Top 8 Best Siding Materials in 2023
Selecting the right siding material for your home is a decision that will impact the look, functionality, and value of your property for years to come. The market is flooded with a wide array of materials, each with its own unique set of benefits and considerations. In this guide, we delve into the top 8 siding materials for 2023, exploring their pros, cons, and what to consider before making your selection.
1. Vinyl Siding
Vinyl siding remains one of the most popular choices due to its affordability, durability, and low maintenance needs.
- Pros: Vinyl is affordable, easy to install, and comes in a wide range of colors and styles. It’s resistant to pests and moisture, and requires minimal upkeep.
- Cons: Extreme temperatures can cause vinyl to crack or warp. While it’s relatively durable, it doesn’t offer the same level of insulation as some other materials.
2. Fiber Cement Siding
Fiber cement, a composite material made from cement, sand, and cellulose fibers, is known for its durability and versatility.
- Pros: It’s resistant to termites, rot, and fire. It can mimic the appearance of wood, brick, or stone, offering an appealing aesthetic. It’s also very long-lasting, with a lifespan of up to 50 years.
- Cons: Installation can be more complex and costly due to the weight of the material. It also requires regular painting to maintain its appearance.
3. Wood Siding
Wood siding offers a timeless and classic appeal. It’s often used on cottages, bungalows, and other styles of homes that desire a natural aesthetic.
- Pros: Wood is eco-friendly and offers excellent insulation. It’s also highly customizable as it can be cut into different styles and stained or painted in any color.
- Cons: Wood requires regular maintenance to prevent rot, insects, and weather-related damage. It can also be a more expensive option.
4. Aluminum Siding
Aluminum siding is a cost-effective and durable option that requires little maintenance.
- Pros: Aluminum is fire-resistant, waterproof, and unaffected by cold weather. It’s also lightweight, making it easier to install.
- Cons: Over time, aluminum may dent and fade. It’s not as energy-efficient as other options and can be noisy during wind or rain.
5. Steel Siding
Steel siding is an increasingly popular choice due to its strength and durability.
- Pros: Steel siding is resistant to harsh weather conditions, fire, rot, and insects. It also maintains its color well over time.
- Cons: Installation can be expensive and complicated due to the weight of the material. It can also be prone to rust if not properly maintained.
6. Stone Veneer Siding
Stone veneer offers the look of natural stone but at a fraction of the cost.
- Pros: Stone veneer is lightweight, making it easier and cheaper to install than natural stone. It’s also durable and maintenance-free.
- Cons: While it’s more affordable than natural stone, it’s still more expensive than other siding options.
7. Brick Siding
Brick siding offers a beautiful, classic look that can last for decades with minimal maintenance.
- Pros: Brick is incredibly durable, fire-resistant, and can last a lifetime. It offers excellent insulation and maintains its look over time.
- Cons: Brick is one of the most expensive siding options and requires professional installation. It can also be prone to moisture issues if not properly installed.
8. Stucco Siding
Stucco, a mix of cement, sand, lime, and water, has been used as a siding material for centuries. It’s commonly seen on homes in the Southwestern United States.
- Pros: Stucco is fire-resistant and suitable for various climates. It’s also low maintenance and can last for many decades when properly cared for.
- Cons: While stucco can be painted, changing colors is a time-consuming process. In regions with heavy rainfall or high humidity, stucco may absorb moisture, leading to potential damage over time.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Siding Material
When it comes to selecting the best siding material for your home, consider the following:
- Climate: The climate where you live can significantly impact your siding choice. Some materials are better suited to resist specific weather conditions. For instance, if you live in an area with heavy rainfall, you may want to avoid materials that absorb water, like wood or certain types of stucco.
- Maintenance: Consider the level of maintenance each material requires. Vinyl and aluminum siding require minimal upkeep, while wood or fiber cement may need more frequent attention to stay in good condition.
- Aesthetics: The material you choose will greatly influence your home’s curb appeal. Consider the style and look you want to achieve. Do you prefer a classic, timeless look or something more modern?
- Budget: The cost of siding materials can vary widely. Consider your budget and the total cost, which includes not just the material itself but also installation and potential maintenance costs down the line.
- Durability: Consider how long you want your siding to last. Some materials, like brick or stone, can last a lifetime, while others may need to be replaced after a few decades.
The right siding material for your home depends on your personal preferences, budget, and specific needs. By weighing the pros and cons of each option, you can select a siding material that enhances the appearance of your home, withstands your local climate, and fits within your budget.
