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The Complete Guide to Types of Siding

Published on: July 12, 2021

Siding plays a vital role in protecting a building while also adding to its curb appeal and beauty. When choosing new siding, you want to think about the durability, lifespan and cost of your chosen types of siding.

Consider your building’s architectural style when considering what aesthetic will work best for your home. Then consider how to best protect and insulate your home while achieving the look you want. 

We’ll take a look at the most popular siding options while outlining the important features and drawbacks of each.

  • Brick
  • Concrete
  • Engineered Wood
  • Fiber Cement
  • Imitation Stone/brick
  • Metal
  • Stone
  • Stucco
  • Vinyl
  • Wood

Guide to Types of Siding

Here’s a look at the various types of siding and what you can expect if you choose to update your home using these materials.

Brick

brick siding
Brick siding is elegant and timeless.

Brick siding provides a traditional and pleasing exterior for any building. It’s extremely durable and offers elegance to your building’s exterior. But because it’s a labor-intensive siding method, you’ll pay a great deal for this siding. 

A way around some of the expense of brick is to use a brick veneer instead of a solid brick siding method. 

True brick siding is extremely low maintenance. You can power wash it every once in a while and enjoy its beauty. It won’t fade and it is fire and insect-resistant. In areas with extreme temperature changes, you can also rest assured that your brick won’t warp. You’ll never need to paint it.

However, brick is extremely cost-prohibitive for most homeowners. The materials themselves are generally $6-$10 per square foot, but the cost to install it is where you’ll need a big budget. It takes skilled specialists to install brick properly, which does not come cheap.

Concrete

concrete siding
Concrete siding is durable and solid.

Concrete home exteriors are extremely long-lasting and low maintenance. They can withstand severe weather and do a great job of insulating your home or building. This siding type is naturally fire-resistant.

The largest setback to concrete siding is that it is expensive to install. And, it only has one look, which is kind of bland when compared to other options.

Engineered Wood

engineered wood siding
Engineered wood siding looks very similar to real wood.

Engineered wood siding contains real wood. It’s affordable at about $1.50-$3 per square foot but made to look just like wood siding. You can customize this siding type to meet your design requirements, including making it look like various wood species.  

Engineered wood often comes with a 20- or 30-year warranty because it is so durable and holds up well in various extreme conditions. 

The one major setback to engineered wood is that you can’t re-stain or repaint it like you can real wood. 

Fiber Cement

fiber cement siding
Fiber cement siding can mimic other materials. Pictured above is an example of how well it can imitate wood.

Fiber cement is a man-made material designed to look like other materials. The most popular material that fiber cement mimics is wood. This allows you to get the look of wood without the expense or maintenance of wood siding. 

In fact, fiber cement is the number one wood alternative siding method in North America. You can purchase your fiber cement siding pre-coated or pre-painted to make it even more low maintenance.

This type of siding is also fire resistant and not susceptible to insects the way wood is. The warranty on fiber cement siding is generally not as long as vinyl siding. Most materials come with a 15-year warranty compared to the 30-year that vinyl siding carries. 

The cost of fiber cement siding is generally $8-$14 per square foot.

Imitation Stone/brick

imitation stone brick
Imitation stone is commonly used on garages, or indoor fireplaces.

The most common place you’ll find this type of siding is on sheds and garages. It’s a low-cost way to side these buildings but it isn’t durable enough to place on your home. And this siding type tends to be more susceptible to water damage, which you of course want to avoid on your home.

You can find imitation stone and brick siding at a local hardware store to complete your shed or garage project.

Metal

Metal siding is the right choice for a variety of applications.

Commonly, metal siding is made from steel or aluminum. Metal siding is incredibly durable and long-lasting. It does not rot, mold or rust and retains its color quite well. Metal is naturally fire-resistant and reflects sunlight providing excellent energy efficiency. Additionally, this type of home siding does not warp or buckle.

You can achieve a variety of different aesthetics with metal siding, including a lookalike wood finish. 

However, metal siding does dent fairly easily and because it is so heavy, it takes longer to install, which makes it more expensive. Painted metal needs repainted every few years since the paint tends to wear off. 

This is one of the more expensive types of siding at $4-$8 per square foot.

Stone

Stone siding provides a luxurious look to your home.

Much like brick, stone exteriors are extremely durable and offer a low-maintenance option. However, the cost of materials and installation for stone siding is quite high. Because of this expense, many homeowners look to veneers to achieve a stone look without the large price tag. 

Stone can be even more expensive than brick. Yet, it provides a luxurious and prestigious look that many homeowners want. Stone veneers are much lighter than stone and easier to install, making them more attainable. In fact, in most situations, stone veneer is about half the cost of natural stone siding. 

Stone veneers can retain moisture though, leading to issues with your home. Discuss your area’s weather conditions with your installation team before choosing this siding option. 

Stucco

stucco siding
Stucco helps you achieve the look you want.

Stucco can have different textures and finishes to create the look you want. You can apply stucco to wood, stone or brick surfaces. As a siding method, it’s extremely long-lasting and provides great insulation for your home to reduce energy expenses.

Stucco is also extremely fire resistant naturally. You’ll pay higher expenses for installation but stucco also has great durability and longevity to make it cost-effective long-term. This siding requires very little maintenance and can last up to a century. 

This is not an ideal siding type for Washington buildings as it does not do well with tons of moisture from rainfall. 

Vinyl

Vinyl is a good inexpensive siding option.

Vinyl is a popular siding material since it is low maintenance, durable and fairly versatile. You’ll also find it to be very budget-friendly. With many colors and styles, you can get the look you want for your home with very little upkeep expenses. 

The cost for vinyl siding is about $.60 to $2 per square foot. You’ll need to wash the siding from time to time, but other than that, the maintenance requirements are low and it does not fade. When a professional installs your vinyl siding, it also has good insulation. 

Vinyl isn’t great for the environment though as it is not biodegradable in a landfill. And vinyl can’t withstand some of the most extreme weather, such as high winds. 

Wood

Wood siding adds warmth and beauty to any home.

Wood siding is one of the most timeless and traditional house siding options. It’s beautiful and charming while creating a natural look. Some of the most common types of wood used in siding are redwood, pine, cedar and spruce. 

Keep the natural wood look or paint or stain it to achieve the color and look you want. Plus, this provides the opportunity to change the color of your home later if you would like. 

Wood siding can have many different styles from shingles to clapboard. Or you can even create the illusion of a log home using log-like siding.

The setback of wood siding is that it can rot and it requires more maintenance than other types of siding. Wood is also more susceptible to insects unless treated regularly. It’s also fairly expensive at $6-$12 per square foot.

Get the Right Siding for your Home

Types of Siding FAQs

Get answers for some of the most common questions related to types of house siding. 

What is the Most Durable Type of Siding?

Brick, stone or metal siding are all extremely durable options, but also quite expensive. If you’re looking for affordable, yet durable siding, engineered wood is probably your best option. 

What is the Least Expensive Siding?

Vinyl siding is the least expensive siding option. You’ll also find this to be a very versatile siding option to achieve the look and insulation your home requires. 

What is the Best Low-maintenance House Siding?

Vinyl siding offers the most low-maintenance siding option. It’s also durable and protects from insects, wind, heat, cold and much more.

If you’re unsure what type of siding is best for you, schedule a free estimate with 2FL Windows, Siding and Roofing. We’ll assess your building and recommend the best siding for it. If you’re on a strict budget, we’ll also help you find the best option based on that budget.

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