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Comparing Different Types of House Siding

As you have many types of house windows or doors, you also have several different types of siding to consider for the exterior of your home. They range from affordable vinyl siding to pricey brick and stone siding. Many homes feature two or more different types of siding materials that complement one another.

What are the Main Siding Types?

Here are your options for types of siding materials. These choices cover 95% or more of homes in North America.

  • Vinyl Siding
  • Vinyl Shake and Shingle Siding
  • Aluminum Siding
  • Aluminum Shake and Shingle Siding
  • Wood Siding
  • Wood Shake and Shingle Siding
  • Split Log Siding
  • Fiber Cement Siding
  • Brick Siding
  • Stone Siding
  • Faux Stone Siding
  • Brick Veneer Siding
  • Stucco Siding

House Siding Types and Costs

What types of house siding are there? This guide starts with an overview chart of siding types and the cost per square foot.

Below is more information about the different types of house siding – their pros, cons and more price information including cost factors.

Costs are per square foot. Many siding types are sold by the square, which is enough siding to cover 100 square feet of your home. So, to find the cost per square of these materials, multiply the square foot price by 100. Take a look at our page on costs for house siding for deeper details.

House Siding Cost Per Square Foot
Type Material Cost (1) Installed Cost
Vinyl $1.50 – $2.85 $3.50 – $6.75
Vinyl Shake $3.35 – $6.50 $5.75 – $10.25
Aluminum $2.15 – $3.35 $5.15 – $8.85
Aluminum Shake $4.50 – $7.15 $7.70 – $11.00
Wood / Cedar $2.35 – $8.65 $4.40 – $11.75
Wood Shake $4.30 – $9.65 $7.50 – $12.75
Split Log $3.80 – $7.50 $6.50 – $10.25
Fiber Cement $2.60 – $5.25 $6.45 – $11.80
Brick $8.00 – $16.00 $15.00 – $25.00
Stone $9.00 – $13.50 $16.00 – $33.00
Faux Stone $6.25 – $10.50 $13.50 – $20.25
Brick Veneer $6.50 – $11.50 $10.50 – $18.50
Stucco $6.50 – $11.65 $11.00 – $19.50

Note 1: Home siding cost for the material includes much more than just the siding. Many types require a range of accessories, installation supplies and fasteners.

Types of Siding for Homes

Let’s look at each siding type with advantages and disadvantages, cost and how each is commonly used.

What is Vinyl Siding

vinyl siding

More homes in North America are covered in vinyl siding than any other siding type. Expect vinyl siding to look good for up to 15 years. It will begin to fade with age, and you might want to replace it at that point. If you don’t mind the fading, vinyl siding lasts up to 25 years.

Vinyl is a plastic siding, polyvinyl chloride to be exact, and made from byproducts of petroleum processing.

Options: Thicknesses range from about .040 to .046 inches in thickness. The thicker it is, the more durable and impact-resistant the vinyl siding is.

Insulation value is negligible unless you choose insulated vinyl siding at up to $1.00 per square foot more. In our professional opinion, insulated vinyl siding isn’t worth the money except perhaps in the hottest and coldest climates. The additional cost of the insulation will take 10+ years, and more than 20 years in moderate climates, to recoup through energy cost savings.

Profiles include those meant to mimic double and triple horizontal planks of 3” to 6” each in a few different cuts. For example, a “double-4” siding will be about 8” tall with two “boards” profiled of about 4” each.

Vertical board & batten vinyl siding is also available.

Textures include wood grain, which 75% or more of vinyl siding replicates, and a smooth surface made to imitate sanded wood planks.

The Cost of Vinyl Siding

Of the different types of siding for homes, vinyl is one of the most affordable. That is part of its popularity.

The installed cost of vinyl siding is $3.50 to $6.75 per square foot.


What is Vinyl Shingle Siding

Vinyl Shake and Shingle Siding

This siding material is mostly used as an accent siding, though some homeowners cover the entire exterior with it. Vinyl shingle siding looks fantastic in gables, for instance, or as trim just below the roofline on horizontal sections of wall or on the upper half of the front of a home.

Vinyl shingle siding is sold in panels that average 16” to 24” tall and roughly 36” to 48” wide.

Profiles include the look of wood shingles or shakes, which are the most popular styles. Scalloped shapes, rounded on the bottom, are also available.

The texture of most vinyl shingle siding panels is wood grain, but smooth siding is available from some manufacturers.

The Cost of Vinyl Shingle Siding

Expect estimates of $5.75 to $10.25 to have vinyl shingle siding installed by a siding contractor.


What Is Aluminum Siding

Aluminium siding

Aluminum siding is plank siding made mostly from recycled aluminum – accounting for 60% to almost 100% depending on the brand. Much of it is made from recycled aluminum cans. This siding material was mostly abandoned more than 25 years ago, but recently has made a comeback as homeowners want a sustainable siding that can be recycled rather than dumped in a landfill. However, despite a recent rise in popularity, it is unlikely that aluminum siding will take much market share from vinyl siding. Aluminum is more expensive, and it is easily scratched and dented.

