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Léa Noémie Plourde-Archer
Léa Noémie
Plourde-Archer

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Exterior Siding : information, installation and material prices

Exterior Siding : information, installation and material prices

Last modified: 2018/07/13 | 9 mins

The curb appeal of your home is more important than you might realize. Not only can the façade greatly affect the resale value but its appearance has a definite impact on how confident and comfortable you’ll feel about your home overall. With this in mind, is it time to install new exterior siding on your house?

When it comes to exterior wall siding options, you may be looking for that decorative finish but it’s important to also consider weatherproofing purposes. If you’re thinking about repairing or completely updating your exterior facade, then we’re here to offer everything you need to know!

Exterior siding house

Prices, pros and cons of various types of exterior sidings:

To consider before an exterior wall renovation

Many different products are available on the market, with prices and lifespans varying from one extreme to another. In order to help you find the option that best suits your needs, we’ve prepared important information including an exterior siding price guide. One of the first things people notice when looking at a house is the exterior siding that covers the outer walls. To parallel with the human body, exterior siding would be equivalent to the skin, covering the important features like the muscles and bones of a building. In addition to improving the house’s general appearance, this material also holds the crucial function of protecting the building from bad weather conditions.

Let’s consider a few key aspects before we dive into the realm of exterior wall renovation. First of all, it’s crucial to mention that most exterior renovations require a permit application. The rules that cover outdoor renovations will greatly vary from city to city and from municipality to municipality. So, before beginning any project, make sure to do ample research into the laws surrounding outdoor renovations including all permits needed.

Another major consideration is your region’s climate... When it comes to choosing the correct exterior wall material, weather plays a huge role. Not only does the material itself matter, but it’s also important to choose the right fasteners to stand up against the weather. For most exterior work, rust-resistant nails or screws will be required.

Finally, the last aspect to contemplate before beginning this project is your budget. It’s normal for certain materials to be more expensive than others, and therefore important that you do your research to remain within the realm of what you’re able to afford. Once all of the preliminary research is done, you’ll be in a much better position to choose a material that works for you.

Vinyl exterior cladding

Years ago, vinyl siding was extremely popular and one of the most widely used products. Take a look around your neighbourhood and you’ll likely come across a home using this material. However, the technology for creating this product has greatly advanced, and thus vinyl siding has come a long way since its burst of popularity.
 

Vinyl siding has many benefits, especially for homeowners on a budget. This material is inexpensive while also being versatile and low maintenance. These are the reasons it has long been a popular exterior siding material. It’s worth mentioning that depending on your personal taste, vinyl siding appears too “plastic.” However, if you’re able to look beyond this, there are plenty of different colour and style options available which can definitely aid in the material's overall appeal.

Not only is there plenty of versatility when working with vinyl siding, the installation process for this material is fairly simple, since it only requires a few tools. Further, you’ll likely be able to find vinyl siding at your local home improvement store. Therefore, this is definitely a DIY project for the novice homeowner among us. Even though the job itself is easy, be careful to follow step-by-step instructions or consult a professional. Bear in mind that any mishaps when installing exterior materials could be costly.

If well maintained, vinyl can last up to forty years. However, bear in mind that this material doesn’t support heat. For this reason, over time the surface will fade if exposed to direct sunlight. Vinyl’s main advantage stems from the fact that it is very affordable:

Prices vary from $2 to $7 per square foot (including installation)

Aluminum exterior cladding

Aluminum cladding offers excellent weather resistance, mostly in terms of wind and temperature variations. Not only is this material extremely durable, but also cost-effective as one of the cheapest siding materials on the market. If involved in a fire, it offers resistance against flames and will not emit toxic fumes, which cannot be said about vinyl.

Under optimal conditions, this type of cladding can last more than 40 years. However, some may not like the industrial look of aluminum siding, as it cannot replicate the appearance of wood like other siding materials. Another drawback of this material is that it can be quite loud if around high winds and is also easily dented.

Prices vary from $4 to $10 per square foot (including installation).

To learn more about this subject, check out:  The pros and cons of aluminum siding.

Blue siding house

Wood exterior cladding

Wood siding is common in remote or rustic areas, but can be found scattered around towns and cities as well. It offers a rich and beautiful look for your home's exterior. Not only does wood siding look lush, it is exceptionally durable if it’s taken care of correctly. If you’re considering installing this type of material, the number one thing to bear in mind is that it will require periodic maintenance. Depending on the region where you live, the maintenance requirements for your wood siding will vary.

In areas that are particularly wet or damp, wood may not be recommended. If you do intend on using it, you’ll need to take extra care by applying a water-resistant varnish as well as chalking. Another note is that wood siding is susceptible to pests and rodent infestations, so do take a few precautions including regular checks as well as pest prevention. If correctly maintained, wood siding can last between 10 and 100 years. It comes in clapboard, cladding, shingles as well as planks of wood.

