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Siding

Best Types of Home Siding

On this page:
  • Best types of siding
  • Installation costs per square foot
  • How to choose the best siding option for you

Types of Siding for Houses

New siding can significantly improve the look of your home, increasing your home’s curb appeal and resale value. Siding is also crucial in protecting your home from the elements. According to the 2021 Cost vs. Value report, a siding replacement can yield as much as a 70% return on investment.  Additionally, adding insulated siding to your home is a cost-effective way to earn long term savings and keep your monthly energy bills low.

Siding for houses comes in an array of materials that offer a variety of benefits and come at different price points. Additionally, 2022 is a great time to replace your siding as there are now advances in vinyl and veneer siding. These types of siding allow you to create the more expensive look of stone, brick, and cedar shake without the higher cost.

Modernize is here to help you navigate siding options for your home and decide on the best type of siding for your next home improvement project.

Top 10 Types of Siding for your Home

The wide array of options in siding for houses can make deciding on new siding a daunting task. While there are more than ten types of siding on the market today, it’s a good idea to keep your list of options to a minimum to make the decision process a little easier. Below we outline the top 10 types of siding for houses, and what to expect in terms of cost, durability, colors, weather-resistance, maintenance, and appearance.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl has been the go-to siding option for homeowners for decades

  • Most popular siding type

  • Weather-resistant in all climates

  • Dozens of color options

  • Low maintenance

  • Lasts 20-40 years

The low cost of vinyl siding and its extraordinary durability make vinyl siding the most popular option for homeowners in North America. Over 30% of American homes feature vinyl siding, and it is particularly popular in the Northeast. Increased options in size, texture, and color in recent years has only made vinyl siding more popular. 

Vinyl siding is also weather and insect proof, fade resistant, and very durable under most circumstances. Of all the various types of siding, vinyl is the most affordable to install, ranging between $1.50 and $8.50 per square foot. It can be applied directly over almost any existing surface, including brick and stucco. Vinyl siding is low-maintenance only requiring simple cleaning to prevent the growth or mold and to remove dirt.

Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement is known as one of the best siding types thanks to its durability and cost-efficiency

  • Extremely durable

  • Best siding for extreme weather

  • Plenty of color options

  • Low maintenance

  • Lasts 50+ years

Fiber cement is quickly becoming one of the most popular siding choices. This is mostly thanks to its affordable price, superior durability and weather-resistance. It provides excellent protection from the elements, pests, and noise pollution. Not to mention, it looks great when installed and can be produced in virtually any color.  Fiber cement comes in a variety of styles, including lap, plank, vertical, shake, curved shake, and various geometric patterns. It can also be manufactured to mimic the look of wood, stone, or brick.

Fiber cement siding is an environmentally sustainable choice, not to mention a good long term investment. This type of siding will last 50 or more years, as long as it is maintained properly. In fact, fiber cement siding replacement projects top the list on the 2021 Cost vs. Value Report at number 4 for the most worthwhile home investments. Fiber cement siding can yield a 69.4% return on investment. 

It is important to note though that unlike wood siding, installing fiber cement siding is not a DIY project. The upfront installation and labor cost falls between $5 to $10 per installed square foot. However, once this type of siding is installed, the maintenance requirements are limited. Most manufacturers recommend refinishing the siding every 15 years to maintain your warranty.

Natural Wood Siding

Natural Wood Siding

Wood siding can add a beautiful natural, rustic appearance to your home

  • Mid-range cost

  • Regular maintenance required

  • Solid durability

  • High aesthetic value

  • Lasts 20-40 years

Natural wood siding creates a classic look for your home in the form of clapboard, lap siding, shakes, or shingles. Wood siding tends to be less popular with homeowners, as it is higher maintenance compared to other types of siding and requires regular maintenance and upkeep. Maintenance needs include treatment to prevent termites and improve flame resistance, and regular painting and staining. Natural wood siding falls in the mid-range for pricing. The cost of the product and the installation ranges between $6 and $12 per square foot on average.

Clapboard siding, which is a popular form of wood siding made from split oak, pine, or spruce, costs roughly between $5 and $6 per square foot. It can be identified by its thickly cut, overlapping boards. Boards are applied like shingles to the home’s exterior, with the thin side underneath the thick edge creating a wedge. Clapboard comes in a wide variety of styles, finishes, and textures. Once installed, clapboard can be left unfinished or can be stained and painted.

