On the low end, siding cost for a 1600 sq.ft. house can start at $6,000, and go up to as much as $15,000. While there are dozens of attractive house siding options, you want to select the one that fits your budget and home style.
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Lets take a look at the 6 Most Popular Siding Materials: vinyl, aluminum, stucco, stone veneer, wood, and fiber cement. We will review their installation costs, as well as pros and cons.
Click to learn more. They are listed in the order of least to most expensive.
1.Vinyl Siding – Most Economical and Versatile Option
Vinyl continues to be the Number 1 house siding installed on homes across the US and Canada. Its so overwhelmingly popular because this is the most affordable material, that even the most budget-conscious homeowner can install. Vinyl siding options boast a nearly endless number of colors and styles, as well as very low and easy maintenance.
While costs vary, you can expect to pay between $2-5 per square foot installed. From a building supply retailer, you should expect to see vinyl material prices of $1 per square foot or even less.
You total cost 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. Savings from cheaper panels are often short-term only, though, as these are more likely to crack, tear loose from your home’s exterior or sag, translating to higher replacement and repair costs.
Calculate the cost of vinyl siding:
Because vinyl is a man-made, fabricated material, it can mimic a host of more expensive options. For this reason, it is well-suited to a wide variety of architectural styles, that can range from contemporary to ornate Victorian or distinctive Craftsman homes.
Vinyl siding has a number of notable disadvantages: its not as long lasting as other more expensive options. It tends to fade, crack and buckle, especially in regions with persistent inclement weather. Cheaper products have an very unattractive visible seam when installed. Lastly, vinyl is one of the least eco-friendly siding options; it cannot be recycled and simply sits in our landfills, polluting the earth.
Bottom line – Vinyl is and will remain the most “popular” out of all house siding options, because of its lower cost compared to other materials.
2. Aluminum Siding – Time Tested & Budget-Friendly
Less than two decades ago aluminum siding was the most popular type of residential siding While, it has takes a back seat compared to vinyl, it still has not lost its appeal. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance, low-cost option that comes with several benefits, aluminum is worth considering. Contemporary and Shotgun style homes, along with Shed and Ranch architectural styles, are best suited for aluminum siding.
On average, the cost of aluminum siding and installation will range from $2.50 to $4.50 per square foot. Pricing may vary depending upon how widely available this siding is in your area, and the quality of metal.
Aluminum siding offers a number of important benefits. It is ideally suited to the demands of coastal climates and salty air. It will not crack, absorb moisture or play willing host to mildew like more porous options. 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.
On the down side, while it won’t crack or rust, even heavy gauge aluminum can be susceptible to denting, which can be difficult to repair.
3. Fiber Cement Siding: A Rising Star
Also known by the brand name of its biggest manufacturer, “James Hardie” fiber cement siding is growing rapidly in popularity among building professionals and homeowners alike. If you’re looking for a durable siding with a considerable amount of aesthetic versatility, this material may be the ideal choice. Fiber cement siding is made by combining wood pulp with clay, sand and cement, and the molding process makes it easy for manufacturers to simulate a wide range of textures and finishes.
Fiber Cement products are considerably more expensive than vinyl. Total installation cost ranges from$4.50 to $9 per square foot.
Hardie Siding – Simple Installation
One of the greatest advantages of fiber cement is that it can beautifully replicate everything from masonry to clapboard. So whether you’re looking for a stucco-like finish for a Mediterranean-inspired or Italianate home, or the shingled look for a Prairie home, this siding 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 its unique makeup, it’s highly resistant to termites, fire and rotting.
Still, it’s very heavy in comparison to other types of siding, and retrofitting your home with fiber cement will mean completely removing any other products. Another disadvantage is that eventually, after about 15 years or so, you will need to repaint fiber cement siding to maintain its curb appeal.
Lastly, installation costs for this siding type are significantly more expensive than for vinyl or aluminum, and its not really possible to DIY the install.
4.Engineered Wood Siding – Beauty Of Real Wood For Less
Another relatively new type of siding is engineered wood. Although its only been around for about 20 years, this modern material is quickly catching up with fiber cement in terms of popularity among homeowners and builders. The main selling point is that it looks like real wood, but without the associated maintenance problems and high costs.
LP Smartside is the most recognizable manufacturer of composite wood siding. It is Hardie’s most fierce competitor, which in recent years, has put a serious dent in Hardie’s residential market share.
Overall, engineered wood offers similar durability, longevity, and maintenance features as fiber cement, but a more authentic wood look. Also, it is a more environmentally friendly product, than vinyl or fiber cement since it is made partially from recycled wood materials.
The cost is not for the frugal-minded. Expect to spend about $7-11 per square foot installed. Still, this is significantly cheaper than real cedar wood siding.
The top disadvantages are variable product quality (depending on the manufacturer), lack of proven history of durability, slight susceptibility to rot, mold and moisture.
5. Natural Wood Siding – Timeless Curb Appeal
Are you looking for a classic siding style capable of lending either an air of traditional elegance 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 wood siding type pretty much for any budget.
Siding options made from spruce and pine will generally cost $2.75 to $3.75 per square foot for materials, while premium wood species like redwood and cedar can range between $5 and $7.50.
An average siding project using mid-grade wood will usually be about $4.75 to $6.50 per square foot, increasing with higher-end woods.
Because wood can be painted any color or finished almost any way you can think of, it can suit almost any architectural style. With a natural finish, though, wood is ideal for Craftsman, Bungalow and Cape Cod architectural themes. Moreover, because wood siding can be cut and shaped with relative ease, you won’t have to worry about overlap or ill-fitting areas. Another advantage is that wood is highly sustainable, and breaks down easily in landfills. Consequently, it’s considered one of the more eco-friendly home siding options.
One of the biggest disadvantages of this beautiful siding is high maintenance. You will need to refinish and carefully care for it, in order to preserve its durability and looks. 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. Overall, untreated or poorly maintained siding is susceptible to rot, termite infestation, mold, moisture penetration, and fire.
6. Stucco For Mediterranean-inspired Architecture
Do you dream of an Italianate or Mediterranean style home? If so, stucco siding materials are the ideal choice. Closely associated with not only Southwestern American and Spanish Colonial architecture, but also Modern and Arts and Crafts styles, stucco can provide a distinctive look to your home.
Total prices for stucco range from $7.50 to $10 per square foot installed. Synthetic stucco is about 15-20% more costly. Your total cost will fluctuate depending on 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. Another potential problem is that it should not be installed in regions with a lot of persistent moisture and dampness, as it will become over-saturated. Finally, if your home foundation and structure tends to shift, stucco will not be a good siding option, because it will crack in the process of these shifts. Thus, stucco siding should only be used on very stable homes.
7. Stone Veneer Siding – High-End Elegance
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. You can spend as much as $15 to $30 per square foot.
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. This siding can be manufactured to mimic limestone or granite, river rock or dry stack stones. A very common application is to use stone veneer as an accent material in specific areas, rather than over the entire exterior.
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. 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.
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