Types of House Siding

By Amanda Lutz Updated February 29, 2024

Your home’s exterior siding is a nod to your personal style, a critical part of your home’s durability, and critical protection from rain and harsh winter weather. There are plenty of siding choices available, whether you’re thinking about remodeling your house or planning to increase your home’s curb appeal. Read about the different types of siding in our guide below, which also offers tips on how to manage the siding installation process.

Brick Siding

Brick siding blends seamlessly with a variety of styles and is a top choice for homeowners who want a charming and elegant design. It’s flame-retardant, insect-resistant, and able to withstand the impact of harsh elements. In other words, it’s a very durable material.

Brick siding typically lasts up to 100 years and is recyclable and biodegradable, making it ideal for environmentally conscious customers. Brick siding is expensive to install and repair, though, and requires waterproof sealant, which can also be pricey.

Composite Siding

Composite siding is a blend of other materials that’s designed to withstand the elements while offering a stylish aesthetic. It is quick to install with do-it-yourself (DIY) techniques, relatively inexpensive, and suits most budgets and project timelines.

Composite siding is not biodegradable, however, and its color fades over time.

Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement siding is a low-maintenance, fire-resistant material composed of cellulose and Portland cement. It’s a high-quality, durable siding type that can mimic the look of wood and other materials. One of the most popular brands of fiber cement siding is James Hardie board.

Fiber cement siding may not be your best bet if you’re on a budget, as it’s more expensive to install than other types. Fiber cement siding isn’t energy-efficient either, which could be a drawback for some eco-friendly homeowners.

Insulated Vinyl Siding

If you like the look and versatility of vinyl siding but live in a cold climate, insulated vinyl siding might work for you. Insulated vinyl siding is a durable upgrade from standard vinyl siding that insulates more effectively. This makes it more cost-effective than other siding types, too.

Insulated vinyl siding requires labor-intensive installation, though, and calls for regular cleaning and immediate fixes in case of damage.

Manufactured Siding

Manufactured exterior siding is made of high-density fiberboard and is water-resistant, fire-resistant, and extremely versatile. This material can last for up to 40 years, and homeowners can very easily install lap panels by themselves.

Manufactured siding features polymerized pigments that require only occasional power washing, so you won’t have to frequently repaint it. This material is one of the most expensive siding options, especially if a professional installs it for you.

Metal Siding

Metal siding is durable, able to withstand extreme weather conditions, and requires less maintenance than comparable options. Metal siding and steel siding are also easy to install, and aluminum siding is also fireproof and pest-resistant.

The downsides of metal siding are that it’s a poor source of insulation and that it isn’t especially soundproof. Because of this, it might not drown out the noise created by a loud storm.

Stone Veneer Siding

If you want the look of brick or stone but can’t afford either, consider investing in lower-cost stone or brick veneer siding. Homeowners can install stone veneer over any kind of exterior surface, and it will last between 25 and 75 years.

Stone veneer siding is nonrecyclable, high maintenance, and tends to break much more easily than real stone. It can also be difficult to install properly because the pieces don’t overlap like standard siding does. This could cause moisture to seep behind the veneer and get trapped. Consider professional installation to avoid these risks.

Stucco Siding

Homes in the Southwest often use stucco siding, which is generally made up of sand, Portland cement, lime, and water. It’s extremely versatile, can last for over 50 years, and can be painted whichever color a homeowner prefers.

Stucco siding has its downsides, though. While it’s cheap to buy stucco itself, installation requires a professional and rarely comes for cheap. Stucco can also crumble easily when hit.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding first became a popular choice in the U.S. in the 1960s and has remained one of the most common types of exterior home siding material. Vinyl siding is extremely versatile and comes in a variety of color options and finishes.

Vinyl siding is weather-resistant in all climates, requires little maintenance, and is available in most hardware and home goods stores. Homeowners only need to clean vinyl siding once a year and can count on it lasting between 30 and 40 years. Vinyl is also one of the most affordable options.

On the other hand, vinyl can fade more quickly than other types of siding, and it’s prone to mold growth if not finished with a waterproof seal.

Wood Siding

Wood siding can give homes a classic and distinguished look, whether it’s real wood or engineered wood siding. You can finish natural wood siding with almost any paint or stain, and though it’s more expensive than other types of siding, the payoff is often worth the investment.

Most types of wood siding require regular maintenance to keep them looking good and to prevent termites. Wood shingles often require repainting or restaining every four to six years for those who live in warm climates. Attend to any damage immediately to prevent the risk of fire or mildew growth.

How to Choose the Best Siding

It can be challenging to find a type of house siding that suits your aesthetic demands and the climate in which you live. Consider the following factors as you make your choice:

Talk to a professional exterior siding contractor as you consider different siding options. A professional can recommend which types of siding would work best for your home and help you nail down potential costs.

Our Recommendation

Your home’s exterior protects you from the rain, wind, sleet, and snow, and you should invest in it accordingly. Your personal taste should be a factor in which siding materials you choose, but remember that the best types of siding are the ones that stand up to typical weather patterns for your area. By researching in advance of installation and working with a reputable siding company to nail down specifics, you’ll find the right siding option.

Types of House Siding FAQ

What are the three major types of board siding?

The three major types of board siding are lap siding, board and batten siding, and drop channel siding. The difference between the three types is a matter of how each uses planks and clapboards, and whether those planks and clapboards run vertically or horizontally.

What is the best siding to use on a house?

The best siding to use on a house depends on the climate where you live and the architecture of your home. Certain types of siding are better for hot climates, while others fare well in cold areas. Consulting siding professionals is a great way to understand what’s ideal for your home.

What is the most durable type of siding?

The most durable types of siding are brick and manufactured siding, but many other types are also durable and long-lasting.

What type of siding is the cheapest?

The types of siding that are cheapest are composite siding and vinyl siding. These aren’t always low cost, though, depending on the color, finish, and architectural style you choose.

How long does siding last?

Siding can last anywhere from a few decades to 100 years, depending on materials and maintenance requirements. Brick and stone are the longest-lasting types of siding. Vinyl and metal siding, on the other hand, typically require replacement every 20 to 30 years.