Options: Similar to vinyl siding options, aluminum siding comes in various thicknesses from about 0.019 to 0.025 inches. It’s thin stuff, and that is why it is subject to denting and dings.

Profiles are about the same as with vinyl siding. Most of it is horizontal siding in planks mimicking two or three wood boards. Some board & batten aluminum siding can be found. If you shop at Home Depot, Lowes or other building supply store, board & batten aluminum siding will likely be a special order product.

The texture of most aluminum siding is wood grain, though you’ll find a limited number of smooth siding options too.

The Cost of Aluminum Siding

Installed aluminum siding cost is $5.15 to $8.85 per square foot when you hire a pro for the work.


What Is Aluminum Shingle Siding  

Aluminum Shake and Shingle Siding

Made from stamped aluminum to look like wood shakes or shingles, this aluminum siding material can be used as an accent siding or installed over the entire exterior of your home. It’s a little thicker than standard aluminum siding and more durable. As a result, cost is higher.

Aluminum shakes and shingles manufactured in panels similar in size to vinyl siding shingles and shakes, so roughly 24” tall and up to 48” wide.

The most common profile is that of a split wood shake with deep wood graining. Smooth-cut shingles and scalloped siding is produced as well.

As noted, a heavy wood grain texture is most common, but lighter texturing and smooth shingle profiles are offered by some manufacturers.

The Cost of Aluminum Shingle and Shake Siding

Estimates for professionally installed aluminum siding range from $7.70 to about $11.00 per square foot.


What Is Wood Siding

wood siding

Wood remains one of the most popular types of house siding. Most wood siding sold today is cedar, redwood or other moisture-resistant woods. However, cheaper pine and affordable fir and spruce siding are available. These softwood siding types can be a very durable as long as they are painted as needed to prevent bare wood from being exposed to the elements and starting to rot.

Wood siding is often used to cover an entire home, but it makes a nice complement to stone and brick when the right wood is matched to each. For example, cedar and natural stone are a popular combination in rustic homes and lodges.

Options: Various grades of wood siding is sold. Some, like most softwoods, is only suitable for painting. Better options like cedar and redwood must be sealed, and tint can be added to create stain and sealer in one product.

Profiles: Wood siding is made in many styles including lapped planks, tongue and groove and vertical board & batten. Wider planks can be smooth sawn or rough-cut for a more rustic appearance.

The Cost of Wood Siding

Installed wood siding prices start at about $4.40 per square foot for pine and range to almost $12.00 for cedar. The difficulty of the installation is a major factor with wood and all siding types.


What Is Wood Shake and Shingle Siding

Wood Shake and Shingle Siding

Wood shakes and shingles are almost always cedar, redwood, cypress or other wood type that is naturally resistant to moisture and insects. Wood shingles and shakes can be used on the entire exterior or installed to complement other siding types. They’re most commonly used with natural stone, but can also be found installed with wood plank and even vinyl or aluminum plank siding.

When used in combination with another siding material, wood shakes and shingles might be seen in the gables of the home or installed on the upper half of each exterior wall with stone or plank siding below.

Options: Wood shakes and shingles are cut in lengths from about 16 to 24 inches and several widths. The result is a range of choices to give you the look you want.

Profiles: Smooth-sawn wood shingles give a home a neat, contemporary flare. Rough-cut or split wood shingles and shakes look much more rustic. They are split to slightly different thicknesses to increase shadowing and the depth of the profile. This method enhances the rustic flavor of the siding.

The Cost of Wood Shake and Shingle Siding

Due to higher labor costs, professionally installed wood shake and shingle siding costs $7.50 for cheaper pine material to about $12.75 for better grades of wood.


What Is Split Log Siding

Split Log Siding

Pine, cedar and other wood logs can be cut to form log siding. It gives the affect of a fully log home but at a lower cost. It’s attached either directly to the framing studs of the home or where no sheathing is used or to the exterior sheathing.

Options: Various widths are used starting at about 3.5” up to about 10”. Most log siding is stained and sealed, though it can be painted too. Lap siding, tongue-in-groove style and a few other options are available. Most split log siding is sold within a few hundred miles of where it is cut, so there are few national brands. Look for local manufacturers in your area.

Profiles: Cedar and moisture-resistant woods are generally 1.5” to 2.5” thick and have a height of 4” to 10”. Pine is used to produce thicker siding up to about 4.5” thick. Profiles can be rounded with an edge for overlap, a slight “reveal” to look like log chinking and D-style logs for a more robust appearance (typically from softwoods like pine and fir).

The Cost of Split Log Siding

You’ll receive estimates of about $6.50 to more than $10.00 per square foot for split log siding based on the specific material, its profile and the complexity of the installation.


