Home Safety and Maintenance

Types of Home Siding: A Guide

Person installing composite siding in clapboard form

Do you need one of the smartest weatherproofing ideas for your sweet home? Go for siding! Installing new siding doesn’t take much time and enhances the performance and value of your home right away. There are numerous varieties of siding available in the market, and many have come and gone over the years. Only a few standards have remained. For instance, no one uses asbestos siding anymore, and hardboard and fiberglass siding has been largely replaced with vinyl and fiber cement.

What is Home Siding?

It is a protective wall or cladding that is attached to the exterior walls of your home to protect it from all the bad things that different types of weather have to offer, such as storm, rain, snow, the sun, and the likes. A quality siding maintains a cozy environment inside the house and keeps the exterior walls from getting weather damaged.

Things to Consider before Opting For Siding

If you are looking for the best siding for your home, then before you decide on the material, consider these points to make a sound decision:

  • Water-Resistant

Some siding materials can be more water-resistant than others. So, you should opt for a material that doesn’t absorb water and rot over time. The best waterproof sidings you can get are stone siding and Everlast Composite siding.

  • Aesthetics & Texture

How the siding will look on your home depends on what texture it has, what colors it is available in, and how aesthetic it looks. Make sure to consider its texture and color before choosing any option. Stone or brick sidings have limited color options, while vinyl siding is available in several different colors to choose from.

  • Energy Efficiency

Every siding material has an R-value. This measures the energy efficiency of the material. Higher the value, the better the material is for your home as it will provide better thermal insulation. For instance, vinyl has an R-value of 2.0-3.0,while stucco siding has a 0.4 R-value.

Read more about R-Value here.

  • Versatility

The type of siding your house’s walls would be compatible with also depends on the structure and exterior of your house. For example, a complex 3-story Victorian home isn’t the right choice for stone siding.

  • Durability

The durability is another important factor that needs to be considered before you install any type of home siding. How long will the siding last before getting repaired, maintained, or painted? Some claddings, such as stucco, can last a lifetime of the home (if done right) and only need to be repainted every 6 or 7 years. Additionally, the siding’s resistance to Mother Nature and susceptibility to rot and insects also play a vital role in how long your siding will last.

  • Eco-Friendly

If you are an eco-friendly person, you can consider green siding, such as fiber cement, which is made of sand, clay, cement, and wood-pulp fibers. Wood siding is also environment-friendly as it comes straight from nature.

  • Cost

Last but not least, considering the cost of anything is the most important part. Remember that installing siding isn’t cheap. Depending on what you want, it can run anywhere from $4,000 to $50,000. Make sure to determine your budget beforehand and go for what you can afford.

To get a rough estimate on how much you need to spend, check out this siding calculator.

Types of Home Sidings (Most Popular)

1. Wood Siding

Wood is a natural material that is both versatile and eco-friendly. It is the most common type of material used for home siding. Plus, wood siding is available in several different designs to choose from according to your requirements. If you want to give your house an organic and traditional look and make it cozy from the inside, getting wood siding installed is the best option.

The most commonly used woods for siding are spruce, cedar, redwood, and pine. You can either use a wood stain for a more enhanced look or leave it as it is (natural state).

Pros

  • While other types of sidings have to replace whole panels and sides if damaged, wood siding can be easily replaced in small batches.
  • Cost-effective.
  • Eco-friendly.
  • It can be painted and stained in numerous colors as per your desire.
  • It has a higher R-value (approximately 0.8), making it more energy-efficient.
  • Easy to install.

Cons

  • The paint fades over time – and it needs to be repainted.
  • Insects or water can easily damage the wood siding.
  • It has a high cost of maintenance as the wood siding needs to be stained every two to three years and repainted every four to five years.
  • Not fire-resistant.

2. Metal Siding: Aluminum and Steel

Undoubtedly, metal is one of the most durable and long-lasting sidings for your home’s exteriors. It is resistant to water and doesn’t rot or mold over time like wood siding. A plus point is that metal siding always retains its color without fading out over some time. However, if you want to give a fresh look to your home, you can paint it after some years.

Unlike wood siding, it isn’t susceptible to rodents, fire, or insects. This type of siding is usually associated with retro and modern style type infrastructures. The most common types of metal used for home siding are aluminum and steel. If you live in a coastal area, then you should better opt for aluminum siding as those areas have salty air, and aluminum provides excellent protection against it. On the other hand, steel is more prone to rust, but it is sturdy enough to provide protection against hail damage.

Pros

  • Doesn’t mold or rot unlike other types of sidings
  • Water-resistant
  • Requires very low maintenance
  • Doesn’t fade over time
  • Eco-friendly
  • Fire-resistant
  • Isn’t susceptible to rodents and insects

Cons

  • If not installed right in terms of seal and finish, metal siding can lead to rust and discoloration.
  • It doesn’t provide as good appeal as most other materials.
  • Aluminum is a soft metal and is prone to hail damage, dents, rocks, etc.
  • Aluminum siding is more prone to discoloration, and at times, it gets challenging to match pre-colored aluminum panels.
  • Steel siding is heavier than other types and hence requires more cost upfront.

3. Vinyl Siding

Vinyl is a synthetic material that has become popular for home exterior siding because of its low maintenance, durability, versatility, and low cost. The best thing about vinyl siding is that you have numerous color and design options to choose from. Some forms of vinyl siding are shakes, shingles, fish scales, vertical panels, horizontal panels, beaded designs, and lap. Vinyl can be made to look the same as natural materials such as shingles and stone.

