The ultimate home siding guide setting out 17 types of home siding with photo examples, pros, cons, costs and more.
Exterior siding for homes and buildings has multiple purposes. Considering each of these will help you find the right siding option for your home.
The most noticeable purpose for your house siding is aesthetics. The material you choose for the exterior of your home largely influences its overall architectural style, making it doubly important to carefully consider your preferred siding type.
While your home’s siding is a key player in terms of dictating aesthetic appeal, it does have practical uses too. For example, siding protects your home’s exterior – providing a barrier against weather and improving insulation in the process. Different materials work better for different climates, such as those that are very hot versus those that are very cold.
It’s important to consider the different types of house siding
While we’ve stated that house siding is an important feature, it is equally important to get to know the different options out there. We break down each type, from real wood siding, to vinyl, plastic, cement, and even metal siding below to help you find the best option for your home.
The first and most important factor to consider is the type of exterior siding for the home. Do you want traditional horizontal siding, or would you rather opt for vertical siding instead? Are you all about the rustic charm, or would you consider ultra-modern plastic siding or steel siding to add a contemporary edge?
Select the option that looks best on your home and otherwise benefits you most. We discuss the pros and cons of each type in more detail below.
The type you choose also dictates the additional design options that are available.
=> Check out our house exterior photo gallery where you can search hundreds of exteriors by color and style.
Table of Contents
- It’s important to consider the different types of house siding
- 1. Wood
- 2. Vinyl
- 3. Metal
- 4. Brick
- 5. Stone
- 6. Fiber Cement
- 7. Stucco
- 8. Imitation Stone/Brick
- 9. Engineered Wood
- 10. Insulated
- 11. Concrete
- 12. Glass Exterior
- 13. Half-Timbering on Stucco
- 14. Steel Log Siding
- More Details
- What are the different materials used for siding on a house?
- Who invented vinyl siding?
- Can vinyl siding be recycled?
- How long does vinyl siding last?
- Can vinyl siding be painted a different color?
- Is vinyl siding insulated?
- What is the best way to wash vinyl siding?
- Can vinyl siding be power washed?
- Can vinyl siding be patched?
- Can vinyl siding be reused?
- Can vinyl siding be installed over brick?
- How long does wood siding last?
- House Siding Photo Gallery
Wood is perhaps the most traditional type of exterior siding for homes.
It’s extremely versatile and available in many different styles. Every style is beautiful and adds a sense of traditional charm to any home.
People love wood siding for its beautiful and natural look. The most commonly used species include cedar, pine, spruce, and redwood. You can either leave the wood in its natural state or paint or stain it to further tailor its look to your desires.
In addition to species and color/stain, you can further customize the overall look by choosing the profile in which the wood is applied to your home.
The most common profiles for wood include:
- Board and Batten: 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.
- Shingles – Also known as shakes, these are thin, lightweight pieces of wood with a tapered shape.
- Shake siding – shakes are similar to shingles but there are some differences, most notably in the shape and texture. Taking cedar siding as an example we can achieve two different finishes – one being more rustic; Cedar shake is split off while cedar shingles are sawn smooth on both sides.
- Composite siding – Composite wood is wood that has been constructed from pieces of scrap wood, compressed together with resin to form a ‘composite’ siding material
- Clapboard – Also known as bevel, lap, or weatherboarding, these are long, thin boards installed horizontally with a slight overlap.
- Drop Siding – Similar to clapboards, the top of each horizontally-placed board is fitted into a groove in the lower edge of the board on top of it.
- Vertical Boards – A series of wide boards are placed vertically with a series of narrow boards in between them.
- Wooden Sheet Siding – Simple sheets of plywood are installed for exterior walls, commonly used on inexpensive buildings.
- Log – Built with logs so the exterior is logs stacked on top of one another in an interlocking design.
Each of these sub-types has its own set of pros and cons. For instance, many people prefer the classic look of shingles, yet they’re the most expensive option. Wood clapboard is the cheapest.
Benefits that all sub-types of wood share- from plywood siding to luxurious hardwood and Ipe – are their impact resistance, natural beauty, and almost infinite customizability (with paint colors and stains).
