Vinyl Siding and Cheap Siding Material Alternatives

Cost effective siding choices explained

The avatar of Rachel Polant

Rachel Polant

Sep 26

Which siding option is the cheapest yet still meets your home’s needs?

Home siding efficacy can be broken down into three factors: durability, efficiency, and longevity. Below, we’ll take at look at the top siding options and how they compare to one another.

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Vinyl siding products

Metal and engineered wood can certainly take a walloping, but the vinyl on the market today can too! There is a reason vinyl siding for a home’s exterior is the most popular choice and has been for over 20 years.

  • $200 per 100 square feet
  • It lasts for at least 30 years, if not more
  • Comes in nearly every color.Resistant to fading. It maintains its color well over the years, even dark colors
  • Highly durable. Won’t dent or get scratched up
  • Provides great insulation, lowering your energy bills
  • Cheapest siding material as far as installation costs go
  • Easy and fast to install
  • Can be installed over existing wood siding
  • Fire-resistant
  • Resists insect infestations

Aluminum Siding Products

Aluminum has been falling out of favor. It fades, dents, scratches, and makes pinging noises. But it is lightweight, energy efficient, and doesn’t hold moisture. Aluminum does especially great in climates that get very cold because the aluminum does not become brittle and crack. Aluminum is also good in coastal areas where there is near constant moisture.

  • $300–$600 per 100 square feet
  • Fire resistant
  • No insect infestations
  • Lasts 30 years or more
  • Won’t hold moisture, so it doesn’t promote mold and mildew growth
  • Good in regions that experience prolonged, freezing temps
  • Good in regions that experience a lot of humidity and rain
  • Dents and scratches easily. Colors fade from sunlight and can warp.

Wood Siding Products

Wood siding will never go out of style the way aluminum has. It is the go-to siding choice of architects, builders, and homeowners of high-end homes. Wood seems to have as many pros as it does cons. It’s really a matter of prioritizing what’s most important to you when it comes to your home’s siding.

  • $500–$800 per 100 square feet
  • Many different woods for unique character and charm
  • Can be made in almost any style: clapboard, shingle, horizontal, vertical
  • Easy to install. Can possibly DIY
  • Can last 40 years or more with excellent maintenance
  • Easy to replace as needed
  • Certain wood species are prone to insect infestations, especially termites. Redwood and Cedar do a much better job at being insect resistant due to unpleasant chemicals in their makeup
  • Can be stained or painted any color
  • Can hold moisture, causing rot
  • Can warp and twist
  • Needs to be repainted or stained frequently
  • Cost of frequent maintenance adds up over the years beyond the initial cost

Engineered Wood Siding

Engineered wood siding is growing in popularity just like Trex decking. It has the look of real wood, but very little of the same maintenance requirements.

  • $500–$600 per square feet
  • Resists insects, moisture, and mold
  • Looks for like real wood than vinyl
  • Doesn’t warp or twist
  • Cheaper than real wood
  • Come in different styles
  • Resistant to damage, such as dents, scratches, and dings
  • No need for special tools, cuts like real wood
  • Lasts about 30 years
  • Does need repainting
  • If the siding’s protective resin coating is breached, it must be sealed immediately or it can rot and deteriorate

Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement siding is gaining traction fast in the siding market. It looks great and is highly durable. It’s also considered an environmentally friendly product to manufacturer.

  • $300 per 100 square feet
  • Can be painted or stained any color, either before or after you install it
  • Can come pre-finished
  • Lasts at least 40 years or more, but it will need repainting every 12–15 years or so
  • Resists insects and rot
  • Fire resistant
  • Good in any climate and withstands high winds well
  • It is very heavy compared to other sidings which can become a problem if the structure holding it up is not sound
    It requires special tools to cut it. And, due to its weight, can crack and break if not handled and installed properly

Stucco Siding Products

Stucco siding is timeless and forever linked to the Southwest in our minds. There is a good reason stucco has survived as a popular siding option for centuries.

  • It can withstand extreme weather, especially heat
  • It is fire, rot, and insect resistant
  • Can be any color and even include mosaic designs
  • Can last 50 or more years if well maintained
  • Can be repaired fairly easily
  • Costs $600–$900 per 100 square feet
  • Virtually maintenance free
  • Can absorb moisture through cracks and cause deterioration and damage to the underlying structure
  • May crack in very cold climates or in very wet ones. Stucco is best in dry regions
  • Does not provide much insulation value

Pick the best siding contractor for the job to get the most out of your siding material

No matter what type of siding you choose to dress your home in, picking the best siding contractor is just as important if not more so. Some siding is more difficult to install and requires special tools and know-how. So, it doesn’t matter if it was the top-of-the-line of siding, if the contractor does a lousy job, your fancy siding just becomes a waste of money, not to mention the damage that will be done to your house because it wasn’t protected properly

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The avatar of Rachel Polant

Rachel Polant

Sep 26