Just like aluminum siding, vinyl siding is also available in strips with interlocking borders. A zip tool is used to connect and separate the siding strips.

Pros

  • Low maintenance as it only requires minimum washing every now and then.
  • Low cost.
  • Its color doesn’t fade over time.
  • Available in numerous color and design options. Plus, you can customize it as well.
  • It doesn’t need a professional hand to be installed – a DIYer can easily manage to install it without any problem.
  • Simple and easy to clean.
  • Energy-efficient as it has an R-value of 2.0-3.0 (or even more).
  • Durable and comes with an extended warranty (30 to 40 years).

Cons

  • It has a synthetic look that might be a letdown factor for nature enthusiasts.
  • Although it is labelled as water-resistant, it isn’t waterproof. Additionally, if not installed right, it can lead to water leakage hence leading to mold and other issues.
  • Not biodegradable.
  • It can be damaged due to extreme weather conditions such as winds, high temperatures, or hailing.
  • The color you choose in the beginning will be permanent, which means you can’t just paint vinyl siding, unlike other types.

4. Fiber Cement Siding

If you want something latest, then fiber cement siding is the latest development in home siding. It is durable, resource-efficient, and requires very low maintenance. This type of siding is a combination of wood fibers, cement, and sand. It installs and looks just like wood siding, with less hassle of dealing with insects, rodents, and high costs.

Pros

  • Mimics the look of real wood without the susceptibility to wood-eating insects and high cost.
  • Versatile in looks and textures. Available in many designs and colors.
  • Has a fire rating of Class 1A (extremely fire resistant).
  • Easy to maintain and normally comes with a long warranty (10 to 15 years).
  • It doesn’t rot, mold, or decay like wood and is resistant to salty air – making it an excellent choice to be installed in coastal areas.

Cons

  • The material isn’t DIY-friendly as it is quite heavy. It requires two or more people for installation as well as special cutting tools.
  • Requires minor touch-ups for chips and damage.
  • Needs repaint every 12 to 15 years, which might not be a big problem if you want to get a fresh look after these many years.
  • 2 to 3 times costly compared to its synthetic counterpart, vinyl.

5. Brick Siding

Want a home siding that can last forever? Brick siding is for you then. There are many houses and buildings with brick siding that are over 100 years old, and the siding is still in good condition. You can either opt for brick veneer or regular brick; the choice is yours. Brick veneer is a finished exterior layer of brick that gets installed on the outside of the house.

It makes an excellent choice because it doesn’t mold, rot, and lasts a lifetime of the house.

Pros

  • It can last a lifetime.
  • Requires very low maintenance – just a casual wash every now and then.
  • Isn’t susceptible to wood-eating insects, termites or any other insects.
  • Highly fire resistant.
  • It doesn’t need to be repainted or finished as it doesn’t fade or decay over time like most other materials.

Cons

  • It is one of the more expensive options for home siding.
  • No repainting allowed. Plus, color choice is permanent – you can’t just change the color like vinyl siding.
  • The mortar joints may deteriorateover time and might need to be replaced as well.
  • It requires a long installation time.

6. Stucco Siding

Stucco is normally a combination of sand, cement, and lime, but it could also be made using other materials and recipes. Stucco siding is similar to plaster and is layered all over the exterior of the house. Although you can paint stucco, it won’t hold well and require often repainting. A stucco siding starts with a wooden wall, which is then covered by a wire mesh to hold the stucco mixture firmly.

Two options are available in the market: traditional stucco (3-coat) and synthetic stucco (also known as Exterior Insulation & Finish System). The former one consists of three coats, which are a scratch coat, brown coat, and then the last one’s a finish coat.

Pros

  • Durable – can last 50 to 100 years with minimum upkeep and maintenance.
  • If damaged, it can be repaired with negligible costs compared to other siding options that need replacement of the whole panel.
  • Different color options are available.
  • Very breathable material.
  • Not susceptible to insect or rot problems.
  • Stucco includes epoxy that helps prevent chipping and cracking.

Cons

  • As it requires three coats, stucco siding can drive up the labor costs.
  • Not an ideal option for areas that have wetter climates. However, if installed with proper installation techniques, it can be a viable option.
  • It looks like a plain flat finish from a distance.
  • It can easily crack if the home’s foundation begins to move.
  • Dirt shows up more easily.

7. Stone Siding

We have saved the best one for the last. Although stone siding is most expensive to install, it can last a lifetime once installed. There are two options available: real stone siding and faux stone siding, aka stone veneer. Similar to brick siding, stone siding gives your house a beautiful natural look. It is incredibly durable, weather-resistant, and fire-resistant.

Stone sidings are available in different variants, which are granite, slate, limestone, and other natural stones. While real stone siding is expensive, you can get a comparatively cost-effective alternative, which is a stone veneer siding. It is easier to install and costs roughly half of what natural stones come at.

Pros

  • The look and feel of real stone siding are unmatchable.
  • Stones are impenetrable by Mother Nature. Hence stone siding can last a lifetime.
  • It requires zero maintenance other than washing every now and then with a pressure washer.
  • Resistant to fire, water, insects, rots, moisture, and extreme temperature.

Cons

  • Faux stone or stone veneer siding doesn’t adapt well to extreme temperatures and thawing. It can have the same moisture problems as stucco.
  • Costly installation.
  • It requires heavy labor and installation time.

Final Thoughts

We hope you found this guide helpful. Choosing among the different types of home siding options doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. Keep this list in mind, along with the pros and cons of every type – and then make your decision according to your requirements.

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