Trying to choose the siding for your home can be daunting. There are many options to choose from, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Choosing a siding material comes down to a few factors. Things like style, cost, and maintenance are all areas worth considering before committing to a siding choice.
Here are several of the top siding choices to refresh the exterior of your home, along with their pros, cons, and costs.
Many people love the look of stone veneer, but due to its cost and array of problems, fiber cement has become a popular alternative. Fiber cement is made from a mixture of cement, wood pulp, sand, and clay. It can mimic the look of stone veneer, wood, stucco, and more. It lasts approximately fifty years.
Pros: Fiber cement is resistant to fire and rot and is durable. It’s also termite and pest-proof and relatively low maintenance. It stands up well in hot, humid climates as well as climates prone to freezing temperatures.
Cons: It’s challenging to install, so it requires expert installation. While you can paint it to look like nearly any material, it will need a re-paint at some point during its life. You’ll also have to have it re-caulked at some point, so it isn’t as low maintenance as some of the alternatives.
Architectural Style: While fiber cement can mimic the look of many different materials, it’s usually found in contemporary architectural designs.
Costs: For materials and installation, fiber cement siding costs between $5.80-$12.00 per square foot.
Most homeowners go with vinyl siding, thanks to its durability and cost. Created in the 1950s, vinyl siding is made of PVC plastic resin. It comes in a variety of different looks and can be found on about 27% of homes in the United States. It lasts for around thirty years.
Pros: Vinyl siding can come in a variety of textures and colors. It’s simple to install, and it’s lightweight. It’s also water-resistant and requires the least maintenance of any of the other options on this list.
Cons: It’s made of plastic, so it’s lower-quality than some of the other options on this list. The seams are often visible, and the quality varies dramatically with different manufacturers.
Architectural Style: Like fiber cement, vinyl can mimic most aesthetics, but it’s most often found in modern, contemporary, or ranch style homes.
Costs: For materials and installation, vinyl siding costs between $4.15-$8.50 per square foot.
For metal siding, homeowners usually choose aluminum or steel, although zinc and copper siding are also options. Each metal presents its own benefits and advantages, but overall, people want metal for its unique appearance and malleability. It can last between thirty and fifty years.
Pros: Metal is insect-proof and fire-resistant. It’s also waterproof and provides excellent insulation. Additionally, it’s recyclable.
Cons: Metal is prone to denting and rust. It also has high installation costs, and it’s loud during storms.
Architectural Style: Metal siding complements industrial style homes, but can be arranged in a variety of styles, including board and batten, faux wood, corrugated, and copper accents.
Costs: For materials and installation, metal siding costs between $5.20-$10.65 per square foot.
There’s something special about wood siding in homes. It’s classic, cozy, raw, and authentic. That’s why when the wood vs vinyl siding debate comes up, wood usually wins takes the cake. Wood also comes in a range of styles, grains, stains, and cuts, giving it a wide range of aesthetic appeal. It lasts for fifty years or more.
Pros: Wood is eco-friendly and increases curb appeal. It has unmatched natural beauty, and it’s very easy to install.
Cons: Wood is susceptible to a lot damage. Moisture, insect, and fire are all concerns for wood siding. Additionally, it needs to be stained every five years.
Architectural Style: Depending on the wood siding style, wood siding appeals to several different aesthetics. You can find wood siding on craftsmen style homes, French style homes, log cabin style homes, and more.
Costs: For materials and installation, wood siding costs between $4.15-$8.50 per square foot.
Natural stone is a sign of luxury nearly anywhere in the home. It’s no different with siding. Like wood, it’s a natural, sophisticated beauty. Stone siding can last more than seventy-five years.
Pros: Stone is incredibly durable, and resists fire and insects. It’s weather-resistant and extremely low maintenance. Many consider stone to be the superior siding choice.
Cons: Stone is expensive. It requires expert installation, and repairs, while rare, are costly. If improperly installed, there are an array of moisture issues that can arise.
Architectural Style: If you’re looking for luxury, stone siding is the way to go. It’s also a popular choice for historic and cottage-style homes.
Costs: For materials and installation, stone siding generally costs between $14.65-$26.00 per square foot.
Stucco is traditionally made from sand, limestone, and cement. It’s applied like plaster. Stucco provides a romantic, old-world feel, and it’s a style of siding that’s unique. Once installed, stucco siding can last around fifty years.
Pros: Stucco stands up well to insects and fire. Its texture and color lasts for a long time, and it’s low maintenance. It’s durable and adds quite a bit of curb appeal.
Cons: Stucco siding requires expert installation and is prone to cracking. Repairs are costly, and it doesn’t do very well in wet climates.
Architectural Style: Stucco siding is typically found on Mediterranean or Spanish style homes. It can also be found on historic homes as well.
Costs: For materials and installation, stucco siding typically costs between $7.90-$12.50 per square foot.
Choosing a Siding Option for Your Home
Ultimately, the siding on your home is a personal choice. Choose a material that matches your style and maintenance goals. In addition, select a siding choice that fits your budget and skills. Be sure to consider your climate, too. If you do your research and stay realistic with your goals and budget, you’ll be able to choose a siding that fits your vision.
Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.