6 Best House Siding Materials – Pros, Cons and Prices

Wood Siding on a Contemporary Home

Wood Siding on a Contemporary Home

Are you trying to pick the right siding for your house, while feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of options?

You’re not alone!

While there are what seems like dozens of options, you want to select the one that is the best fit for your home, budget and personal style.

We will review the 6 most popular siding materials, their prices as well as their pros and cons.

These are vinyl, aluminum, stucco, stone veneer, wood, and fiber cement.



Average Siding Costs:
Low End
$6631
Mid Range
$8288
High End
$10360

See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code



1. Popular and Versatile Vinyl Siding

Vinyl Siding on a Traditional Colonial Style Home

Vinyl Siding on a Traditional Colonial Style Home

If you’re leaning towards vinyl siding for your home’s exterior surfaces, you’re not alone. It’s one of the most popular and commonly installed home exterior treatments on the market today in both the United States and Canada. Made of PVC resin, along with various components to add color and durability, vinyl siding is also one of the most versatile choices in terms of color options. If you’re looking for a particular color without the headache of painting your home’s exterior, vinyl siding may be a good choice.



If your renovation budget calls for an economical siding material, vinyl is your best bet. While vinyl siding costs vary, you can expect to pay between $2 and $7 square foot for material and installation.

From a building supply retailer, you should expect to see material prices of $1 per square foot or even less. Both material and installation costs will depend upon the thickness and quality of a particular product, with thinner options often coming in at significantly less than thicker, higher-quality panels. Cost savings from cheaper panels are often short-term only, though, as cheaper materials are more likely to crack, tear loose from your home’s exterior or sag, translating to higher replacement and repair costs.

Calculate you vinyl siding costs now:


 Cost to Install Vinyl Siding
SQ. FT.
Prices
Low End
Mid Range
High End
Materials
$3096
$3559
$4520
Labor
$4006
$4605
$5848
Total Cost
$7102
$8164
$10368
See Costs in Your Area! Start Here - Enter your zip

Because vinyl siding is a man-made, fabricated material, it can mimic a host of more expensive options. For this reason, it can be well-suited to a wide variety of architectural styles. Standard vinyl panels are most often found on contemporary home exterior surfaces, but can be equally suitable for styles as ornate as Victorian or as distinctive as Craftsman homes.

As with any other house siding material, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons when choosing an exterior treatment for your home. While standard vinyl panels will almost always overlap and leave a noticeable seam behind, they require almost no maintenance at all and generally come with warranties.

Though you’ll never need to paint vinyl siding and it’s prized for its high durability, this same durability means any discarded vinyl will also take up space in a landfill for a very, very long time. If you’re an eco-conscious homeowner looking for greener options, this can be a significant drawback to vinyl siding.

Bottom line – Vinyl siding is and will remain the most “popular” house siding material, because of its lower costs, when compared with other materials.

2. Fiber Cement (Composite) Siding: A Rising Star

Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber Cement Siding



Average Siding Costs:
Low End
$6631
Mid Range
$8288
High End
$10360

See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code



Also known as “Hardie siding,” fiber cement siding is growing rapidly in popularity among building professionals and homeowners alike. If you’re looking for a durable house siding material with a considerable amount of aesthetic versatility, Hardie siding may be the ideal answer. Fiber cement siding is made by combining wood pulp with clay, sand and cement, and the molding process makes it easy for Hardie to simulate a wide range of textures and finishes.

Another product which varies in terms of quality, finish and style, Hardie siding costs are placed on a similarly sliding scale. Still, national estimates for installation and materials range from $4.50 to $9 per square foot. If you’re a do-it-yourself enthusiast, you may not save much money in the long run by attempting to install Hardie siding yourself; the process requires specialized tools and protection equipment.

Another option is LP SmartSide, which is very similar to Hardie, but costs 25-40% less!

Hardie Siding – Simple Installation

Because the molding aspect of fiber cement siding manufacturing process leaves it capable of successfully mimicking everything from masonry to clapboard, it can be a beautiful addition to virtually any architectural style. Whether you’re looking for a stucco-like finish for a Mediterranean-inspired or Italianate home, or the shingled look for a Prairie home, fiber cement can easily fit the bill.

If you live in an area where temperature and humidity levels are always fluctuating, you won’t have to worry about fiber cement siding expanding or contracting and becoming damaged by these changes. Due to the unique makeup of Hardie siding, it’s highly resistant to termites, fire and rotting.

Still, it’s very heavy in comparison to other house siding materials, and retrofitting your home with fiber cement siding will mean completely removing any other products. On average, five percent of total installation costs for renovating homeowners installing fiber cement will be spent simply preparing the exterior for fiber cement and removing all traces of old materials.



3. Time-tested Aluminum Siding

Aluminum Siding on a Traditional Style Home

Aluminum Siding on a Traditional Style Home

Once the most popular option on the market, aluminum siding has since been supplanted by vinyl. Still, if you’re looking for a low-maintenance, low-cost option that comes with several benefits, aluminum is worth considering when comparing house siding materials.

On average, the cost of materials and installation for aluminum siding will range from $2.50 to $3.50 per square foot. Costs may vary depending upon how widely available aluminum siding is in your area, and the quality of materials you choose.

Contemporary and Shotgun style homes, along with Shed and Ranch architectural styles, are most closely associated with aluminum siding. While not ideally suited to ornate styles like Gothic Revival or Second Empire homes, aluminum siding is reasonably versatile and can be the right fit for many different architectural styles.

