5 Siding Materials And The Pros And Cons Of Each

Choosing siding material is a step of paramount importance when designing and building your own house. All the materials available on the market vary significantly according to their visual appeal, operating characteristic and price range.

Siding installation
photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Below, five widely popular siding options will be compared and evaluated to help you choose the one that fits best your project, your budget, and your aesthetic taste.

Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber Cement Siding is made of wood fiber mixed with cement materials. It imitates to a certain extent the elegant look of the natural wood, yet is much more accessible from the financial point of view. This material is fire-resistant and termite-resistant, it doesn’t mold or rot. It is available in a wide variety of styles and shades and can last up to 50 years.

On the flipside, Fiber Cement Siding gets easily scratched and then absorbs moisture. It’s difficult to cut, and you will need to paint it every 10 years. Also, it might crack if installed shoddily and can’t be recycled after being used.

Best Fiber Cement Siding can be purchased with such brands as Allura, Cemplank, GAF, James Hardie, LP SmartSide, MaxiTile, Nichiha. The standard price for this material falls within the range of $1.80 — $5.50.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl Siding is enjoying vast popularity mainly due to its affordable cost and versatility. It comes available in a wide color palette and can boast of particularly easy maintenance. Basically, it’s a DYI product that can be installed with the help of the tools you certainly have at home. Its expected longevity is around 25 years.

Although vinyl is quite a decent insulator, it might not cope with extreme freezing outside. It might crack and leak if installed offhandedly. Also, some designers look down on it for its “cheap plastic” look.

If you opt for Vinyl Siding, these are the most prominent brands to watch for: Alside / ABTCO, CertainTeed, Georgia Pacific (GP), Kaycan, Mastic, Mitten, Timbercrest. The price range for this type of siding from Doylestown siding company will be something around $2.55 — $4.50 per square foot.

Wood Siding

Wood Siding looks premium, yet requires thorough maintenance roughly every 4 years (chalking, staining, painting). If maintained properly, this type of siding can last for up to 100 years, if neglected — as little as 10 years. However, the risk of rodent or insect attacks will always be there, as well as the undesirable probability of catching fire.

This material is available in the form of clapboards of various widths and is relatively easy to customize. Needless to say, it’s absolutely green and eco-friendly.

Wood Siding can be purchased at a price from $2.35 to $7.50 per square foot and is worth every cent spent on it. Cedar Creek and WoodTone brands should be mentioned as its top manufacturers.

Metal siding idea
photo credit: Mark Hogan / Flickr

Metal Siding

Today we are witnessing a long-awaited comeback of Aluminium Siding. It is more durable than its vinyl counterpart and significantly easier to maintain if compared to the wood. Aluminum is eco-friendly and successfully resists mold, weather, insects, and fire. In winter, it will keep your home warm. It’s heavy, still, you can install it yourself, using the tools from the storage.

Unfortunately, metal corrodes after it’s scratched and might get dents. Also, rain or hail won’t let you sleep in silence at night.

If you choose Metal Siding, be ready to pay around $3.15 — $5.65 per square foot. ALSCO, BridgerSteel, EDCO, Gentek, Mastic, Reinke Shakes, Revere, Rollex and TruCedar are known to be its most renowned and reliable producers.

Plastic Siding

The plastic option is considered outdated today. Its numerous drawbacks include its inability to resist weather and provide insulation, as well as its tendency to buckle, crack and fade with the course of time. Plastic Siding is heat sensitive and easily catches fire. After being recycled, it can’t be burnt and breaks down for decades.

If you try to search for Plastic Siding price range or manufacturers, you will be able to find just one particular variety: the above-mentioned Vinyl Siding, made of polyvinyl chloride. It has become widespread thanks to the usage of advanced technologies.


As you see, there is no such kind of siding material that can be considered “best” or “universal”. Each one has its drawbacks as well as its advantages. To put it briefly, our advice would be as follows:

  • Even though Plastic Siding is considered to be an outdated technology, its Vinyl variety is enjoying stable demand and is affordable for any budget.
  • Metal Siding is slightly heavier and costlier than Plastic. It’s a good insulator, but it might corrode with the time.
  • Fiber Cement Siding can be considered as a cheaper analog for natural wood. It’s prone to cracks and scratches, but it resists fire and insects well.
  • Wood Siding is the costliest option of all and requires thorough maintenance. At the same time, it looks premium and is 100% eco-friendly.

When choosing your ideal siding material, pay special attention to the reputation of its manufacturer and make sure to check honest customer reviews that are available on quite a lot of websites.