12 Types of Home Exteriors (Photos, Prices, Pros & Cons)

Discover and learn pros and cons of the 12 types of home exteriors with photo examples - stucco, siding, wood, cement, log, brick, glass, stone, etc.

Types of Home Exteriors

A home exterior speaks much about the home and contributes to “curb appeal”. It is what’s seen on the outside and so you should make it in such a way that it represents what is on the inside. It adds visual interest, color and curb appeal to the home.

It is also a good way of adding a protective barrier to the home to protect it from harsh weather and drastic changes in temperature while adding value. In as much as a home exterior should go hand in hand with the type of home, there are many to choose from and from different materials as well.

However, you should put to mind other factors such as the durability of the material, flexibility, water resistance and installation when choosing the material to use. In some cases, home exteriors are referred to as home siding.

These home exteriors use different materials. For instance, board and batten, shingle, wood – horizontal stripes & vertical stripes and logs use wood but using different designs.

Some such as log are expensive to install because it needs the services of a professional while it requires regular treatment. Brick, stucco, concrete, metal and stone are durable home exteriors that may last as long as the building. On the other hand, vinyl siding has gained fame due to its easy installation, low maintenance and versatility.

Main home exterior materials include:

  1. Board and Batten
  2. Brick
  3. Concrete
  4. Glass
  5. Log
  6. Metal
  7. Shingle
  8. Stone
  9. Stucco
  10. Vinyl Siding
  11. Wood- Horizontal Strips
  12. Wood – Vertical Strips
  13. Vote your favorite home exterior

1. Board and Batten

Board and Batten Home Exterior

Description: 

One of the classic exteriors, board and batten or barn siding is comprised of wide boards joined together and a batten, which is a thin piece of wood put at the joint of two boards to cover the gap, creating a vertical design. This exterior allows for creativity as you can use boards of different lengths. Some of the woods used are pine, fir, cedar and redwood. Although the commonly used material is wood, engineered wood and vinyl can also be used.

Cost:

The average cost is between $2.05 to $2.38 per board.

Pros:

  • It makes a house seem taller because it is typically installed vertically.
  • You can choose between real wood, vinyl and engineered wood.
  • Wood is easy to install and maintain.
  • You can be creative and use the size of wood that you prefer. You can also install boards vertically or horizontally.
  • Board and batten made of vinyl does not rot and it is not susceptible to pests. It is also available in many colors.

Cons:

  • The wood may rot or become infested by pests if they are low grade and not well treated.
  • Vinyl may not last as long as wood, may crack if exposed to sun and may cause environmental degradation upon disposal.

2. Brick

Brick Home Exterior

Description:

A home exterior made with bricks is durable and requires less maintenance, which explains why it has been in use for many years. Bricks of different sizes, colors and textures can be used, a fact which makes this type of exterior popular. Brick exterior can be done using a brick veneer that is joined using mortar if the cost of using bricks becomes prohibitive. The veneer is built outside a wooden frame.

Cost:

Full brick cost ranges from $6 to $10 per square foot but it can go up to $12 while a brick veneer can range from $4 to $6. The cost of installation is not incorporated which can be high, especially for full brick exterior because it requires specialized skills.

Pros:

  • A brick exterior does not need a lot of maintenance and can do with occasional washing.
  • The exterior can last even more than 100 years with proper maintenance.

Cons:

  • The cost of materials and installation are high. One of the cost contributors is the labor-intensive process of installation. In this case, you may consider a brick veneer.

3. Concrete

Concrete Home Exterior

Description:

Concrete comprises a mixture of cement, gravel, sand and water. The ingredients are mixed in various proportions to produce a paste that hardens when dry. This characteristic helps to create a durable concrete home exterior.

Cost:

The cost ranges from $3.25 to $5.25 per sq ft, which depends on complexity and size.

