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9 Different Types of Shingle Siding

Rustic cedar wood sidings for walls.

There are three types of shingle sidings: scalloped, straight edge, or staggered. They can be made of hardwood, softwood, vinyl, or composite material. The real hardwood sidings can come from teak, garapa, and more. Meanwhile, softwood includes pine and Douglas fir among others. 

Wood siding exudes a timeless appeal thanks to its homey texture and natural look. This sort of siding can be long-lasting and eco-friendly, with natural pest resistance and decay based on the kind of wood used.

Shingle siding adds visual texture and charm to a house. It’s more costly and complex to build than the vertical or horizontal siding, but it’s well worth it if that’s the style you’re going for. Let’s have a look at the various shingle siding options and see if any of them would work for your house.

Related To: What Kind of House Siding Was Used | Pros and Cons of Cedar Siding

Types of Shingle Sidings

Rustic wooden shingles made from cedar.

Since these two terms are often used interchangeably despite their distinct technical meanings, let’s start by distinguishing between shingle and shake. However, they both offer the same design and visual appeal.

Shake siding is usually hacked from a block of cedar wood, while shingle siding is cut by a saw for a smoother finish. Shingles are typically more uniform and smooth than a shake, which has a more natural appearance.

Vinyl, fiber, cement, wood, and other materials are all used to make shingles. An authentic shake is crafted from a single material—typically cedar—and is available in a wide variety of cuts, each of which contributes to its unique aesthetic.

These two varieties of siding are installed side by side in the form of little rectangular panels. To achieve consistent vertical spacing, these panels are laid out in straight, horizontal rows.

1. Staggered Shingle

Cedar Impressions Double 9in. Staggered Rough Split Shakes (1/2 Square) Mountain Cedar

The siding on this house was installed in an asymmetrical manner, not in straight lines. Fiberglass or vinyl can also be used to create a staggered shingle board. 

2. Straight-edge Shingle

Cedar Impressions Double 7in. Straight Edge Perfection Shingles Siding (1/2 Square) Natural Clay

This style of shingle siding dates back further than any other. It is laid to create a straight edge so that each piece has the same dimension as well as feel.

3. Scalloped shingle

Partially-curved siding, or scalloped shingle siding, has a curved border around the bottom of each panel.

The Foundry Vinyl Round 6" Shapes - 1/2 Square

Shingles typically have a wood-grain texture, even though they can be constructed from a variety of materials other than wood.

Can I Use Roofing Shingles On My Sidewall Project?

An outside wall covered in wooden shingles is the epitome of rustic charm. Cedar shingles may pique your interest if you’re trying to upgrade the visual appeal of your home’s exterior. But could this happen? What about the ea?

The short answer is “yes,” but if you want your sidewall shingles to last, you’ll need to make sure they’re installed correctly, ideally with the assistance of a professional. This will ensure that you get the uniform and custom looks you were going for.

What Type of Roofing Shingle Can I Use as Siding?

Most types of roofing shingles can also be utilized for siding projects, and their variety in size and composition is astounding. A wide selection of natural and synthetic shingles, each with its own set of benefits and aesthetic possibilities, are available at Custom Shingles. Three broad types of shingles are described below that can be used for either roofing or siding:

1. Natural Wood

Rustic natural cedar wood for roofing.

Traditional wood shingles made from real wood are a popular choice among homeowners and architects. Shingles made of wood, such as cedar, are visually appealing and have a rustic charm. Their biodegradable nature limits how long they will survive, but with careful care and installation, they can still live for decades.

2. Cedar 

Cedar shingles are more visually appealing because of their uniform texture and uniform shape.

Western Red Cedar Shingles Red Label in Contractor Packs

In some regions, fire-retardant cedar shakes and shingles are a legal necessity. They need exterior paint or stain and caulk to be completed. To prevent weather damage, cedar shake/shingle siding needs regular care, like painting and caulking, and you should occasionally replace rotten parts.

3. Composite

Composite shingles are an alternative to traditional wood shingles that can mimic the look of real wood without hassle. Water and insects can damage and even destroy natural wood siding. Composite siding is an inherently fireproof and maintenance-free solution to these issues.

