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Siding Materials

So you are looking for siding materials, well you’ve got lots to pick from like vinyl siding, fiber cement siding, cedar siding, composite siding, metal siding and rock siding to name a few.  We will briefly dive into each category to give you a good idea of what type of siding materials you might be interested in.

Vinyl Siding

vinyl shake siding vinyl vertical siding vinyl siding
Vinyl siding is the number #1 most used siding in the nation today. Many people prefer vinyl siding materials over other siding materials because it can be relatively inexpensive, doesn’t require painting, is very low maintenance and typically comes with a 50 year warranty.  Vinyl siding comes in horizontal (lap), vertical, shingle/shake siding & soffits material types.  Many other options are available.
Pros:  low cost, low maintenance, good looking if installed by quality installer
Cons: can’t change the color, ugly if installed by sub-standard installer.
Vinyl siding resourcesvinyl siding | vinyl siding estimates

Fiber Cement Siding

fiber cement siding fiber cement shake siding fiber cement vertical siding
Fiber Cement siding materials are made from compacted layers of fiber and cement.  The product is very heavy and special care must be exercised when installing the product due to health concerns with silica dust from cutting the product.  But never the less, this product is very popular.  It is flame retardant due to it being made from concrete. Some fiber cement products are pre-painted but most are just pre-primed and require painting.  Fiber cement siding materials comes in (lap), vertical T-111, shingle/shake siding & soffits material types.
Pros:  low cost, flame retardant
Cons: needs painting, very heavy, could possibly draw moisture and hold it if not painted correctly.
Fiber Cement siding resources: fiber cement siding | fiber cement siding estimates

Cedar Siding (similar: Redwood)

cedar siding cedar shake siding cedar shake siding
Cedar siding materials are made from cedar trees and are typically more cost prohibited than vinyl or cedar siding – unless of course you end up falling for one of those gimmick vinyl siding products.   Redwood is very similar to cedar but looks a little different. Cedar siding is usually pre-stained or pre-primed at the supplier but not always.  Cedar shake siding materials are often left ‘raw’ and naturally weather and turn a ‘silver’ color, you typically only see this look at the beach since salt is hard on painted surfaces.
Pros:  beautiful, real wood, designed by nature to resist the elements, no real limitations with design.
Cons: more expensive than other options, high maintenance.
Cedar siding resources: cedar siding | cedar siding estimates

Composite Siding (aka: Wood)

wood siding wood shake siding wood vertical siding
Composite siding materials include manufactured wood products.  Typically this category is made from wood chips, wood discs, wood wafers or sawdust.  Many class action lawsuits have occurred with composite siding materials.  Our advice is to steer clear of these products for exterior siding application without extensive research on your part.
Pros:  cheap.
Cons: high failure rate with resulting rot, mold & possible structural damage.
Composite siding resources: failing siding help | siding estimates

Metal Siding (aka: Steel & Aluminum)

aluminum siding corrugated aluminum siding
Metal siding materials include Corrugated Aluminum, Steel & Aluminum lap siding.  Steel and aluminum lap siding are not very common anymore since vinyl siding came out and became popular.  Corrugated aluminum siding on the other hand is very common for barns, pole barn, shops and garages.
Pros:  good for barns and shops.
Cons: aluminum siding dents very easily, steel siding rusts, most types are discontinued.
Composite siding resources: metal siding estimates

Stucco Siding (aka: EIFS)

stucco siding
Stucco siding materials is defined by the look of flat smooth concrete (typically). Real stucco is defined as: A durable finish for exterior walls, usually composed of cement, sand, and lime, and applied while wet. This group includes: real stucco, synthetic stucco* and exterior insulation and finish systems (EIFS)*. *Do your homework and ask questions, this product may not be suitable for your situation.
Pros:  achieves a desired look, works great in dryer climates.
Cons: could fail significantly in wet climates.
Composite siding resources: stucco siding estimates

Rock Siding (aka: Stone)

rock siding
Rock siding materials can be actual rocks or stones or it can be synthetic and much more cost effective manufactured rock siding.  Some people refer to rock siding as stone siding, it’s the same thing.  Rock siding is often used only on the front of a building and even more often as only an accent.
Pros:  beautiful, real rocks last virtually forever, very low maintenance.
Cons: expensive, special care needed when cleaning synthetic rock siding materials.
Composite siding resources: rock siding estimates

Siding Materials Conclusion

There are of course other siding material options but this should give you a very quick overview and ‘cliff note’ version of your siding material choices.  See our resources for more information.  Whatever choice you make, we strongly encourage you to spend a little time up front researching the available siding materials to ensure you pick the right products for you.  You’ll be glad you did!