Which Siding to Side with: A Guide to Siding Materials


One of the many joys of being a homeowner is the ability you have to customize your home from head to toe, interior to exterior. Make the most of your creative freedom, and do not overlook the power that siding has to enhance the overall appearance and curb appeal of your house. Simply put, siding is the material that covers and protects the exterior of a home. It shields from harsh weather all the while enhancing the overall appearance of your home’s exterior. If you are building a house, want to update your current siding, or need to replace damaged siding, there are many great options to choose from that will match the specific aesthetic you have in mind. Below is a breakdown of seven different siding materials based on price, durability and appearance.



The modern vinyl siding is the most popular option today and is an excellent choice for those who prioritize durability. Vinyl siding has a myriad of great qualities, such as being weather and insect proof as well as fade resistant. Surprisingly, vinyl siding is one of the cheapest options on the market and is highly customizable since it is offered in a wide variety of colors and designs, including wooden patterns and shingles. Typically, vinyl will cost between $3 and $8 per square foot. For do-it-yourselfers, this type of siding might be the easiest to install given that it requires few tools in the process. However, this type of siding has the potential to crack in the colder months, usually when the weather is lower than 40°F, as well as due to excessive sun exposure, but if it does crack, you can simply replace the impacted piece. On average, vinyl siding can protect your home for up to 60 years with proper care, such as routinely washing the siding.



While vinyl siding is offered in a wood grain print, some might prefer to have the real thing. If you are looking to adorn your house with a rustic wooden look, consider real wood siding. This type of siding is authentic, looks beautiful, and will definitely give you some bragging rights. Although visually appealing, wood siding can rot and deteriorate quicker than other siding options. Therefore, this kind of siding will require more maintenance. Wood siding also has the potential to grow mold or mildew when things get moist. Power washing, staining and sealing are among the required maintenance. Typically, wood siding will cost between $5 and $10 per square foot. Real wood siding will last between 20 and 40 years, but that lifespan can potentially be extended by proper care and maintenance.


Engineered Wood

For yet another wood option, you might consider the low maintenance engineered wood that is currently on the market. This siding has the gorgeous look of wood without the upkeep. Engineered wood siding is among the most durable and easiest to maintain, only needing to be cleaned once each year. Wood strands are coated in wax and then combined with resin and other materials to make this siding. The result is a lighter and less expensive siding option that is not susceptible to damage from bugs and rot. It is estimated that engineered wood costs between $3 and $8 for each square foot. Another bonus is that engineered wood is expected to last over a century. If you are looking to be environmentally friendly with your siding choice, it is helpful to note that engineered wood is recyclable and sustainable.



If wood is not your style, perhaps you will want to consider the natural beauty of stone for your home’s siding. Stone has become an increasingly popular siding option in recent years. This type of siding is on the pricier side, estimated to cost between $10 and $30 per square foot, but if you are alright splurging on siding, stone is worth considering. You could also use a combination of stone and another siding material to highlight smaller areas of your home with stone and spend less than covering your entire home with stone. Resistant to damage from moisture, insects, and even fire, stone is relatively low in maintenance besides an occasional cleaning and replacement of sealant every five years. Another contender for the longest lifespan, stone can last over 100 years. Real stone siding is also recyclable.


Stone Veneer

A less expensive alternative for stone can be found in stone veneer. The gorgeous rocky appearance is made from a mixture of cement, aggregate, and iron-oxide pigments. Although less durable and lighter than natural stone, stone veneer looks very similar to the real thing for only a fraction of the price. However, it can have issues with moisture and mildew and will need to be resealed every five years or so. Stone veneer will run anywhere from $6 to $9 per square foot of siding. Because it is not as durable as stone, you can only expect it to last between 20 and 75 years. More so than stone, this is an environmentally friendly option since it does not require stone to be taken from areas that need it to prevent erosion.


Fiber Cement

Sand-derived fiber cement is known for its durability and flexibility. It is not heavily susceptible to damage from bugs, rot, or deterioration from the weather. As previously mentioned, fiber cement siding is created from sand in combination with other recyclable materials, such as cellulose fibers and cement, making it an environmentally friendly option. Not much routine maintenance is required for fiber cement siding, but it will likely need to be refinished after about 15 years. Fiber cement siding will cost from an estimated $6 to $12 per square foot of material. Just like engineered wood and stone, fiber cement is said to have one of the longest lifespans, lasting over 100 years.



Aluminum can be affectionately described as the coastal commodity for siding. This type of siding is loved by homeowners in beach towns for its rust resistance, which is necessary for the rain and humidity that plagues the sunshine state. Considering that aluminum is an affordable and low-maintenance option for siding, it might be the choice for you. However, aluminum is susceptible to dings and dents and may lose its original luster over time, which will require it to be painted over. The cost of this siding is between $2 and $7 for each square foot. Aluminum siding can last over 50 years if properly taken care of.


Use your creative liberty as a homeowner, and find the ideal siding for your vision. Many options differ in price, appearance and durability, but depending on your needs, there will be something that checks nearly every box! Whether you are interested in vinyl, wood, stone, cement, or aluminum, or you are not quite sure yet, embrace your design choices and practical needs. Hopefully this helped you decide which siding to side with!


Emily Schutz
Home & Yard Magazine