Wood is also relatively quick and easy to install. It’s one of the best options for DIY projects, though professional installation won’t break the bank either.
Unfortunately, wood isn’t without its cons. In addition to the regular maintenance it requires, it’s also susceptible to damage from termites, woodpeckers, and rot.
The costs of maintaining the appearance of the wood and protecting it from common threats can quickly add up and cancel out the low cost of installation.
Finally, wood isn’t fire-resistant. This can be a major deciding factor if you live in an area with a dry climate where forest fires are common.
Examples of different wood siding options:
a. Board and Batten
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.
The average cost is between $2.05 to $2.38 per board.
- 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.
- 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 the sun, and may cause environmental degradation upon disposal.
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 a longer life and can be stained or painted though their use in the natural state is preferred by just adding a clear coat.
The cost ranges from $3 to $8 per sq ft.
- It gives the home a rustic look.
- The log exterior is long-lasting if done using high-quality wood and given proper maintenance.
- 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.
c. Wood Shingle Siding Example
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.
The average cost is $7,200 per 2000 sq ft. The cost depends on the location and size of the home.
- 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.
- 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.
d. Horizontal Wood Boarding
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.
The cost ranges from $5 to $10 per sq ft
- 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.
- 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.
e. Vertical Wood Boarding
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.
The cost ranges from $5 to $10 per sq ft
- 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.
- 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.
Vinyl siding 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.
- 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.
- It has a synthetic look that may be a discouraging factor for people who love rustic and natural styles, and also eco-conscious people. 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 winds and high temperatures causing cracks, rot, and mold.
One of the newest options available, vinyl is quickly overtaking wood as the most popular type of siding in the world.
Part of what makes it so attractive to consumers is its versatility. Vinyl is available in a vast arrange of styles. It can even be created to mimic other materials like wood.
Like wood, vinyl siding boasts several different installation profiles that help you further tailor its specific look to your personal preferences.
The most common profiles for vinyl include:
- Horizontal – A series of thin strips are placed horizontally in rows.
- Vertical – A series of thin strips are placed vertically in rows. Alternatively, a series of thin strips are broken up by wide strips in a repeating fashion.
- Shingles – Thin, lightweight pieces of vinyl slightly overlap with tapered edges.
Each of these profiles can be customized even further with a variety of overlap and arrangement types, including Dutch lap, board n batten, beaded, fish scales, and scallops.
Add in the relatively low cost, both for materials and installation, and it’s even easier to see why budget-conscious buyers flock to vinyl as their material of choice.
That’s not all to love about vinyl siding. Additional benefits include a mind-blowing 40-year warranty after installation on the best models.
Not that you’ll need it – vinyl is extremely durable. It lasts for decades on end with few signs of wear with only a little maintenance. All that it takes to clean is regular power washing.
Vinyl is also known and loved for its energy efficiency. Add an insulated version to your home, and you can save loads of money on your utility bills, in both hot and cold climates.
Despite all the great benefits, vinyl does have its downsides (although they’re few and far between).
Chief among these disadvantages is that vinyl isn’t waterproof. Though it’s water-resistant, poor installation often results in the water working its way behind the vinyl pieces and causing damage to the wood under them.
Buying the wrong type of vinyl is another problem. Those living in extremely hot or cold climates must choose their paneling wisely. Otherwise, their vinyl panels might warp.
Finally, vinyl is a more permanent addition to the outside of your home than other types of siding. You can’t paint over it as you can with wood.
The color of vinyl you choose is the color of home you’ll have for good. At least until you decide to replace the paneling altogether.
Related: Painting Vinyl Siding
Cost: The cost depends on the materials used and the cost of labor ranging from $4 to $8 per square foot.
- 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.
- 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.
Metal has long held a curious reputation as an exterior siding material. People tend to associate it with retro and modern type of buildings only.
Metal actually works well with any home. Do your research, choose the right type and installation profile, and you’ll be more than happy with the results.
Two main options are available when it comes to metal siding. First is the version that looks like metal. Those that prefer a more natural look might prefer imitation wood made from metals.
As for the metal itself, the most common varieties are steel and aluminum. Each type has its set of pros and cons.
