Siding

Siding | Vinyl, Insulated, Wood, Cedar Shingle, Polymer Shake & Shingle and more

Vinyl Siding (PVC)

Vinyl siding is composed of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and offers an affordable and virtually maintenance-free way to clad a home’s exterior. Vinyl siding features a range of looks, including straight and Dutch-lap, board and batten, beaded, shakes, shingles and even stone veneers. Vinyl siding also offers a great payback benefit: an exceptionally high rate of return on your investment. Complementary soffit installation or vinyl siding trim packages extend the package, creating an integrated, cohesive look.

Metal, wood, vinyl, stucco … there are as many ways to clad the exterior of your home as there are home styles. Whether a new build or a remodel, any of these cladding options could work. Here’s a breakdown of the choices, so you can decide which solution is right for you.

Strengths of Vinyl Siding

Durable and long lasting

Lowest installed cost of any exterior cladding. High rate of return on investment

Virtually maintenance free, never requires painting, sealing or caulking

Available in a wide spectrum of siding colors resistant to UV fade

Available in multiple profiles that mimic the natural look of wood siding, including lap boards, beaded, board and batten, shakes, shingles, scallops, fish scales, half clove, hexagon, and more

Not susceptible to rot or insect damage

Complete vinyl soffit and architectural trim elements are available to offer a cohesive and designer look

Can be used with multiple architectural styles

Usually backed by a lifetime warranty

Only exterior cladding with both a third-party product certification and certified installer program

Outperforms most exterior cladding, including brick, in almost all life cycle states for environmental and economic performance

Weaknesses of Vinyl Siding

Some may be susceptible to fading in harsh light conditions

May not offer darker colors in wider profiles; but improving with technological advances

 

Fiber Cement

Fiber cement siding is made from sand, cement, wood fiber and bonding additives. It doesn’t shrink or expand much and accepts paint well. Fiber cement siding mimics the look of various forms of natural wood siding in applications like panels, boards and shingles, and is available in pre-primed and painted versions.

Strengths of Fiber Cement Siding

Does not rot and resists moisture, insects and pests

Visual similarity to real wood in a range of styles such as shakes and lap siding

Does not expand/contract to the degree of real wood

Accepts paint well

Fire resistant

Available both primed and pre-painted

Weaknesses of Fiber Cement Siding

More expensive than vinyl products

Pre-painted fiber cement siding is more expensive than primed unpainted

Very heavy and can add thousands of pounds to a typical house

Limited product warranty and usually pro-rated. To be warranted manufacturer usually requires removal of existing siding

Seams require caulking and periodic re-caulking to prevent water damage

If the finish is not maintained, it can absorb moisture, crumble and delaminate

Over time, nails can loosen and panels may lift away from the wall

May require special cutting tools and respirators to prevent inhaling toxic silica dust

Limited insulation properties or R-Value

 

Metal

Available in aluminum and steel options. In comparison with vinyl siding, aluminum siding may dent, while steel siding is susceptible to scratches and rust — neither application is recommended for corrosive environments. Additionally, metal siding must be professionally installed as the longer siding pieces are prone to bending or warping if incorrectly handled during the installation process. Complete soffit and trim packages are available to limit additional maintenance to other areas of the home and bring an integrated, cohesive look to your project.

Strengths of Metal Siding

Durable, though aluminum siding can dent, while steel can rust

Available in various styles, some which mimic the look of wood

Low maintenance if installed in non-corrosive environments

Fire Resistant

Seamless installation (Steel only)

Eco-friendly if made from recycled steel

Complete soffit and trim packages using aluminum or steel siding are available to offer a cohesive and completed look from the curb Difficult to paint unless the siding has a paint-compatible PVC coating

Weaknesses of Metal Siding

Colors may fade

Can dent if struck or rust if scratched, depending upon the metal application selected

May bend or warp if not installed properly

Not suitable in salt air environments

 

Wood

Wood siding comes in a variety of forms and can be painted or stained virtually any color. Wood requires vigilant maintenance and depending on the type of wood and labor involved, it can also be costly to install. Wood is susceptible to wood rot and insects, as well as harsh temperature changes and fluctuating climate conditions.

Strengths of Wood Siding

Offers long life with vigilant maintenance

Natural looking

Can be painted or stained any color

Eco-friendly

Multiple styles available, including; clapboard, shakes, shingles and vertical boards

Weaknesses of Wood Siding

Requires paint and stain frequently

Flammable unless treated with flame-retardant

Susceptible to rot, insects and other forms of decay

More overall maintenance required compared to other forms of siding

Can be more expensive depending on the type of wood and labor required for installation

 

Stucco

Stucco is a cement mixture formed with water and materials like sand and lime, then trolled over a wire mesh backing covering the home’s facade. Synthetic stucco is a siding system that features a polymer/cement topcoat on top of a foam board. This assembly is then affixed to the side of the house. Synthetic stucco systems are a bit tricky and need to be installed by experienced technicians with sufficient inspections to ensure proper installation and moisture management, or significant problems can arise. Stucco and synthetic stucco can be tinted at the time of installation, eliminating the maintenance of painting.

