House Siding Options, Plus Costs, Pros & Cons 2020

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 2020 information.

1. Wood
2. Vinyl
3. Fiber Cement
4. Stucco
5. Brick
6. Metal
7. Stone

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 also include Engineered Wood siding. 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: Natural Wood vs. Engineered Wood Siding, 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 $8.50 to $14.50 per square of natural wood siding installed, depending on the project scope and complexity, trim options, and your home’s location. This price range also depends heavily on the grain and grade of wood used, as well as specific style and options. The costs will be higher in more affluent areas, as natural wood is considered a premium material that can also help a property stand our in a neighborhood with high-priced homes.

For engineered wood siding, you can expect to pay between $7.50 and $13.50 per square foot installed. The $11.00 to $13.50 per sq.ft. range is on the high-end, and a more fair price range would be between $7.50 and $11.00 per sq.ft. installed.

Pricing for the installation on the entire house will have a fairly wide range, but this is usually due to your home’s region and local real estate values, as well as normal variations in pricing among different contractors in your area.

To install natural wood as cladding for an averaged sized home, it costs between $17,000 and $29,000 for a typical house with 2,000 sq.ft. of siding.

With Engineered Wood, your total project cost will be between $15,000 and $27,000 for a typical house with 2,000 sq.ft. of siding.

ROI (Cost-to-Value Return) for the Engineered Wood siding is nearly 79% (cost-to-value return), which is higher than the natural wood’s 77% cost-to-value return normally recouped at resale.

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LP SmartSide Siding Cost vs. Fiber Cement HardiePlank Siding

The top two engineered lap siding brands are the defending champion HardiePlank fiber cement and the up-and-coming contender LP SmartSide engineered wood siding.

LP SmartSide Siding on a cabin style home

This guide covers the HardiePlank vs. LP SmartSide comparison from all angles that matter to a homeowner – Looks, durability, cost of materials and installation, and more. We’ll uncover the differences between the two to help you decide which one fits your project requirements better.

Cost

Expect to pay about $10.00 per square foot to install LP SmartSide siding. For HardiePlank siding, your costs will about $11.00 per square foot installed.

Note: LP’s SmartSide relative cost advantage is due to slightly lower material and installation costs thanks to its lighter weight.

The possible cost range is broad, however, based on factors spelled out below. This table breaks down costs for these two leading siding alternatives to natural wood.

HardiePlank LP SmartSide
Material Cost per sq.ft. $2.00 – $4.00 $1.85 – $3.75
Installation Cost per sq.ft. $5.50 – $10.00 $3.50 – $9.00
Total Cost Range per sq.ft. $7.50 – $14.00 $5.35 – $12.75
Average Cost per sq.ft. $9.85-$11.50 $8.65 – $10.50
Cost to Value Recouped 83% – 86% 82% – 87%
HardiePlank Siding vs LP Smart Side

As you can see in the table above, these are comparably priced materials, so unless you’re watching pennies very closely, this probably won’t be the deciding factor.

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