Whether you’re building a new home or replacing the siding on your existing home, your choice of siding material will impact your life for years to come. Siding plays a huge role in a home’s aesthetic and energy efficiency. Some siding types are more durable than others, while some require less maintenance than others. There are various excellent options to choose from. Deciding which is best for your home depends on your personal tastes, budget, and affinity for home maintenance.
You don’t have to know exactly what you want before you talk to a siding contractor, but it is important to do research beforehand so you’re prepared with some ideas and questions. Let’s take a deep dive into the top home siding options on the market.
Compared: Popular Home Siding Materials
The most popular siding types can be narrowed down to six options. Each one is unique and desirable for different reasons that suit different people. The following list will compare each option outlining pros, cons, and relative house siding costs.
Premium Vinyl Siding
Premium vinyl siding is in high demand. It won’t rot, it’s durable, and it’s affordable. Vinyl is also a very low maintenance material. It will never need painting; the only maintenance required is a yearly wash with your garden hose to keep it clean.
Vinyl siding has come a long way over the years. While it used to be thin, weak, and inexpensive, it’s now thicker and stronger, but still affordable. Vinyl has come a long way not only in terms of quality but also in terms of variety. There is a vast array of colors, styles, patterns, and trims to choose from.
Pros: Durable, low maintenance, affordable, many color options
Cons: Due to standard panel length, seams may be noticeable after installation
Premium vs. Insulated Vinyl Siding
Insulated vinyl siding is another type of vinyl that offers extra benefits like increased energy efficiency. It’s lined with foam insulation that traps the desired temperature in and keeps external temperatures out. Additionally, the insulation acts as a noise barrier to reduce outside noises. Despite the significantly higher cost of insulated vinyl siding, the added benefits are worth it.
Wood siding is popular for those who prefer natural charm and beauty. While wood requires quite a bit of maintenance, it will look beautiful and maintain its durability for generations if it’s properly cared for. Proper maintenance involves power washing, staining, and sealing when the siding begins to fade or retain moisture.
There are multiple wood siding options available, such as pine, spruce, fir, cedar, and redwood, but it’s important to ask your contractor which materials are suited for your climate. The grade of the wood also matters. Low-grade wood is susceptible to rotting, splitting, and checking, but high grades can be costly.
Pros: Beautiful, easy to cut and shape, quick and simple installation
Cons: Cost, requires a lot of maintenance (which adds to the overall cost)
Engineered Wood Siding
Engineered wood siding is the top composite siding option on the market. It offers the beauty and charm of wood siding without all the extra maintenance. It only requires repainting every ten years. Engineered wood siding is made from recycled materials, so it’s the perfect eco-friendly option.
Is engineered wood siding right for you? It’s cheaper and easier to install than regular wood, and long term warranties are often available. While it’s resistant to water and weather damage, fungus, pests, and mold, any cracks in the siding will let in moisture, causing serious problems.
Pros: Made from recycled materials, low maintenance, inexpensive, ideal wood alternative, long term warranties
Cons: Debate over lifespan, can crack over time
Steel siding is similar to vinyl siding in many ways. It’s durable, non-combustible, and requires almost no maintenance, just a rinse with the garden hose once per year. With steel siding, you’ll never need to paint, either. Steel is a more eco-friendly option than vinyl because it’s recyclable.
Steel siding lasts up to forty years, and it comes in a variety of beautiful colors, grains, and styles. It is such a strong material that it’s resistant to hail and fire, but it can be formed to fit various shapes, curves, and edges.
Pros: Fire and hail proof, low maintenance, eco-friendly. Resistant to mold, rot, and insects.
Cons: Cost, prone to rust if improperly installed, heavy
Synthetic Stone Siding
Synthetic stone siding is a popular accent choice to cover lower parts of walls and chimneys. While real stone can require additional concrete footings and show wear and tear over time, synthetic stone gives you the look you want without the extra work.
At Advantage Construction, we use Boral Versetta Stone for our synthetic stone siding. It’s designed in panels that are easy to install.
Pros: Looks like stone, less expensive than stone, fire and insect resistant
Cons: More expensive than most other options
Fiber Cement Siding
Fiber cement siding can be molded to mimic anything from wood clapboard and masonry to shingles and stucco. It’s very versatile, durable, and fire-resistant. Although it’s not made from natural materials, there are no fossil fuels involved in its creation. Instead, it’s made from wood pulp, cement, clay, and sand, making it a more eco-friendly option than some.
At Advantage Construction, our preferred fiber cement option is Hardie Board. It requires almost no maintenance, is impressively strong, and comes with a fifty-year warranty.
Pros: Fire, rot, and pest resistant, durable, low maintenance, comes in many colors and textures
Cons: Heavy, challenging installation
Is it Time for New Siding?
Are you building a new home? Is your damaged siding further damaging your home? Or is it just time for a fresh new look? Whatever brings you to the market for new home siding, your trusted local siding contractor, Advantage Construction, is here to help. Contact us with any questions, concerns, or ideas you have about your upcoming siding project. Our siding professionals will help you choose the most practical and beautiful siding for your home and budget. Learn more about our residential siding services today.