two-story home with mixed siding and brick

Your approach to researching siding options for your home will partly depend on your personality. Some Type A personalities will weigh every siding option down to the last detail while making lists, many lists—even their lists will have lists. Meanwhile, you Type B people are just wishing you could go to bed one night and wake up to a newly sided house care of the wood siding fairy godmother. Whichever you are, read on for the rundown on siding so that your decision can be made easier.

Table of Contents

Horizontal lap siding (clapboard)

This is the most common style of wood siding we see on traditional constructed homes in the Ranch, Colonial, and Cape Cod styles. This siding can be made from a variety of different woods, from pine to redwood. Pricing will vary depending on the type of wood you choose. You can purchase this siding pre-primed and ready to paint. It may be painted or stained.

Rectangular planking (board and batten)

Many years ago, these vertically placed planks of wood siding were primarily used on barns in rural communities. Today, many homeowners are also choosing rectangular planking for an interesting modern style. One section of the siding may be horizontal clapboard while another section is rectangular planking, creating a custom design.


Shingles are usually made from cedar, cypress, or redwood. Typically more expensive than horizontal or rectangular wood siding, shingles add flair and sophistication to your home. Owners of Arts and Crafts style homes will sometimes choose to apply shingle siding in combination with horizontal lap siding, restoring the home to its original glory. Shingles are factory cut by a machine.


With a variety of sizes to choose from, shakes are applied to the home like shingles. Split by hand, shingles and shakes require a light oil stain, but they are still considered light maintenance since this only needs to be done every three or four years.


Plywood siding can be made to look like solid wood siding, but it is not an appropriate choice for fire prone areas. Although it is very affordable, it is also more vulnerable to insects, water damage, and warping.

A professional siding company can help you further explore your wood siding options. Here are a few things you will need to consider.

  • What is your budget? There is a wide range in price for wood siding. Based on a 2, 200 square foot home (the national average), prices range from $6,000 for plywood siding to $13,000 for wood shingles.
  • Maintenance. How much time are you willing to spend on maintenance? Plywood siding is very inexpensive, but it needs to be painted or stained more frequently. However, if you are planning on living in a home for only a short time, that could be a good option.
  • Aesthetics. You need to enjoy the appearance of your home. Properly installed, quality wood siding will add value to your home, that is a given, but you should be able to pull in the driveway, look at your home, and smile. Your own personal enjoyment of your property is an important consideration that should not be lost among considerations like price and maintenance.