Most Popular Siding Materials for Homes

New siding is one of the best home improvements that can improve your house’s performance, curb-appeal, or value. There have been many siding materials over the years. However, a few standards have remained and some have been replaced by newer options. For example, asbestos siding is no longer used. Fiberglass and hardboard composite siding is being replaced by vinyl and a new standard called fiber cement.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular materials and the pricing and maintenance options.

Vinyl Siding: It’s lightweight and resists moisture, rot, and termites. Vinyl siding is the  most popular siding for homes in America, because it comes in a wide range of styles and colors and requires minimal maintenance. It also offers good energy-efficiency properties and doesn’t fade or warp with age. That makes it a great option for most homeowners, especially when treated with the latest specifications listed on the label by vinyl manufacturers – look for requirements such as “Exterior House,” which means it can be used on all sides of your home.

Housewrap: This material is like thick plastic (it’s not visible once installed) that covers the sheathing to prevent water from entering behind exterior wall coverings, such as siding or stucco. Housewrap is usually made of polyethylene or vinyl (like window frames) and comes in rolls that are 4 to 6 feet wide. It’s typically wrapped over the sheathing before panel siding, brick, stone, stucco, or fiber cement lap siding is installed. Although it’s often sold in preformed shapes like J-channels, you’ll need to cut it to size with utility knives and metal snips.

Housewrap Shingles: Shingles made of housewrap are an option for roofs that can be very effective at keeping moisture out of attics. Installed under roof shingles on steep-pitched roofs where there is no attic ventilation, the overlapping flaps on the housewrap provide an air space that acts as insulation to keep heat in during winter and out during summer. Shingles made of housewrap are typically installed with staples, but some types require roofing nails instead.

The downside is these shingles can be difficult to install because they aren’t designed for installation over existing shingles; if you want them, you’ll need to strip off all your old shingles. They’re also relatively expensive compared with rolled roofing (another type of waterproof material). Shingles made of housewrap usually come in bundles of 30 or 40 square feet and cost $50 or more per bundle.

Housewrap Tape: Housewrap tape is a strong waterproof sealant that can be used to seal gaps between panels of exterior siding (such as wood, fiber cement, and vinyl) where they meet each other or the corners. You install it by peeling off its paper backing and pressing it into place with your fingers or a rubber roller – no adhesive is applied during installation.

Housewrap tape is ideal for filling gaps around damaged trim boards. It costs about $5 per 20-foot-long roll and comes in widths ranging from 1/4 inch to 3 inches wide; the wider tapes are more difficult to work with because they don’t conform well to small areas, but they also offer superior protection.

Fiber Cement Siding: Fiber cement sidings include brands such as HardiePanel, Fiberock, and Transend. These sidings are made of actual cement mixed with cellulose fibers – wood strands or recycled paper. They resist termites, rot, fire, chips from hail, and the cracking caused by ice buildup. You can find fiber cement siding in stone texture or stained to mimic other more expensive sidings like cedar shingles or even brick.

Fiber cement siding requires little maintenance because it’s highly water-resistant; just wash it occasionally with a hose. It has low “embodied energy” (the amount of energy used during its manufacture) compared with other materials such as vinyl – that makes it an especially good option for homeowners who want to reduce their carbon footprints .

Fiber cement is typically priced at about $1 per square foot, which is comparable to vinyl and offers superior protection.

Fiberglass Siding: Fiberglass siding is made from glass-reinforced plastic with a smooth, hard surface that’s suitable for painting or staining. You can find it in a variety of textures – from woodgrain to stone-look. It doesn’t discolor or warp like many vinyl sidings and isn’t damaged by hail like fiber cement paneling (although it can be dented by heavy objects). Fiberglass also has low “embodied energy” compared with other materials such as vinyl – that makes it an especially good option for homeowners who want to reduce their carbon footprints . Unfortunately, its smooth surface reduces its ability to protect against rain, so it’s best used in areas that don’t receive much precipitation.

A disadvantage is that fiberglass siding can be easily damaged by fingernails, screws, and other sharp objects. Fiberglass costs about $3 per square foot for standard 4-by-8-foot panels – roughly twice as much as vinyl.

Hardboard Siding: Hardboard sidings are made of compressed wood particles with a hard surface similar to fiberglass siding. It doesn’t warp, rot, or discolor the way plywood does when it gets wet; plus it doesn’t need to be painted or stained like wooden sidings do. It resists termites and fire damage and comes with a 50-year warranty (although stains and scratches may reduce its lifespan). It also has low “embodied energy” compared with other materials such as vinyl – that makes it an especially good option for homeowners who want to reduce their carbon footprints .

Hardboard siding isn’t damaged by hail like fiber cement paneling or blown off the house like wooden sidings. Unfortunately, it’s not resistant to wet climates; in fact, hardboard can become warped and swollen after getting wet. That means you won’t get maximum protection from water if you use hardboard for your entire exterior. And because it’s so lightweight, it’s best used only in areas where wind speeds are relatively light (such as near trees) and when they installed over a solid sheathing material or other exterior material.