Steel, for example, is more expensive but lasts far longer than aluminum. It’s thicker and heavier, so it stands up better to heavy wear and tear such as hail storms.
Though it’s more prone to rust, steel also holds its natural color more. To further preserve its natural color, consider adding a rust-resistant coating for added durability.
Still, though, homeowners living in environments with high humidity, especially coastal areas with salty air, should opt for aluminum.
Not only does aluminum hold up to rust better, but it’s also much cheaper. The downside is that aluminum is much weaker and can be dented easily.
So what are the benefits of metal siding as a whole, regardless of specific type? Chief among them are its resistance to rot, mold, and similar water damage.
Low maintenance is another huge benefit. Unless it’s damaged, metal siding rarely ever needs maintenance work.
The big exception is scratches. These must be repaired right away, especially on steel, to prevent rusting in the future.
People also love the fact that metal doesn’t fade. The color you buy originally is the color you have for life.
Additional benefits include the eco-friendliness of metal, it’s fire resistance and its resistance to insects.
The main con of metal, as hinted at a handful of times, is rust. Improper sealing and finishing lead to rust – so make sure to have yours installed by a reliable contractor.
Unfortunately, metal is also one of the most expensive types of siding. Steel, in particular, costs a lot to install due to its heaviness.
Finally, metal sometimes gets a bad rap solely because it’s metal. A lot of people still associate it with “sheds,” “garages,” and “workshops,” although that is quickly changing as it gains more popularity when used on homes.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
People love brick siding for its classic good looks. It’s one of the most traditional building materials used on the exterior of homes.
Thanks to brick’s remarkable durability, brick homes, and buildings that were built over a century ago are still standing and in good condition.
Though brick isn’t as popular as it once was in new construction, it’s still a viable option, especially for those building new homes. It adds a curious mix of rustic charm with pleasing elegance to any construction.
You have two main installation options when it comes to brick. First is the traditional brick masonry method that uses solid brick. The other is a brick veneer that uses thin layers of brick.
Not only does brick masonry act as the exterior wall, but it also holds the entire house up. Brick veneer, on the other hand, is applied more like traditional siding, just on the outside of the home (it doesn’t bear any of the home’s weight).
As mentioned above, the number one reason to choose brick is durability. It lasts a lifetime with very little maintenance. Just pressure wash it once in a blue moon, and you’re good to go.
Brick also holds up well to all sorts of abuse. It’s fire-resistant. Termites and other insects won’t be found inside of it. Extreme hot and cold weather won’t warp it.
Better yet, brick doesn’t ever need to be repainted or refinished. The material doesn’t fade or decay with time. In fact, it ages beautifully and looks even better after a few decades.
Unfortunately, all of these benefits come with one major con: price. Those looking for an affordable option should look elsewhere. Brick is hands down one of the most expensive materials you’ll find.
And not only do the actual bricks themselves cost a lot of money. So does the installation. The weight of bricks means installation costs an arm and a leg more than other materials.
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 a 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.
Natural stone can cost up to $18 per sq ft while stone veneer can cost between $4 to $10 per sq ft.
- It does not require a lot of maintenance after installation.
- The exterior bears the natural look of stone.
- It is not prone to weather.
- The initial cost is high due to the cost of material and the cost of installation especially if it requires a professional.
Stone, like brick, is one of the most expensive types of exterior siding for the home.
In fact, depending on the specific type of stone you use, it even edges brick out as the absolute most expensive type.
So why is it still such a popular option? That all boils down to the beautiful look of stone siding as well as it’s extreme durability.
Many people consider stone, especially natural stone harvested fresh from the earth, the pinnacle of exterior siding options. As the most luxurious option, it has a lot of prestige attached to it.
Natural stone isn’t your only option. Though natural stone is loved for its authenticity, you can also choose from manufactured stone, foam panel “stone,” natural stone cladding, and stone veneer panels.
All of these additional options are far cheaper than natural stone. They’re also much lighter and easier to work with, greatly lowering installation costs as well.
Stone veneer, for example, is roughly half the cost of natural stone. It has almost the same exact look, though it doesn’t last as long. Unfortunately, stone veneer often has trouble with excessive moisture, a problem that natural stone doesn’t deal with.
