Selecting The Right Siding

Several factors should be considered when deciding on the type of siding to install on your home. These factors include durability, appearance and architectural styling, cost, maintenance, installation requirements, and the ability to repair or replace in the event of damage.

Durability is a key factor in maintenance and cost. Siding that is easily damaged, may need to be repaired frequently or possibly replaced. Natural products will rot and crack, while some vinyl products will fade over time.

Appearance & Architectural Styling are also important considerations when choosing your siding. The color, texture, and style of siding you choose should enrich your home’s look, not just protect it from the elements.

Cost of new siding is made up of two factors, material costs and labor costs. Be sure to include both when evaluating different types of siding. For example, fiber cement siding is more difficult to install and has a high material cost, but will last for 50 years or more. Because of this, it may actually be less expensive over the life span of the home to install a more durable product.

Maintenance is a key factor in siding selection. Wood products require sealing or painting at regular intervals, while vinyl, cement, & metal require considerably less maintenance. No matter the product you choose, be sure to follow the recommended maintenance.

Installation of sidings vary from quick and easy to challenging and time-intensive.

The Ability to Repair a siding is something that is not frequently considered when starting a new project. However, if you live in an area with extreme weather, it is important. All sidings have different installation methods, which means some can be easily fixed, while others can only be replaced.

Types of Siding

Vinyl Sidings

The most common siding material in North America, vinyl siding provides an appealing look at an inexpensive cost with virtually no maintenance. Vinyl will fade over time, but new materials have minimized the amount of fading that occurs. When buying, you should compare the thickness of the panels as the thicker the panel the more durable and realistic it will be. There are multiple styles including different widths, shingles, shakes, vertical, and specialty options. There are more colors today than ever before and they go all the way through the material, making scratching a concern of the past. It is also easy and quick to install Vinyl Siding, saving on labor costs.

Steel Sidings

Traditionally used for commercial or agricultural buildings, modern metal siding has remained a popular choice for buildings that need a durable covering. It is manufactured in a wide variety of colors, installs easily, is practically maintenance free and has a green product life cycle (frequently made from recycled steel and can be recycled at the end of its life). In addition, metal siding is resistant to adverse weather, has a long life span and is relatively low cost. While slightly more difficult to install than vinyl, steel can be applied quickly and efficiently.

Wood Sidings

The majority of modern sidings all strive to imitate the look of real solid wood siding. However, solid wood (usually cedar or pine) remains a popular choice. With periodic maintenance, wood siding can outlast vinyl and other modern pretenders. The variety of pattern options include traditional clapboard, shakes, shingles, log cabin, shiplap, novelty, and more. Even custom patterns can be made to achieve just the right look. Cedar has natural rot-resistant properties which makes for easier maintenance than other types of wood. Installing wood siding is time consuming and requires caulking, finishing, and special materials that allow the wood to breathe .

Fiber Cement

For those who want the look of wood but not the hassles and costs associated with it, fiber- cement siding is a great alternative. The product is available in a variety of textures that provide the appearance of wood shakes or shingles, stucco, or other textured patterns. Fiber-cement siding is more durable than wood — it is termite-resistant, water resistant, non-combustible, and carries a 50 years warranty depending on manufacturer. Installation can be difficult. The product has to be handled carefully and cutting can be a challenge.


Stone is perhaps the most durable of all building materials. Granite, marble, slate, brick, and other types of stone are beautiful and nearly impervious to the weather. Unfortunately, they are also tend to be expensive to purchase and install. The answer to these problems is engineered stone (a.k.a. Cultured Stone). Engineered stone looks and feels like real stone, but is more affordable and provides for easier installation. Use stone with a variety of other siding products to accent the home’s features and provide architectural variety.

Engineered Wood

Engineered wood, or composite wood, is made with wood byproducts glued together into sheets or individual boards. The most common types are OSB (wafer board) and plywood. Engineered wood usually comes in panels that are easy and inexpensive to install or it may be molded to create the look of traditional clapboards. Because the textured grain is uniform, engineered wood does not look exactly like real wood, but the appearance is more natural than vinyl or aluminum. A good inexpensive engineered wood siding option is T- 111.

Fly Ash

A byproduct of burning coal, fly ash is combined with a blend of polymers to make a versatile product that can be used in a variety of ways, such as exterior siding. It is durable and weather resistant, and can be used on both homes and other buildings. With the durability of wood, it provides resistance to cracking, rotting, splitting and insect infiltration.

Be sure to consider these factors and types before selecting the siding you plan to use. If you need help, do not hesitate to stop in and speak with a Curtis Lumber salesperson. With so many siding options available and in stock, there is guaranteed to be one to fit your project!