What Is Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement siding is a mixture of Portland cement, wood fibers, silica (sand) or fly ash and water. Each element has its purpose. The result is a tough, impact-resistant siding that looks like painted wood. This siding material can be expected to last 30 to 50 years before requiring replacement. It is very resistant to fire. Insects and woodpeckers aren’t interested in it. Most fiber cement siding is about .28” to .35” thick.

Factory-applied finishes are guaranteed up to 15 years. Once the finish begins to deteriorate, fiber cement must be painted, since the wood material is vulnerable to absorbing moisture and swelling.

Options: Your basic options are planks up to 12’ or 14’ long and panels which are more square, 2.5’x4’ and similar options. Shingles and shakes are produced by some brands like GAF in a range of widths from about 9” to 14”. A few manufacturers like James Hardie make vertical, board & batten style fiber cement siding.

Profiles: Lap siding is common in various widths from about 6” to 8”. Smooth and woodgrain looks are produced. Some have a bead at the lower end of each plank to mimic a visually appealing plank style that has been traditional for more than a century.

The Cost of Fiber Cement Siding

The quality of fiber cement products differs, so installed cost ranges from roughly $6.50 to almost $12.00 per square foot.


What Is Brick Siding

Brick Siding

Brick is the more expensive types of exterior siding. It is fired clay with additives for strength and durability. Full brick is one of the most expensive siding types, but it lasts indefinitely as long as it and the mortar holding bricks together are properly maintained. Obviously, brick is resistant to the elements. Full brick must be supported by footings, so it is usually installed on new homes, rarely on existing homes that were built with another siding type.

Full brick can be used on the entire exterior, but it is often used with other siding materials. For example, it is common to see homes with a brick front and vinyl siding on the other sides. It might also be installed on the lower half of exterior walls with vinyl, aluminum or wood siding above.

Options: Full brick is produced in a range of colors from deep red and rich brown to lighter colors including rose and nearly white bricks. Most bricks feature a base color with a mottling of other colors.

Profiles: Most bricks are 2.5” to 3” high and 9” to 10” wide.

The Cost of Full Brick Siding

Perhaps the most expensive of the siding materials for homes, full brick costs $15.00 to $25.00 installed.


What Is Stone Siding

stone siding

Genuine stone siding is stone that has been cut into pieces from .75” to about 1.5”. Full stone siding was more common a generation ago but is rarely used today. Because of its weight, stone siding requires footings beneath it. Stone is often used to cover an entire exterior, but perhaps more commonly, it is used to complement wood siding.

Profiles: Your most common options are field stone and ledge stone. Field stone siding is fairly round. Ledge stone is short and squared off on all sides.

The Cost of Genuine Stone Siding

Genuine stone is also one of the most expensive types of siding materials. Find an experienced installer, since it is something of a niche siding. And expect cost of about $16.00 to $33.00 per square foot.


What Is Faux Stone Siding

faux stone siding

Faux stone is made from lightweight cement that has been pigmented to give it the appearance of genuine stone. Some faux stone siding is painted instead, and those products should be avoided since the paint will wear off and leave a dull material behind. Faux stone siding is most often used to complement wood, vinyl and aluminum siding rather than being used on an entire side or exterior of a home.

Profiles: Faux stone siding is available in the same profiles as genuine stone siding – Field stone, ledge stone and other options.

The Cost of Faux Stone Siding

Siding pros charge $13.50 to more than $25.00 per square foot for faux stone siding, aka manufactured stone siding.


What Is Brick Veneer Siding

brick veneer siding

Brick veneer is thin brick material. It’s advantage is that it doesn’t require a footing beneath it, so it is a good choice on a remodeled home. Of course, it works on new construction homes too and is an affordable alternative to full stone. Most brick veneer is sold in panels of roughly 1’ x 2’. However, some of it is sold in individual pieces that are installed a lot like genuine brick. The individual brick veneer pieces are often cut from whole recycled bricks.

Profiles: The same “looks” available in full brick are offered in brick veneer.

The Cost of Brick Veneer Siding

Siding pros charge $10.50 to $18.50 per square foot for brick veneer siding. The labor costs are similar to full brick; the savings are in the material.


What Is Stucco Siding

stucco siding

There are two common types of stucco. The traditional material is cement based and is applied in three coats. The recent evolution of the material has produced synthetic stucco that can be applied in a single coat. Both are in use today. Stucco is a popular siding type where heavy rains are not a major factor in the climate. The stucco can be pigmented for a more lasting color or painted once it is applied or installed and fully cured.

Options: Traditionally, stucco has been applied over a metal or fiberglass lath affixed to the home’s sheathing. A newer approach is to produce stucco panels to install as an assembly. In either case, it is essential to apply a moisture barrier to the home first and to provide proper drainage. The biggest issue with stucco – and it can be with brick and stone too – is moisture trapped between the siding and the sheathing causing rot and mold.

The Cost of Stucco Siding

Stucco installed professionally costs $11.00 to $19.50 per square foot.


Summary

These are your different types of house siding. We’re creating in-depth pages for each with much more information to assist you in your house siding buying decision.