Strengths of Stucco Siding

Durable and long lasting aside from repairing cracks

May be tinted at time of installation eliminating the need to paint

Fire and insect resistant

Provides flexibility to complex architectural design

Weaknesses of Stucco Siding

Possibility of cracks developing over time as the home expands, contracts and settles

Some synthetic stucco systems can cause moisture problems on the underlying structure if improperly constructed

Requires professional and experienced installation

Requires regular painting

Usually limited to certain architectural styles

 

Cedar Shingles

Cedar shingles are made of natural cedar, but require less maintenance than wood clapboard. You can minimize peeling by choosing to stain instead of paint, or shingles can be left to weather to a natural grey patina. Installation can be costly and shingles are also prone to decay and insects, though not at the same rate of regular wood siding.

Strengths of Cedar Shingle Siding

Offers long life

Natural looking

Can be painted or stained any color; though staining is recommended to reduce peeling

Eco-friendly

Weaknesses of Cedar Shingle Siding

Requires stain or paint, or can be left to naturally weather, which reduces lifespan

Flammable unless treated with flame-retardant

Susceptible to rot, insects and other forms of decay, though not at the same rate as regular wood siding

Can be more expensive due to materials and labor required for installation and ongoing maintenance

Limited insulation properties or R-Value

Usually limited to certain architectural styles

 

Polymer Shake & Shingle Siding

Cedar polymer siding offers the same look of natural cedar with the affordability and ease of installation as vinyl siding. Available in a multitude of colors, polymer shingle siding requires minimal maintenance and offers a high rate of return on investment.  Can be used as an accent or whole house application.  Available in multiple profiles including perfection shingle, hand-split shake and half-rounds.

Strengths of Polymer Shake & Shingle Siding

Thick and durable product

High rate of return on investment

Virtually maintenance free, never requires painting, sealing or caulking

Available in a wide spectrum of siding colors resistant to UV fade

Not susceptible to rot or insect damage

Gutters and cedar-grain texture replicate the look of real cedar shingles. Look for random and textured gutters for true authenticity

Usually backed by a lifetime warranty

Weaknesses of Polymer Shake & Shingle Siding

Not paintable if you want to change your color down the road

 

Brick & Stone

Brick and stone siding offer an attractive and long-lasting siding option. While maintenance is hassle-free, materials are costly and require installation by experienced installers/masons, in addition proper structural support at the foundation level is necessary prior to installation.

Strengths of Brick & Stone

Very durable

No need for painting or staining

Available in a variety of decorative styles and colors

Fire resistant

Rot and insect-resistant

Weaknesses of Brick & Stone

Requires structural foundation support due to significant weight

Requires professional installation/construction

Mortar joints can deteriorate over time and require maintenance

Costly

 

Brick & Stone Veneer

Brick and stone veneer is made from thin slices of real brick/stone, or a concrete composite. The veneer offers the beauty and low-maintenance of brick and stone; however, it weighs less and doesn’t require additional structural support. Quality brick and stone veneers are both attractive and durable. Can be used for both exterior and interior including siding, fireplaces, back splashes, knee walls and bars.

Strengths of Brick & Stone Veneer

Durability comparable to real brick and stone at lesser cost

No painting or stain required

Many decorative styles and color combinations to choose from

Fire resistant

Rot and insect-proof

Does not require additional structural support as real brick and stone

Available in real (thin veneer) and composite varieties

Weaknesses of Brick & Stone Veneer

Installation is more DIY-friendly than full brick/stone but tackling a large job might be better reserved for professionals

Some maintenance may be required at mortar joint over time

Not recommended to be used on surfaces with running water

 

Insulated Siding

Insulated siding is vinyl siding with manufacturer installed rigid foam plastic insulation that is laminated or otherwise permanently attached to the siding.  Insulated siding provides all the beauty, durability and sustainability of vinyl siding, with the added benefit of improved energy efficiency.  Available in many styles similar to vinyl siding, but with wider widths of six and seven inch.

Strengths of Insulated Siding

Helps increase the exteriors wall’s R-value

Provides continuous insulation over the studs of a home, reducing thermal bridging and heat loss

Can hide subtle bows and dips present on most walls

Due to its ability to reduce thermal bridging, insulated siding has been added to the checklist under Energy Star Qualified Homes Version 3

Durable and long lasting

Virtually maintenance free never requires painting, sealing or caulking

Available in a wide spectrum of siding colors resistant to UV fade

Not susceptible to rot or insect damage

Complete vinyl soffit and architectural trim elements are available to offer a cohesive and designer look

Can be used with multiple architectural styles

Usually backed by a lifetime warranty

Weaknesses of Insulated Siding

May not offer darker colors in wider profiles; but improving with technological advances