In my ideal world, I would have a house of entirely brick, stone as they are natural materials and are easily recyclable, durable and require little maintenance. However, they are the most expensive. Also, brick is expensive to produce and has a high carbon footprint during its production. Another reasonable option is modern day stucco which is a product known as EIF: exterior insulation finish. It is moderately expensive. It is less expensive than traditional stucco, though, and adds insulation to the exterior of the home. They can make it look like stucco, brick, or a smooth stone. It has an R value of about 12. A common brand name is Dryvit. It can be repainted and has its listed as lasting 25 years although in reality, it usually lasts even longer. It is made of recycled materials and the waste can be recycled too. Another natural option is wood siding--moderately expensive, requires maintenance, and attracts pests, but its beautiful. There is another new product out there too--fiber cement board. Its made of sand, cement and wood pulp. It takes a lot of energy to manufacture it, and its heavy, but durable.
The cheapest option is vinyl siding which is why there is a lot of it. I will be using some of it on my house (a product called Cedar Impressions vinyl shake). This is produced by a company called Certainteed; they use 60% recycled content in their products.
|I like this stone, not sure if I could use a blue trim; I would go with a light colored stucco; above on left is close up of the above|
|Neutral/gold toned stone|