When properly maintained, natural wood siding can last up to 40 years. Damaged panels are typically easy to repair, but it is important that they are replaced before damage like rot has the opportunity to spread. If you live in a warmer climate, it is recommended to paint or restain the siding every four to six years as well as apply fungicide and mildew deterrents every three to four years. More expensive types of wood, like cedar and redwood, are more decay-resistant than other types of wood siding and typically last longer.

Cedar Siding

Cedar Siding

Cedar is a high quality type of natural wood siding that comes in shakes, shingles or panels

  • Mid-range cost

  • More weather-resistant than other natural wood

  • Various design options

  • High aesthetic value

  • Lasts 20-40 years

If you like the look of wood siding, cedar is probably the highest quality option you can select. Cedar shakes create an incredibly beautiful, rustic look for your home. Depending on the wood’s origin, cedar shake can range in colors and grains. A number of different textured wall types can be created depending on the cedar’s placement during installation. In terms of sustainability, cedar shakes are biodegradable and since cedar trees grow rapidly, using cedar siding decreases your impact on the environment. Cedar shake siding costs between $6 and $12 per square foot.

Cedar siding is both firm and stable, outlasting other wood siding options and providing good protection against rain, wind, snow, and sleet. While most types of wood siding struggle when it comes to resisting moisture, cedar is one of the best options available for keeping out rain and moisture. In this respect, though the initial installation cost of cedar is sometimes costlier than wood siding, cedar siding can save you money due to its increased durability. 

Cedar siding can be applied in the form of horizontal lap panels, traditional shingles or shakes. You can also achieve a more modern, seamless look with tongue-and-groove panels, or create a rural look with board-and-batten. Cedar siding can be painted or treated with stain, oil, or even left untreated.

Hardie Board Siding

Hardie Board Siding

Hardie Board is a form of siding that looks like vinyl but is more durable and long-lasting

  • Very affordable

  • More weather-resistant than vinyl

  • Various color options

  • Great value

  • Lasts 50+ years

Hardie board is a type of fiber cement siding created by James Hardie, the founder of fiber cement in the 1970s. This brand is especially committed to sustainability. They source 90% of their materials from regional suppliers, and employ waste minimization and solid waste recycling technologies to support Zero to Landfill initiatives. 

Like fiber cement siding, Hardie board siding is completely rot and insect resistant and can even handle salt spray from the ocean. Hardie board is made of 90% sand and cement which make it very fire-resistant. Most Hardie board siding comes with a 50-year, limited transferable warranty. Hardie board siding costs between $1 and $6 per installed square foot. It can be made to mimic many other types of siding including wood lap boards, cedar shingles, and wood shake siding. Color options are also virtually unlimited.

Stucco Siding

Stucco Siding

Stucco is a cement and sand based siding type found on abhout 50% to 60% of Southwestern homes in the U.S.

  • Very affordable

  • Great insulation and energy efficiency

  • Various texture options

  • Fire resistant

  • Lasts 50+ years

Stucco is a cement and sand-based type of siding found on about 50% to 60% of homes in the Southwest and Pacific regions of the U.S. It is extremely durable, energy efficient, and low maintenance. In fact, stucco siding is known to help homeowners save on their month to month utility bills, thanks to its great energy efficiency and insulation. It typically costs under $10 per square foot to install on a home.

Bear in mind that stucco is a great choice for drier climates, but not the best choice for wet, damp climates. We recommend stucco as a long lasting, affordable siding solution if your home does not get an abundance of annual rainfall. If you live in a wetter region, fiber cement siding may be a better choice.

Aluminum Siding

Aluminum Siding

Aluminum is a durable, cost-effective type of siding

  • Solid durability

  • Affordable installation

  • Resistant to water, fire, mildew, and rust

  • Can be painted

  • Lasts 40+ years

Aluminum siding is one of the more cost-effective materials on the market at $1.75 to $7 per square foot. It is also fairly durable, as it can last 40 years or more. Aluminum has been a popular type of siding since the 1940s because it is lightweight, easy to install, eco-friendly and very weather-resistant. Aluminum siding stands up well to storms, insects, mildew and corrosion.

However, it is worthwhile to keep in mind that it can dent or scratch relatively easily. This can become an issue during hurricanes or hail storms. If you experience damage with your aluminum siding, the panels can be replaced or painted to restore the appearance.