In fact, natural stone is 100% resistant to moisture as well as fire and insects. Even extreme weather conditions won’t cause the stone to bat an eye.
6. Fiber Cement
Though it’s in a class all of its own, many people compare fiber cement and vinyl side by side.
The reason is that fiber cement is also man-made. It’s made from a special combination of wood fibers, sand, and cement.
Unlike vinyl, fiber cement siding is almost always created to mimic another material, usually natural wood. It’s rare to find it taking a form that’s all its own.
Fiber cement is a great option for those that love the look and warmth of natural wood but want something cheaper, more durable, and easy to maintain. It’s quickly becoming the number one wood alternative in North America.
Two main types of fiber cement are available. The first is pre-coated or pre-painted. It comes out of the factory looking like it will on your house. The second type is painted or stained after it’s installed.
In addition to its realistic wood look, people like fiber cement because it’s fireproof (with a Class 1A fire rating), water-resistant, and insects can’t live inside of it.
Though it’s not as durable as brick or stone and doesn’t come with a warranty ranging from 30 to 40 years like vinyl, most fiber cement siding does hold up well and does come with a warranty of around 15 years.
Finally, fiber cement is a very versatile exterior building material. It can be manufactured in almost any color or design you want. On top of that, it’s even available in lifelike textures such as imitation brick or stone.
The biggest con of fiber cement is its weight. It’s not as heavy as brick or natural stone, but it’s still heavy enough to warrant increased installation costs. If you’re looking to go the DIY route, be prepared to buy or rent special cutting tools.
It’s also worth noting that fiber cement, while much cheaper than real wood, is still at least double the price of vinyl.
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, and 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
- 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.
- 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.
Stucco, the traditional Spanish building material, is a great option for the exterior siding of your home if you prefer a unique style.
Very similar to plaster, stucco is created from a mixture of lime, sand, and cement. Additives like fiber and acrylic are sometimes added for even more strength.
And that right there is the main benefit of stucco: strength. It lasts upwards of a century with minimal maintenance.
Stucco gains its strength from its multi-faceted construction. You start with a wood wall, add wire mesh, and then pour on the stucco mixture.
In addition to strength, stucco siding is notable for its versatility. It can be painted in just about any color or pattern you like. It can also be mixed in different ways to create a variety of textures.
Unfortunately, stucco has a few cons. Chief among these is that dirt and wear show up more so than on other materials.
Also of note is that stucco is best only for warm, dry environments with minimal rainfall. It’s not the best material for areas that receive a lot of rain or that have high humidity.
8. Imitation Stone/Brick
Imitation stone and brick siding are precursors to today’s modern vinyl imitation versions.
Though they’re not as popular as they once were, they’re still available for those that search for them. They’re especially common on outbuildings such as sheds and garages.
The main benefit of imitation stone or imitation brick is their low price. These materials cost much less than the real things and look almost as good. In fact, it’s very difficult to tell that they’re imitation versions unless you note the caps on the corners.
The downside to imitation stone and brick is that they’re not as durable. They don’t last nearly as long as real stone or brick. They’re also much more prone to water damage.
9. Engineered Wood
Engineered wood siding looks almost exactly like the real thing, yet it’s made from composite materials (which means it can sometimes also be known as composite siding).
Unlike wood-look vinyl or fiber cement, engineered wood actually contains real wood. Various fibers and strands are combined to create an authentic-looking finished product.
The main benefit of engineered wood is its low price. It costs much less than natural wood, only around $1.50 to $3.00 per square foot.
Engineered wood can also be customized to your personal preferences. It’s available in a wide variety of styles that mimic different species and stains. Not only does it look like real wood, but it’s also created with a convincing texture.
Another benefit of this material is its durability. Expect your engineered wood to last for at least 20 to 30 years. In fact, warranties of such lengths are common.
Engineered wood holds up well to extreme temperatures, moisture, fire, and insects. It requires little maintenance and suffers very little from normal wear and tear.
The only real disadvantage to note, other than the fact that engineered wood is not quite the real thing, is the fact that you can’t repaint or restain it.
The finish you initially select is the finish you’re stuck with unless you replace all of the sidings.