Additional Types of Siding to Consider
When it comes to choosing the type of siding for your home, you should know there are more options beyond traditional wood, vinyl, and fiber cement. Let’s delve into a few more alternatives:
Metal siding, often made of aluminum or steel, is a durable and long-lasting option that’s particularly popular for modern, industrial-style homes.
- Pros: Metal siding is fire-resistant, rodent-proof, and doesn’t warp or rot. It also requires little maintenance and can be repainted to refresh its look or change colors.
- Cons: On the downside, metal can be prone to denting and might not offer the insulation properties of other materials.
Brick veneer is another type of siding to consider. It offers the look of real brick but at a lower cost and with easier installation.
- Pros: Brick veneer is durable, fire-resistant, and offers a timeless look that can enhance your home’s curb appeal.
- Cons: However, like real brick, brick veneer can be susceptible to moisture damage if not properly maintained.
Portland Cement Siding
Another less common but worthwhile option is Portland cement siding. This is a type of fiber cement siding that is extremely durable and can mimic the look of many other siding materials.
- Pros: Portland cement siding is resistant to fire, rot, and insects, and it can be painted any color. It’s also long-lasting, with a lifespan of up to 50 years or more.
- Cons: The main downside is that it can be more expensive than other siding options, and it requires professional installation due to its weight.
Each type of siding comes with its unique set of advantages and potential drawbacks. The best choice depends on your home’s specific needs, your aesthetic preferences, and your budget. By considering all these factors, you can make an informed decision about your home’s siding that you will be satisfied with for years to come.
How Much Does New Siding Cost?
The cost of new siding depends on a number of factors including the type of siding material, the size of your home, and the region in which you live. The following estimates are given as a general guideline and may vary:
Vinyl is the most affordable siding material, with costs ranging from $2 to $7 per square foot, including installation. This means that for a home with 2,000 square feet of exterior wall, you can expect to pay between $4,000 to $14,000.
The cost of wood siding varies greatly depending on the type of wood, but you can generally expect to pay between $6 and $8 per square foot, including installation. This means that for a home of the same size, the cost could range from $12,000 to $16,000.
Fiber Cement Siding
Fiber cement siding tends to cost a bit more, with prices generally ranging from $6 to $13 per square foot, installed. So, for a 2,000 square-foot home, this would amount to approximately $12,000 to $26,000.
Metal siding, depending on the type of metal used, can range from $3 to $10 per square foot, installed. This means a home of the same size might cost between $6,000 and $20,000 to side with metal.
Brick veneer tends to be one of the pricier siding options, costing between $8 and $15 per square foot, installed. For a 2,000 square-foot home, this could mean a total cost of $16,000 to $30,000.
Portland Cement Siding
Portland cement siding, a type of fiber cement siding, can cost between $6 to $12 per square foot, including installation. For a 2,000 square-foot home, the cost could range between $12,000 to $24,000.
Remember, these costs are estimates and actual prices can vary depending on various factors. Always get multiple quotes from contractors to ensure you’re getting a fair deal.
Labor Costs for Replacement Siding Installation
In addition to the cost of the siding materials, another key consideration in the budgeting process is the labor costs associated with having replacement siding installed. These costs can fluctuate significantly based on the type of siding, the size and complexity of your home, and the region in which you live.
On average, you can expect the labor costs for siding installation to range between $1 and $5 per square foot. For example, the labor cost for vinyl siding, one of the most common and cost-effective materials, tends to be on the lower end of this range. However, materials that are more labor-intensive to install, such as fiber cement or brick veneer, can push labor costs toward the higher end.
- Vinyl siding: Labor costs for vinyl siding typically range from $1 to $3 per square foot. Vinyl is relatively easy to install, which helps keep labor costs down.
- Fiber cement siding: The labor cost for installing fiber cement siding is usually between $2 and $5 per square foot. This is due to the weight of the material and the precision required in its installation.
- Brick veneer siding: This is one of the more expensive options in terms of labor. Installation usually costs between $4 and $8 per square foot due to the skill and time required to properly lay and adhere the bricks.
- Metal siding: Labor costs can range from $2 to $4 per square foot. The cost can vary depending on the type of metal siding chosen, with materials like steel or aluminum being more expensive to install.
- Engineered wood siding: The labor cost for engineered wood siding typically ranges from $2 to $4 per square foot. The installation process is slightly more complex than vinyl but less so than brick or stone.
Remember that these are average ranges, and the actual labor cost can vary. Always ask for an estimate from any potential contractors and ensure it includes both material and labor costs. Understanding these costs can assist you in budgeting your siding project effectively and help ensure that you can enjoy your home’s new look without any financial stress.
