Top Six Exterior Siding Options

Pull the look of your home together by choosing the right siding material.


Photo by: Ply Gem

Ply Gem

By: Jeannie Matteucci

Siding gives you a great way to add color and definition to your house. There are lots of options these days to help you create the perfect façade and you want to choose carefully. While aesthetics are always important, you also want to consider the material's durability, ability to resist water, ease of installation and versatility.

"From a functional point of view, siding gives you protection," says architect Amy A. Alper. "From an architectural point of view, there's an interest now in using a variety of materials to highlight special features on a home. For example, using stone or Western red cedar to highlight an entry."

Awesome Siding Pictures from HGTV

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Untreated Cedar Siding

The home's façade is encompassed with untreated cedar, matching the garage door and complementing the industrial details of the overall design.

Bright Yellow Front Door

When paired with blue siding and white molding, this vibrant yellow door becomes a bright focal point that sets a cheerful tone before one even enters this home.

Updated Brick and Vinyl With Exterior Paint

Before adding color to your porch, consider how the exterior color of the house will play into the overall look. The dated brick and lackluster vinyl of this midcentury modern house were updated with charcoal and medium gray paint to help contrast against the bright spring tone accents.

Photo By: Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Patio Overlooks Stone Clad Mediterranean Home

An arched doorway peeks through from the patio to the home's stone clad exterior that features matching stone retaining walls.

Photo By: Andrew Pogue Photography

Nighttime View of Townhouses With Neutral Exteriors

These quaint townhouses feature a combination of neutral exterior materials, including natural stone and wood siding. Front yard driveways allow ample room for parking, while stone archways provide charming front porch entryways.

Photo By: Luciana Corwin

Exterior of Jordan Iverson Signature Homes

Located in Eugene, Ore., Jordan Iverson Signature Homes boasts a contemporary exterior with gray siding and a pop of yellow to tie in the company's color theme.

Photo By: Kuda Photo 2016

Outdoor Living Space With Modern Style Fire Pit

This outdoor space was created to feel like a comfortable urban oasis complete with this modern style fire pit, a perfect place to gather around.

Photo By: KuDa Photography 2015

Modern Beach Home With Two Types of Cedar Exterior Siding

This modern residence, on New Jersey's Beach Haven coast, features an exterior made from two types of cedar as well as windows with the highest hurricane rating.

Photo By: Taggart Sorensen

Light Gray Home Exterior With Wood Staircase

A outdoor stairway connects the upper deck to a porch underneath.

Photo By: Eric Perry ©2014, Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Green Shrubbery Lines Home Exterior

Large, open spaces in the wood slat siding lets the patio connect with the outdoors. The rest of the home features stacked stone and stucco siding to complement the contemporary design. Green shrubs line the exterior, adding fresh, natural color to the home.

Photo By: Andrew Pogue Photography

6 Most Popular Types of Siding

Vinyl siding

The low cost, versatility and easy maintenance of vinyl siding has helped it become the most popular siding choice in the United States. While some design professionals and homeowners are turned off by the "plastic look" of some vinyl siding products, the variety of colors and styles available helps explain this siding's popularity.

"The technology has changed dramatically, even in the last five years," says Max Bumgardner, sales manager for Sutton Siding & Remodeling, Inc. "All the manufacturers are competing to offer the best product."

Requiring few tools to install and available at home improvement stores, this is an option for those looking for a do-it-yourself product. Since mistakes can be costly, make sure to follow instructions from the manufacturer and take advantage of online how-to videos.



Photo courtesy of Ply Gem

Photo by: Ply Gem

Ply Gem

Photo courtesy of Ply Gem

Wood siding

Commonly used for bungalow, Cape Cod and cottage exteriors, wood siding offers a rich look and is durable if maintained properly. If you are attracted to this look keep in mind that it requires periodic maintenance (chalking and painting or staining to prevent weather damage) and is susceptible to insect or rodent attacks. Depending on maintenance, your rich wood siding can last from 10 to sometimes 100 years.

Wood siding comes in clapboard (also known as lap or bevel siding) as well as shakes and shingles. Clapboard siding uses planks of wood installed horizontally with an upper piece that overlaps the lower piece. Western red cedar and redwood, woods known for being attractive and durable, are considered the best choices.

More uniform in appearance but thinner than shakes, shingles give you a smooth and consistent look. They can be cut into different shapes to add visual interest to your exterior. Some manufacturers also offer shingles treated with fire-retardant chemicals, often a requirement in high-risk locations. Be sure to check into the local rules in your area.

Wood siding typically costs around $5 to $10 per square foot installed. That doesn't count additional cost for painting or staining.

Brick siding

Made from fired clay, genuine brick comes in different sizes and textures. Brick is commonly found on Colonial, Tudor and English cottage exteriors, providing a beautiful look that has been used for hundreds of years and has stood the test of time. These days brick siding is usually a veneer constructed outside of a home's wood frame structure, with mortar used to hold the bricks together.

Since water can penetrate brick veneers, a membrane installed between the brick veneer and house can protect the structure. Under normal conditions and when installed correctly brick siding can last the life of your house. Installing brick is labor-intensive, so the cost is on the higher end compared to other siding options.

Typically, brick siding costs around $6 to $15 or more per square foot installed.

Beautiful Brick Homes

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Fiber-cement siding

Offering the look of masonry, stucco or wood at a lower cost, fiber-cement siding has become a popular siding choice for many homeowners. Fiber-cement siding is low-maintenance, non-flammable and termite-resistant. Available in a range of styles and textures, factory painting or finishes are highly recommended.

On the other side, fiber-cement siding could encounter possible moisture-related problems, and older homes built before the late 1980s may have siding that contains asbestos and requires a professional abatement contractor for removal.

The average cost is $6 to $12 per square foot installed (cost higher with trim), and the siding will last 25 to 50 years, depending on manufacturer.

Fiber Cement Siding 02:15

Fiber cement siding is reasonably priced, durable and fire-resistant.

Stucco siding

Traditional stucco is made from building sand, Portland cement, lime and water. A waterproof barrier paper and galvanized-metal screening are applied over wood walls before stucco is added to provide a good base for the stucco and protect the walls underneath. While stucco can be applied to homes with brick and stone surfaces, the classic look is commonly found on Mediterranean, ranch and Spanish-mission exteriors.

Because stucco is very rigid, careful installation can help reduce the possibility of unwanted cracks. When stucco siding is properly installed and maintained, it can last the lifetime of the house.



Photo courtesy of Coronado Stone

Photo courtesy of Coronado Stone

Stone and stone-veneer siding

The natural beauty and durability of stones like granite and limestone are appealing to homeowners who want a siding that adds texture and visual interest to their exterior. Because stone is more expensive than other siding options — and can be difficult to add to an existing home — concerns about costs should be considered.

More lightweight and less expensive than natural stone, stone-veneer siding comes in natural and synthetic materials. There are many styles available that help enhance your home's curb appeal. Annual cleaning with a hose and inspection of the siding helps ensure it will last the life of the house.

The average cost of stone is around $10 to $30 per square foot installed, and if maintained properly, can last the lifetime of house.

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