Natural Stone Siding

Natural Stone Siding

Natural stone siding is known for its beauty and unmatched durability

  • Very high aesthetic value

  • Very low maintenance

  • Can be expensive

  • Does not rot or grow mildew

  • Lasts 100+ years

Natural stone siding creates a stunning look for your home. In fact, it is one of the most highly sought after types of siding due to its very high aesthetic value. It is also extremely durable, as it is resistant to rot, pests, fire, and severe weather, and can last 100 years or more.

Natural stone siding is also considered low maintenance, as it can be cleaned once every one to two years with DIY solutions. It is much more low maintenance compared to wood, metal, and even vinyl siding. It will not fade over time and is resistant to common wear and tear concerns of other types of siding, such as chipping, scratching, and rotting.

The heavy weight of natural stone can make installation very expensive – ranging between $30 and $48 per square foot. Also, due to its weight, it can put undue pressure on the structure of your home. You’ll need to have your home evaluated prior to installation to ensure that it can handle the weight without the risk of damage.

If you are drawn to the look and durability of natural stone but do not love the price tag, be sure to look into stone veneer siding. Stone veneer looks almost identical to natural stone and has comparable durability. We explain more details of stone veneer siding below.

Faux Stone Veneer Siding

Faux Stone Veneer Siding

Faux stone veneer is a type of siding that mimics natural stone but is much less costly

  • Mid-range pricing

  • Very durable

  • Impact, storm and heat resistant

  • Closely resembles real stone but weighs less

  • Lasts 20-75 years

Natural stone is beautiful and durable, but it is also very costly. If you’re looking to achieve a similar look that you can install yourself, faux stone panels also known as stone veneer siding may be the best option for you. Faux stone and stone veneer create a look for your home that is incredibly similar to real stone and the cost is considerably less, at $5.50 to $10.75 per square foot.

Stone veneer comes in sheets of lightweight panels, usually weighing no more than 11 pounds. This lightens the weight of the siding for your home’s structure, which means less risk of structural damage. Although the look is almost the same, faux stone and stone veneer siding does not offer the exact same durability of natural stone. Made from concrete, faux stone breaks much more easily than natural stone. However, you can still expect solid durability from stone veneer, as it lasts between 20 and 75 years.

Brick Siding

Brick Siding

Brick is a classic siding type that has excellent durability and weather-resistance

  • Comparable durability to natural stone

  • Low maintenance

  • Can be painted

  • Impervious to rain, wind and storms

  • Lasts 100+ years

Brick siding creates a traditional aesthetic for your home, available in many sizes, colors, and textures. While the initial installation cost may be considerable, at $5 to $15 per square foot, brick is extremely durable. Brick siding will not rot, burn, or fade even in extreme weather.

With brick siding, there is virtually no maintenance required for the first 25 years. After 25 years, you should begin inspecting mortar joints as masonry can potentially deteriorate. Brick siding can also have a positive impact on your monthly utility bills, as homes with brick siding are naturally insulated and effectively cool your home during extended periods of hot weather.

Engineered Wood Siding

Engineered Wood Siding

Engineered wood mimics natural wood siding in appearance and durability but is more affordable

  • Affordable installation

  • Polished, sleek appearance

  • As durable as natural wood

  • Various color options

  • Lasts 20-30 years

Engineered wood siding is the generic term for manufactured, synthetic or composite wood siding made into 4×8-foot sheets or lap panels. It is available in smooth or embossed textures and cuts, and handles like real wood. If you are a fan of the look of natural wood and want a comparable alternative that costs less while maintaining durability, engineered wood is a good siding choice for you. Many modern style homes today use engineered wood siding for a sleek natural outer appearance. 

Engineered wood siding is energy-efficient and relatively inexpensive, costing between $3.58 and $8.58 per square foot. It is also resistant to water, warping, fungus, pests, and mildew, and does not chip or fade easily. In terms of durability, it is not entirely foolproof as exposed cuts or edges can weather and decay. It also lacks the authentic variations found in real wood grain. You can expect your engineered wood siding to last between 20-30 years if regularly maintained and painted every 5 to 10 years.

How to Choose Between Siding Options

With so many siding options available today, homeowners may find it challenging to decide on a specific type for their home. Below we have outlined the top six factors to consider when choosing a type of siding for your replacement project. When comparing siding options, take note of the cost, durability, color options, weather-resistance, maintenance needs, and aesthetic value for each type.

