House Siding Options, Plus Costs and Pros & Cons 2017

There are several different material options for house siding: wood, metal, stone, vinyl, brick, fiber-cement, stucco and more. But, looking at the materials for siding is just scratching the surface! Delving deeper, we see many more options and sub-options. The only limitations are your imagination. We’ll cover primary options plus a few sub-options in this guide. Special note: all cost related information is based mostly on the 2016-2017 information.

Material Category: Wood (4 Primary Options)

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The main options relate to how the material is installed, such as: bevel, shingles, board-and-batten, and split-log. There are numerous sub-options, as wood has several grains, many ways to cut / shape it, and thousands of color choices.

Within this category we include Engineered Wood. Also known as composite wood, man-made wood, or manufactured board. Natural wood obviously comes directly from timber, while the man-made version is manufactured from wood fibers, saw dust, and bonding agents. It’s a strong, light-weight and less expensive alternative. Instead of pieces cut from logs, the material is shaped to match the order for a job.

Wood Siding Costs Installed, Plus ROI

Natural wood material is relatively expensive, considering the cost of initial investment and the ongoing maintenance costs.

On average, natural wood siding costs between $5 to $10 per sq. ft. installed. This range depends on grain and grade mainly, as well as the style option. The costs will be higher in more affluent areas, as natural wood is considered a premium material

Engineered wood costs $3 to $8 per sq. ft. installed. The $8 is high end, and a more fair range is $3 to $5. This option generally requires a little less maintenance.

An average home in America is currently 2,250 sq. ft. From this point forward, when we say “average sized home” we are referencing that figure. Pricing for installation on an entire home will have a fairly wide range, but this is usually due to region, and variations in contractor pricing. If there are other factors, we will note those.

To install natural wood as cladding for an averaged sized home, it costs $14,000 to $27,000. With Engineered Wood, it is half that or $7,000 to $12,000.

ROI for Engineered Wood siding is nearly 79%, and higher than natural wood’s 77%, which is among the lowest for all siding options.

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Vinyl Siding vs. Stucco Cost and Pros and Cons in 2017

The #1 siding material versus the #2 siding material in America. Think you know which is #1 already? Don’t be so quick with that guess.

Comparing Stucco and Vinyl – Top Factors

While both siding materials offer great variation of styles and profiles, each has two primary applications. For vinyl that includes hollow-back (non-insulated) and foam-back (insulated) siding. Likewise, for stucco, it is usually applied in a single coat (less insulation) or in three coats (greater insulation).

Cost Factor

Cost is generally a determining factor for most homeowners. Insulated vinyl siding is more expensive (at $5.00 to $10.00 per sq. ft. installed) than non-insulated (at $3.50 to $7.00 per sq. ft. installed). Yet, the high-end insulated vinyl costs about the same as the low end of Stucco (at $6.00 to $10.00 per sq. ft. installed). Stucco, on average, goes as high as $14.00 per sq. ft. installed. Being more budget-friendly is a significant reason why vinyl is such a popular siding option.

Durability Factor

Durability is the measure of how tough the siding material is and how well it will hold up over time. Both materials score well. With vinyl, the thickness of the siding matters significantly. — This doesn’t include foam-back, but rather it is about the thickness of material itself. The mid-range options are .042 to .046 inches, while top of the line is .055 or higher. Compare this to a single coat of stucco which hovers around a half inch, or about 10 times the thickness of vinyl. 😉

Both materials are fairly tough. Vinyl can withstand wind speeds up to 110 mph, while Stucco can handle wind gusts up to 130 mph. Vinyl gets mixed results on resistance to hail damage. Obviously, thicker siding means more resistance, but even top of the line is susceptible to some damage. Stucco offers better impact resistance, though large enough pieces of hail or other materials could lead to cracks.

Assuming proper installation and avoidance of disasters, both materials will last more than 50 years. With care, vinyl last between 40 and 75 years before needing replacement. Stucco can go 60 to 100 years before it needs replacing, thus making if the more durable option.

Insulation Factor

Comparing the less insulated versions of either is not all that fair, though surprisingly vinyl would win. Stucco gets .20 per inch R-value, or the standard for measuring insulation. The single coat, half inch is going to be fairly low, while hollow-back vinyl comes in around .60.

The triple coat of stucco raises the R-value to, at most .75. While that is decent, it is not even in the same ball park as the 1.75 R-value that foam-back vinyl achieves. 😉

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