Vinyl Home

How to Choose the Right Siding for Your Home

Comparing brick, limestone, stucco, wood and vinyl siding.

When building or renovating a home, siding material is one of the most crucial selections a homeowner will have to make. Just ask the three little pigs. Okay, unlike the pigs’ straw, stick and brick houses, most homes are not actually made of the same material as their siding. But siding will play an important role in protecting your home from the elements, and it’s the first thing anyone will see, so it’s important to keep both climate and aesthetic considerations in mind when selecting siding.

Unfortunately, selecting siding can be a daunting task. There are dozens of options, each with unique structural and aesthetic properties and varying prices. And general contractors will take a number of other factors into consideration when quoting costs. The size, location and style of your home and even the season in which the work is being done will all affect the pricing.

For first-time renovators, it can be hard to know where to start. To help, ESTATENVY has put together this handy primer on siding options. Here are the pros, cons and standard pricing of five of the most popular siding options.

Brick

Average price/sq. ft.: $6–$12

Brick siding boasts a number of the advantages of stone siding—durability, insulation and a classic, luxurious appearance, among others—but comes at a significantly reduced cost, both for material and installation. Unlike stone, which requires skilled masonry to install, brick can be installed quickly and easily by just about any construction pro. Because brick is typically applied externally, it can often be installed over existing siding.

Those concerned more with structural integrity than cosmetic appeal may be advised to look elsewhere, however. Brick, though sturdy and long-lasting, is not water-proof and typically requires a water membrane installed between the structure and the veneer to protect from even mild rain.

Limestone

Average price/sq. ft.: $20–$28

Like brick, limestone is one of the more durable and aesthetically appealing siding solutions available. But unlike lightweight and easily applied brick siding, limestone is extremely heavy and requires expert skill to install, making it one of the most expensive of all siding options.

For those who can afford it, the benefits of limestone are many. The waterproof material is impervious to all but the most severe weather conditions and requires little maintenance. Limestone is also one of the most energy-efficient options, keeping homes cool in warm weather and warm in cool weather.

Stucco

Average price/sq. ft.: $3–$8

One of the more versatile siding options, stucco comes in virtually any color and can be applied in a number of different finishes for different looks. It is also one of the less expensive solutions both in terms of initial installation and maintenance, with most cracks easily fixable by the homeowner.

Major cracks, however, may require expert help, and stucco is not among the most durable siding options. The light cement-based material is vulnerable to inclement weather and provides relatively little insulation on its own.

Wood

Average price/sq. ft.: $1–3

Another versatile siding option, and by far the least expensive, is wood, which can be stained or painted and comes in a number of different styles and modes of application, including vertical boards, sheet siding, drop siding and shingles among others. Even with its vast customization options, wood retains a classic, natural look, at home with most architectural styles.

While wood is relatively easy to install, it requires more maintenance than most other siding options. Because wood is especially vulnerable to heat, water and fire, it requires semi-regular treatments to protect it from the elements.

Vinyl

Average price/sq. ft.: $2–$7

By far the most commonly used siding option for homes in the U.S., vinyl is relatively inexpensive and requires little maintenance. The synthetic material is available in virtually any color and comes in a variety of application modes. Vinyl is also among the easiest siding options to clean, requiring only a light spray to remove dirt and debris.

While vinyl siding is relatively resistant to most weather conditions, it is susceptible to strong winds and can grow mold when exposed to prolonged moisture. But the primary downside of vinyl is, in fact, its ubiquity. The style has become associated with cookie-cutter houses and does little to improve the value of homes.