Composite siding, which can be made from a wide range of materials including engineered wood/wood composite, fiber cement, PVC, and fiberglass, is available in a wide number of styles and sizes.

4. Engineered Wood/Composite Wood

In comparison to other types of wood siding, engineered wood siding and trim are typically the most cost-effective alternative due to their combination of strength and lightweight. Usually, chopped-off scraps of wood are used in its construction, along with adhesives to keep everything together. 

Tando Cape Cod Perfection 1/2 Square Faux Cedar Panels - Mariner Blue

Anti-fungal treatments, glues, and waxes are soaked into these wooden pieces, making them extremely long-lasting and water-resistant. Unlike natural wood, there are no flaws in this artificial material. 

The siding and trim made from engineered wood can be painted any color, or you can choose one of several pre-applied finishes. Home exterior siding done by Allrite has a 20- to 30-year lifespan with regular cleaning and maintenance.

5. Fiber Cement

High-quality and long-lasting fiber cement siding is a manufactured product. It’s made from cement, sand or fly ash, and cellulose fiber to look like different types of wood but lasts far longer and requires less upkeep. In addition to being fireproof, watertight, and termite-proof, fiber cement siding also comes with guarantees of 50 years or more.

GAF Weatherside Purity Thatched 12 in. x 24 in. Fiber Cement Shingle Siding

The cost of fiber cement siding is often higher than that of vinyl but lower than that of real wood. Painting at the factory is highly recommended because the painting is often guaranteed for 25 years.

6. Environmentally-friendly

Though the environmental impact of most shingles is small, some shingles are more eco-friendly than others. Home exterior materials with a minimal environmental impact might be recommended by the professionals at Custom Shingles.

How are Roofing Shingles Applied as Sidings?

A carpenter installing roofing shingles.

Applying shingles to a vertical surface, such as a sidewall, is quite similar to applying shingles to a horizontal surface, such as a roof. Applying roofing shingles to a sidewall can lead to sloppy lines and an unfinished look. So, how do you keep the shingles on the sidewalls from looking sloppy?

Roofing shingle specialists advise employing R&R shingles, which stand for “Rebutted and Rejointed,” while working with vertical surfaces. The goal of a shingle sidewall is to provide the impression of a sleeker, more fitted façade, which is best accomplished with R&R shingles.

Using roofing shingles for a sidewall could be a fascinating and entertaining DIY project if you have experience with similar endeavors. On the other hand, if you’re like the rest of us and you just want the task completed successfully, you’ll want to bring in experts.

Shingle Siding Pros and Cons

Wood Siding

A rustic house with wooden siding.

Wood is a great option since it protects against the weather and raises the value of your home. Siding is an important part of a home’s curb appeal, and as one of the top siding contractors in the area, Legacy Service has the expertise to make sure you’re more pleased than ever with your home’s new exterior.

Pros 

The many benefits that wood siding provides make it a popular choice among homeowners. Here are some of the reasons that so many homeowners favor it for exterior use:

  • Real wood has a classic look that never goes out of style, therefore its use is universally appreciated. Most people find it soothing, akin to the feeling of being inside while snow falls softly outside.
  • Its setup time is minimal – Wood is inexpensive and simple to put in place. Those with even a little bit of carpentry knowledge may install their own, saving both time and money.
  • It’s a cheap substitute for more expensive materials – wood is not only one of the most aesthetically pleasing varieties, but also a low-cost substitute for more expensive materials.
  • A new one may be installed or a broken one fixed in no time. As a result of its abundance, it is simple to fix or replace if broken. Whereas modest replacements can be a hassle with other materials, wood pieces can be removed and replaced with relative ease.
  • Wood should be your first choice if environmental friendliness is a priority because of its little impact on the environment. This biodegradable material will eventually break down into something similar to compost. If it does end up in a landfill, it will break down over time.
  • With regular care, wood siding can survive for decades.
  • Variety: Different designs are available to accommodate individual preferences. Siding, surprisingly, is one of the best methods to show off the sting of your home. 
  • Examples of tree species are cypress, fir, spruce, pine, and cedar. Designs can be found in vertically or horizontally laid machine-cut shingles, clapboard, solid wood, and hand-cut shakes.

