Comparing the Quality and Costs of Siding

You may be itching to swap out your home’s tired vinyl siding for a classic red brick, or even a sleek aluminum—anything to give your home’s face a fresh new look. But choosing your siding is a decision that will last for years, so it’s important to give it some careful consideration first. After all, siding is the protective barrier that shields your home from extreme weather and drastic temperature changes, which adds value to your home. It can also be beautiful, adding color and visual interest as curb appeal for the exterior of your home. With the addition of siding, you will see the value of your home increase, but by exactly how much? Well, that all depends on the type you choose and the quality of the product.

When it comes to choosing the right siding for your home, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The truth is, what is best for your home depends largely on your budget, your design needs, and the skill level of the person installing the siding. The best way to select a siding option is by comparing each of the most popular choices side by side.


Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is the preferred choice for residential homes in the United States. This is largely due to the fact that vinyl is durable, lasting between 20 and 30 years, and requires very little maintenance. Homeowners also choose vinyl for its affordability—depending on the brand, it costs between $.65 and $2.00 per square foot. Since vinyl siding is easily installed, many homeowners will install it themselves, saving additional money on labor costs.Yet another perk of vinyl siding is that it’s also incredibly customizable, available in countless color and design options.

After installing vinyl siding, homeowners can recoup up to 83 percent of the initial cost if they choose to sell their home. As far as the disadvantages of choosing vinyl, homeowners may not be pleased with the plastic appearance of this option and will need to pay an additional cost for extra long siding to eliminate the appearance of seams between panels.

Wood siding

Wood Siding

Wood siding is a favorite among homeowners who are looking for a more natural and rustic appearance. And while wood siding is the champion of durability,  lasting up to 100 years, it is high maintenance. In order to maintain the durability and longevity of wood siding, homeowners must perform regular care and upkeep of the siding including repainting, restaining, or resealing every few years.

Wood siding is among the more expensive options, costing between $2.50 and $8.00 per square foot. Since wood is easy to work with, many homeowners can save on labor costs by installing it themselves. And since the wood can be stained or painted in any available color, it’s an incredibly customizable choice of siding. 

Aluminum Siding Modernize

Aluminum Siding

While the durability and affordability of aluminum siding once made it a top choice for residential homeowners, it was eventually overshadowed by the cheaper and easier-to-find siding choice—vinyl. Regardless, aluminum is still a very durable option, and can last up to 50 years with proper care.

Aluminum siding is moderately priced, costing between $2.50 and $5 per square foot. Due to decreasing popularity, aluminum siding can be difficult to find and only available in a limited number of color and style options, so keep this in mind while shopping. 

Mod-brick siding

Brick Siding

If you’re the type of person who likes a timeless design aesthetic, brick is the siding choice for you.  Although it does require regular occasional maintenance, the work is worth the effort, because it can last for 100 years or more with proper upkeep. For different budgets and needs, choose between brick veneer, which is placed on top of the wood structure of the home, or full brick siding.

A brick veneer costs between $4 and $6 per square foot, and full brick siding costs between $6 and $10 per square foot. Properly installing brick is not a do-it-yourself project—it typically requires a homeowner to hire a contractor with specialized skills.

Fiber Cement Siding

via This Old House

Fiber-Cement Siding

Fiber-cement siding is unique because it can mimic the look of wood, brick, or stucco at a much lower cost. Fiber-cement siding is created from a mold, using a mixture of wood fibers, cement, clay, and sand. Although heavy and difficult to install, it is very durable and with occasional maintenance it lasts up to 50 years.

Fiber-cement siding is affordable, typically costing between $1.25 and $2 per square foot. Homeowners who choose to sell their home in the future can expect recoup 79 percent of the initial cost their siding. Since fiber-cement is heavy and requires specialized skills for shaping and installing, it’s important to find a contractor who specializes in installation of this particular type of siding.

1 Response

  1. This is some great information, and I appreciate your point that vinyl siding lasts between twenty and thirty years. My wife and I are going to be installing new siding on our home, and we want something durable that won’t take a lot to maintain. We’ll definitely look into getting vinyl to fit our needs. Thanks for the great post!

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