How to Decide Between Vinyl Siding, Wood, or Masonry

It can be challenging to determine whether vinyl siding, wood, or masonry would look best on your home. You will want something that also does a good job of keeping out the wind and moisture and keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It is important to have your home’s cladding replaced if there are signs of decay, weathering, moss, excess moisture, etc.

It is important that you do not undertake this project on a whim because it can be quite expensive and time consuming. If you do decide that it is time, make sure that you put in enough research so you will have the best chance of reaping positive results.

General Siding Overview

The first step of your project will be to choose either vinyl siding, wood, or masonry for the exterior of your home. Take a good look at the architectural style of your home and try to pick the solution that will go best with it. You can also look to your neighbors to see what they have chosen for the outside of their homes. In addition, the matters of price, longevity, insulation, and maintenance should also be considered. Keep in mind that your home’s property value may be affected by your choice, so there is a lot riding on your decision.

Regardless of whether you choose vinyl siding, wood, or masonry, there will be positive and negative aspects. However, depending on your situation you will find a solution where the pros significantly outweigh the cons. Below you will find the three most commonly used exterior cladding of today, this will give you a better idea of the various siding options available to choose from and the benefit of each:

Wood Siding

First we will take a look at genuine wood. This is an attractive, durable, choice that is easy to repair and install. In fact, this has been the preferred choice for siding before polyvinyl was introduced. However it is not without its negatives. It will have to be painted in the beginning and once every few years which will add to its cost. It can also lead to moss and algae if excessive moisture occurs, and it is not as strong as the other siding options available. Besides it’s negative features it is still a favorite of many people as it is real wood and eco friendly.

There are various options to choose from when it comes to wood siding types, namely: Log Siding, Clapboard Siding/lap siding or weather board, Cedar Shake Siding, Wood Shakes, and Engineered Wood Siding.

Pros and Cons of Wood Siding

It has a natural appeal and a warm look, and it also gives your home that authentic style and appeal. Wood siding can take a wide variety of finishes, it can be pre-stained, primed or unfinished in various styles. Wood is very durable and can last a long time if maintained well, and unlike other siding types, it is relatively easy to install and repair. Wood siding in its natural form which has not been treated by any preservatives is more environment friendly than other manufactured siding options.

Wood siding requires more regular maintenance than your other siding alternatives. The paints and stains that need to be used to protect wood siding can be toxic, and can add thousands of dollars to the total cost of the job and future maintenance expenses. Wood siding is subjective to rot which will cause the wood to disintegrate, and is targeted by termites, both of which can compromise the integrity of your home.

Wood Siding Price

The following prices are estimates for a contractor to install the wood siding, prices are subject to seasonal change and differ from contractor to contractor. Below is a rough estimate and should serve as a guideline to wood siding prices:

Product Price Sq.Ft.
Yellow Pine $6.20 – $7.20 1 sq.ft.
Spruce $6.20 – $7.20 1 sq.ft.
Fir Clapboard $6.20 – $7.20 1 sq.ft.
Cedar Clapboard $6.70 – $7.20 1 sq.ft.
Cedar Shakes $8.50 – $9.60 1 sq.ft.
Yellow Pine $4.70 – $5.50 1 sq.ft.
Spruce $4.70 – $5.50 1 sq.ft.
Fir Clapboard $4.70 – $5.50 1 sq.ft.
Cedar Clapboard $4.90 – $5.60 1sq.ft.
Cedar Shakes $5.80 – $8.00 1sq.ft.
Engineered Wood Siding $3.00 – $5.50 1sq.ft.
Engineered Wood Siding $2.50 – $3.00 1sq.ft.
Other Wood Siding Costs
Non painted wood fascia board $2.50 – $3.80 /lin.ft.
Non insulated hardboard siding $3.50 – $7.50 /sq.ft.
Wood siding/paint grade $2.00 – $5.00 /sq.ft.
Wood siding/clear cedar $3.90 – $7.90 /sq.ft.

