Home Siding Estimates - Perks and Costs of Different Styles

An overview of pros and cons of siding styles and home siding estimates

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Home siding is like clothing for a house: options are vast, some are more stylish than others, some protect you better from the elements, and prices range depending on your preferences. Just as worn, threadbare clothes stop protecting you or giving you the appearance you want, aged home siding suffers the same fate.

When it comes time to redress your house, you may consider a new style when seeking home siding estimates, and among the many options available each has its share of pros and cons.

Popular home siding options include wood clapboard siding, aluminum siding, vinyl siding, cement fiber siding, hardwood cedar siding, wood shingles and shake, plywood siding, stucco, brick siding, brick and veneer, stone siding, and more.

Within those styles are further varieties of ranging quality and home siding estimates. Most styles of siding come in varying grades. Low-grade home siding costs less, but has the shortest lifespan and other issues. Likewise, high-grade siding costs more, but has a longer lifespan and fewer other issues.


The following is an overview of pros and cons for popular home siding options as well as expected home siding estimates for install and purchase. Styles are listed in order of ascending cost. Note that prices listed are a rough guide and may be more or less than home siding estimates in your area.

Plywood Siding:

Cost: $1 to $2 per square foot

Plywood is the great pretender in the home siding world, giving the appearance of real wood at a fraction of the cost. It’s easy to install, is relatively reliable, and generally lasts about three decades if well maintained.

To get more information about siding price estimates, see our article on House Siding Costs.

However, it’s is more flammable than most other options and is susceptible to termites, as well as warping and rot from water damage. Plywood siding should be treated with water repellent and stained when installed and painted every five years.

Wood Clapboard Siding:

Cost: $1.50 to $2 per square foot

Wood clapboard siding gives a traditional look often seen on older homes, replicating the appearance and texture of natural wood grain. It comes in a wide variety of different styles with a low initial cost and is easy to repair.

Wood clapboard siding needs more regular maintenance than most other styles of home siding, including professional paint care every seven years or professional staining every four years. It’s prone to rot, warping, splitting, insect damage, and insects and animals often transform it into their own personal nesting area.

Vinyl Siding:

Cost: $1.50 to $3 per square foot

Vinyl siding is the most popular style available, seen on 32 percent of homes in the United States. It’s popularity is deserved. Vinyl siding is a low-cost option that requires nearly no maintenance: just wash it off regularly with a hose and cloth.

Vinyl siding comes in a wide variety of looks including some that appear eerily similar to wood shake and shingles, fish scales, vertical wood panels, and more.

On the downside, vinyl siding can become brittle and vulnerable to cracking in freezing temperatures. It insulates a home less effectively than most other styles and, if improperly installed, is susceptible to mold and mildew that grows behind the panels.

Aluminum Siding:

Cost: $2.50 to $3.50 per square foot

Aluminum siding passed over wood siding in popularity a few decades ago due to low maintenance and cost. Unlike other options in its price range, aluminum siding is not susceptible to rot and is therefore often preferred in areas that see frequent rain. It’s easy to replace, repair, and maintain--an annual wash with a high-pressure hose will keep it in top form.

That’s a trade-off for some other flaws, however. Aluminum siding can be noisy during rain, is prone to denting, and can be challenging to detail for paint and trim work. It also fades over time.

Hardwood Cedar Siding:

Cost: $4 to $7 per square foot

Hardwood cedar siding is composed of refined and cooked wood chips that are combined with resins to create a water-repellent surface that gives an aesthetic appearance of natural wood.

It’s durable, requires infrequent maintenance, and has a lifespan that could stretch decades.

However, it is not a popular option due to its high cost. It’s also more susceptible to damage from the elements than cement fiber siding while carrying a similar price tag.

Wood Shingles and Shake:

Cost: $5 to $7.50 per square foot

Wood shingles and shake are a popular option that give a traditional appearance often seen on older European homes.

Wood shingles and shake are low-maintenance, requiring an annual powerwashing, and must be treated with mildew repellent every five years or an oil stain every three years.

On the down side, wood shake and shingles are expensive and susceptible damage from intense winds, warping, rot, fading, and splintering.

Cement Fiber Siding:

Cost: $4.50 to $9 per square foot

Cement Fiber Siding is an environmentally-friendly, durable, and virtually maintenance-free option at a moderately high cost. Giving the appearance of natural wood grain, this style has become a popular alternative to more expensive, traditional wood and cement home sidings. It resists termite damage, water damage, and is far less flammable than most other forms of home siding. Evidence of its durability is shown by warranties that often come included with cement fiber siding and stretch as far as 50 years.

Maintenance extends no further than regularly washing the siding with a cloth and hose.

However, cement fiber siding comes with a higher price tag than other faux-wood options and must be installed by a professional. A slight misstep in the installation can leave cement fiber siding susceptible to water damage.


Cost: $4 to $10 per square foot

Stucco is a flat or multi-dimensional siding that’s often seen on traditional homes in tropical climates.

Known for its durability, stucco is a strong insulator, is resistant to fire and damage from the elements, and requires minimal maintenance.

Stucco has a high cost, however, and shows dirt more clearly than than other styles of siding. An annual wash can take care of these unsightly marks.

Brick and Stone Veneer Siding:

Cost: $11 to $15 per square foot

Brick and stone veneer siding offers the look of real stone at half the cost and generally offers better insulation than the real thing. It’s appearance comes as-is, so there’s never a need to stain or paint a home. It’s durable, protects against fire, and requires minimal maintenance.

But like real brick, brick and stone veneer siding is susceptible to rain damage that can seep into the exterior walls. It also comes with a hefty price tag.

Stone Siding:

Cost: $15 to $30 per square foot

Stone is the pinnacle of home siding and marks the building material of choice throughout most of history when money is no object. What landmarks remain from early history are nearly always made of stone, a testament to its durability.

It has nearly no faults. It’s built to last forever, protects against the elements, insects, fire, and requires no maintenance. Plus, it’s been in style since ancient times. That’s a near guarantee it’ll stay in style at least as long as Stonehenge.

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