House siding is the best way to improve a home’s exterior. With the varieties of common house siding, the question is, which one would you pick? Each siding style will influence on your home’s appearance and architecture.
Today, there are many types of house exteriors, so there isn’t a shortage of ideas should you have problems choosing a siding option that suits your home. It’s important to pick one that best suits your home.
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The History Of Exterior House Siding
US homes began using house aluminum and steel siding in the 1940s. By then, earlier types of house siding dated as far back as 7,000 BC. When siding became common among American homes, aluminum was the most popular choice, followed by steel siding. Both styles carried into the 60s when vinyl emerged and became the top siding choice among homeowners. Since then, other types of house siding have emerged, offering greater protection and long-lasting durability.
The Best House Siding Colors Of 2022
When choosing a house siding style to add to your home, color might be the most important factor to consider. The color of your home will impact its curb appeal. To help you find the best color for your home, check out the following list of the best house exterior colors for 2022.
- Aegean Olive
- Black Forest Green
- Sussex Green
- Deep River
- Ocean Floor
- Midsummer Night
- Black Beauty
Types Of House Siding
Split log siding is versatile and works well with many home styles. The wood exterior cladding looks like split logs which serve as a defining characteristic of the cabin aesthetic. Made with oak, cypress, or cedar, the wood siding is popular among mountain getaways and ski village retreats. With cool house siding, it might not get any cooler than split log siding.
Split log siding is the ideal choice country and traditional ranch homes like this one designed by Ertel Associates Architects.
How To Install Log Cabin Siding in 6 Easy Steps
Before you install log cabin exterior house siding materials, add primer or pre-finish to your siding surfaces after you’ve preconditioned everything. When you do this, it reduces shrinkage and unfinished lines from appearing. This will also protect your siding from cupping and splitting.
Tools needed to install log cabin siding:
- Measuring tape
- 6’ level
- Power drill
and the steps:
- Measure – The first row is the most important so make sure it’s straight and level. Use chalk lines to mark it. When you measure the height and width of the first row, this will provide you with an outline.
- First Row – Place the first log at the base without installing it. Level one piece at a time without attaching it. Attach each log with screws or galvanized nails to drill through the tongue into the stud.
- Stagger Corner Joints – With saddle notch corners, stagger your joints. Depending on the size of your home, one-foot staggers are the norm.
- Tongue And Groove – After the first corner is set, use the log siding with the tongue and groove to finish the side into the inside corner. Install log siding with the tongue facing up. This will prevent water from being trapped between the boards.
- Nail Siding – You don’t want your nail holes to be visible, so nail the log siding at an angle through the tongue and into the backboard or studs. Do not nail through the siding’s face.
- Caulk Exterior Corners – After installing the siding, apply caulk between the corners. This will prevent moisture from damaging the finish.
Board And Batten Siding
Most board and batten siding is made of wood, but vinyl options are available. Install the boards vertically or horizontally. Either way, the panels will influence the look of your home, making it appear taller or wider. The siding is popular among contemporary farmhouse-style homes. The siding is also good for traditional and modern homes like the one in the photo.
Board and batten siding consists of wide board strips that are 1-foot wide and while battens are 1/2-inch wide. The modern siding offers a similar look to interior wainscotting or beadboard siding. When searching for modern siding ideas, this option will pop up on your radar.
Depending on the size of the home and the thickness of the material, vinyl board and batten siding will cost between $2 and $7 per square foot. Another factor that will impact the price is if the materials are insulated or non-insulated siding.
- Durable – can withstand harsh weather climates.
- Versatile – works on any type of home.
- Long-lasting – the siding lasts longer than other types of house siding.
- Time -installation takes longer than other house siding styles because there are more pieces to install.
- Expensive – because the installation process includes more pieces, it takes longer and therefore costs more.
Wood Shingle Siding
Natural wood shingles give houses a natural and rustic look and help them blend into their surroundings. They’re less expensive than other types of house siding, but aren’t low maintenance and require care and attention. You should know in advance that the installation process is time-consuming. Perhaps this house built by Heartwood Corp. in Southhampton can convince you.
Wood shingle siding is available in different styles. For example, there’s cedar wood shingles, eastern white cedar shingles, and red cedar shingles
- Durability – wood shingles will last for decades and longer than other types of siding.