Benefits and drawbacks of aluminum siding are things you should consider carefully. Ideally suited to the demands of coastal climates and salty air, aluminum will not crack, absorb moisture or play willing host to mildew like more porous options. While it won’t crack or rust, even heavy gauge aluminum can be susceptible to denting, which can be difficult to repair. Insect-proof and highly fire-resistant, aluminum does offer some protection from common household concerns. Because it’s recyclable, aluminum can be a strong contender if you’re trying to go green with your home construction or remodeling project.

4. Go Bold with Stucco Siding

White Stucco Siding

White Stucco Siding on a Contemporary Villa



Average Siding Costs:
Low End
$6631
Mid Range
$8288
High End
$10360

See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code



Do you dream of an Italianate or Mediterranean-inspired home? If so, stucco siding materials are the ideal choice. Closely associated with not only Southwestern American architecture and Spanish Colonial styles, but also Modern and Arts and Crafts styles, stucco can provide a distinctive look and mood to your home. While it’s at home applied to a wide variety of architectural styles, stucco was also used by ancient Romans and Greeks for frescoes and other architectural details.

Materials and installation prices for stucco siding range, on national average, between $7.50 and $10 per square foot, though it may be a bit more costly to opt for synthetic stucco. Costs can fluctuate depending upon the amount of preparation work required for your project, which can be substantial in some cases.

Because toner for coloring is mixed directly into stucco siding, your chosen hue will permeate the entire mixture. This means you’ll never have to repaint stucco siding. Resistant to both insects and fire, you may also be able to avoid repair expenses associated with these types of damages. Superior insulation qualities can also translate to lower energy bills and decreased usage, a major plus if you’re thinking green for your home project. The primary drawback to stucco is that installation is highly specialized, and it’s not always easy to find a contractor with the right experience level to complete the job.

5. Add Classic Flair with Stone Veneer Siding

Stone Veneer Siding

Stone Veneer Siding on a Modern Colonial Home


When it comes to class and elegance, it’s hard to compete with stone as a home exterior option. Unfortunately, real stone may be far out of the remodeling or building budget of the majority of homeowners. For the look of stone at a dramatically lower price, it’s a wise move to consider stone veneer. This less expensive alternative can give you the look you desire without breaking the bank.

While it’s substantially less expensive than real stone, installation and materials for stone veneer siding are among the more expensive options. Ranging from about $15 to $30 per square foot, you should be prepared to spend a bit more on stone veneer than you would on vinyl or wood house siding materials.

In terms of architectural styles, stone veneer is suited to a variety of homes. Tudor homes are most closely associated with a stone exterior, though it can make appearances on Ranch, Prairie and Dutch Colonial styles. Stone veneer siding can be manufactured to mimic limestone or granite, river rock or dry stack stones, so it can work beautifully with a number of home styles. As an accent material for specific areas, rather than the entire exterior, stone veneer can be ideally suited to homes of almost any architectural style.

Imparting some qualities of natural stone, including fire and insect resistance in addition to aesthetics, stone veneer comes with a host of benefits. Unlike natural stone, which can be incredibly heavy, opting for stone veneer means you won’t have to invest in shoring up your foundation just to accommodate the weight of your house siding materials. Still, it is one of the most expensive siding options on the market, and lower-quality materials may not look quite like the real thing.

6. Wood Siding for a Modern Look

Cedar Wood Siding on a Modern Home

Cedar Wood Siding on a Modern Home

Are you looking for a classic home siding option capable of elevating your home’s curb appeal and lending either an air of traditional class or modern flair? If so, wood siding may be just the option for you. Available in a substantial array of quality grades and species options, there’s a type of wood siding on the market to fit a wide range of budgets. A perennial favorite for premium home renovation and upscale building projects, wood siding does have its own unique attributes to consider before making a final decision.

The variety in species and quality for wood siding products means there’s also a fairly broad price spectrum to consider. Options like spruce and pine will generally cost $2.75 to $3.75 per square foot for materials, while premium products like redwood and cedar can range between $4 and $6.50. Installation and materials for an average project using mid-grade products will usually equal about $4.75 to $6.50 per square foot, increasing with higher-end wood products.

Because wood siding can be painted any color or finished almost any way you can think of, it’s another highly versatile option suiting almost any architectural style. With a natural finish, though, wood siding is ideal for Craftsman, Bungalow and Cape Cod architectural themes.

Because wood siding can be cut and shaped with relative ease, you won’t have to worry about overlap or ill-fitting areas. Its natural beauty lends an immediate air of classic elegance and upscale design, but there are some drawbacks to consider. While installation prices can be comparable to some of the other popular siding options, wood siding will have to be refinished and cared for very carefully. With proper maintenance, wood siding can last as long as the house to which it’s attached, but neglecting clear finish or waterproofing upkeep can have dire consequences. On the upside, wood is a highly sustainable material which breaks down easily in landfills, so it’s considered one of the more eco-friendly options on the home siding market.



Average Siding Costs:
Low End
$6631
Mid Range
$8288
High End
$10360

See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code



Published/updated on: December 21, 2015

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One thought on “6 Best House Siding Materials – Pros, Cons and Prices

  1. Jamie Wrimer

    I really like the idea of using aluminum siding for my homes remodel. I think that aluminum would be a nice option because of the durability compared to my old vinyl siding. My siding now is cracked due to the constant temperature changes it is exposed to. Thanks for sharing, these are definitely things I’ll have to keep in mind.

    Reply