Vinyl Siding

The next choice is polyvinyl which is currently the most popular. Most people love it for its ultra low maintenance because there is no painting involved. All you really have to do to keep it looking great is to wash it off every now and then. It comes in any color you like and is very inexpensive. However, keep in mind that it can be difficult to repair and can be easily damaged. Vinyl siding is available in many styles and types, namely:

  • Insulated Siding
  • Hand Split Shake
  • Half Round
  • Dutch Lap Smooth
  • Cedar Perfections
  • Board Batten
  • Beaded
  • Straight Wood Grain

A great advantage of vinyl is that it can be made to pretty much any shape out there and therefore there are many options to choose from. Here are some of the options that you have in the different types of vinyl siding:

Traditional Vinyl Siding – It last longer than most other exterior options therefore making it a great choice.

Seamless Vinyl Siding – Is similar to the regular vinyl siding but it does not have seems.

Solid Core Vinyl Siding – This vinyl siding has a solid foam core allowing it to be installed perfectly flat.

Board and Batten Vinyl Siding – Has a rustic finish and is made to look like cedar boards.

Vinyl Shake Siding – Is similar to the Board and batten type of vinyl siding.

Liquid Vinyl Siding – This type of siding is similar to paint and is made of the same products of regular siding.

Pros and Cons of Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is highly durable and can even withstand rocks thrown up by your lawnmower, etc. It is very affordable compared to the other siding options available. It is also low maintenance, it only needs to be washed down with a power hose every now and then. Vinyl can be manufactured into many shape, sizes and style and therefore there are many design options and styles to choose from. This type of siding is mass produced and therefore there will always be replacement pieces if your siding gets damaged.

If moisture gets trapped under the vinyl siding panels the underlying wall surface is vulnerable to mildew, rot and mold. Repairing vinyl is not as easy as repairing wood, and can become a hassle. Although vinyl siding can be recycled, the current technology can only recycle new vinyl which consists of cut off’s from work sites and factory scraps, not siding removed from houses during remodeling. Even thicker grades of vinyl siding can still get damaged by hard impacts, high wind speeds, and heat.

Vinyl Siding Prices

These vinyl siding prices are subject to seasonal change and differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. The following is a rough estimate and should serve as a guideline to national vinyl siding prices:

Product Price Sq.Ft.
Economy Vinyl Siding W/O Soffits $3.25 – $7.35+ 1 sq.ft.
High quality Vinyl Siding W/O Soffits $3.55 – $7.85+ 1 sq.ft.
Fiber Cement Siding W/Painting $4.30 – $8.25+ 1 sq.ft.
Cedar Siding Price W/Painting $4.85 – $9.90+ 1 sq.ft.

Masonry Siding

One final suggestion that you may want to consider is masonry which can be either brick, stone, or stucco. It lasts forever with very little maintenance, but it is also very expensive. Not to mention that it must be installed by a professional which may increase your costs to a large extent. With that in mind it is also the strongest out of all the other siding option and will last the longest. Masonry also mas the least maintenance required to keep it looking in perfect condition. The types of Masonry Siding range from bricking, Stucco siding, cement siding, to stone siding.

Pros and Cons of Masonry Siding

Masonry siding is much tougher and stronger than any of the other siding alternatives. This type of siding can be painted therefore giving home owners a vast amount of design options and styles to choice from. Masonry siding is also considerably more resistant to fire than wood or vinyl siding. You can reduce the carbon footprint of your home by installing masonry siding. It can be much more cost effective in the long run when you compare it to a full scale refurbishment of wood siding.

A disadvantage of masonry siding is its high cost, and the difficulty of labor, exterior painting is also difficult and expensive. It takes a longer period to be installed, and is usually not a DIY job, most types of masonry siding should be installed by an experienced contractor.

Masonry Siding Prices

These masonry siding prices are subject change and differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. The following is a rough estimate and should serve as a guideline to masonry siding prices:

Product Price Sq.Ft.
Brick Siding $8.50+ 1 sq.ft.
Exterior Stucco/sand & cement $6.50 – $10.00 1 sq.ft.
Exterior Stucco/Latex Based $6.50 – $10.00 1 sq.ft.
Repointing/Brick work $6.50 – $10.00 1 sq.ft.
Brick/New installation $6.50 – $10.00 1 sq.ft.
Brick extras/arches over windows, corners $25.00+ Each
Brick cost per 1000 $400.00 – $900.00 n/a
Labour cost per 1000 bricks/you supply sand $500.00+ n/a

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