Top 10 Best Siding Companies in 2023
Selecting the right company to install your siding is as important as choosing the right material. The best companies provide quality materials, skilled installation, and excellent customer service. Here are the top 10 siding companies in 2023:
- James Hardie: Known for their durable and high-quality fiber cement siding, James Hardie offers a variety of styles and colors to suit any home’s aesthetic.
- CertainTeed: Providing a variety of different types of siding, including vinyl, polymer, and insulated siding, CertainTeed is a well-respected name in the industry.
- Mastic Home Exteriors by Ply Gem: Specializing in vinyl siding, this company offers a wide variety of colors and styles to choose from.
- Alside: Alside is renowned for its vinyl siding products, but also offers steel siding for those looking for something a bit different.
- Georgia-Pacific: Offering affordable vinyl siding, Georgia-Pacific is a popular choice among homeowners looking for a cost-effective option.
- Royal Building Products: This company offers vinyl and aluminum siding options, with a large selection of colors and styles.
- LP Building Solutions: Known for their engineered wood siding, LP Building Solutions offers durable and visually appealing options.
- Kaycan: Kaycan offers a wide range of siding materials, including vinyl, aluminum, and engineered wood, all in a variety of colors.
- EcoSide: For the environmentally conscious homeowner, EcoSide offers sustainable and durable siding options made from recycled materials.
- Allura: Allura provides fiber cement siding that’s built to last, with a wide range of styles and color options.
While the best time to install siding can vary depending on your location and the specifics of your project, spring, and early summer are generally considered ideal due to milder weather conditions. However, many of these companies operate year-round, so you can choose the most convenient time for you.
Energy Efficiency in Siding: An Important Consideration
In addition to cost, aesthetics, and durability, another significant factor to consider when choosing siding is its energy efficiency. This is especially important if you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, such as high winds, intense sun, or frigid winters. High-quality exterior siding can play a crucial role in your home’s overall energy efficiency by providing effective insulation, which can help keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Different types of siding offer varying levels of energy efficiency:
- Vinyl Siding: Vinyl is one of the most popular siding options, partly due to its relatively good energy efficiency. Many high-quality vinyl siding products now come with insulation attached, which can significantly improve your home’s ability to maintain a steady internal temperature.
- Fiber Cement Siding: This type of siding is known for its exceptional durability and resistance to extreme weather conditions. Fiber cement provides good insulation, but its energy efficiency can be boosted with the use of added insulation during installation.
- Metal Siding: Metal siding, including aluminum and steel, offers relatively low energy efficiency because metal conducts heat. However, insulated metal siding products are available to enhance energy efficiency.
- Engineered Wood Siding: Engineered wood is often more energy efficient than traditional wood siding. It’s designed to offer excellent insulation while still providing the appealing aesthetic of natural wood.
- Brick Veneer Siding: Brick veneer provides excellent thermal mass, which can help regulate your home’s internal temperatures by absorbing heat during the day and releasing it at night. This property makes it an energy-efficient choice for climates with significant day-night temperature swings.
Investing in energy-efficient siding may be costlier upfront, but the savings you’ll see on your energy bills over the long term could make it worth the initial investment. Moreover, it can enhance comfort within your home and reduce your carbon footprint, contributing to a more sustainable lifestyle.
To get the most out of your siding’s energy efficiency, consider having it installed by a professional, who can ensure it is properly fitted and sealed, preventing drafts and energy loss. Energy efficiency is yet another factor to consider in your quest to find the perfect siding for your home, along with style, cost, and durability.
Looking Into Low-Cost Siding Options: Are They Worth it?
Everyone loves to save money, especially when it comes to substantial investments like home improvements. So, it’s natural to consider low-cost siding options when planning a home exterior upgrade. But are these cheaper options really worth it?
The answer isn’t a simple yes or no, as it depends on several factors, including the quality of the material, installation, your climate, and your long-term plans for the house. Here are a few points to consider when looking at low-cost siding options:
Quality of Material
Although you might save money upfront, low-cost siding materials can sometimes be less durable and prone to damage. For instance, vinyl is one of the least expensive siding options, but cheaper vinyl can crack, fade, or warp over time, particularly in extreme weather conditions. In comparison, higher-quality materials like fiber cement or engineered wood might have a higher initial cost, but their durability could save you money on repairs and replacement in the long run.