Source: Washington Energy Services
The EPS is fused on the backside of the vinyl. This provides a snugger fit between the vinyl material and your actual home for vastly improved insulation.
This insulating material provides more than 20 percent more energy than the best-insulating vinyl materials on the market.
It also comes with all the same advantages as vinyl siding, including incredibly durability and warranties of up to 40 years or more.
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.
The cost ranges from $3.25 to $5.25 per sq ft, which depends on complexity and size.
- 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.
- The cost of installation is high.
12. Glass Exterior
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.
A linear foot ranges from $700 to $1600 depending on glazing and frame.
- 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 the sealant does not allow moisture in.
- It does not provide privacy.
- It needs regular cleaning.
- The cost of glass and that of installation is high.
13. Half-Timbering on Stucco
The Tudor Revival style incorporates wood and stucco. It uses timber boards to create a decorative exterior usually set against white stucco. These styles of home hit the scene in England in the mid 19th Century and are still popular as new homes are built to replicate this style.
See many Tudor Revival home styles here.
14. Steel Log Siding
Steel log siding is a relatively new type of siding. It’s steel made to look like log siding.
We published a detailed article on this exterior option that includes the pros, cons and cost.
There are a few important factors you should keep in mind beyond the type of exterior siding for the home.
First and foremost are additional considerations like water resistance, energy efficiency, aesthetics, durability, and any extra features you’re interested in.
Next up is installation type. You have two options here: DIY or professional. Finally, it’s essential to consider specific costs associated with each type, both for the material itself and regarding installation.
A. Additional Considerations
Consider the following factors to ensure that the type of exterior siding you choose for your home matches all your needs and preferences:
- Aesthetics – Choose a material and style that not only suits your preferences but also works well with the rest of your landscaping and home architecture.
- Water Resistance – Select a highly waterproof material if you live in an area with high humidity or heavy rainfall.
- Energy Efficiency – Siding with better insulation reduces the amount of money you need to spend on heating and cooling your home.
- Durability – Decide if you’d prefer to pay more upfront for a longer-lasting material or pay less for a material that will need more maintenance and repairs.
You should also consider any additional features you might like. The most common include:
- Deep Profile – Select a deeper profile on engineered wood or vinyl to create a more realistic and authentic appearance.
- Extra-Long Panels – The extra length for vinyl reduces the number of visible seams.
- Finish – Opt to paint yourself, rather than request a factory finish, for certain synthetic materials, including fiber cement.
- Foam Backing – Adds insulation to any material, not just vinyl.
B. DIY or Professional Installation
The installation method that’s best for you depends on the type of material you choose.
Certain materials, especially heavy ones, like natural stone or brick almost always require professional installation. A DIY job is possible for pre-fabricated, lightweight materials like vinyl and engineered wood.
With that said, it’s almost always best to hire a professional if you’re replacing old siding. A professional contractor will be able to spot structural damage and repair it as they go.
Taking care of this damage ahead of time reduces the need to repair it once new siding is installed, potentially saving you thousands of dollars down the road.
A professional will also be able to greatly reduce moisture damage by correctly installing a moisture barrier as part of the process.
C. Cost and Budget
The cost of installing exterior siding varies wildly.
You can spend anywhere from around $1,000 all the way up to $50,000 or more. The main factors that influence price are the type of material, the size of the project, and method of installation.
HomeAdvisor estimates the average cost at $9,019. They go on to state that most homeowners spend between $4,952 and $13, 382.
Siding for Houses (Questions and Answers)
What are the different materials used for siding on a house?
You have many different options when it comes to adding siding to your house, and each have their pros and cons. The options when it comes to siding for a house include:
- Engineered wood
- Stone, both natural and fabricated
Knowing which one is best for you home will depend on several factors, including where you live and the type of weather you encounter, your budget and your personal preference. Some of these siding options require more maintenance than others, so this may also be a deciding factor when it comes to choosing which one is best for your home.
Who invented vinyl siding?
Vinyl siding was first introduced in the late 1950s by a manufacturing plant called Crane Plastics. Located in Columbus, Ohio, they developed vinyl siding as a replacement for aluminum siding. The product that was available then compared to now is much different. It has evolved from being a product that faded in the sun to be one of the most durable choices for houses today.
