A Guide to Different Types of Siding Options for Your Home

Did you know that siding can increase your home’s property value? 

According to CNBC, updating your sidings can provide an 89% return on investment if you decide to sell the house. It’s one of the home improvements that add significant value to your property. 

Sidings are more than just your house’s first line of defense against the elements. Having the right siding will give your home its signature aesthetic and increase its overall curb appeal.   

However, choosing what kind of siding to go for is not a simple task. In this article, we’ll make things easier by guiding you through the different types of siding you can install in your home.

Different Types of Siding

Wood

Wood, one of the oldest siding options, is a popular choice for many homeowners. It’s a very versatile product that can be painted or stained. It comes in different forms, like shingles and vertical boards. A well-maintained wood siding can last for 20 to 40 years before being replaced. 

Pros: 

  • Very light and easy to install
  • Offers a traditional and classic look
  • An eco-friendly option (wood manufacturing is natural and non-toxic)
  • Highly customizable 

Cons: 

  • Requires frequent refurbishment every few years
  • Easily damaged by water and insects
  • Very combustible and not fire-resistant 

Wood siding usually costs $2 to $6 per square foot. You can expect to spend between $2300 and $7000 for an average family home. 

Vinyl   

Vinyl siding is another popular option in the United States. You can often see it as a form of plastic siding in small homes or apartments. It’s practically weatherproof and works well in heavy rain or strong storms. It also comes in a variety of colors that are aesthetically pleasing. 

Pros: 

  • Very low-maintenance
  • Made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), making it fire resistant
  • Can be customized into different designs 

Cons: 

  • Prone to mold growth if not installed with a waterproof seal
  • It is not waterproof, only water-resistant
  • Prone to dents and small damage
  • Sometimes bends due to extreme weather conditions 

Vinyl is an inexpensive siding that costs $5 per square foot. Installation can fetch you between $6,150 and $15,900 for a typical single-family home. 

Fiber Cement 

If you’re looking for something longer-lasting, fiber cement siding is a fantastic option. Fiber cement is a mixture of wood, sand, and cement. It has the look and feel of wood but offers more durability. 

Fiber cement siding will be valuable for homeowners who live in areas with intense climate conditions. It withstands harsh weather, strong winds, and hail. 

Pros: 

  • Highly durable in harsh weather
  • Not prone to rot, insects, or decay. It is also corrosion-resistant
  • Fiber cement has a class 1A fire rating, meaning it’s fireproof
  • Low-maintenance and has a life span of 30 to 40 years 

Cons: 

  • One of the most expensive siding options to install
  • Absorbs moisture and water that causes swelling or crumbling
  • Not energy efficient 

Fiber cement siding costs $5 to $9 per square foot. However, installation requires a significant amount of expert manpower, so expect to pay more for labor. 

Fiber cement siding can go up to $13,000 to $22,000 for an average two-story house. 

Polymer Shakes

Polymer shake siding and vinyl siding are often referred to interchangeably. That’s because they’re both essentially made of plastic. The difference is vinyl is made of PVC, while polymer siding is made from polypropylene resin. 

Polymer siding is usually used to mimic the texture and patterns of cedar shakes to give an authentic wooden look. 

Pros: 

  • Highly durable and impact-resistant
  • Very customizable. It’s made of flexible plastic that is easy to mold and shape
  • Polymer sidings are eco-friendly and entirely recyclable
  • Low-maintenance and doesn’t require regular upkeep 

Cons: 

  • Installation is difficult and requires professional assistance
  • More expensive than its vinyl counterpart 

Depending on your supplier, polymer shakes can cost around $6 per square foot. For a 2000-square-foot home, the possible cost ranges from $11,000 to $15,000. 

