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How Has Siding Changed Over Time?

Posted by Rachel Karl

Sep 2, 2014


Home design and architecture has made enormous leaps from several thousand years ago - when we lived in caves decorated by paintings on the walls. These changes can be pretty fascinating to research - and there is one set of changes in particular which we at Peninsula Siding Company think is really interesting. These are:changes in siding.

You may not realize it, but the act of decorating our homes with other material that isn’t structural on the outside is older than ancient Rome. The great city can give us a fantastic example of siding, though.


Have you ever seen the Coliseum or pictures of it? If you haven’t, we’ve got you covered.

Notice that there are big holes in each stone used to build it. Those holes aren’t from stone-eating mice trying to make that massive structure into swiss cheese. They were created by Romans.

Why would Romans laboriously bore holes into giant stone structures? They were adding marble siding to the Coliseum! The marble was later looted, but the structure still stands and we can imagine what it used to look like, the white marble gleaming in that mediterranean sun.

Although beautiful, marble and other stone siding doesn’t always work with a traditional home. Somewhere in the 1700’s, the Japanese started using charred wood in art and for siding their wooden homes. The processed used is called shou sugi ban and is experiencing a resurgence in modern architecture. The idea behind charring the wood is that it seals the material off from invasive insects, rot, and can help the wood resist fire.

Traditional American siding was generally wood until the 1930’s, when vinyl siding began to be produced commercially. Then, in the 1940’s, aluminum siding was born. These types of siding aren’t perfect. They can get damaged by hail, debris flying in the wind, and other natural events that happen outdoors. Additionally, neither aluminum or vinyl siding can capture the charm and beauty of wood siding.describe the image

We are lucky enough to have the advantage in modern times. We’ve learned from the past and from Mother Nature. One of the advantages of modern technology is fiber cement siding, which can hold up against climate changes, our San Mateo rain storms, and the frequent changes in weather that come with living in the Bay area. Also, it looks fantastic.

What do you feel is the most important aspect of siding? Is it the durability? The look? The warranty? We want to know!

(photo credit to:www.Rome.Info)

We really do love hearing from you. Leave us a comment at the bottom of this post. We'll be so thrilled that we'll even answer. 

Steven and Petalyn Albert

S.E.A. & Peninsula Siding

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