While DIY installation can save you money, it’s essential to remember that improper installation can lead to problems down the road. If moisture seeps behind your siding, it can cause significant damage to your home’s structure. It’s often worth it to pay a bit more for professional installation to ensure your siding is installed correctly.
In some climates, investing in a more expensive, energy-efficient siding could end up saving you money on your energy bills in the long term. If you live in an area with harsh winters or scorching summers, investing in siding with good insulating properties could reduce your heating and cooling costs.
If you plan to sell your house in the next few years, opting for a cheaper siding might make sense. It can improve your home’s curb appeal without a significant investment. However, if you plan to stay in your home for many years, investing in a higher-quality siding could be more cost-effective over time.
While some siding materials may be cheap to install, they could require regular maintenance that adds up over time. Wood siding, for example, needs to be repainted regularly and can be prone to damage from insects and moisture.
While low-cost siding options can be appealing due to their smaller upfront cost, it’s essential to look at the full picture, including long-term durability, energy efficiency, and maintenance costs. A higher initial investment could save you money and headaches in the future. Always remember to weigh all factors carefully before making your final decision.
DIY vs Professional Siding Installation: The Importance of Professionalism
One of the critical decisions homeowners face when installing new siding is whether to undertake the task themselves or hire a professional. This decision is often dictated by the homeowner’s skill level, confidence, and budget. While doing it yourself can indeed save you some money in the short term, several factors make professional siding installation a more valuable and less risky proposition. Let’s break it down:
Experience and Expertise
Professional siding contractors have spent many hours training and perfecting their craft. They understand the intricate details that go into a successful siding installation, from choosing the right nails and fasteners to ensuring the panels are properly aligned. They are also more adept at handling unexpected issues that may arise during the installation, such as hidden damage to the home’s exterior.
A significant advantage of hiring professionals is the time you save. A siding installation project is a considerable undertaking that could take weeks if you’re doing it part-time or during the weekends. A professional team can typically complete the job in a few days, depending on the size of your home and the type of siding being installed. The quicker completion time not only reduces disruption to your daily life but also exposes your home to less risk of weather-related damage during the installation process.
Correct Tools and Equipment
Professional siding installers possess the correct tools and equipment necessary for the job. Some of these tools are specialized and may not be in the average homeowner’s toolkit. Attempting to install siding without the proper tools can lead to subpar results and potentially cause damage to the new siding materials.
Warranty and Liability
Most professional siding installers offer warranties on their workmanship. If anything goes wrong with the installation in the future, they’ll come back to fix it at no additional cost to you. Moreover, professionals carry liability insurance that protects you if an accident occurs on your property during the installation. A DIY project doesn’t come with these protections.
Building Codes and Permits
Professionals are knowledgeable about local building codes and permit requirements. They ensure your siding installation complies with all relevant regulations, helping you avoid future problems when you decide to sell your house.
While DIY projects can be satisfying and budget-friendly, some tasks, like siding installation, benefit greatly from the expertise of professionals. The assurance of a job well done, combined with the potential long-term savings from having correctly installed and warrantied siding, make professional installation a worthy investment.
What’s the Most Popular Siding Material?
Understanding the best siding materials is crucial, but it’s also beneficial to examine what’s most popular among homeowners. Trends in siding materials can indicate what materials are tried and true or what’s gaining traction in terms of aesthetics, durability, and cost-effectiveness. Here’s a snapshot of the popularity of different siding materials, based on recent data:
Vinyl siding continues to dominate the market, with approximately 30% of homeowners choosing this material, according to recent industry reports. It’s not surprising given its affordability, easy installation, low maintenance, and wide variety of color options.
Fiber Cement Siding
Fiber cement is the second most popular choice, with around 20% of homeowners selecting this material. It’s known for its durability, resistance to fire and pests, and its mimicry of other materials like wood and stone.
Brick and Stone Siding
Brick and stone siding take the third spot, with about 15% of homeowners opting for these materials. These options are highly durable and require little to no maintenance, though they are on the pricier side.
Approximately 10% of homeowners go with wood siding. Wood offers natural beauty and charm that many homeowners love. However, it requires more maintenance compared to other options.
Metal siding, including steel and aluminum, accounts for about 5% of installations. These materials offer excellent durability, fire resistance, and recyclability. However, they can be prone to denting and scratching.
Other Siding Options
The remaining 20% of homeowners choose various other siding options, including stucco, composite, and more.
Remember, the most popular siding material isn’t necessarily the best one for your specific needs. When choosing siding, it’s crucial to consider factors like your budget, climate, the architectural style of your home, and the level of maintenance you’re willing to undertake. The popularity of a siding material can serve as a reference point, but your unique circumstances should dictate the final choice.