Pros:

  • A concrete home exterior is long lasting, up to hundreds of years.
  • The maintenance cost is low.
  • Concrete exterior is strong and can withstand calamities such as floods, hurricanes and tornadoes. It is also fire resistant.
  • Concrete has insulating properties, which reduce costs related to cooling and heating.
  • Various shapes can be molded using concrete to create design solutions and attractive finishes.

Cons:

  • The cost of installation is high.

4. Glass

Glass Home Exterior

Description:

Glass is a suitable home exterior where a lot of natural light is needed. Glass used should be strong enough to withstand elements such as wind and storms. It should let in light while blocking the ultraviolet rays.

Cost:

A linear foot ranges from $700 to $1600 depending on glazing and frame.

Pros:

  • It allows light into the home creating a beautiful effect.
  • The home becomes energy efficient because glass provides an airtight environment such that there is no loss of heat during winter and the home remains cool in summer.
  • The home becomes water resistant since sealant does not allow moisture in.

Cons:

  • It does not provide privacy.
  • It needs regular cleaning.
  • The cost of glass and that of installation is high.

5. Log

Log Home Exterior

Description:

Log gives a home a cabin like or rustic look. It is done using cypress, redwood, pine or cedar logs. The logs need to be dried and treated to give them longer life and can be stained or painted though their use in the natural state is preferred by just adding a clear coat.

Cost

The cost ranges from $3 to $8 per sq ft.

Pros:

  • It gives the home a rustic look.
  • The log exterior is long lasting if done using high quality wood and given proper maintenance.

Cons:

  • The initial cost is high because it requires a professional or knowledgeable diy and so is the cost of maintenance.
  • It requires regular treatment to prevent insect infestation and the cracks in logs need to be sealed to prevent decay.

6. Metal

Metal Home Exterior

Description:

A metal home exterior can be made using aluminum, copper, zinc or steel. Metal is gaining popularity due to its versatility with ability to be made to fit different shapes. Aluminum is most common in coastal areas due to its ability to withstand salty air while steel is preferred in hail prone areas though it’s susceptible to rust.

Cost: The cost depends on the materials used and the cost of labor ranging from $4 to $8 per square foot.

Pros:

  • Metal is long lasting and durable, a feature that makes it outlive most of the other home exterior materials. It does not rot or mold due to water damage though some types of metal may rust if not well finished and maintained.
  • It retains color without fading and it can be painted.
  • It is not prone to pest attack, does not warp or buckle.
  • Metal is fire resistant.
  • It keeps the home cool during summer by reflecting sunlight.

Cons:

  • Some of the metals such as weathering steel and copper may change due to exposure to weather.
  • Aluminum is soft and may dent if hit by rocks or hail while it may also fade.
  • Steel is heavy and may take time to install thereby increasing the cost.
  • It does not retain warmth in winter and so it increases heating bills.
  • Metal needs to be repainted after a few years when the paint wears off.

7. Shingle

Shingle Home Exterior

Description:

Shingles are made using uniform wood blocks that may be cut into different shapes. A machine does the cutting to ensure they are uniform and smooth. They are installed over another surface overlapping one another. Some of the woods used are redwood and red cedar. Shingles are environmentally friendly and they give the home exterior an old rustic look.

Cost:

The average cost is $7,200 per 2000 sq ft. The cost depends on the location and size of the home.

Pros:

  • Shingles gives a home a natural look that blends well with surroundings such as waterfronts and woodlands.
  • They cost less in comparison to sidings using materials such as bricks and stones, while they can last as long given proper maintenance. They need staining after every 3 years and need to be painted after every 6 years. Mildew repellents should be used if the area has a lot of moisture.

Cons:

  • Shingles need regular maintenance involving caulking and painting so that they do not get damaged by weather.
  • They are affected by moisture and can grow mold and algae if not properly maintained. Insects and wind can also damage the wood; it can warp, curl, fade and crack.
  • Shingles may loosen with time.

8. Stone

Stone Home Exterior

Description:

Limestone, granite, slate and other natural stones are used in creating this home exterior. Although the initial cost may be high, it is long lasting and it requires less maintenance. What’s more, it features the natural look, with limestone and granite being more suitable to those who want to add texture to their home exterior. Due to the high cost of natural stone, some homeowners opt for stone veneers which are cheaper and easier to install.

