There are so many types of house siding materials and design styles out there that it can be daunting to decide for your own home. Each type of siding offers unique features that can make or break your home, and there is certainly no one-size-fits-all.
That’s where we step in, offering you a condensed list of the many house siding options available by cutting out the fluff!
Table of Contents
What are the different types of house siding material?
Types of house siding materials can generally be split into two categories. There are natural materials (which are more pricey) and manufactured materials (which are more affordable).
You’ll find either category offering popular siding options such as wood, brick, and stone in various color schemes and design choices. Some other siding materials are vinyl siding and fiber cement siding for their affordability and easy installation process.
Quick list of house siding material
Now, let’s dive into the many features, pros, and cons of each type of siding material. We figured some of you may benefit from a quick list of the many types of house siding before unpacking it all. So for those that want to know the main types of siding material options available without all the messy details, here you go:
- Vinyl siding
- Insulated vinyl siding
- Brick veneer siding
- Stone veneer siding
- Engineered wood siding
- Natural wood siding
- Natural stone siding
- Natural brick siding
- Metal siding
- Fiber cement siding
Types of house siding
Now, for the details.
1. Vinyl siding
One of the best siding materials that are used in today’s day and age is vinyl siding, and for a good reason! It is one of the most affordable options and provides an abundance of customizability in design and aesthetics.
Despite its exceptionally cost-efficient installation process and the low price of materials, vinyl siding is surprisingly durable. Although, don’t expect the strongest material out there.
Essentially, vinyl siding is an option that many homeowners find to deliver a “satisfactory job” as it delivers plenty of bang for your buck. What vinyl lacks in durability, it makes up for in easy installation and effortless maintenance. It only requires a light scrub using a sponge or soft-bristle brush and some non-abrasive cleaners (1).
As they say, where attention goes, energy flows. That is certainly the case with vinyl siding, as its immense popularity has led to countless style options for homeowners.
Aside from affordability and versatility, a unique feature of vinyl siding is often not discussed: its amazing energy-efficient properties. Vinyl siding offers many options with sustainable, eco-friendly materials with high insulation levels.
The result is a reduced need for air conditioning, allowing you to save costs and resources.
2. Insulated vinyl siding
That brings us to the next item on this list, as there is plenty of things to know about insulated vinyl siding that calls for it to have its own segment. While offering the same benefits as traditional vinyl siding, its insulated counterpart has added benefits. It allows homeowners to save on additional costs in other aspects of their home’s maintenance.
For example, you can save on HVAC operational costs by using insulated vinyl siding to help regulate your home’s temperature. It does it without needing a constant counterbalance against the outdoor temperature.
Insulation advantages stretch beyond matters of temperature, providing a nice sound-proof solution for your home’s interior living space. This means you can save costs on expensive natural siding for your home. You’ll still receive the same benefits of a peaceful and quiet home.
Naturally, you can expect insulated vinyl siding to cost a little more than its traditional predecessor. Still, it can be a worthwhile investment in the long term as you save more on utility costs than other materials.
Like regular vinyl siding, insulated vinyl also provides various design choices and color schemes. Many of these are customizable and can be tailored to the homeowner’s preferences. In fact, insulated vinyl siding options have expanded so much in recent years that they now offer UV-resistant solutions for even safer and healthier home living.
Furthermore, insulated vinyl siding is built with extra rigidity and thickness, allowing it to withstand stronger winds and harsh weather conditions. This makes it a slightly more durable siding option than its traditional vinyl counterpart.
3. Brick veneer siding
One of the biggest appeals for manufactured house siding is its ability to imitate the appearance of natural materials such as stone, wood, or brick. One of the more durable manufactured siding options is brick veneer, which comes in a variety of styles and color designs.
While designed to look like its real-life equivalent, a few distinctions must be considered before going through with this option.
First, brick veneer siding is a type of composite siding, meaning it combines different materials to lower the installation cost and materials.
Some benefits of durability are diminished because it only offers a one-sided layer. This means that only the outer layer of the house is made of brick. In contrast, the interior layer is typically made of a more affordable material, such as drywall compound or fiber cement.
