The side of a home above the garage with an orange tinted textured concrete siding with brick around the edges and white wood trim around the top of the garage.

You’ve been in your home for quite a few years and decide to do a little inspection of the exterior to make sure everything is intact. Since moving into a pre-lived home, you’ve never actually thought about how long that siding has been on the walls.

From the view of your backyard garden, you notice some cracks in the panels of your siding and some parts where large chunks are missing near the roof. 

When did this happen? What was the cause of this? How much will it cost to fix this?

You do what any human with a problem does and turn to the web to search for different types of replacement siding, only to find that there are so many different siding options. 

Having dozens of options in front of you can be overwhelming, and choosing the right type of siding for your home will take lots of thought and research.

At Southwest Exteriors, we only offer fiber cement siding. However, our experienced design and installation team have years of experience in different siding materials and what the pros and cons of each of them are.

We know that although we only offer one type of siding, it might not be what you are looking for.

In this article, our goal is to outline the different types of siding for your home and give you the details, pros, and cons of each of them. 

1. Stucco

Stucco is a cement-based material composed of cement, salt, water, and lime. It is most commonly used for siding and walls and is fairly low-cost. 

Stucco can come in a variety of colors and textures and is extremely versatile for many different climates except for areas with excess wetness.

Because it is cement-based, stucco allows for water and moisture to be absorbed and stored in it. This can cause the wall to crumble and water to get into the interior frame of your home. 

2. Vinyl

Vinyl siding is made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and is essentially plastic. It is extremely common and popular for siding but less durable of a material. 

Vinyl siding is also versatile in color and texture options and can even be made to mimic the look of wood.

However, because of its low price and what it is made of, it will not last your lifetime. Over time, it will bend and become misshapen from constant heating and cooling and is not meant to last for very long. 

3. Insulated Vinyl

Insulated vinyl siding is made of a vinyl siding exterior with a foam interior made of expanding polystyrene, or EPS. The insulation is great in making your home more energy-efficient to keep heat and cool air inside your home and outside air out. 

The insulation foam also makes the siding more durable than regular vinyl siding. 

Insulated vinyl siding will come with the same potential problems as vinyl siding, and the installation process is more labor-intensive. 

4. Metal

Metal siding is becoming increasingly more popular and gives your home a certain aesthetic and curb appeal. The most popular types of metal used for siding are steel and aluminum.

It is low maintenance, durable, and also energy-efficient as it will reflect UV rays from your home as opposed to absorbing them. 

Metal siding is on the higher side of siding cost, can be more difficult to remove, and is subject to denting and scratching.

5. Wood

Wood siding has been around for a while and has proven durability and longevity. It gives your home a timeless look and is on the higher end of cost when it comes to siding. 

There are many options of wood to choose from like pine, cedar, redwood, and cypress and are incredibly versatile in styles.

Like with anything wood, the potential of excess water buildup will cause rotting and deterioration. 

6. Engineered Wood

Engineered wood siding is made of wood chips and strands bound together by a resin and compressed into a board. It is stronger than real wood and is more resistant to rot and insect infestation.

However, because it is made of mostly wood, the threat of excess moisture still stands. It will also expand and contract with the weather similar to vinyl, causing it to crack, chip, and split.

7. Masonite

Masonite is a very low-cost siding material made of wood fibers, wax, and other resins to create a synthetic material. It can resemble the look of wood but is nowhere near as durable. 

Because of its wood base, it is subject to rotting, splitting, and overall deterioration against the climate. 

8. Oriented strand boarding

Similar to masonite, oriented strand boarding, or OSB, is composed of wood strands compressed under high heat and pressure. It is similar to plywood. 

It is another inexpensive option for siding but is not proven to last without constant upkeep and care and is susceptible to collecting excess moisture, causing mold, rotting, and overall deterioration. 

9. Brick

Brick siding is another classic and sturdy option for your home siding. You can choose full brick or thin brick which is a less expensive option that still gives the look you are going for.

Brick comes in a variety of colors and is sturdy against fire, insects, and constant weather changes. 

The mortar used to lay the brink can be a bit porous, however, and allow water to build up and deteriorate the cement. It is also a costly job to have brick properly laid but is made to last for a lifetime. 

10. Stone and Stone Veneer

Stone veneer is simply a man-made stone that is popularly used because of its ability to be easily cut and create a uniform shape. Real stone is more expensive than stone veneer, however, both are sturdy materials for home siding.

These two stone siding options give your home a natural and organic look and can be popular for interior siding as well. 

11. Imitation Stone

Imitation or faux stone siding is made from a lightweight foam made of polyurethane, fire retardants, and UV protectants shaped to mimic stone or brick. Faux stone is fairly easy to apply using just glue as opposed to mortar or cement.

It provides insulation for your home and has a high impact resistance though not as durable as real stone. 

12. Fiber Cement

Fiber cement is a material composed of wood fibers, sand, and cement and is the most durable type of siding out there. It is made to last a lifetime and requires little to no maintenance or upkeep. 

It also allows lots of room for customizing the color, style, and layout of the fiber cement panels on your siding. 

Because of its durability and quality, fiber cement siding will be more expensive.

13. Glass Exterior

Though not technically a siding material, having your entire wall made of glass is an option if that is the look you are going for. 

Having an entire wall made of glass comes with its cons. You must consider potential problems like energy efficiency and possible shattering. 

Like with windows, the qualities of the glass are important, and you will want to make sure it has a low infrared percentage, UV percentage, and solar heat gain coefficient. All of these qualities ensure that the glass will protect the inside of your home from solar heat.

An entire glass wall can be the most costly option for siding and is commonly used solely for aesthetic purposes. 

Which siding is best for your home?

With any home remodeling project, it’s important to keep your goals in mind when deciding on a product, contractor, and so on. What’s considered the best in the industry may not be what you are looking for aesthetically or within your budget.

If you are a house flipper upgrading an entire home to resell, you probably don’t want to invest the money into a siding that is made to last a lifetime. 

However, if you are a long-term homeowner, putting the money towards a quality siding that you will never have to worry about may be your best option. 

This is why Southwest Exteriors only offers fiber cement siding from James Hardie because it is proven to last a lifetime with little to no maintenance required. 

We understand that it is not the best option for every homeowner and want to educate you on your options so you can make the best decision for you. 

Curious how much a siding replacement costs? Check out this recent article detailing what all goes into the cost of a siding replacement.