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9 Types Of Siding Styles: Horizontal, Vertical, Shake and Shingle Options

June 10th, 2021 | 8 min. read

9 Types Of Siding Styles: Horizontal, Vertical, Shake and Shingle Options

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The design element of any home improvement project is just as important as the material and installation. 

If you do not get the aesthetic and style you are looking for, what is the point?

With exterior siding, there are many options available for you to choose what you like best and what will fit your home. 

Southwest Exteriors has been a local siding replacement company for over 30 years. We offer fiber cement James Hardie siding and work to bring you any style, color, and finish you are looking for. 

This article will outline different siding styles, not material types, offered by multiple siding contractors, not just Hardie. 

There are three main types of siding: horizontal, vertical, and shake and shingle. In this article, we will detail the top styles for each type of siding so that you get an idea of the different styles to help in your siding replacement selection.

After reading, you will know the top styles of exterior siding and what they look like. 


Horizontal siding types are made of long boards that are laid horizontally across the siding. They are most commonly made of wood, vinyl, fiber cement, or metal. 

Horizontal siding is the most common type and gives a traditional look. Here, we will look at the different styles of the horizontal siding. 


Clapboard siding is often called lap, beveled, or horizontal siding and the most popular type. 

There are three styles of clapboard siding: traditional lap, dutch lap, and beaded seam. Some styles can be made of different materials and come in a variety of finishes. 

It was most commonly made of wood but siding can now be made of vinyl or fiber cement with a wood grain finish. This way, you have a more durable and low-maintenance type of siding that still has the traditional wooden look.

1. Traditional lap

Traditional lap is the standard style of horizontal lap siding. The boards are typically 4-6 inches wide, and they are laid by nailing the top of the board underneath the bottom of the one above.

The side of a house with brick on the sides looking up with traditional horizontal lap siding.

2. Dutch lap

Dutch lap siding is typically made of vinyl and comes in larger pieces to look as though two panels are connected already. The ridges in the siding make it appear to be made of multiple panels stacked on top of one another. 

Dutch lap lays flatter on the side of the home whereas traditional lap has the layered panels. However, it is a traditional look that fits multiple aesthetics from ranch style to seaside home. 

A warehouse wall of green dutch lap siding with space between the panels.

3. Beaded seam

Beaded seam siding is a more personalized version of traditional clap siding. The bottom of a panel has a V-shaped lip that curls underneath the panel, allowing a higher contrast shadow to fall on the panel below.

This type of siding is traditional to give a Victorian or Colonial style to your home. 

A siding sample in a warehouse of beaded seam siding that is army green.

4. Log lap siding

This type of siding is exactly what it sounds like: siding that looks like a log. These panels are made of wood and have a rounded appearance on the exterior of the siding. 

If you are looking for a traditional, rustic cabin look, log lap siding is for you. 

Now you know the most common types of horizontal siding and better understand the differences between them all. 

A log cabin with a green roof on a gravel road with pine trees in the background.

Photo credit: Alan Hughes. This image was not altered in any way.


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Vertical siding is less common than horizontal or shake, but it gives your home a different look. 

Any type of material of siding can be installed vertically. However, there is only one style in which the siding can be laid. 

5. Board and batten

Board and batten siding is laid vertically using two different sizes of boards. The mainboards are typically one foot wide, and the seams between the boards are covered by skinny board strips called battens.

It can be made out of various materials - wood, aluminum, vinyl, or composite. This is another popular style of siding that reflects a Victorian Gothic yet farmhouse look. 

Reverse board and batten refers to using boards with a smaller width as the baseboard and wider batten over the seams. 

Although vertical siding is less popular than horizontal or shake, it gives your home a different personality and might be what you need to fit your aesthetic wants. 

Board and batten siding sample that is navy blue where the panels are laid vertically with smaller boards placed in between the seams.

Shingle or shake

Shingle and shake siding are commonly used interchangeably, although they are technically different. However, they provide the same style and aesthetic.

Shake siding is split from traditionally a cedar wood block, whereas shingle siding is sawn, giving it a more clean-cut edge. Shake overall has a more rough appearance, and shingles are more smooth and uniform. 

Shingles can be made of wood or other materials like fiber cement or vinyl. Shake is only made of wood, traditionally cedar, and comes in various cuts, each providing a different style. 

Both types of siding are constructed into small rectangular panels placed next to each other to cover the entire siding. These small panels are installed in even, horizontal lines to create uniform spacing from top to bottom.

6. Split shake

This is the traditional style of shake, where the siding pieces are split from a wood block with a raw wooden texture. The length of the boards is cut to a uniform size. 

A close up of split shake siding where the siding is made up of small wooden shingles that have uneven edges and texture.

Photo credit: Boatbuilder. This image was not altered in any way.

7. Staggered shake and shingle

This type of siding is laid in an uneven pattern, not following along a horizontal line.  When cut for shake, the edges are left uneven or staggered rather than cutting them to a straight edge. 

A staggered shingle board can be made as well in vinyl or fiberglass. 

A close up of beige staggered shingle siding where the thing boards are laid unevenly on the siding.

8. Straight-edge shingle

This is the most traditional type of shingle siding. Each piece is uniform in size and texture and is laid to make a straight edge. 

A close up of straight-edge beige shingle siding where the siding is made up of rectangles of varying widths laid on the same horizontal line.

9. Scalloped shingle

Scalloped shingle siding, also known as half-rounded siding, has a uniform rounded edge at the bottom of the panel. 

Though it can be made of material other than wood, most shingles have a wood grain finish. 


A close up of white scalloped shingle siding where the panels are rounded on the bottom and layered on top of each other.

Shake and shingle siding give your home lots of texture and curb appeal. It takes more time to install and is more expensive than horizontal or vertical siding, but it is worth every penny if it is the look you desire. 


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Which siding style is best for me?

Choosing what type of style is best for you depends on your personal style and budget. Doing your research on different styles will help you in deciding which style you like best.

Pinterest is a great resource to find inspiration. You can also drive around your neighborhood and look at houses nearby to see styles you like and don’t like. 

Start with what broad style you like: horizontal, vertical, or shake/shingle. Then, you’ll want to determine what type of material you want your siding to be made of. 

From there, your options are narrowed down to specific styles within that category, and you can determine which you like best based on look, cost, and maintenance required. 

At Southwest Exteriors, we want to bring your dream to a reality. We only want to offer you the highest quality siding paired with a high-quality installation to give you the best siding replacement you can get. 

Curious how much a siding replacement costs? Check out this article that details what factors affect the cost of a siding replacement.


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