The most common types of house siding are stucco, stone, brick, wood, aluminum, vinyl and fiber cement. Older homes may have siding made from asbestos, hardwood composites or fiberglass, but builders no longer use these products.
Many of the broad siding categories contain multiple sub-sections, each with its own aesthetic. Wood siding, for example, comes in shakes, shingles, clapboard, planks and board-and-batten. Aluminum and vinyl models are available in vertical and horizontal panels. Both types can be manufactured to resemble wood siding. Budget-conscious homeowners often opt for fiber cement siding, which closely mimics the look of wood, stucco or even brick.
Each type of siding has advantages and disadvantages. Homeowners who want a natural and upscale look often choose wooden siding, accepting the higher maintenance and increased vulnerability to the elements. Brick and stone siding options are among the most expensive to purchase and install. With correct installation and maintenance, however, they can last as long as the house. Fiber cement options are considerably less expensive than the materials they resemble; they also require less maintenance, which cuts costs and saves time over the lifetime of the product. Vinyl provides long-lasting color and low maintenance, but has the potential to crack when the temperature drops. Stucco requires careful professional installation, but often outlasts other siding types.