Are you shopping around for options to improve the curbside appeal of your house? One of the few improvements that you can make that will increase appeal, performance, and the value of a house is siding, also known as cladding. While siding materials tend to rise and fall in terms of popularity, there are several different types of exterior siding that have remained in the spotlight for decades.

Here is a comparison of different types of cladding to help you decide which style is best for your home:

  1. Vinyl Siding

Since the introduction of vinyl in the 1960s, it rapidly rose to the number 1 spot for cladding in North America.

Characteristics

  • There are more than 300 color options available.
  • Is available in a number of profiles, including horizontal and vertical slats, shakes, shingles, lap, beaded, and fish scale designs.
  • Technological advancements in home improvement have made it possible to DIY vinyl siding installation. Few tools are required, but you will need to follow directions or online tutorial videos precisely, since mistakes can be extremely costly.

Maintenance

  • The only required routine maintenance is a power wash to remove any dirt or mold.
  • Cost of Vinyl Siding
  • Warranties are usually offered by the manufacturer and are often lifelong and transferable.
  • Vinyl is a cost-effective choice, because it is not only the least expensive of all siding options, but it can be cut and styled to match the project.
  1. Wood Siding

Wood has been used as a building material for hundreds of years and is a lovely addition to any home. The downside is that wood siding requires continuous upkeep and can be expensive.

Characteristics

  • Is available in a number of profiles, including vertical (board-and-batten) and horizontal (bevel) panels, split logs, shakes and shingles.
  • Shakes are either hand- or machine-sawn from bolts of wood. Shakes are a thicker version of shingles and usually have a less uniform appearance. Shingles have a shorter lifespan than shakes, because they are thinner.
  • Wooden shingles and shakes come with flame-retardant treatments.
  • Wooden siding, include shakes and shingles, are installed over plywood or other flat surfaces, moisture barriers, a paint or stain finishing coat, and caulking along the outside.

Maintenance

  • Periodic maintenance is required with wooden siding to prevent any damage from inclement weather or wear and tear.
  • For those looking for a wooden siding with rot resistance, cedar and redwood have natural properties against dry rot and mold.
  • Log siding is the most expensive type of wood siding, because it requires constant upkeep and must be routinely treated against infestation, cracks have to be sealed, and other treatments are needed to avoid decay.

Cost

  • Pine, spruce, Douglas fir, and cypress options are cheaper than cedar and redwood wooden siding, but cedar and redwood have greater longevity.

  1. Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement is a more natural option that has been around for many years. However, due to recent emphasis on more eco-friendly building materials, it has gained more recognition. Fiber cement is a unique mixture of cellulose fiber, sand or fly ash, and cement.

Characteristics

  • Fiber cement is gaining momentum throughout North America. This kind of siding can be customized to look like wood or vinyl and has the same aesthetic options as vinyl and wood, such as shingles, shakes, board-and-batten, and bevel.
  • Fiber cement is much more durable than wood and vinyl, because it is termite, mold, fire, and water resistant.
  • Installed over studs or exterior sheathing on a moisture barrier.
  • Must be primed and painted.

Maintenance

  • With proper maintenance, fiber cement siding can last 50 years or longer, depending on the manufacturer.
  • Maintenance includes repainting every 5-8 years and washing.

Cost

  • Although more expensive outright than vinyl, fiber cement has a lower price tag than wooden siding and stone siding.

  1. Aluminum Siding

Sometimes, you want something that is low-cost yet highly durable with a modern look. Many people have found that aluminum siding answers that demand.

Characteristics

  • Aluminum siding comes in a range of styles that satisfy the need for the aesthetics of vinyl or wood. Horizontal aluminum and steel siding, for instance, can be styled to look like wooden lap siding.
  • You may hear aluminum also called “retrofit” siding, since it is sometimes applied as an outer coat of wooden siding, thus reducing the maintenance requirements while maintaining the look of wood.
  • Aluminum siding is highly durable. Newer versions also come with vinyl coatings to enhance resistance to weathering and color fade.

Maintenance

  • Denting is a common problem with aluminum siding and is difficult to prevent.
  • Standard pre-painted aluminum cladding is known to be prone to chalking.

Cost

  • Steel and aluminum are very low-cost.
  • Plastic and vinyl-clad types carry warranties that may last up to 35 years.

  1. Stone and Stone-Veneer Siding

The beauty and durability of stone creates unique and inspiring edifices with high curbside appeal.

Characteristics

  • Stone veneer and fabricated brick are either made from synthetic materials or all-natural ones, are much more lightweight than normal stone and brick, but have all the durability and appeal of 100-percent stone.
  • Unlike stone, veneers and fabricated options are much easier to install.
  • Maintenance
  • Stone and stone-veneer is very low maintenance. Simply wash off dirt and mold that may form in shaded areas throughout the year.
  • Cost
  • In most cases, the cost of natural stone is far more expensive than stone-veneer. Stone siding can be difficult to install, cut, and customize, adding to the overall cost.
  • The cost of natural stone can be off-set by using stone-veneer or fabricated brick (another option).

There you have it—a rundown of the popular siding options. In the end, the siding you choose is going to be the one that matches your own aesthetic preferences and ability to keep up with maintenance. Keep these points in mind when making your decision.