Cost:

Natural stone can cost up to $18 per sq ft while stone veneer can cost between $4 to $10 per sq ft.

Pros:

  • It does not require a lot of maintenance after installation.
  • The exterior bears the natural look of stone.
  • It is not prone to weather.

Cons:

  • The initial cost is high due to the cost of material and the cost of installation especially if it requires a professional.

9. Stucco

Stucco Home Exterior

Description:

Stucco is normally a mixture of cement, lime or sand although it can be made using different recipes. The exterior is created by layering the mixture all over the house. There are also various ways of applying it, can be given different shapes and textures which makes it easy to produce different architectural styles. It can be applied on wooden, stone or brick surfaces.

Cost: $6 to $9 per sq ft

Pros:

  • It is long lasting if there is proper installation and maintenance.
  • Due to the casing it provides, stucco insulates the home, reducing the need for cooling or heating thereby saving energy costs.
  • It is resistant to fire and so there is no need to add fire retardants.

Cons:

  • Stucco does not do well in areas with excess moisture and therefore not suitable for use in humid areas.
  • It is expensive to install with a high initial cost.

10. Vinyl Siding

Vinyl Siding Home Exterior

Description:

Vinyl is a synthetic home exterior material that has become popular due to its low maintenance, versatility, durability and low cost. It is available in many colors and in different forms such as shakes, vertical panels, shingles, horizontal panels, fish scales, beaded designs and lap. It can be made to look like other natural materials such as stone and shingles.

Cost: The cost ranges from $.65 to $2.00 per sq ft.

Pros:

  • It is low maintenance and only requires washing every now and then.
  • Vinyl does not require to be installed by a professional and a DIY can manage, which reduces the cost of installation.
  • It can be customized into different designs and colors.
  • The color does not fade.

Cons:

  • It has a synthetic look that may be a discouraging factor to natural enthusiasts. To reduce the plastic effect, homeowners can use vinyl with long siding so that seams do not appear between panels.
  • Vinyl degrades the environment after disposal because it is not biodegradable and ends up in landfills for a very long time unless recycled.
  • It can be damaged by extreme weather conditions such a winds and high temperatures causing cracks, rot and mold.

11. Wood – Horizontal Strips

Wood Horizontal Strips Home Exterior

Description:

The exterior is made using thin wood strips placed horizontally, in some cases using tongue and groove. Wood helps to create a rustic feel to the home. Some of the woods used include cypress, pine, Douglas fir and spruce.

Cost:

The cost ranges from $5 to $10 per sq ft

Pros:

  • It gives the home a classic rustic look and improves the curb appeal.
  • The wood is eco friendly.
  • The wood can be customized using stain and paint.

Cons:

  • The exterior requires regular maintenance so that the wood does not crack, rot, warp or split. It needs to be repainted or re-stained after every three to six years.
  • The initial cost is high especially if using woods such as redwood and cedar, which are considered rot resistant.
  • The wood is prone to water and insect damage if not properly treated.

12. Wood – Vertical Strips

Wood Vertical Strips Home Exterior

Description:

In this case, the wood strips are placed vertically which can help accentuate the height of the home. Just like the horizontal strips, these are joined together using tongue and groove. Woods used are pine, spruce and cypress.

Cost:

The cost ranges from $5 to $10 per sq ft

Pros:

  • It gives the home a classic rustic look and improves the curb appeal.
  • The wood is eco friendly.
  • The wood can be customized using stain and paint.

Cons:

  • The exterior requires regular maintenance so that the wood does not crack, rot, warp or split. It needs to be repainted or re-stained after every three to six years.
  • The initial cost is high especially if using woods such as redwood and cedar, which are considered rot resistant.
  • The wood is prone to water and insect damage if not properly treated.

Vote for Your Preferred Home Exterior

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