Are you looking to update your curb appeal? Need better protection for the exterior of your home? New siding is a great way to improve the style and function of your house. However, there are several different siding options. Each has pros and cons, making choosing the right siding type for your home tricky. Since there are many different siding materials on the market today, we explain the main types of siding and outline the pros and cons of each.
What Are the Most Common Types of Siding?
These are some of the most common types of house siding materials. The best option for your home will depend on your budget, location, and desired aesthetic.
Vinyl siding is one of the most popular types of home siding because it is an affordable and low-maintenance material. It is made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and comes in long panels that are easy to install. It is also available in a wide variety of colors and styles, which makes it easy to customize the appearance of your home. Vinyl siding is relatively affordable and low maintenance, making it an attractive option for many homeowners.
- Affordable: It is generally less expensive than other siding materials, such as wood or brick.
- Low Maintenance: Vinyl siding requires little maintenance beyond occasional cleaning with soap and water.
- Durable: It is durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions, such as high winds, rain, and extreme temperatures.
- Versatile: Vinyl siding comes in a wide range of colors, styles, and textures, allowing homeowners to choose the look that best suits their home.
- Energy-Efficient: Some vinyl options are energy-efficient, helping to keep heating and cooling costs low.
- Not Eco-Friendly: Vinyl siding is made from plastic, which is not biodegradable and can contribute to environmental pollution.
- Can Fade or Warp: In direct sunlight, vinyl materials may fade or warp over time, especially if it is a lower-quality product.
- Prone to Cracking: Vinyl can crack or split in freezing temperatures or during extreme weather events like hailstorms.
- Hard to Repair: The only way to repair vinyl is to replace the entire section or panel.
Known for its superior durability and strength, fiber cement siding is a popular option for many homeowners. It is fire-resistant, and it will not fade or warp over time. Fiber cement is a composite siding material made of wood fiber, cement, sand, and water. It has a more natural look than vinyl siding and can be painted or tinted in any color you want. Fiber cement siding is a good choice for those who want low-maintenance, durable siding.
- Durability: Fiber cement is known for its durability and can last many years with proper maintenance.
- Fire-Resistant: It is fire-resistant, which can be crucial in areas prone to wildfires.
- Low Maintenance: Fiber cement requires almost no maintenance beyond the occasional cleaning.
- Resistant to Pests: Unlike wood and other siding options, fiber cement is not susceptible to pests like termites and carpenter ants.
- Variety of Styles: Fiber cement comes in various styles, including traditional lap siding, shingle siding, and board-and-batten siding.
- Cost: Fiber cement siding can be more expensive than other options like vinyl or wood.
- Difficult to Install: It is heavier and more challenging to install than some other siding materials, which can increase labor costs.
- Risk of Moisture Damage: It is prone to moisture damage if not installed correctly, leading to rot or mold.
- Requires Professional Installation: Due to the difficulty of installation, a professional should install fiber cement siding to ensure it is done correctly.
- Not Eco-Friendly: Fiber cement siding is not a biodegradable or renewable material, and its production process can contribute to environmental pollution.
Aluminum and Metal
Once the standard in home siding, aluminum and metal siding provide a modern and sleek look to any home. While there are many different metal siding materials, aluminum is the most common. Aluminum is a lightweight material that is easy to install, extremely durable, and resistant to weathering. It also comes in various colors and textures, allowing you to customize your home’s look. Additionally, metal and aluminum siding are very low maintenance and energy-efficient.
- Lightweight: Metal siding is very lightweight, making it easy to install.
- Low Maintenance: It requires little maintenance beyond occasional cleaning with soap and water.
- Fire-Resistant: It is fire-resistant, which can be helpful in areas prone to wildfires.
- Resistant to Pests: Unlike some siding materials, aluminum siding is not susceptible to pests like termites and carpenter ants.
- Recyclable: Metal and aluminum can be recycled at the end of their lifespan.
- Dents and Scratches: Metal dents and scratches easily, which can detract from its appearance.
- Fading: It can fade over time due to exposure to sunlight, leaving a home looking worn and dated.
- Not Energy-Efficient: It offers less insulation than other siding materials, which can lead to higher energy costs.
- Prone to Corrosion: It can rust over time, leading to problems like leaks and moisture damage.
An alternative to fiber cement, engineered wood siding is growing in popularity. It offers the look of natural wood without the costly price tag. It is a composite siding material made from wood fibers and other materials, such as plastic and wax. Engineered wood siding is available in various styles, colors, and textures, making it easy to customize the look of your home. It is also durable and low maintenance, making it an excellent choice for busy homeowners.
