Siding Comparison Table
At $4 a square foot, vinyl siding is far more affordable than wood or engineered wood siding. That being said, metal siding is a good, solid second place in price.
Of all the siding options, metal siding costs less to install than the others. In some cases, the metal strips can be applied on top of the existing siding, which saves the removal and disposal fee. In addition, metal siding requires fewer tools for installation.
Most Energy Efficient Siding
Stucco is the most efficient siding product. While the other types of siding are also good, nothing can beat stucco for protecting a house in the hot sun. It keeps the cool air in and doesn’t absorb heat the way brick does.
Metal is very efficient, but is closely followed by vinyl. Both of these materials are used in other industries as insulators. In cold climates, metal does better than vinyl, but heavy gauge vinyl does provide extra insulation.
Wood has limited efficiency and effectiveness when it comes to making your home more energy efficient. It is edged out by engineered wood, which handles temperature extremes quite well. Both engineered wood and wood siding require regular treatment with waxes, stains, or resins to keep the moisture out.
Most Environmentally Friendly Siding
Wood is considered to be the most environmentally friendly siding. It is a renewable resource straight from nature, and it is recyclable. Of all the woods used for siding, cedar is the most popular choice. This is because it is more lightweight, therefore uses fewer resources for transportation.
Lowest Maintenance Siding
Vinyl siding comes in first place here, because it requires virtually no maintenance. It doesn’t dent, so it is quite durable. Metal siding also doesn’t require much maintenance, other than an occasional power washing or coat of paint. However, it will get dents in it from hail or foot traffic.
Stucco does require maintenance, since it is rather brittle. If it gets a hole in it, it must be patched before water gets into the wall. Water will ruin the stucco if it gets behind the wall. However, besides holes, stucco is very durable.
Wood and engineered wood takes little to no daily maintenance. It never dents. In fact, dents and scratches eventually pop out because the fibers of the wood expand and contract. But, every four to six years, you will need to power wash it and re-stain it. This will preserve the wood and keep it in good condition. This will be an additional expense of $700 to $2,200. The siding contractor will have to consider the size of your house, the square footage of wooden siding, and whether or not there are multiple stories.
Most Durable Siding
Stone or brick siding are, by far, the most durable of all siding options. In fact, they can last for centuries. They are also the most expensive types of siding.
Metal siding is quite durable, except for the denting problem. If you paint it, will last longer. Aluminum is the best siding for houses near the coast, because the salt air doesn’t affect aluminum. Also, even if the metal gets dents in it, it won’t break unless it has a collision with a falling tree or moving car.
Most Versatile Siding
Vinyl and engineered wood are the most versatile thanks to the many options regarding the width of the planks, colors, styles and textures available.
How to Choose – 7 Factors to Consider
Choosing the right exterior material depends on several factors, including your lifestyle, climate and budget. You should check the manufacturer’s guidelines as well as local building codes to ensure that your preferred material performs well over time.
When evaluating materials, consider the following criteria to determine which is best for your specific application:
1) Water Resistant
Some types of cladding materials provide more water resistance. These types of siding generally have longer life spans because they are less affected by persistent moisture.
2) Energy Efficiency
Each type of siding material has an R-value that measures its ability to impede thermal transfer. Insulated vinyl, for example, has a higher R-value than traditional stucco.
3) Aesthetics & Texture
The color and texture of the siding determines its overall appearance. While brick or stone have limited color options, they offer a variety of textures. Conversely, vinyl siding has limited textures, but it offers a wide assortment of colors.
The structure and architectural style of your home and exterior will also play a key role in the type of siding you should select. While vinyl siding is suitable for modern homes, historic buildings may require stone or natural wood products for the best exterior appearance.
If you are concerned about the environment, there are several eco-friendly options available. These include fiber cement, which is made from sand, cement, clay and wood pulp fibers.
Others products, such as wood, are naturally biodegradable and come from sustainable sources. Green siding also refers to the energy efficiency of the material and their ability to conserve the energy required to heat or cool your home.
In addition to how long it should last, determine the level of ongoing maintenance required, such as how often it should be painted. Evaluate the materials level of resistance to decolorization, decomposition and insects.
Depending upon the materials and complexity of the installation process, a siding project can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000. Prepare a realistic budget beforehand to accurately determine what you can afford. Check out our siding calculator to determine the approximate cost.