Fire-Resistant Siding: An Essential or an Extra?
When choosing the siding for your home, many factors come into play – aesthetics, durability, cost, and maintenance. However, one often overlooked factor is the fire resistance of the material. With the increasing occurrences of wildfires and urban fires around the world, fire-resistant siding is no longer just an additional feature but could potentially be a life-saving investment for your home.
What is Fire-Resistant Siding?
Fire-resistant or fire-rated siding is designed to resist ignition and slow the spread of fire if one occurs. No siding material is entirely fireproof, but some are far better at resisting and slowing down the spread of flames than others.
The Need for Fire-Resistant Siding
In areas prone to wildfires, fire-resistant siding isn’t just an optional feature; it’s an absolute necessity. Even if you’re not in a wildfire-prone area, fire-resistant siding can provide additional protection in the event of a house or neighborhood fire.
Remember, fire doesn’t just spread from the ground up; it can also spread from house to house, particularly in densely populated areas. Fire-resistant siding could slow down this spread, giving firefighters crucial extra time to get the fire under control and potentially saving your home and the homes around you.
Fire-Resistant Siding Options
Materials such as brick, stone, and fiber cement are highly fire-resistant. These materials do not ignite quickly and can withstand heat for an extended period before showing signs of fire damage:
- Brick and Stone: Naturally non-combustible, brick and stone are among the most fire-resistant materials. They don’t contribute to the spread of fire and can withstand heat for a very long time. However, they are more expensive and require professional installation.
- Fiber Cement: Made of sand, cement, and cellulose fibers, fiber cement siding is also very resistant to fire. While it may eventually burn in a severe fire, it will resist ignition and slow the spread of fire much better than other common siding materials like wood or vinyl.
- Metal Siding: Metal siding, whether steel or aluminum, is non-combustible and will not contribute to a fire. This can be a cost-effective and fire-safe alternative to more expensive materials like brick and stone.
Remember, even the most fire-resistant siding cannot fully protect your home if other fire prevention measures are not in place. Combustible materials near the house, an unkempt lawn, or a poorly maintained roof can all provide a path for fire to reach your home. Thus, fire-resistant siding should be just one component of a comprehensive home fire safety strategy.
Whether you need fire-resistant siding or not depends on various factors, including your area’s fire risk, local building codes, and your peace of mind. In high-risk areas, it could be a wise and potentially life-saving investment. Elsewhere, it might just provide that extra reassurance that your home is well-protected against one of nature’s most destructive forces.
The Final Word on Siding in 2023
Siding is far more than just an aesthetic addition to your home; it plays a pivotal role in protecting your home from harsh weather conditions, insulating your interiors, and significantly contributing to your property’s overall value. With numerous materials on the market, each with its unique set of pros and cons, it can feel a bit daunting to select the right one for your home. This guide aimed to make the decision-making process a little bit easier by delving into the top siding materials of 2023.
Vinyl, fiber cement, brick, stone, wood, and metal are some of the most prevalent options in today’s market. They each cater to varying tastes, budgets, and functional needs. However, what’s more important than going for the most popular material is understanding what would work best for your specific situation.
For homeowners looking for an affordable yet reliable option, vinyl and fiber cement could be excellent choices. For those who prefer a timeless, natural aesthetic and don’t mind the maintenance, wood siding is a classic option. Meanwhile, brick and stone offer unparalleled durability and a unique appearance, and while metal siding may not be as widespread, its durability and recyclability make it an excellent choice for those with sustainability in mind.
When considering the costs, remember to look beyond just the price tag of the siding material itself. Installation costs, potential energy savings, and long-term maintenance costs also play significant roles in your budgeting. As indicated in our guide, professional installation is highly recommended. The expertise and experience that professionals bring can ensure your siding is installed correctly, providing optimal performance and longevity.
Furthermore, remember to take your local climate into account. Some materials are better suited to handle high winds, while others are more energy-efficient, which can contribute to lower energy bills. In this respect, your siding can be a significant contributor to your home’s overall energy efficiency.
Finally, we have explored the trend towards more energy-efficient siding materials and looked at some of the low-cost siding options available. While these can be enticing due to their budget-friendly nature, it’s essential to weigh these initial cost savings against potential long-term performance and durability issues. Your home’s siding is a critical component that demands careful consideration. While the decision can be complex, taking the time to evaluate your options based on your home’s requirements, your aesthetic preferences, your budget, and your region’s climate will ensure that you make the most informed decision possible.