Types of Siding Materials

Types of Siding Materials

House Siding Options

Siding is designed to protect the exterior walls of your home (or other buildings). It also provides insulation, impacts your home’s appearance, and is also one of your home’s first lines of defense against the elements.

There are lots of materials to choose from for your home’s cladding (siding), each has its own benefits and drawbacks. Ultimately you should choose a material that meets your needs regarding efficiency, durability, maintenance-level, and of course, cost. 

In this guide, I’ll explain some of the pros and cons of each material. If you have a particular material in mind, use the links below to skip ahead to that section of this post. 

Vinyl Siding

Pros

  • Low-cost
  • Low-maintenance
  • Very popular
  • Lots of options
  • Bug and insect resistant
  • Water-resistant

Cons

  • Can rattle in high winds
  • Can crack, melt, and burn
  • Wood imitations definitely look like imitations
  • Susceptible to fading

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Wood Siding

 

Pros

  • Looks beautiful
  • Impact-resistant

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Requires regular maintenance/refinishing
  • Can warp, twist, and burn
  • Vulnerable to rot, insects, and other critters

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Engineered Wood Siding 

Pros

  • Most products are made from recycled wood
  • Weather-resistant
  • Resistant to warp and deterioration
  • Impact-resistant
  • Resistant to mold, mildew, and insects
  • More realistic wood texture than vinyl
  • More affordable than real wood
  • Low-maintenance

Cons

  • Binders used in manufacturing the product aren’t “green”
  • Damage to exterior coating can leave the wood vulnerable to moisture
  • Exterior needs to be painted regularly

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Aluminum Siding

Pros

  • Multiple thickness options
  • Lower end aluminum siding is very inexpensive
  • High-end aluminum siding can last several decades
  • Can offer good insulation value
  • Waterproof protects against moisture problems
  • Recyclable material, “green” material
  • Fire-resistant
  • Rust-resistant

Cons

  • Dents and scratches easily
  • Color fades over time
  • Noisy during high winds and when the metal expands/contracts

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Fiber Cement Siding

Pros

  • Wood textures are more realistic than in other materials
  • Available in smooth textures
  • Weather-resistant
  • Rot and insect resistant
  • Highly durable when installed properly
  • Fire-resistant

Cons

  • Moderately expensive
  • Brittle and can chip during installation
  • Requires periodic refinishing

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Brick Veneer Siding

Pros

  • Extremely durable
  • 100-year life span
  • Practically maintenance-free
  • Can be painted
  • Fire-resistant
  • Impact-resistant
  • Resistant to noise transmission
  • Energy-efficient
  • High resale value
  • “Green” building material

Cons

  • Requires additional support to prevent it from settling and cracking
  • Expensive
  • Mortar can crack
  • Not recommended for houses in areas with heavy traffic or where earthquakes are common
  • Susceptible to moisture retention during heavy rainfall
  • Becomes discolored after time

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Stucco Siding 

Pros

  • Very durable
  • Can be painted
  • Energy efficient
  • Fire resistant
  • Quiets outside noise

Cons

  • Brittle, can be damaged by direct strikes and requires immediate patching
  • Stains easily (think tree sap or chemicals that are sprayed nearby)
  • Requires expert installation
  • Installation is expensive
  • Does not react well to excess moisture

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Manufactured Stone Veneer Siding

Pros

  • Long life span - typically 25 years or more
  • Low-maintenance
  • Mold and mildew resistant
  • Highly durable
  • More affordable than brick
  • Lots of variety
  • Lightweight and easy to work with

Cons

  • Installation must be done properly to avoid moisture issues
  • Cheap stone veneer is painted and can dull over time
  • Vibrations can cause mortar to crack

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