Can vinyl siding be recycled?
Vinyl siding can be recycled. In fact, between 60 and 70% of all vinyl products are made from recycled vinyl. If you are considering replacing the current vinyl siding on your home and want to recycle it, there may be facilities in your area. In many cases, your local landfill will serve as a pick-up point for vinyl siding, so you might consider calling them to find out if that is where it needs to go.
In addition, if you have a contractor working on your house, they may also have access to recycling facilities or know where the nearest one is located. Talk to them to find out what your options are. Otherwise, consider doing a search online to find the closest vinyl siding recycling center.
How long does vinyl siding last?
On average, vinyl siding will last for at least 20 years with little maintenance. However, depending on where you live and what your vinyl siding is exposed to, it can last for up to 40 years.
Some of the reasons why vinyl siding lasts for so long is because it is moisture resistant. This means that it does a great job of keeping moisture out so that it doesn’t become warped or rot. This makes it an ideal choice for the exterior of your house if you live in a moist or humid environment. It can also stand up to snow, so it’s also ideal for colder areas.
Can vinyl siding be painted a different color?
One of the appeals of vinyl siding is that it often comes already colored. With a variety of different color choices to choose from, you are sure to find one that will match your style and make your house look amazing.
The downside to this is that over time and exposure to the elements, the siding can fade. When that occurs, your home may not look as fabulous as it once did. If you want to brighten it up, you can paint it a different color.
Before adding a layer of paint to your siding, you’ll need to check the warranty. In some cases, adding paint will void it. You’ll also need to follow the correct painting procedure to ensure that the paint sticks to the siding properly. This includes thoroughly cleaning the siding and getting the right type of paint. You may also have to use primer, so get the right type of this step as well.
While it’s fine to paint vinyl siding, keep in mind that this may require more maintenance to make it look good. Paint can chip and peel, and when that happens, you’ll need to add more to keep your house looking good.
Is vinyl siding insulated?
It is possible to get insulated vinyl siding, which makes the vinyl more rigid and resistant to warping. The insulation can help regulate the temperature inside your home, keeping it cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
What is the best way to wash vinyl siding?
In general, vinyl siding doesn’t require a lot of maintenance to keep it looking good. However, if you find that there is a collection of dirt and debris or mold or algae on the outside of your home and you want to clean it, you can accomplish that task. The best cleaning solution for your siding includes a combination of water and white vinegar.
You can also create a more powerful cleaner by mixing laundry detergent with a powdered household cleaner, bleach and water. If you are worried about the plants in your yard, you can mix together a solution of water and oxygenated bleach. You also have the option of getting cleaners from retail stores or online.
Using your solution of choice and a nylon brush or sponge, you can scrub your vinyl clean.
Can vinyl siding be power washed?
Your vinyl siding can be power washed, but you need to be cautious of this process. Too much water pressure can damage the siding. You will also need to check your warranty before engaging in the process. Some manufacturers advise against using a power washer to clean your home, and it may void the warranty.
Can vinyl siding be patched?
Yes, vinyl siding can be patched. This can be a great way to ensure that moisture or further damage doesn’t occur. In many cases, this is something you can do yourself, but you also have the option of calling in a professional for help.
Can vinyl siding be reused?
As long as there isn’t major damage to the vinyl siding and you remove it carefully, you can reuse the siding for other projects.
Can vinyl siding be installed over brick?
Vinyl siding can be installed over brick, but to ensure that you have a water-resistant seal, a layer of sheathing will have to be installed first.
How long does wood siding last?
On average, wood siding can last for up to 20 years.
House Siding Photo Gallery
Below is a photo gallery showcasing more examples of different styles of house siding and exteriors.
Our feature home above (the beautiful red home) is a classic example of a lap siding home.
Horizontal lap siding, also known as clapboard or bevel siding, is the one of the most common styles of siding. It’s versatile and can be made out of wood, aluminum, vinyl, fiber cement, and can be finished in a array of colors. This style is a natural fit for colonial or traditional styled homes as it works well with boxy and symmetrical structures.