Hardboard costs about $2 to $3 per square foot – slightly more than vinyl siding.

Metal Siding: Metal sidings are made from steel, aluminum, galvanized steel, copper, zinc alloy, stainless steel, and other metals. They’re resistant to rot and insects; some types provide fire protection as well (check with your manufacturer). Aluminum is lightweight but isn’t as strong as heavier metals like metal or copper; that makes it ideal for homeowners who need light weight materials because of structural weaknesses or other problems.

Galvanized steel has low “embodied energy” compared with other materials such as vinyl – that makes it an especially good option for homeowners who want to reduce their carbon footprints . And because it’s so durable, metal lasts for decades with little maintenance. Metal siding can be painted to match the exterior of your house, although some paints may cause rusting over time.

Metal costs about $6 per square foot – roughly twice as much as vinyl or fiber cement siding.

Wood Siding: Wood sidings are typically made from pine, spruce, redwood, cedar, cypress, mahogany, or fir – although other types are available. They’re resistant to rot and insects; fire protection is an added bonus (check with your manufacturer). Redwood rots more easily than other wood species but has a beautiful grain that most homeowners prefer; also known as “California” redwood due to its abundance in the state.

Wood siding is available in a variety of grades and finishes, including smooth (s4s), S5S (undressed or sanded on one side), S7S (undressed on both sides), and S9S (undressed on all three sides). S4S and S5S surfaces can be stained more easily than S7S and S9S ones; but they’re also more susceptible to scratching.

Cedar, cypress, mahogany, and fir have low “embodied energy” compared with other materials such as vinyl – that makes them good options for environmentally conscious homeowners . Unfortunately, they rot faster than redwood does when they get wet – so you won’t get maximum protection from water if you use wood sidings for your entire exterior. And because they’re relatively lightweight, they’re best used only in areas where wind speeds are moderate (such as near trees) and when the siding is installed over a solid sheathing material or other exterior material.

Wood costs about $4 per square foot – roughly the same as metal or fiber cement siding. But because of its greater weight relative to S-PVC , consider using engineered wood products instead.

Engineered Wood Siding: Engineered wood sidings are made primarily from S-PVC but include some portland cement, cellulose fibers, and various stabilizers and additives to enhance its durability and help it resist fire damage . It’s available in S4S, S5S, S7S, and S9S surfaces – just like wood siding.

Engineered wood is rot-resistant when it gets wet – so you won’t get maximum protection from water if you use engineered wood for your entire exterior. And because it’s relatively lightweight, it’s best used only in areas where wind speeds are moderate (such as near trees) and when the siding is installed over a solid sheathing material or other exterior material.

Engineered wood costs about $2 to $3 per square foot – slightly more than vinyl siding but significantly less than fiber cement .

Other Exterior Siding Options: Other popular types of exterior sidings include: Aluminum/vinyl sidings (combinations of metal and vinyl panels, available in S4S, S5S, S7S, S9S surfaces)

Fiber cement sidings (composed of portland cement, cellulose fibers, sawdust , color pigment)

Vinyl or PVC siding (flat sheets made from virgin S-PVC resin; S5S surface is the least expensive option; S7S surface is more resistant to scratching than S4S surfaces are).

Wood/vinyl combinations (can be made with engineered wood products for greater durability along with either flat or textured vinyl sheeting)

Hardboard panel sidings (wood fiber composite boards manufactured through a pressure process; similar costs to HDO plywood). Siding Costs: Siding costs vary according to the material, its thickness, and whether or not it has a factory-applied finish. Siding is priced per square foot for standard production runs of S4S (smooth) surfaces; if you want S5S (sand on one side), S7S (sanded on both sides), or S9S (undressed on all three sides), expect to pay more.

Fiber Cement Costs: Fiber cement costs about $70 for 500 square feet – roughly five times as much as vinyl siding . It’s available in flat sheets and panels with panel profiles that mimic wood shake and shingle siding.

Vinyl Siding Costs: Vinyl starts at about $2 per square foot for S4S surfaces – the least expensive option. S5S, S7S, and S9S surfaces cost an additional 20% to 45%; color-pigmented S4S surfaces cost 60% more than solid colors . Vinyl siding is available in a variety of thicknesses : ¼ inch thick, 1/8 inch thick (with a wood grain embossing), 3/16 inch thick , and 5/32 inch thick . It comes in 2 x 4-foot panels so you can run them vertically or horizontally – but it’s not as strong as vinyl sheeting or lumber, which come in S1S grades (smooth on both sides).

Vinyl Sheet Siding Costs: S-PVC sheeting (1/8 inch S4S) costs about $2.40 per square foot – roughly the same as 3/16-inch vinyl siding. But S5S, S7S, and S9S S-PVC surfaces cost about 10% to 20% more than S4S; color-pigmented S4S S-PVC surfaces cost 30% to 50% more than solid colors. Because it’s so lightweight compared with other sidings, you can install it vertically or horizontally over a sheathing material or plywood substructure.

