Today’s home improvement market offers more home siding options than ever before. And while this is mostly to the homeowner’s benefit, at times, the myriad choices can be overwhelming. This buying guide simplifies things by laying out the basics of the most commonly used siding materials.
Sales of aluminum siding have dipped since the advent of vinyl, but aluminum still has a lot to offer. It performs very well in all types of adverse weather, and is even appropriate for coastal areas where corrosion can be a problem. Aluminum is available in a multitude of patterns, colors, and finishes, including realistic wood grain. Denting and scratching can be an issue, but overall, aluminum is very cost-effective.
Nothing beats the simple, elegant beauty of wood siding. Whether spruce clapboards, redwood board and batten siding, cedar shakes, or some other combination of species and style, wood looks great and is easy to paint and stain, so you can change your home’s color at any time. Wood, however, does require more upkeep than other materials, and must be properly maintained for a long lifespan.
Vinyl’s low cost and strong performance make it the most popular home siding material in America. Although it can be cracked by flying debris and melted by direct heat, vinyl holds up extremely well to the elements, and will never be damaged by moisture or insects. Vinyl siding manufacturers now offer far more color choices than just white and tan, and many back their products with impressive warranties.
A relative newcomer to the home siding market, fiber cement, with a very realistic wood grain pattern and expected 50 year lifespan, is poised to give vinyl – and every other material, for that matter – some serious competition. Made primarily from cement, sand, and wood fibers, fiber cement is a “green” building product that also delivers the performance homeowners demand. It has a top-notch fire rating, won’t rot, and can be installed in climates that experience extreme heat or cold.
Like fiber cement, stucco is another home siding on the rise. A cement and sand based mortar mixture that’s either sprayed on or applied with a trowel in multiple layers to a wood and wire backing, stucco provides excellent insulation and can contribute to greater energy efficiency in the home. Stucco additionally allows for highly decorative patterns and finishes. Synthetic stucco offers even better insulation and is more resilient.
Brick and Stone Siding
While natural stone and brick differ in appearance, their extreme durability, long lifespan, and high price tag allows them to be categorized together. If you can afford stone or brick siding, your home will be transformed into a veritable fortress that won’t need to be re-sided for as long as you own it. Both materials are available in lower cost veneers, and faux stone is also offered.
Home Siding Costs
Actual home siding prices can vary depending on your location, the quality of the siding product, home height and layout, the complexity of the installation, whether existing siding needs to be removed and disposed of, whether the home exterior requires repairs, and other factors.
- Aluminum siding costs approximately $3 – $7 per square foot installed.
- Wood siding costs around $5 – $10 per square foot installed.
- Vinyl siding typically costs $3.00 – $5.00 per square foot installed.
- Fiber cement siding costs roughly $4 – $12 per square foot installed.
- Stucco siding costs approximately $6 – $10 per square foot installed.
- Brick siding costs around $7 – $15 per square foot installed.
- Real stone siding costs roughly $15 – $30 per square foot installed.
- Synthetic stone and stone veneers cost around $10 – $25 per square foot installed.
- Removing and disposing of existing siding, if necessary, might cost an additional $1 – $2 per square foot.