- Variety – wood shingles come in a variety of styles and colors that can fit with any home.
- Insulation – your home will be better protected from cold weather with wood shingles.
- Expensive – on average, you can expect to pay over $200 per square foot than other types of siding.
- Environment – it wet and rainy environments, the shingles will degrade faster.
- Insects – if you don’t protect your shingles with stain or finish, you will have problems with termites and wood borers.
How To Stain Wood Shingles
The best way to stain wood shingles is to dip each one in stain and then install them after they’ve dried. If you try to stain shingles after they’re installed, the process is harder. Before you begin, your shingles must be clean and dry. For best results, rent a power washer to clean hard-to-reach spots on your shingles. You also want to plan and make sure you install shingles on a day when rain isn’t expected for at least three days.
- Fill a bucket with stirred stain to 75 percent capacity.
- Cover the trim with strips of 2-inch painter’s tape. Press the painter’s tape against the window trim.
- Cover all greenery, sidewalks, and other objects within four feet of the shingles with drop cloths or plastic sheeting.
- Using a stir stick, add the 5-gallon oil-based wood stain with the stirred stain.
- Paint the shingles in a vertical motion. You want the bristles to get in-between the shanks and groves.
- Stir the stain container before adding more to the paint bucket.
Horizontal Wood Siding
Otherwise known as lap siding, horizontal wood siding gives houses a classic look, but comes at a cost: it requires more maintenance which makes the upfront costs higher. The advantage is that this type of house siding is not linked to any style and can go with stain or paint. For example, this house designed by Place Architecture has a modern appearance.
- Versatile – lap siding is available in vinyl and fiber cement.
- Low maintenance – depending on where you live, the siding only needs to be cleaned once or twice a year.
- Durability – can last upwards of 40 years.
- Discoloration – this will depend on how much sunlight your home receives.
- Insects – dust can easily accumulate which will turn into insect breeding grounds.
- Paint – direct sunlight will hurt the siding so you’ll have to paint it to keep it looking fresh.
Metal siding is ideal if you want your home to have a modern-industrial appearance like this one from WA Design. Steel siding (we can talk about corrugated metal siding also) offers durability and extra protection from pests and fire, plus it doesn’t warp.
There are few drawbacks as the industrial siding has problems retaining heat in colder climates.
However, steel siding weathers nicely will gain a unique patina/
- Strength – metal siding is stronger than most types of house siding.
- Fire Resistant – offers greater protection from fire risk.
- Curb Appeal – the siding will make your house look better and thus increase its curb appeal.
- Rust – because of the material it is susceptible to rust.
- Cost – it’s more expensive than most types of siding.
- Denting – in climates that have hail storms, metal siding can be easily damaged and pierced.
Natural stone siding is timeless and great for a structure when you want a rustic or traditional style. The natural stone siding look has a charm that other types of house siding seem to lack. However, to benefit from that you’d have to pay a high initial price.
Also, you’ll need a professional to handle the natural stone siding installation process. In return, you get weather-resistant and low maintenance exterior siding. This craftsman-style house designed by Studio 6 Architects is a fine example as it showcases the beauty of rustic-looking house siding.
- Authenticity – stone siding will give your home an authentic look.
- Sustainability – because it’s natural, it isn’t bad for the environment.
- Recyclable – stone siding can be torn down and used again.
- Cracks – stone siding cracks easily if it’s not installed properly.
- Mold – water can seep into the cracks which will cause mold and mildew problems.
- Expensive – due to local regulations, you will need to hire a stone masonry expert to install the siding.
Faux Stone House Siding
If you like natural stone siding but the price is out of your budget, there’s an alternative: faux stone. It’s not as durable or long-lasting as natural stone, but it costs less and it looks convincing. With a bit of maintenance, you can enjoy it for a long time. If you’re not convinced, check out this great house built by Orren Pickell Building Group and look at the details.
- Long-lasting – warranties range from 20 to 75 years.
- Fire-resistant – more fire-resistant than wood or vinyl siding.
- Versatility – because the material is lighter, you can use it for other things that don’t support the weight of the natural stone.
- Moisture – it not installed properly, water can leak in and cause mold.
- Caulk – if you do not use caulk, you can expect leakage problems.