These are just some of the many reasons why this siding option is so well-liked.

Cons

However, there are a few drawbacks to utilizing wood as siding for your home that might turn you off from wood shingle siding. If that’s the case, you might want to consider other shingle siding options. Some of the wood’s drawbacks include:

  • Since wood siding isn’t insulating in and of itself, you’ll need to invest more money in additional insulation. Finding the right siding for your home is a job for the local hardware specialist.
  • Extremely fragile (particularly to the effects of water and insects) – Wood is vulnerable to damage, especially from water and insects, but the good news is that it can be easily repaired. 
  • It may require more upkeep than other types because you must take preventative measures to keep it safe from the weather. This entails keeping a close eye on it to notice any issues, and also keeping an eye out for any potential pest entry points.
  • Re-painting or restaining wooden surfaces is more common than with other materials because of the frequency with which it must be done. Although it may not seem like much now, painting or restaining the siding every three to seven years is rather typical
  • It’s important to keep in mind that termites may also be drawn to wood for the same reasons that homeowners are. Pest control inspections should be scheduled annually if you decide on this sort of siding. Putting off expensive repairs like that can help you save a lot of cash in the long run.

Don’t let these drawbacks dissuade you from constructing your home out of wood. Long lasting and beautiful, with just a little extra care, it can be enjoyed for decades.

Fiber Cement Shingles

A house with Fiber Cement Shingles.

This siding material is commonly used because of its durability and low upkeep requirements. Molded from wood pulp, clay, cement, and sand, it can resemble clapboard, shingles (shakes), stucco, or masonry. It comes in several different finishes and is simple to paint.

Pros

  • It lasts a long time 
  • It doesn’t shrink or swell when exposed to dampness or cold. 
  • Defensible against fire, insects, and decay. 
  • Priced reasonably and backed by lengthy guarantees.

Cons

  • It’s cumbersome to move and install, needing specialist equipment. 
  • Shorter board lengths necessitated more work from the crew. 
  • Enhanced seam prominence. 
  • To install new siding, the old siding must be removed first.

Engineered Wood Shingle Siding

Wood fibers and long-lasting resins are used to create this siding. It’s sturdy, impervious to the elements, and comes in a wide range of looks, textures, and faux-finish options. You have the option of ordering it unfinished and painting it at home. 

Most of the time, engineered wood is more affordable than both fiber cement and natural wood, yet it still maintains its integrity. Warranty terms may be as long as fifty years.

Pros

  • It has a wooden-like appearance. 
  • It is super simple to manipulate, and it doesn’t produce any harmful dust. 
  • It won’t attract insects. 
  • Less expensive than actual wood by a factor of two. 
  • Reduced trash is another benefit of low VOC production. 
  • Equipped with primer applied at the manufacturer. 
  • Having a longer length reduces the number of joints and the time and effort required to put it together.

Cons

  • It needs regular upkeep like painting and patching. 
  • A possibility of decay.

Vinyl Shingle Siding

A house with different types Shingle Siding.

Pros:

  • Vinyl siding is extremely durable and versatile, making it a top choice for many homeowners. 
  • Scratches and gouges are less noticeable because the colors are mixed into the material before it is formed to create popular faux finishes like wood grain, shingles, and stone. 
  • It’s simple to set up this lightweight material
  • A long lifespan 
  • Resistance to decay 
  • A low price tag
  • The absence of any need for painting or finishing 
  • A rise in your home’s resale value

Cons:

  • Overlapping results in obvious seams and can shatter when subjected to force
  • No decomposition possible

Composite Shingle Siding

Building with Composite Shingle Siding.

Pros:

  • Experts state that synthetic siding provides higher protection against fire and can be combined with superior insulation and moisture barriers. 
  • Similarly, traditional composites have advanced greatly from their white vinyl siding roots. 
  • They can be made to seem like wood and come in a wide variety of hues that were not available before.

Cons:

  • Installation of synthetic materials may cause respiratory irritation due to the emission of fine dust particles into the air. 
  • All the leftover debris from your job will just take up more room in a landfill because these materials aren’t biodegradable. 
  • There are composite systems that can only be installed by professionals with specialized training.