- Appearance: Engineered wood is designed to look like natural wood and can add an attractive and natural look to a home’s exterior.
- Durability: It is more durable than natural wood and is resistant to rot, pests, and moisture damage.
- Low Maintenance: Engineered wood requires minimal maintenance beyond occasional cleaning with soap and water.
- Energy-Efficient: Some options are energy-efficient, helping to reduce heating and cooling costs.
- Eco-Friendly: Engineered wood is made from recycled wood fibers, making it more environmentally friendly than traditional wood materials.
- Cost: Engineered wood can be more expensive than other siding materials like vinyl or aluminum.
- Prone to Water Damage: It is prone to water damage if improperly installed or maintained.
- Not Fire-Resistant: Engineered wood siding is not fire-resistant and can be prone to fire damage in certain conditions.
- Difficult to Repair: When damaged, it can be challenging to repair without replacing the entire section or panel.
Natural Stone or Brick Veneer
Stone or brick veneer adds an elegant and timeless look to any home. Available in a variety of colors and textures, it is known for its exceptional durability. Stone or brick veneer requires minimal maintenance but is slightly more expensive than other types of siding materials.
- Appearance: Stone veneer siding adds an attractive and natural look to a home’s exterior and is available in various colors and styles.
- Durability: Stone veneer siding is highly durable and resistant to pests, rot, and weather damage.
- Low Maintenance: Stone veneer siding requires minimal maintenance beyond occasional cleaning with soap and water.
- Energy-Efficient: Stone veneer siding can be designed to be energy-efficient, helping to reduce heating and cooling costs.
- Fire-Resistant: Stone veneer siding is highly fire-resistant, which is helpful in areas prone to wildfires.
- Cost: Stone veneer siding can be significantly more expensive than other materials like vinyl or aluminum.
- Heavy: Stone veneer siding is heavy and can require additional support, increasing labor costs and installation time.
- Installation Difficulties: Installing stone veneer siding can be a complex and time-consuming process, which can increase the cost of installation.
Natural wood siding is a timeless choice for many homeowners. It is available in several different types, including cedar and redwood. Wood is relatively long-lasting but requires regular staining or painting to keep it looking its best. You can also finish it with various stains and sealants to protect it from the elements.
- Appearance: It adds a warm, natural look to a home’s exterior and can be customized with various stains and finishes.
- Durability: When properly maintained, it can last for decades and is easy to repair when damaged.
- Sustainable: Wood is a renewable resource and can be considered a more eco-friendly option than many other types of house siding materials.
- Energy-Efficient: It can provide good insulation, which can help to reduce heating and cooling costs.
- Customizable: You can customize the wood shape, size, and style to fit the unique aesthetic of a home.
- Cost: It is usually more expensive than other materials like vinyl or aluminum.
- High Maintenance: Wood requires regular maintenance, including painting, staining, and sealing.
- Prone to Pests and Rot: If not properly maintained, wood is prone to damage from pests like termites and carpenter ants, as well as rot and moisture damage.
- Fire Hazard: Wood siding is highly flammable and can be a fire hazard, especially in areas prone to wildfires.
Stucco siding is a popular choice for homes in warmer climates. This material is very durable and long-lasting, and it can be applied in various styles and colors. Stucco siding requires regular maintenance to keep it looking its best, but it is relatively inexpensive compared to other types of siding materials.
- Appearance: Stucco siding can add a sleek and modern look to a home’s exterior and is available in various textures and colors.
- Energy-Efficient: Stucco siding can be designed to be energy-efficient, helping to reduce heating and cooling costs.
- Low Maintenance: Stucco siding requires minimal maintenance beyond occasional cleaning with soap and water.
- Fire-Resistant: Stucco siding is highly fire-resistant, which can be an important factor in areas prone to wildfires.
- Soundproofing: It provides a level of soundproofing, benefiting homeowners living near busy roads or other noisy areas.
- Cost: Stucco siding can be more expensive than other siding materials like vinyl or aluminum.
- Installation Difficulties: Installing stucco siding can be a complex and time-consuming process, which can increase the cost of installation.
- Vulnerable to Moisture: Stucco siding is vulnerable to moisture damage if not properly installed and maintained, which can lead to mold, rot, and other issues.
- Limited Repair Options: If stucco siding becomes damaged, repairs can be difficult and may require the entire section to be replaced.
- Prone to Cracking: Stucco siding can be prone to cracking, especially in areas with extreme temperature changes or seismic activity.