- Maintenance – issues arise if not installed and sealed properly.
There aren’t many brick houses that feature a traditional brick masonry method. One reason is due to labor-intensive brick siding installation, which is expensive. Brick siding has a unique look unlike other types of house siding, which you can’t get using other materials so that’s something to keep in mind.
Also, brick siding exterior walls are low maintenance and last longer than other types of house siding, which makes it a sound investment. Brick siding costs between $6 to $15 per square foot. Brick siding suits traditional homes like the one built by general contractor Andrew Roby.
- Eco-friendly – because bricks are made with natural materials, it’s easier on the environment.
- Low Maintenance – you won’t have to worry about painting or cleaning.
- Durability – bricks can withstand harsh weather conditions.
- Expensive – brick siding is more expensive than most types of house siding.
- Sealing – in heavy water environments, apply sealant every eight years or so.
- Humidity – environments with high humidity will cause moisture and mold issues.
Glass is an ideal option if you wish to enjoy panoramic views from a house filled with natural light. Other advantages of a glass exterior wall include how the house would be energy-efficient. The downsides are the high cost, the lack of privacy, and the need for regular cleaning. With all of this in mind, we think glass houses are amazing. This elevated concrete house is one of our favorites.
- Lightweight – glass naturally weighs less, so you don’t have to adhere to load-bearing component specifications.
- Versatile – it offers more room for designers to be creative.
- Rust Resistant – this is simple – glass doesn’t rust.
- Fragile – glass, unlike wood, can shatter.
- Weak – it isn’t good in environments that have bad weather or earthquakes.
- Temperature – glass absorbs heat and can turn your living environment into a hot box.
Fiber Cement Siding
Fiber cement siding costs more than its vinyl counterpart, but it’s still affordable. Reinforced fiber cement is made with protective material like Portland cement that adds to its long-lasting durability. Key benefits of fiber cement siding include how it isn’t vulnerable to termites and can withstand 160 mph winds. As good as the siding is, it’s not perfect.
Homeowners have reported moisture problems. Also, older versions of the siding from the late 80s and earlier may contain asbestos. If this is the case with your home, enlist a professional abatement contractor to remove the siding.
On average, installed fiber cement siding is between $6 to $12 per square foot. The siding is considered a great investment as it will last up to 50 years. If you want a durable and long-lasting house exterior, go with concrete.
It can last for hundreds of years and requires little maintenance. It’s fire-resistant and it withstands even the toughest weather plus it provides great insulation. In addition, concrete can be molded into pretty much any shape which gives great flexibility when designing the house.
The downside of concrete houses is the high installation cost.
- Fire protection – cement siding offers greater protection from fire.
- Durability – more durable than other types of house siding.
- Insect protection – offers greater protection against termite invasions.
- Appearance – does not look like natural wood.
- Cracking – depending on the environment, cracking will be an issue.
Stucco House Siding
Stucco house siding is long-lasting, fire-resistant, and provides excellent insulation. You can apply it on wood, stone, and brick surfaces and it can adapt to different house styles. However, stucco siding doesn’t do well in humid areas and is also expensive. Check out this house by Think Design Office to see what stucco siding looks like.
- Durability – will last a long time if installed properly.
- Curb Appeal – will make your house look more appealing and will be easier to sell when you want to move.
- Maintenance – if not installed properly, cracking can be an issue.
- Absorbent – stucco is porous, which means it absorbs moisture and can lead to mold and mildew issues.
Versatility and customization are important when choosing types of vinyl house siding, which can outweigh longevity concerns. Combine that with a low cost and you have the best house siding material for most contemporary homes: vinyl. It’s a synthetic material which means it’s durable and versatile. The siding is available in many colors and different forms like panels or shingles.
Vinyl can imitate the look of other materials like stone and requires little maintenance. An example of vinyl exterior siding can be seen in this house remodeled by John Bynum Custom Homes.
Vinyl Siding Pros And Cons
Insulated vinyl siding is great, but it isn’t perfect. Like anything else, it has built-in challenges to consider.
- Energy efficient – with vinyl cladding, your energy bills will decrease.
- Protection – vinyl offers stronger protection from cold weather and absorbs outside noise.
- Impact resistance – vinyl siding doesn’t damage easily.
