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Shopping for Siding Materials? Compare Looks, Cost and Durability

Choosing the right siding materials for your home renovation project can be quite a challenge. With new technologies and a myriad of options, it's easy to get bogged down. However, if you stick to the basics--durability, appearance and price--selecting quality siding materials becomes easier.

A Look at Popular Siding Materials by Type

Here are some options to consider:

  • Vinyl Siding Materials. Vinyl siding is becoming increasingly popular in new home constructions. While it is a durable material, vinyl is less durable than both wood and masonry. Perhaps the main advantage to vinyl is that it never needs painting--just a sponge cleansing annually. Also, vinyl is typically the least expensive cladding option.
  • Wood Siding Materials. Also called wood clapboard siding, this material is among the oldest type of house siding and found primarily on older and historic homes. Wood siding comes in a wide variety of styles, textures and finishes. Wood is generally moderate in price and requires some maintenance.
  • Fiber Cement Siding Materials. Also known as cement fiber siding or concrete siding, this popular siding material is made from cement mixed with ground sand, cellulose fiber and other ingredients. Cement siding is fire resistant and durable--more so than other siding materials. It is more expensive than vinyl but considerably less expensive than wood.
  • Aluminum Siding Materials. Aluminum siding is a very low maintenance and popular siding choice. It comes in horizontal, vertical panels and a broad array of prefinished colors. It is generally moderate in price, but vinyl or plastic-coated aluminum can be expensive. Most aluminum siding models come with a 35-year warranty.

The bottom line is that all siding materials have benefits and drawbacks to consider. However, most of them perform well within the context of normal daily use--a testament to how far siding materials technology has come over the last decade.