A Guide to Siding Materials for Your Home

home with two different siding materials

When it comes to choosing the right type of siding for your home, it pays to know your options. There are a wide variety of siding styles, materials, and colors available and each comes with it’s own unique list of pros and cons. Factors like cost, durability, and upkeep can vary greatly. Knowing how different styles of siding compare to one another in these areas will de-mystify the process of choosing the right product for your home or business.

Siding Materials

Vinyl– Vinyl is by far the most popular choice for siding according to Consumer Reports. Vinyl siding combines low maintenance and high durability at a reasonable price. It comes in an endless array of colors and never needs repainting. Because it is such an easily-manipulated product, it can be found in several styles including lap, shake, scallop, or fish scale shingles. This lightweight product can last over 40 years if cared for properly, and is generally available for between $1-$6 per SF.

Wood– Wood siding is a classic siding material, providing traditional curb appeal to most structures. Certain wood products (specifically cedar and redwood) are naturally decay-resistant and if treated with care may last up to 100 years before requiring replacement. That said, other types of wood siding such as pine or fir will need frequent sealing to prevent rot. Most wood siding requires repainting or staining every two to four years depending on climate. Wood siding has a wide range of prices depending on the type and thickness of the chosen wood, but on average you can plan on spending between $4-$10 per SF.

Fiber-Cement– A composite material made up of sand, cement and cellulose fibers. Fiber-cement siding is a relatively new siding option that combines the durability of vinyl with the natural aesthetic of wood. It’s fire and rot resistant, and holds its color for up to 15 years. Because it is a composite material it is available in a huge variety of colors. This material is quite heavy and so installation costs are likely to be higher than with wood or vinyl siding, but at $2-$6 per SF for materials, fiber-cement siding may still be a reasonable option for many homeowners. 

Aluminum– Aluminum siding was once considered the pinnacle of curb appeal, but with the introduction of vinyl and other alternative materials, it has decreased in popularity in recent years. Still, this product still offers its own impressive list of pros. Because it’s manufactured with factory-baked enamel, there is literally no limit to color choice. Some aluminum siding can even be designed to mimic a wood grain pattern. This product is decay, fire, and insect resistant, but denting may be permanent and scratched areas are prone to rust. With a 40 year life span, this still remains a great value at $2- $5 per SF.

Brick/Stone– Brick or stone veneer siding is a beautiful way to bring charm and character to a structure. It’s a natural and very durable option that provides fire resistance and good insulation. Due to the high cost of natural stone and the very heavy weight of the product, it is among the more expensive siding choices at $3- $15 per SF.