Aluminum Siding Costs: Aluminum sidings are made from metal sheets that have been heat treated for greater strength and durability; S4S surfaces are standard, S7S surfaces cost 20% to 40% more. Aluminum sidings typically come in 2 x 4-foot panels that can be attached vertically or horizontally (they’re stronger than vinyl). Siding installation costs vary according to the type of siding you choose and your location. Siding Installation Costs: Siding is available in panels or individual boards with tongue-and-groove edges – so no nailing, stapling, gluing, or furring strips are required . The thickest part of each board sits flush against the sheathing material or plywood substructure. Nailing rates per square foot are about $2 for S5S, S7S, S9S surfaces; S4S surface installation costs about 20% to 40% less. Siding Finishes: Siding is available with factory-applied finishes, which sometimes include a warranty against fading or corroding. Siding without factory-applied finishes often have to be primed and sealed before being painted, so the cost of finishing usually equals at least one additional coat of paint . Siding Warranty Options: Siding warranties typically cover manufacturer defects for 25 years after installation – but you may have to pay extra for certain types of protection, such as accidental damage coverage .

Vinyl Siding Installation Costs

Vinyl Siding Prices

Vinyl Siding Image Wood Shingles Cost

Metal Roofing Material

Get an estimate from a local pro Every job is different. Our pros can get you an accurate and fair price quote today.

– Siding Costs Siding is priced per square foot for standard production runs of S4S (smooth) surfaces; if you want S5S (sand on one side), S7S (sanded on both sides), or S9S (undressed on all three sides), expect to pay more.

Fiber Cement Costs: Fiber cement costs about $70 for 500 square feet – roughly five times as much as vinyl siding. It’s available in flat sheets and panels with panel profiles that mimic wood shake and shingle siding. Vinyl Siding Costs: Vinyl starts at about $2 per square foot for S4S surfaces – the least expensive option. S5S, S7S, and S9S surfaces cost an additional 20% to 45%; color-pigmented S4S surfaces cost 60% more than solid colors . Vinyl siding is available in a variety of thicknesses : ¼ inch thick, 1/8 inch thick (with a wood grain embossing), 3/16 inch thick , and 5/32 inch thick . It comes in 2 x 4-foot panels so you can run them vertically or horizontally – but it’s not as strong as vinyl sheeting or lumber, which come in S1S grades (smooth on both sides).

Aluminum Siding Costs: Aluminum sidings are made from metal sheets that have been heat treated for greater strength and durability; S4S surfaces are standard, S7S surfaces cost 20% to 40% more. Aluminum sidings typically come in 2 x 4-foot panels that can be attached vertically or horizontally (they’re stronger than vinyl). Siding installation costs vary according to the type of siding you choose and your location.

Siding Installation Costs: Siding is available in panels or individual boards with tongue-and-groove edges – so no nailing, stapling, gluing, or furring strips are required . The thickest part of each board sits flush against the sheathing material or plywood substructure. Nailing rates per square foot are about $2 for S5S, S7S, S9S surfaces; S4S surface installation costs about 20% to 40% less.

Siding Finishes: Siding is available with factory-applied finishes, which sometimes include a warranty against fading or corroding. Siding without factory-applied finishes often have to be primed and sealed before being painted, so the cost of finishing usually equals at least one additional coat of paint . Siding Warranty Options: Siding warranties typically cover manufacturer defects for 25 years after installation – but you may have to pay extra for certain types of protection, such as accidental damage coverage .

Wood Shingles Cost

Metal Roofing Material

Get an estimate from a local pro Every job is different. Our pros can get you an accurate and fair price quote today. Siding Sizes: Siding is available in 4 x 8-foot sheets (used primarily for commercial applications) and in 2 x 4-foot panels that can be installed vertically or horizontally for residential use.

Siding Installation Tips: Shingles, boards, and panels are joined together with concealed clips at the top and bottom of the wall; aluminum siding is attached with special screws fastened to hidden brackets beneath cutouts in the metal . Siding comes prefinished – you just install it over your sheathing material or wood substructure.

The thicknesses shown above don’t include the installation costs of furring strips, which provide extra insulation between the siding and sheathing material. Siding Offers: Pros agree that S5S surfaces are best for homeowners who want to paint siding; S4S is the standard installation surface . S7S, S9S, and S3D (milled on one side) finishes provide the most protection against moisture but are more expensive.

Shingles, boards, and panels must be installed in sequential courses rather than overlapping courses – so make sure your sheathing material extends beyond the exterior wall’s framing by at least 4 inches. Siding Installation Quality: The quality of siding installation depends on the experience of the siding contractor – not the type or grade of siding materials used (wood shingles or aluminum, for example).

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