1. Cost

Every home improvement project has a budget. The first factor to consider before moving forward with your siding project is the cost. There are a variety of options when it comes to house siding options, and each comes with its own price tag. When comparing the prices of different siding options, look for the cost per square foot. And always have your home’s total square footage in mind.

Siding Cost Calculator

Take Me There

You can use the Modernize Siding Cost Calculator to get a sense for the total cost of your siding project. We take your home’s size, chosen siding type, and location into account to give you a project estimate.

Also keep in mind that different types of siding yield different return on investment rates. Check out the 2021 Cost vs. Value Report to learn which types of siding are most likely to result in recouped costs. Remember it is always possible to earn back the money you spend on your siding replacement during a home resale.

2. Durability and lifespan

The second factor to consider is how long your new siding will last. You need to ensure your siding replacement will be worth it – that the new siding will stand up effectively to the elements without easily deteriorating. All siding types have natural lifespans. Vinyl siding lasts 20 to 30 years on average while natural stone can last more than 100 years without needing a replacement. A siding’s lifespan can also waver depending on how well you maintain it regularly and the weather conditions in your area. With that being said, siding options with longer lifespans typically cost more. Be sure to consider both cost and durability when choosing the ideal type of siding for your home.

3. Colors

Choosing a color for your new siding is part of the fun of a siding replacement project. However, not every color spectrum is available for every type of siding. For instance, vinyl, fiber cement, and Hardie board siding all have dozens of different colors to choose from. On the other hand, natural stone, brick and metal siding are more limited in available colors. 

Also keep in mind that even though many types of siding can be painted, not every color will look appropriate with all kinds of siding. Be sure to consult with a contractor to get an expert opinion on the best colors for your chosen siding option. If you are committed to a specific siding color, be sure to look into whether the siding options you are considering are compatible. 

4. Weather and climate

Your home’s location is a good indicator of which type of siding you should choose. Certain types of siding are better suited for certain types of climates. Some are better at resisting moisture, while others are rust-resistant or better at keeping homes insulated. In fact, certain types of siding are more energy efficient and can help you save on utility costs depending on the weather in your area.

Best for wet climates Fiber cement
Best for hot climates Aluminum and steel
Best for dry climates Stucco
Best for cold climates Natural stone and brick
Best for hurricane-prone areas Fiber cement
Best for coastal homes Hardie board

Fiber cement is becoming known as one of the most weather-resistant materials for siding. It stands up to hurricanes and wet climates as well as hot and humid climates. Wood and vinyl siding, while offering plenty of advantages, are often the least weather-resistant and can become damaged in severe weather. Always ask a siding professional which siding options are recommended for your geographic area.

5. Maintenance needs

In addition to durability and average lifespan, it’s important to think about the maintenance requirements for different types of siding. Most types of siding will only last the duration of their normal lifespan and remain effective at doing their job if you keep up with regular maintenance and cleaning. While some types of siding are low maintenance and can be refreshed once every year or two, other types can be damaged more easily and require more persistent maintenance.

Vinyl siding is known to be low maintenance, as it can be cleaned once a year using a DIY cleaning solution and a brush. On the other hand, wood siding and natural stone siding tend to be more high maintenance. Wood siding often needs to be repainted or stained to maintain its natural appearance. If you do not have a lot of time on your hands, or want to avoid hiring a professional to maintain your siding, be sure to choose a siding that requires little maintenance in order to protect your investment.

6. Aesthetics

Of course, the appearance of your siding makes a difference. Many homeowners choose to complete siding replacement projects in order to boost home value and refresh their home’s curb appeal. A potential buyer’s first impression of your home can make or break their decision to buy your home when it comes time to sell. You may have a type of siding in mind that matches your aesthetic design and architectural preferences. 

Keep in mind that many types of siding can be painted to give your home’s curb appeal a fresh new look. Also remember that certain types of siding can be made to look like higher quality types, but without the price tag or maintenance requirements. For instance, fiber cement siding can be customized to look like natural wood, but comes  with a lower cost and less maintenance.

Final Thoughts on Siding Types

If you have a particular type of siding in mind for your upcoming project, we recommend comparing its return on investment to other types of siding before starting the installation. Then, you will be ready to get in touch with professional contractors in your area and compare quotes for the job. Use our Contractor Checklist to hire the most qualified professional to handle the siding installation. Then, tap into the Modernize network of reputable siding installers to find the best one suited for your home and needs.