Of course, this means that brick veneer siding is not as durable as natural brick siding, though it can often match or surpass the durability of vinyl siding. In terms of appearance, there is no difference to using brick veneer over regular natural brick siding. Although it typically lasts only about half the lifetime of the real thing.
The good news is brick veneer can last over 50 years if treated well and maintained regularly. In addition, the installation and maintenance cost is low enough to justify some of its diminished benefits.
4. Stone veneer siding
Too often, people are surprised at the unexpected fees associated with specialist masons, large quantity of individual stones, and extensive durations of labor work.
As such, there is a huge demand for half-walls for brick and stone siding, otherwise known as veneer. This offers the same appearance at a fraction of the price. Not only does stone veneer look and act like real stone, but it can also be replaced more easily than real stone, giving it an added advantage over its traditional counterpart.
In the same way that brick veneer siding mimics the appearance of brick siding, the same can be said about stone veneer to natural stone siding. This lightweight and affordable siding option is trendy among homeowners on a budget. It gives off the appearance of the natural stone of your choice without the high cost.
Whether it’s granite, marble, or onyx, stone veneer can give the outer appearance of a fully-stoned house while maintaining a cost-efficient inner layer. It can be made of drywall or other cheap compound material.
Maintaining stone veneer is just as easy as maintaining brick veneer. It’s a low-maintenance process typically involving a light scrub with non-abrasive cleaning solutions.
“Less is more” is a philosophy that goes a long way when maintaining stone veneer. You’ll find excessive pressure on the outer walls could damage the inner drywall materials. This can compromise the structure of your home and induce additional repair costs.
While cleaning and maintaining stone veneer siding is easy, extra care should be taken compared with natural stone.
5. Engineered wood siding
Another popular manufactured siding option that homeowners often use is engineered wood siding. This is a composite siding material made to imitate the appearance of natural wood siding. This type of siding uses protective fibers, heated wax, and resin, which are pressed together to create an almost identical texture to real wood.
Nowadays, engineered wood siding is becoming one of the most popular options for house siding. This is because it has various styles and designs and an easy installation process.
Unlike natural wood siding, engineered wood siding materials are lightweight and easy to handle. This makes them low in labor intensiveness and high in affordability. Not only is it straightforward to install, but it is also relatively easy to maintain by sealing up holes and cracks as needed.
In addition, engineered wood siding is made using recycled materials. This makes it an eco-friendly option with a curb appeal similar to natural wood siding.
On the downside, this type of siding option may not always deliver a natural look to the eye of the beholder. So, you should take extra care when selecting the right type of composite wood for your home and your preferences.
Engineered wood siding is also susceptible to mold when moisture gets trapped behind the vertical panels, potentially damaging the siding structure. On the topic of eco-friendliness, we should note that some of the binding agents may contain harmful chemicals. So, while the engineered wood siding is mostly eco-friendly, it is not perfect.
6. Natural wood siding
Now we move into natural siding options.
First, we have one of the simplest forms of siding, made of natural wood materials. Sometimes referred to as horizontal wood siding or lap siding, natural wood siding is as real as it gets. It provides an authentic and classic look for the home.
Its timeless beauty brings a form of extravagance and luxury that looks fantastic. In addition, it is highly durable and resistant to harsh weather elements such as heavy rainfall, snow, and strong winds.
Natural wood siding is quite moisture resistant, unlike its engineered wood counterpart that absorbs moisture. As a result, it will prevent things like mold and mildew from occurring on the surface or behind the panels. In addition, it’s an extremely durable material.
Wood siding offers a variety of design choices, such as wood shingles, wood pulp, bevel, tongue-and-groove, shake, and clapboard among others. Of course, it should be noted that natural wood siding is significantly more expensive than most other types of siding options. It can also be relatively high maintenance due to the nature of the material.
Natural wood siding is not without its downfalls, however. The mere fact that it is made of real wood materials poses a fire risk that could lead to a disastrous outcome. However, fire-resistant coatings are typically applied to the material before installation.
Other issues concerning wood siding include its higher susceptibility to pests such as termites than other materials (2). But, perhaps most irritating is that natural wood siding is prone to warping and rotting, resulting in a high maintenance cost.
7. Natural stone siding
Unlike stone veneer siding, its natural counterpart comes with the added durability of double-sided stone walls that make for a longer-lasting structure to your home.
