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House Siding: More Than Just a Pretty Face

Your home's siding plays two major roles. The first is to provide protection from the elements and the second is to make your home aesthetically pleasing. There are many different types of siding and while their primary purpose is the same, they all do their jobs a little differently.

types of house siding


Known as the most popular siding option today, it's cheaper than any other siding material and is easy to care for. It comes in an array of colors and will never need to be painted. Vinyl can be installed over almost all other existing siding types.


  • Horizontal and vertical panels
  • Dutch lap
  • Shakes
  • Shingles
  • Board n batten
  • Beaded
  • Fish scales or scallops

Life Expectancy*: 60+ years (InterNACHI via

Cost: ($)

  • $3–12 per square foot installed (Angie's List)
  • Installing vinyl siding costs $11,720 on average, with most homeowners paying between $6,366 and $17,663 depending on the home’s size, location, and other factors per Angie's List
brick and vinyl house siding


Made from fired clay, brick very low maintenance and has lifetime durability. While it comes in many different textures, colors and sizes it tends to be one of the more expensive siding materials.

Styles: Brick masonry (solid brick) and Brick veneer (sits on the exterior of the house)

Life Expectancy*: 100+ years (InterNACHI via

Cost: ($$$)

  • $14–30 per square foot installed (
  • Standard 1,500 square foot home: $21,000–$45,000


Made from a mixture of cement, water and sand it's one of the oldest types of siding. It can be dyed in an array of earth tones (or painted) and one of its most desirable features is its very high fire resistance. While sturdy, it's prone to cracking if the foundation shifts.

Styles: Traditional (3 coat) and Synthetic (insulation and finish)

Life Expectancy*: 50+ years (InterNACHI via

Cost: ($$)

wood house siding


While wood can be an expensive option (depending on the type of wood used), it's also one of the most eco-friendly and versatile. Upkeep is more involved than other siding materials — it's known as one of the most demanding types of siding. In additional you must plan to paint, stain or seal the wood siding regularly.

Most popular woods:

  • Pine
  • Spruce
  • Fir
  • Cedar
  • Redwood


  • Lap
  • Drop channel
  • Tongue and groove
  • Split logs
  • Board n batten
  • Shake
  • Shingle

Life Expectancy*: 20–40 years (or longer); engineered wood — lifetime (InterNACHI via

Cost: ($$)


Aluminum and steel are the most common metals used for siding, although metal siding, in general, is not very commonly used. Overall metals are very durable and can't be damaged by fire or bugs. However, steel can rust or scratch if not properly maintained and aluminum is prone to denting.

Most popular metals: Aluminum and Steel


  • Corrugated
  • Vertical
  • Horizontal
  • Custom

Life Expectancy*: 25–40 (or more) years (InterNACHI via

Typical Range: $4,166 - $18,305

stone house siding


One of the most durable building materials, but also the most expensive. Requiring little to no maintenance it will last for a long, long time. It adds a great visual effect to a home with many colors and texture options.

Styles: Real stone and Faux stone (veneer)

Life Expectancy*: Over 100 years (InterNACHI via

Cost: ($$$)

According to Modernize, natural stone siding costs $30 to $48 per square foot of material installed. If you were to side the entire exterior of a 1,500 square foot home in stone, you could expect the total installation to cost anywhere from $57,000 to $72,000.

Fiber Cement

Constructed to copy the look of masonry, stucco or wood at a cheaper cost, fiber cement is available in many finishes and styles and is low maintenance and fire-resistant. The material is known for moisture-related problems and older homes built before the 1980s could contain a dangerous substance called asbestos which requires a professional for removal.

It is commonly referred to as ‘masonite’ in the industry. A more modern version of this is called “Hardiplank” after its brand name but the term is used interchangeably for other brands. It is one of the most durable siding products currently made and is typically more expensive than masonite which is now less commonly sold.


  • Shingle
  • Sheet
  • Lap

Life Expectancy*: Lifetime (InterNACHI via

Cost: ($$)

  • $6–10 per square foot installed (Home Advisor)
  • Standard 1,500 square foot home: $9,000–$15,000

There are many options when it comes to home siding. Each has its own benefit, along with some downfalls. While your primary goal should be to choose the best material to protect your home, it's A-OK to put some focus on beautifying your home as well!

Want more advice about all things home — including homebuying or selling advice? Nestiny is a great place for homebuyer education and to help you gauge how ready you are to buy a home. Journey Homeward allows you to enter all your wants and needs while the True Affordability Tool will break down your budget, showing what you can comfortably afford. You will also receive a Ready Report that will give you a vital head start in the home buying journey, saving you valuable time and money.

*Assuming proper maintenance

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