Other Siding Options 

If you want to look at other materials aside from the common ones above, these other siding options are worth considering: 

  • Metal: It is strong and durable and requires less or no maintenance after being installed. It is pest-resistant and fireproof. However, it offers little insulation and no soundproofing. 
  • Stucco: It is a unique siding material made from a mix of cement and sand. It’s durable and resistant to most knocks and impact, as well as heat and cold. However, stucco is susceptible to water or moisture damage, causing it to become soggy and weak over time. 
  • Manufactured Wood: This kind of siding almost perfectly mimics real wood. Unfortunately, it easily succumbs to mold and mildew. 
  • Brick: This is a classic and timeless material. It’s eco-friendly, low-maintenance, fireproof, and weather-resistant. However, it is the most expensive option. A 2000- square-foot home can net you between $8,900 and $25,000 in materials alone. 
  • Stone Veneer: This siding is very lightweight and beautiful. It’s also a very cost-friendly option. It’s not environment-friendly, though, since it cannot be recycled.

Choosing Your Siding Material

Knowing the types of home sidings available is an important part of the selection process, but understanding how they work and what they’re made of will give you further insight into how to use them. 

Climate is a very important factor in choosing your next house siding. Some sidings work best in cold climates, while others adapt perfectly in warmer places. 

For Cold Climates 

Cold and harsh winters force exterior sidings to handle cold temperatures reaching below zero. As a result, the wrong siding could expand or warp, causing it to lose shape. This may bring cracks that invite moisture and create gaps for mold and mildew to develop. 

Here are some of the types of sidings that work well in cold climates: 

  • Fiber Cement Siding: It withstands extreme weather conditions. It is sturdy and durable enough not to warp or crack during cold-to-hot-temperature cycles. 
  • Wood Siding: It suits winter climates well and insulates the house in hot and cold weather. However, it requires constant maintenance. A well-maintained wood siding is best for cold climates.    

For Warm Climates 

It’s no surprise that fiber cement also works as well in hotter climates as it does in colder ones. 

If you live in a generally warm state or city, it’s important to choose a roof siding that will help keep your indoors cool and withstand the harsh effects of UV exposure. 

  • Vinyl Siding: This is a popular choice for many homes in warmer climates due to its ability to keep the heat out and preserve cool temperatures indoors. It can also withstand extremely high temperatures and doesn’t easily ignite. 
  • Wood Siding: This is a very good insulator, so it works amazingly well in preventing cold or warm air from escaping. Wood siding is a better insulator than vinyl. 
  • Fiber Cement Siding: It’s no surprise that fiber cement also works as well in hot climates as it does in cold ones. Its material naturally adjusts to the temperature. It doesn’t absorb water as wood does, and it can outlive vinyl. 

For Wet and Humid Climates 

Moisture is a very destructive element when it comes to siding. Excessive dampness and moisture from wet or humid climates can damage exterior walls, ruin insulation, and cause mold. 

If you live in places with higher-than-average rainfall or humidity, these are the siding types you may want to consider. 

  • Vinyl Siding: Vinyl is the first choice of many homes that get lots of precipitation and storms. It’s a good option if you want to weatherproof your home. It doesn’t absorb moisture and easily sheds rain. In addition, a well-installed vinyl can resist winds generated by hurricanes. 
  • Polymer Shakes Siding: Polymer siding may be expensive, but it’s an improved version of vinyl. It offers all the advantages of vinyl siding plus added durability and damage resistance.

Which Siding Works Well in Maryland?    

If you are currently living in Maryland, you know that the state experiences a relatively mild climate throughout the year. The best types of siding for your area are: 

  1. Vinyl
  2. Polymer Shakes
  3. Fiber Cement 

Vinyl and polymer should work well in the mild climate of Maryland. They provide the right amount of protection from occasional rainfall and wind. Meanwhile, fiber cement is an all-around type of siding that can protect your home in any weather. 

All three sidings are capable of preventing mold or fungus growth that destroys many homes in the state. They also all withstand the occasional extreme weather brought by storms. 

These three kinds of siding are available from reputable siding contractors in Maryland. G.H. Clark Contractors provides different kinds of siding and other home improvement products like roofs, windows and doors, gutter systems, and decking.

Bottom Line

Siding is more than just an effective way of improving your house. It’s also a necessary safety feature and a wise investment in your home’s value. By knowing and understanding the benefits and flaws of each siding, you can choose the best siding replacement for your house. 

If you want to know more about the many ways you can modernize your home, get in touch with G.H. Clark Contractors. We’ll be happy to discuss your remodeling plans.

SidingA Guide to Different Types of Siding Options for Your Home