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)

lpsmartside-lap-trim-house

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. Fiber Cement Siding – Side by Side Comparison

While vinyl siding is among the two most popular options of siding in America, fiber cement siding continues to grow in market share. In a heads up comparison between the two, they both have strong and weak points. According to JamesHardie.com, fiber cement wins in a landslide over vinyl. But let’s take a more neutral approach to this ongoing battle.

fiber cement lap siding porch

Top Comparison Factors

There are several factors to consider in what makes for quality siding. Some are weighted stronger than other considerations, but it’s up to you to decide what you value most. Here are the factors that are often considered most important.

Price Factor

The bottom line, or total cost of siding installed, is often the chief consideration for most homeowners. Vinyl is well known as the most economical siding available. The basic, hollow-back, version costs just $3.50 to $7.00 per sq. ft. to install. Premium vinyl or insulated foam-back vinyl will run $5.00 to $10.00+ per sq. ft. installed.

For a typical American home, the average total cost can range from $8,000 and $20,000 for standard vinyl siding. Compare that to fiber cement which on the same home will cost $14,000 to $28,000 for full installation. This translates to an average price of $6.00 to $12.00 per sq. ft. for the installation of standard fiber cement siding.

Total Cost Verdict: based strictly on which option is more budget friendly, vinyl would be a clear winner.

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