Ask our experts to find out what type of material is most suitable for your taste and budget: vinyl, plastic, fiber cement or wood.
What to know before you buy
It is important to note that while some synthetic vinyl, plastic, and synthetic coatings give the appearance of wood siding, it is much less than you would have if you opted for the more expensive material.
Hire a professional
We recommend that you hire a professional to install your siding. Our team is able to help you avoid waste, get the right amount of material and prevent future damage from poorly made buildings. You can extend the life of your siding with simple maintenance and repairs.
Low price and minimal maintenance make vinyl by far the most popular siding material. Vinyl does not need painting. It will not deform or twist and is invulnerable to insects and water. But it can rattle, crack, melt and burn.
These shingles and shakes can resemble cedar, even close up. Plastic, like vinyl, requires minimal maintenance. However, the plastic is much thicker than the vinyl and can be two to three times more expensive. The additional cost may be worth it as we find that it withstands impacts better than vinyl in cold weather.
Fiber Cement Siding:
This blend of cement, sand, and cellulose looks the most like real wood and costs about the same as vinyl. The fiber cement coating is fireproof and insect-proof, but water can damage it during freezing and thawing if the paint degrades.
Although wood shingles and layers offer traditional charm, they are costly – wood planks are less expensive than shingles, but even more so than vinyl or fiber cement. The wood is impact resistant but can deform, twist and burn. It is vulnerable to rot, insects and woodpeckers.
When choosing your siding, some features can improve appearance and durability.
- In-depth Profile: In slat-style vinyl, a profile that is raised 3/4 inch or more deepens the shadow lines, making the finish look more like wood. It is also likely to be stiffer and less wavy when installed.
- Double-arm nail area: The best vinyl sheath has a dual-layer mount sheath, which provides stronger attachment and better resistance to strong winds than a single-layer sheath.
- Extra-Long Panels: Some vinyl liners come in lengths of 16 feet or more to reduce the number of seams on long, uninterrupted walls.
- Finishing: For fiber cement, consider whether the added color options and paint cost savings exceed the more extended durability of a factory finish.
- Foam Coating: In addition to making the vinyl coating stiffer, the foam coating adds insulation.