Natural stone siding emits an appearance of timelessness and tradition. It also offers excellent protection to your home’s exterior and is resistant to harsh weather elements like heavy rainfall and strong winds. This type of siding also makes for a great insulator, regulating the interior temperature of your home’s living space in extremely hot or cold weather.
Natural stone’s unique features are its authenticity in appearance and eco-friendly properties that keep our good Earth in check. Like wood, natural stone can also be recycled. This can come in handy if you ever need to knock down the siding, as you can use the stone to build other things.
It’s also quite easy to repaint and change the color scheme as needed, and this can usually be done at a low cost compared to other siding options.
Natural stone siding is also very low maintenance, only requiring a clean on an annual basis and rarely needing any resealing or repainting work to its surface. However, on the downside, it can be quite prone to cracks without proper installation and even be susceptible to mold and mildew issues in the same way as natural wood siding.
Of course, like all-natural siding options, a new siding made of natural stone will also be quite expensive compared to composite siding. So, make sure you’re ready for the investment.
8. Natural brick siding
Natural solid brick has somewhat declined in popularity over the years due to more affordable options in the market. Unlike wood, brick siding is naturally fire-resistant and even more durable when withstanding harsh elements.
While they are generally more expensive than other siding options, you’ll find a relatively wide spectrum of prices per square foot installed for brick siding. This gives homeowners a little more leeway than one may expect.
Brick is also a rather low-maintenance material compared to other siding options. Therefore, it usually comes down to reapplying the mortar between each brick, which isn’t too difficult.
A home with an exterior siding made of brick will give it a traditional look and a timeless beauty that will never go out of fashion. This is especially true when you consider the ever-growing range of design and color options for brick.
The main drawback with brick siding is the wear and tear of the mortar between each brick due to excessive exposure to moisture and humidity over time. Therefore, in environments of heavy rainfall or constant humidity, it is wise to reapply sealant more regularly to avoid critical damage to the siding.
9. Metal siding
When people mention metal siding, they usually mean either steel siding or aluminum siding. These materials give the house a modern contemporary appearance and are considered some of the most durable types of siding today.
Aluminum and steel siding are incredibly beneficial in their sturdiness and strength, preventing them from bending and warping.
Aluminum siding is particularly good at providing insulation from your home, allowing you to save heating and air conditioning costs. In addition, it keeps the interior temperature of your home’s living space consistent and stable.
Metal siding is also fantastic for keeping pests away as they are not attracted to this material like they are with wood cedar shingles. On the downside, metal siding is more susceptible to rust and more likely to receive dents to the surface than other materials.
10. Fiber cement siding
Perhaps the most versatile of all siding options is fiber cement siding, known for its ability to imitate vinyl, wood, and cement siding. In addition, reinforced fiber cement siding is particularly durable and long-lasting. It can withstand strong winds and prevent the infestation of termites and other pests.
Per square foot, fiber cement siding can be as costly as brick, but it excels in versatility in customization and design choice.
One of the amazing aspects of fiber cement siding is actually the warranties that many companies offer. They typically extend to semi-lifetime cover of up to 50 years. On the downside, fiber cement is quite high maintenance as cracking can often be an issue with the material.
Nevertheless, the authenticity in appearance is a strong plus for fiber cement siding as it can mimic the aesthetic of just about any siding material you choose.
Final thoughts on types of house siding
Finally, it doesn’t matter what type of siding you choose if you are happy with the decision. There is no perfect material; regardless of your decision, there will be some downsides.
As long as you’re prepared to deal with the particular drawbacks of your chosen material, there is nothing to stop you from choosing your favorite siding option from an aesthetic standpoint.
Types of house siding FAQ
What is the best type of siding to put on a house?
The best type of siding is a matter of opinion, as some lean towards durability as the point of sale while others prioritize aesthetics. For long-lasting results, brick and stone are great siding options, while vinyl and composite siding are optimal for affordability and versatility in design.
What are the 10 types of exterior wall sidings?
The 10 types of exterior wall sidings are wood, brick, stone, fiber cement, vinyl, steel, aluminum, composite, insulated vinyl, and veneer. These can be broken down further to include brick veneer, stone veneer, and engineered wood siding.