Using lap board with other exterior materials can create an interesting look for a house. This one is a combination of lap board and a painted brick base. Contrasting the painted brick with the red brick stairs and flower bed edging makes a lovely and eye-catching visual.
Since its introduction in the 1960’s, vinyl siding is the number one most used siding because of its cost, versatility, and low maintenance. Lap siding isn’t the only style for vinyl – though it is the most common. You can also get it in many of the styles that we display further in the post; including vertical panels, shakes, shingles, fish scales, lap, and beaded designs. It also comes in over 300 different colors.
Wood siding is charming and classic, but involves a lot of ongoing maintenance including regular repainting and caulking to avoid weather damage. This exterior also features a partial brick facade which adds an even more rustic touch to this home.
Shingles & Shakes
Shingles and shakes are similar in style and creation. Shakes are machine- or hand-sawn from blocks of wood to create thicker and less uniform, but more durable, covering for a house. Shingles are thinner and more uniform and are able to be cut into various shapes for more interest.
The most common materials for shingles and shakes are western red cedar and redwood but can come from a variety of woods. Here the singles look sharp against the stark white trim creating a lovely contrast and allowing the copper tones of the cedar wood to stand out.
Cover in beautiful gray shingles, this beach house combines the shingles with pale brick accents on the chimneys and surrounding walls. The contrast of the black roof against the slate gray and white makes for a stunning exterior. Similar to wooden lap siding, shingles and shakes also require regular upkeep to protect from weather damage.
Here is a great example of shingles being cut in different shapes. These resemble fish scales overlapping one another to create a unique exterior texture to this house. Shingles and shakes are available in not only wood but also vinyl and fiber cement.
This combination of shingles and board and batten with the white and redwood accents creates a gorgeous look on this house. Sometimes a combination of exterior covering styles is the way to go to create the best design for your home.
Board & Batten
Also known as barn siding, board and batten is an old classic when it comes to exteriors. The design is made up of wide boards being placed together and then a thin piece of wood, the batten, placed to cover up the gap where the two boards meet. This is no uniform width to the boards; so you can use your creativity.
Here a combination of board and batten and stucco is used to create a charming cottage look. Available in wood and fiber cement, board and batten highlights a houses vertical attributes, making homes appear taller.
Originally used on barns and other farm buildings as a cheap and material-efficient covering, it is no longer as affordable as it once was. This house mimics a barn style so a board and batten exterior seems like a natural choice.
Wood Strip Siding
Thin wood boards can also be used as siding. Often installed in a tongue-in-groove style the boards can be placed horizontally or vertically but must have good waterproofing underneath them.
This exterior is a combination of strip siding and glass. Placing the strips vertically accents the height of the house. Wood strip siding is available in all sorts of woods, but the type of wood will effect the cost of the siding.
Wood strip siding is versatile in its style applications, it can create a rustic, old-world feel or it can supplement a more modern design, as pictured above.
Split log siding is impressive on a house and offers instant rustic and cabin-like qualities. Typically made of cypress, cedar, redwood, or pine logs, split log siding is expensive and high-maintenance. It can be painted or stained but is most often used in its natural state with a clear-coat sealant over it.
Split log must be treated regularly for insect infestation, and any new cracks in the log must be sealed to prevent rot. This cabin used the flat, split side of logs to create its exterior.
Classic log home design with wide stairway to the front door. This is a rather simple log home design perfect for a main family home or large vacation home.
Brick is one of the oldest building materials in the world. Buildings and homes alike have been constructed of this material, but as time went on and cost went up it was used less as a structural material and more as a design covering. Enter brick veneer, the most common use of brick these days.
As seen here, a brick veneer is commonly used as an accent piece to a home while the rest of it is covered with siding or another material. Made of fired clay, bricks come in a variety of colors, sizes, textures, and designs. They can be stacked and laid in many different patterns to create a multitude of options.
Just installing brick veneer on a portion of the front of a house can be a striking addition to the exterior design. Here they chose a pale brick that matches the lap siding on the rest of the house. The two create an interesting textural contrast to each other when viewed side by side.
Brick is an ideal material for home exteriors because it requires very little maintenance but because it’s installation is labor intensive and the process of making bricks is involved, brick tend to be more expensive than other material options.