- Unsustainable – sustainability is a major concern among US homeowners. When a home undergoes an upgrade or renovation, the project’s impact on the environment will be considered. Also, vinyl isn’t a green material, which means it’s unsustainable. Most recycling centers do not accept vinyl. When it is dumped in a landfill, it will harm the environment as it isn’t biodegradable.
- Warping and Cracking – depending on where you live, vinyl can warp and crack. In hotter climates, vinyl will show signs of warping within a few years after installation. Meanwhile, cracking occurs in freezing climates.
- Trapping – is caused by moisture build-up. If foam backing isn’t included with insulated vinyl siding installation, it will be susceptible to trapping.
Alternatives To Vinyl Siding
There are a few alternative house siding options available should your home require something unique or more affordable. If you like the features that come with vinyl siding but it’s not within your budget, consider the following options.
Engineered Wood Siding
Engineered wood is a wood composite siding. The protective fibers are made with heated wax and resin which is pressed into the wood’s texture. In the world of contemporary exterior siding, this option is the latest breakthrough for residential homes.
- Lighter than fiber cement and some wood siding materials.
- Uses recycled materials.
- Less expensive than other house siding types.
- Not natural-looking and must be painted.
- Binding agents are not eco-friendly.
- Some binding agents may contain carcinogens.
Aluminum siding is a cheaper and less-durable option. The biggest attraction for aluminum siding is how it provides solid insulation. Homeowners like it because it helps save money on heating and air conditioning expenses.
- Unlike vinyl, it can be painted.
- Changes color.
- Limited selections.
- It’s not as resilient as vinyl.
- Dents easily.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
How Long Do Eastern White Cedar Shingles Last?
On average, eastern white cedar shingles are replaced every 20 years.
What Is Board And Batten Siding Made Of?
Board and batten is commonly made of wood, but vinyl, fiber cement, and steel options are available. If durability is your biggest priority, so with engineered wood siding.
Can You Put Vinyl Siding Over Wood Shingles?
No, it’s a bad idea to put vinyl siding over wood shingles. Let’s think about this for a moment. You have no idea how much rot and mold accumulates underneath your wood shingles. Adding a layer of vinyl siding over damaged wood shingles would destroy your home. Adding wood shingles over your vinyl siding would not be a viable replacement option.
What Is The Difference Between Brick And Brick Veneer?
The difference between brick veneer and solid brick is support. With brick veneer, support is provided by a backup wall made of concrete, steel, or wood. With brick veneer buildings, the exterior brick is for cosmetic purposes and not a structure that’s supported entirely by bricks.
What Is Lap Siding?
Lap siding is a popular house siding. The term describes horizontal siding installations. “Lap” refers to how the planks overlap each other.
What Is The Best House Siding For A Tiny Home?
Because tiny houses are small, high-end siding is an affordable option because it requires fewer materials. For example, pine wood siding would cost a small fortune to install on a regular single-family dwelling. With a tiny home, pine wood siding, which sells for $3 per square foot, would be your best option for the money and quality.
What is Composite Wood Siding?
Composite wood siding is compressed scrap wood that’s bonded with resins. It’s treated with chemicals so fungi and insects can’t harm it. The siding is pre-primed, which means it’s ready to paint upon arrival. In the home construction industry, it’s otherwise knowns as fiberboard siding.
What Is The Best Fire Resistant Siding?
Composite siding and engineered wood siding are the most fire-resistant sidings on the market today. Engineered wood has fire-repellant chemicals that protect it from wildfire risks.
What Is The Cheapest Siding For A House?
Insulated vinyl siding is the cheapest house siding available on the market today. The average square footage for a home in the US is 2,500. Depending on where you purchase your vinyl siding, you can expect to pay between $1 and $2 per square foot. After you factor in other materials and labor costs, to install siding on an average-sized home, you could expect to pay almost $13,000.
Types Of House Siding Conclusion
Siding is a vital component of a home. When choosing a siding, you want something that will increase your home’s curb appeal. With today’s homes, an exterior wood or vinyl covering should complement its overall aesthetic.
When you begin your search, ask what are the best exterior house siding options?
You might decide on more than one type of siding, and houses with multiple sidings aren’t uncommon. There are plenty of modern siding ideas to choose from, so take your time and explore your options.