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Siding Materials: What Are the Best Types of Siding?

[fa icon="calendar"] May 7, 2019 9:52:00 AM / by Krystal Coddington

Krystal Coddington

What are the best types of siding?

Choosing the right siding for your home is important in Las Vegas, where the intense summer sun and heat and cold winters push most materials to their limits. The right siding can lower your power bills while protecting your home from the elements. However, each type of siding offers different advantages and drawbacks. If you’re thinking about re-siding your home, take some time to learn about the most commonly used materials to determine which one is right for your needs.

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Common Siding Materials

  • Vinyl
  • Wood
  • Engineered Wood
  • Fiber Cement
  • Stucco
  • Liquid Siding
  • Aluminum
  • Steel
  • Synthetic Stone
  • Stone
  • Brick

What Types of Siding Are There?

There’s an incredible variety of siding options for you to choose from depending on your aesthetic preferences, local climate, and budget.

Vinyl Siding

Thanks to its light weight, versatility, and low cost, vinyl siding is the most popular type of siding in the United States. Vinyl siding is made of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, comes in a wide variety of colors, and requires little maintenance aside from occasional power-washing. Each square foot costs anywhere from $2 to $7 and is fairly easy to install, with newer types including insulation that can further reduce long-term costs. However, it tends to warp in the heat or cold and isn’t waterproof, and damaged panels will have to be replaced in whole.

Wood

Wood siding is beloved among homeowners for its natural beauty, ease of installation, and eco-friendliness. Shingle siding typically costs anywhere from $6 to $9 per square foot to install, while clapboard siding can cost $5 to $8. However, wood requires significant upkeep, including biannual applications of clear finishes, three-year applications of stain, or a full repainting every five years. In addition, wood isn’t well-suited to the hot, dry climate you find in Las Vegas, as it can easily warp or become a fire hazard.

Engineered Wood

Those who love the look and texture of wood but can’t install it may be interested in what engineered wood can offer. Engineered wood is made of wood fibers and boasts greater durability than its natural counterpart. Each square foot of engineered wood costs anywhere from $3 to $5 to install, but its full lifespan is unknown. Early installations were highly susceptible to moisture and failed prematurely, but newer options may avoid these problems.

Fiber Cement

Fiber cement siding is a popular new siding option thanks to its ability to mimic many other types of siding and natural materials. Fiber cement is typically made from a mix of wood pulp, cement, and other materials and can resist pests, decay, and rot. Vendors may offer a warranty ranging from 30 to 50 years, but its full lifespan remains unknown, and some customers report delaminating or gapping issues. Installations can cost $5 to $9 per square foot, but old siding must be replaced, which can increase costs by around 5% or more.

Stucco

Stucco is a common sight throughout the Las Vegas Valley, thanks to its insulative properties, ease of repair, and resilience against the hot desert sun. Stucco is typically made of a mix of portland cement or earth, sand, and lime and may include an epoxy coat to prevent damage. Installation costs typically run anywhere from $6 to $9 per square foot, and it can be easily repaired or repainted. Stucco can last anywhere from 50 to 100 years, but it tends to fare poorly in areas with heavy rains and tends to have a dull finish, which may not match your aesthetic preferences.

Liquid Siding

Liquid siding is a newer option for homeowners who are looking for a versatile, low maintenance siding option. Liquid siding is applied to existing siding and adapts to a wide range of exterior surfaces and shapes. It costs anywhere from $3 to $9 per square foot to apply liquid siding to a home, and it often includes a 25 to 30 year warranty. However, you’ll want to make sure you use a reputable contractor to apply the siding, as many homeowners complained about the quality of the application or materials used when liquid siding first hit the market.

Aluminum

Aluminum siding can be a beautiful addition to your home and is a popular choice among homeowners thanks to its durability and ease of installation. Aluminum requires little maintenance and resists corrosion, making it a popular siding for homes in coastal communities. It’s relatively affordable, costing about $3 to $6 per square foot to install, and is resistant to fire, pests, rot, and mold. However, aluminum dents easily, and the metal can adopt a dusty sheen as it oxidizes.

Steel

Steel can be an attractive siding option for homeowners who want a modern look to their home. It is more durable than aluminum, offers greater protection, and leaves little waste during installation given the precision needed to cut it. Steel costs anywhere from $4 to $8 to install but is relatively heavy, making installation more challenging and expensive. In addition, it can rust after installation or if scratches aren’t covered or painted in a timely manner.

Synthetic stone

Synthetic stone is a popular alternative to natural stone, thanks to its lower price, lighter weight, and the wide range of options available for it. It’s usually made of aggregate, sand, cement, and it can mimic a wide range of stone types. Synthetic stone only costs around half as much as regular stone to install, costing about $12 to $25 per square foot. However, it isn’t well-suited to extreme temperatures, and some homeowners complain about its unrealistic look.

Stone

Natural stone is one of the most desirable types of siding thanks to its beauty and strength. The price to install stone ranges from $10 to $36 per square foot, but it requires little maintenance throughout its life. It is highly resistant to fire, pests, and the type of climatic conditions typically seen in the desert. However, in an area susceptible to earthquakes such as Las Vegas, stone is ill-adapted to surviving tremors or shifts in your home’s foundation.

Brick

Brick siding or veneer lends a classic look to a home and is well-suited to desert living. Brick can last over 100 years with maintenance and is resistant to fire, rot, and many kinds of impact damage. However, brick siding is expensive, with each square foot costing anywhere from $6 to $10 per square foot to install. In addition, brick is harder to work with and is less resistant to earthquake damage than other types of siding, which is a factor to consider given Las Vegas’s seismic activity.

What Are the Best Types of Siding?

For homeowners in Las Vegas the best type of siding for a low budget is vinyl, but if you want long-term quality, stucco will give you more bang for your buck. Many homes in Las Vegas are built with stucco siding thanks to its resistance to heat and relative affordability, but modern vinyl siding can withstand the heat and sun better than older versions.

However, if you want a more aesthetic look, many of the other options will be well-suited to your building.

Choosing the right siding can save you time and money on maintenance while offering more protection to your home. Before starting any home improvement project, be sure to find a qualified contractor with a proven track record of success.

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Krystal Coddington

Written by Krystal Coddington