Although fairly affordable, wooden exterior cladding requires a lot of maintenance. In order to keep its flawless appearance, it will need to be treated with flax oil every five years. Many choose to apply a stain to modify the colour of the wood. If you do this, it will require touch-ups every one to two years. The lifespan of wood cladding really depends on maintenance, and the material can last between 25 and 55 years.

Wood cladding costs between $5 and $14 per square foot (including installation)

Wood-fiber panels

Also known as Cannexel, wood fiber panels have gained popularity in the past few years. Cheaper than wood, Cannexel offers a good imitation of that same look. Compared to pure wood, wood-fiber products hold the advantage of being more resistant to humidity and UV rays. With a lifespan of more than 25 years, this material offers the best value for money and is accessible to most budgets. However, if this siding isn’t well installed, this can lead to the need for numerous repairs as well as some serious maintenance. Further, any stress put on the material can affect its durability.

Wood-fiber panels cost between $3.5 and $11.5 per square foot (including installation).

Fiber cement panels

Fiber cement panels add a modern touch to houses and buildings. This is a hefty material, working hard to block parasites and insect infestations as well as holding up against extreme weather conditions. However, some provinces or municipalities may take issue with this material.  For example, in Quebec the Order of Architects of Quebec have been made aware of many cases where problems appeared shortly after installation: cracks, discolouration, surfaces that tend to chip and so forth.

Companies that produce fiber cement claim that they have fixed these problems and that the products that are currently available on the market are much better. In general, this product should last approximately 40 years. However, before you choose this material, seek advice from the contractor with whom you do business.

Fiber cement panels cost between $3.5 and $8.5 per square foot (including installation)

Brick exterior siding

Brick exterior cladding

One of the classics that never goes out of style. Genuine brick is a beautiful material that is made from fired clay. It`s durable, versatile and comes in a variety of styles, textures and sizes. Brick is generally found on older homes, proving to be able to stand the test of time easily. However, when constructing a newer home with brick, it’s often a veneer that is constructed on top of a home’s wood frame. It’s easy for water to find its way between the bricks, and therefore it is necessary for a membrane to be installed between the brick veneer and the hours. This will prevent any form of degradation from occurring. When installed correctly, brick siding can last a lifetime, or the lifetime of your home at least.

Bricks can seem expensive at first glance but they last nearly a lifetime (more or less 75 years). In general, they don’t need a lot of maintenance. However, you’ll have to check to make sure that there aren’t any cracks that could affect its level of resistance against parasites and bad weather.

In general, brick costs between $10.5 and $43 per square foot (including installation). 

If your exterior cladding is made of bricks and you believe that something is wrong, be sure that you don't have a case of bulging walls. To determine whether or not this is the case, check out Bulging walls- How to identify and solve the issue

Acrylic exterior cladding

Photo: reventementenduitacrylique.ca

Exterior Insulation Finishing System

According to Dave Barriault of Adex Systems, when it comes to exterior insulation finishing systems, you should opt for the second generation of Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems or "EIFS". Contrary to the first generation, the most recent version of EIFS that was launched towards the end of the 90s includes components that provide continuous insulation and water-tightness to the building's envelope. 

This type of siding material also ensures adequate drainage if water infiltrations occur behind the cladding. However, its installation process is not very easy as it includes several important elements and steps that must be taken into consideration. Be sure to choose a contractor that is both qualified and experienced with this type of material.

Second generation EIFS cladding costs approximately 10$/square foot (including the materials and installation). 

Suretouch

Suretouch exterior cladding is in the same category as brick and stone, but at a much lower price. A mould made of polystyrene is installed on the house, and argyle bricks or concrete stones are set on top. This is a pressure-based installation. The mould is fixed to the house with stainless steel sheets and screws.

Having been available for approximately 10 years, this product is currently gaining in popularity. Easy to install, it is also known for its insulating properties (R13.5). Moreover, it offers good ventilation and is weatherproof (providing that the joints are well done). Since it is a relatively new material, information about its durability is hard to come about. However, so far, the feedback is very positive.

The average price for Suretouch is 9 to 10$ per square foot (materials only)

Choosing exterior siding that is durable and well-priced

In some cases, it’s better to invest a larger sum on the spot to get a product that will have a longer lifespan. In the long run, if the material requires little maintenance and offers good durability, this investment will become cost-effective.

Type of exterior siding Average price

Wood exterior siding: 

approx. $5 to $14/square foot

Canexel exterior siding (including installation) :

approx. $3 to $11.50/square foot

Exterior insulation finishing system (including installation) :

approx. $10/ square foot

Vinyl exterior siding :

approx. $2 to $7/square foot

Aluminum siding :

approx. $4 to $10/square foot

Fiber cement panels :

approx. $3.50 to $8.50/square foot

Brick exterior siding :

approx. $10.50 to $45/square foot

Suretouch exterior cladding (materials only): 

approx. $9 to $10/square foot

To find out about the average prices of different home renovation projects, check out our Home renovation price guide. 

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