The Best Exterior Siding for Your Home

For many homeowners, the decision to replace your siding can be a difficult task given all the different options and materials available; vinyl, fiber cement, stucco, wood, stone, metal, and brick. Not to mention this is a very costly decision, which can range from $5,000 to well over $50,000! Below are 4 factors to weigh and give you confidence in choosing the best siding for your home! We call them the four C’s of siding.

Cost

For the majority of siding replacement, cost will be the major factor to determine what kind of siding material you would like to purchase. If your budget is a modest $15,000- $20,000, natural stone siding will not be an option for you given its extremely high cost. What you will first want to do is work out a maximum budget and you will always want to shoot below that price target given extra costs that can slowly appear out of nowhere.

Once you have a budget, you will want to do some ground work and get a rough estimate by calculating total square footage of siding needed as well as use a siding calculator to estimate total costs. We’ve created a siding calculator just for this purpose to give you a range of estimated costs. Moving beyond this you will finally want to get a real quote from a certified contractor.

Best Exterior Siding

Climate

Another thing you will want to consider when choosing your siding option is what type of climate/geographic location is your home. Rainfall can vary greatly across the US and not all siding handles the same in wet conditions. Here is a nice map of the annual rainfall for the US.

Stucco, for example, is a porous material and absorbs water much more than vinyl siding and would not be ideal for areas with constant and heavy rainfall. If you live along the coast, the harsh winds and salty-ocean spray can also damage siding over time; vinyl siding and fiber cement tend to hold up well in these conditions. Also consider extreme heat/cold and research the siding materials and how they handle these temperatures.

Color

Color and beyond that texture will give your house that look and feel that siding brings along with it. Vinyl is the clear winner in this category offering more than 350+ color options using vinyl siding. Fiber Cement, on the other hand only comes in 25 pre-painted colors. Granted you can always paint Fiber cement any color you wish, priming and painting come with more cost and maintenance that vinyl doesn’t carry. It is no surprise why vinyl continues to be the top selling siding option in the US, and makes up close to 30% of the entire market. Here are 3 more reasons to go with vinyl if you’re on the fence.

Texture should also play a role in choosing your siding option. Shingles, shakes, clapboard, stucco, brick, stone, all offer a different texture and feel for your home exterior. Fishscale siding, that Victorian timeless pattern, will not be available in stucco or brick siding.

Constant/Durability

While constant is not the best word to describe durability, how long your siding is expected to last should be a question you ask before getting it installed. What about the warranty for the material or color? Understand the facts on the siding material before you sign on the dotted line. How often will the siding need to be maintained or repainted? Natural stone can last more than a lifetime, for generations if installed properly. Stucco siding also has this appeal but will need to be repainted every 7-8 years.

Also, thinking again of climate, how water resistant, bug resistant, rot/mold resistant etc … is the siding you choose? While wood has timeless beauty and texture, it is also very susceptible to termites and other wood eating insects leading to rot and decay.

We hope these 4 simple tips will help you out in choosing the right siding for your home, remember knowledge is power when it comes to making a big decision such as siding replacement!

Erin Emanuel

5 Comments

  1. How simply and beautifully this posts describes about everything needed to be taken into consideration while selecting exterior siding. Great post, thanks for sharing.

  2. I definitely agree that when picking out the siding for your home, the durability of the material you’re looking into should be high on the priority list. As you suggest, looking into maintenance requirements will give you great insight on whether the material you’re choosing will be good for the climate you live in and is really worth how much it costs. Thank you for your insight!

  3. This is some great information, and I appreciate your point that stucco siding lasts a long time. My husband and I just moved into a new house, and I would like to change the way the exterior looks. I really like the texture of stucco, and I’ll definitely looking having that installed because it lasts a long time as well. Thanks for the great post!

  4. I agree that cost has to be a consideration when looking for a siding contractor. I would imagine that deciding how much you are willing to pay would be a really important first step to make. My husband and I are looking for someone to help install new siding on our home so we’ll be sure to get the cost figured out first.

  5. I didn’t realize that stucco siding needs to be every 7-8 years. Five years ago my parents had the metal siding on their house removed and replaced it with stucco. One of the things we’ve noticed is that it is starting to get small cracks in a couple areas. I’ll have to remind them that they will need to repaint it in two more years and those cracks could disappear.

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