Stone is among the most durable and low maintenance of all the materials. Nearly impervious to weathering and coming in a wide variety of stone types – granite, limestone, slate, etc. – stone is a great choice for a striking exterior. It can be cut into any shape and stacked or layers for many different effects.
Quarried stone can create more natural looking aesthetic on a house. Like brick, the expensive of installing stone became to great and stone veneers were created. Unlike brick, stone veneers are generally made entirely of man-made materials to make the easier to install and more cost effective.
Not to be outdone, quarries created a method of making thin sheets of stone. This made stone easier to carry and install, thus making it a bit more affordable. This multi-colored stone house makes a striking show with its puzzle-piece like exterior.
Stone still remains on the high end of the material cost spectrum, but there is no denying that it still has a certain aesthetic when applied to the exterior of a house. This one utilizes different sized rectangles of stone that matches the texture of the bricked driveway.
Stucco is an exterior material that has been used to thousands of years. Traditional stucco is a cement mixture that is added to sand or lime and mixed together to form a paste. A galvanized metal screening is installed on the wall before the stucco is spread on it. It can be mix to have a fine or coarse texture but is best suited to building with simple geometrics.
Stucco comes both natural and synthetic. The benefits of natural stucco is that it has the ability to “breathe” and allows air and moisture to pass through it. Synthetic stucco needs to have a vapor barrier behind it to keep moisture from building up in the walls. Stucco is versatile in the fact that it can be used with any other material and creates a blank canvas allowing the other material to stand out more.
Stucco can also be dyed to any color and, because it can be shaped and textured, can be used to achieve an array of different styles. The most common is on a Spanish style villa, such as the one pictured above.
Here is a winning combination of stucco and stone. With there being so many recipes for making stucco, it can be a relatively reasonable price when compared to other exterior materials.
This combination of stucco and sand-colored stone on this house is a great combination for this villa style. The smooth surface of the stucco allows the symmetry of the structure to stand out more.
This more European styled use of stucco is familiar to most people. Bisecting the stark white stucco, dark wood beams stand out and show off the structure of the house.
This mint green stucco creates an interesting look against the cream accents of this traditional oriental styled exterior. Warm terra cotta tiles contrast the green, like oxidized copper, for a fun touch.
The contrast of golden wood against the white stucco and the black roof creates a striking exterior for the modern contemporary home. Stucco’s smooth surface allows the sharp angles of the design to cast interesting shadows, making the house appear even more visually interesting.
Even on this modern mansion, stucco finds a home. Allowing for the more intricate and the texture of the roof tiles to stand out more makes the home seem more grand and extravagant against the sparse landscape.
Cement, more often known as fiber cement, is a newer addition to the family of exterior materials but its versatile nature is making it a favorite choice. Composed of cement, sand or fly ash, and cellulose fibers it can be made to look like any number of materials, even wood, and has a longer lifespan than other materials.
Fiber cement panels are a common choice for more modern and contemporary styled designs. Large sheets, often as large as 4ft. by 8ft. are bolted to the structure and shadows reveal where the panels meet. Here, this modern home is covered in fiber cement panels and contrasted with a natural wood front door.
Fiber cement can be tinted to nearly any color and often time comes with a 50 year warranty with little to no maintenance. Special ordering them in a particular color is ideal as factory painting is guaranteed for up to 25 years. This completely modern structure’s exterior is covered in charcoal colored fiber cement panels.
While not a new material used to exteriors, it is a relatively new concept to use metal as itself, and not masquerading as another material. Available in a multitude of types and finishes, the longevity of metal sets it apart from other materials. Corrugated steel, as shown above, copper, zinc, or aluminum are just a few of the options for metal.
Metal can be formed to fit any form, curve, or shape which makes it a good choice for modern styles. Depending on the style and type of metal you choose, weathering can create stunning color changes over time, but most metals will maintain the factory finish indefinitely.
Using glass as an exterior material isn’t for everyone, but it can’t be denied that it creates a unique style and provides plenty of natural light to the interior. On the down side, besides a lack of privacy, glass would need to be cleaned regularly, but shouldn’t require much more maintenance than that.