Three Types of Siding Materials

Your siding fulfills a number of different functions for your property, from protecting against the exterior elements and moisture damage to tying together the entire exterior aesthetic of your property. Different types of building materials perform these functions in different ways. Understanding the differences between some of the most common commercial and residential siding options can help you pick the best one for your needs.


Wood used to be one of the most popular types of siding materials used for both residential and commercial properties, but it has slowly lost favor to vinyl over time. While relatively affordable and good at insulating your home, wood does suffer from a variety of weaknesses. It can be damaged by water very easily, which can lead to warping and rotting, and it is also susceptible to pest damage from insects like termites and carpenter ants. Wood can be painted or stained to any available color, but it will require a new coat every year or so depending on the climate that it is exposed to in order to prevent the aforementioned moisture and insect damage from setting in.


Vinyl siding has replaced wood as the go-to siding option, largely because of its natural resistance to moisture, insect, and weather damage, as well as its low price point, which makes it able to fit into almost every budget. Vinyl is very light lightweight, making it simple and fast to install, and it comes already colored. However, vinyl cannot be painted like other types of siding can, which makes changing the color of your home in the future more expensive as it will require complete replacement. Furthermore, vinyl can become very brittle in cold weather and is not physically durable in the first place, which can lead to breaking if it sustains physical trauma.

Fiber Cement

Fiber cement siding is made exactly as its name would suggest: with cellulose fibers running through cement to give it increased strength and physical durability. Fiber cement is found on both residential and commercial properties, and its main benefit is its low maintenance requirements and long lifespan. Immune to most types of damage, including insect and moisture, and treated to be fire resistant. Fiber cement siding comes pre-colored like vinyl but can be painted at a later date like wood, giving you more customization options in the long term. However, the cost of purchasing and installing fiber cement is on the high end when compared to wood and vinyl, making it only ideal for those willing and able to pay for it.

For more information about your siding options, contact a siding contractor.