including temperature, dust, wind loads, rain, and other weather conditions.

Role of Exterior Cladding Systems in Controlling the Internal Environment

The primary function of building cladding systems is to split the interiors of a facility from the exteriors so that the outdoor area will not affect the indoors. They are also perfect for regulating the light penetration and controlling the sunlight and conduction of heat, protecting interiors from fading and dull. Moreover, perforated panels and sunshades allow the reflected light to enter the building, enhancing the comport rather than direct sunlight.

Building claddings’ thermal properties and insulation characteristics decide how efficiently the facility’s temperature can be controlled. Modern industrial cities have regulations as to the minimum performance parameters of the cladding system, which needs to comply with the green building codes.

Rainscreen Exterior Cladding Materials and Their Advantages

Rainscreen claddings are the most efficient materials for construction envelope and facades purposes. This building material perfectly fits into the current architectural trends. Rainscreens are easy to install, and they favor energy saving due to their air cavity on the building’s facade. When combining the rainscreen with an insulation system, builders can provide numerous advantages, such as the thermal and acoustic insulation increment.

These functional external cladding materials reduce humidity and condensation coming from both outsides and inside of the facility. The continuous air circulation inside the air cavity provides additional protection payer and removes the water filtration that can infiltrate the building cladding joints.

One of the primary reasons designers and architects of rain-screen cladding materials are generally appreciated is the aesthetic flexibility that allows builders to create claddings with any shape, color, and dimensions. Apart from this, extended lifetime, ease of installation, durability, sustainability, and thermal performance are other few benefits of these metal cladding systems. Here is the list of rainscreen advantages that most people seek:

  • Lifetime Extension
  • Structural Movement Reduction
  • Thermal and Acoustic Installation Improvement
  • Energy Efficiency Increment
  • Require No-Maintenance
  • Adds Value to the Facility

Are there Different Grades of Aluminum Siding Cladding?

aluminum siding cladding

Aluminum siding cladding is one of the most common building materials used in the construction industry as a cladding system. These metal building claddings are perfect for clients who want durable and stylish exteriors for their homes or offices. Construction material suppliers provide aluminum sidings with various textures, paint finishes, and grades. Although other practical and functional cladding systems, such as durable ACM panels, are suitable for modern architecture, aluminum sidings are still used in the building industry. When buying quality aluminum sidings, it is essential to know their thicknesses and characteristics. 

The Most Common Gauges or Grades of Aluminum Siding

The thickness of aluminum siding and other metal cladding systems is called “gauge” or “grade”. If you consider buying aluminum siding or cladding for your home, one of the most critical choices you will have to make is what grade your home will require. This decision plays an essential role in the durability of the siding and how well it will function during its life span. 

The different grades of aluminum sidings are expressed by a number such as 26 gauge or 29 gauge. The difference in thickness between these two grades is about the thickness of a single sheet of paper. Although it does not seem much different, the 26 gauge aluminum siding is better suited and more popular for building claddings. 

While aluminum siding panels can be customized to be at any gauge, they are most commonly available in 22, 24, 26, and 29 grades. As the gauge number gets higher, the metal siding panel gets thinner. Thus, a 22-grade board is thicker than all of the other gauges. The denser metal cladding systems are more durable. However, removing lower gauge aluminum siding can be challenging as they are heavier. Additionally, thick sidings are more costly.

The construction industry standard for residential facilities offers 26-grade siding. While this gauge is the most commonly used and recommended for building facades, there isn’t one thickness to fit all situations and applications. As told, extra strength from a lower grade metal siding is never a bad idea. However, not every siding situation will require the maximum thickness. 

When is it Recommended to Use Lower Gauge Metal sidings?

There are some particular situations that homeowners should consider using thicker aluminum sidings for their homes which are:

  • Locations With Harsh Climate
  • Building Structure
  • Siding Profile Choice and Paint System

A metal siding with a heavier gauge means extra durability and strength. Home protection is critical if the building is located in an area frequently impacted by storms or where the elements are known to be damaging, such as heavy snow and high wind loads. The lower gauge aluminum siding can resist being bent, dented, punctured, or blown off during extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes.

The building’s structure and its spanning capabilities, or the distance between two supports for the facility, can help determine the aluminum siding grade. The thicker the metal panels, the further installers can span boards over open support. 

Homeowners’ choice on the aluminum siding grades may be made easier depending on the cladding panel profile they choose. For instance, in the case of having flush wall panels for the siding material, it is not possible to utilize 29-gauge panels. Flush wall panels are only developed with thicker gauges. The paint finish that the client demands will also affect the grade of the siding. For example, for more expensive paint finishes, it is better to opt for heavier gauge systems.

The Advantages of Thicker Grade Aluminum Siding

The aluminum siding itself features various advantages. However, the thicker metal panels can be more beneficial generally.

  • Minimizing Denting
  • Reducing Oil Canning
  • Higher Durability

While a thicker metal cladding is very resistant to denting on impact, a thinner aluminum siding like 29-grade is easier to get scratched, dent or puncture.

One of the most notorious aluminum claddings problems is oil canning which can be overcome using thicker panels. The lower gauge panels make it harder for the claddings to change shape and helps reduce the strictness of oil canning. 

The thicker gauge metal cladding systems are more potent and can withstand gale forces, winds, and storms. They increase their wind uplift force and impact resistance, or the cladding’s ability to withstand intense exterior forces. However, it is crucial to note that aluminum sidings and claddings are naturally resistant to corrosion, fires, and rotting.