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Léa Noémie Plourde-Archer
Léa Noémie
Plourde-Archer

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Exterior Siding: Which Material Should You Choose?

Exterior Siding: Which Material Should You Choose?

Last modified: 2018/06/13 | 4 mins

RenoQuotes.com has prepared a comparison chart presenting different exterior siding materials that are available on the market.  The most commonly used are brick, aluminium and vinyl. 

When choosing your exterior siding material, one of the most important things to take into consideration are the weather conditions that prevail in the area where you live. Don't hesitate to ask your contractor for some advice. They will be able to help you. Try to determine your budget.

Prices vary greatly from one material to another. You should also take into account the amount of time you are willing to put into the maintenance of the outdoor siding. If you opt for wood, know that it will require a lot more work than brick, for example.

Different types of exterior siding materials

Exterior siding type Characteristics Pros Cons

Vinyl siding

  • One of the most popular choices;

  • Available in different colours and textures;

  • Vinyl siding costs approximately $2 to $7/square foot.

  • Light;

  • Affordable;

  • Easy to install;

  • Shock and scratch resistant.

  • If it isn't properly installed, the material can warp;

  • Vinyl can be affected by the temperature;

  • Under sun rays, dark colours can become pale.

Aluminum siding

  • It can be painted to match any colour you wish

  • Click here to learn more about the pros and cons of aluminum siding;

  • Aluminum siding costs about $4 to $10/square foot. 

  • Very resistant to strong winds and temperature changes;

  • Doesn't warp;

  • Durable material.

  • Less shock resistant than vinyl;

  • If bumped, chances are a permanent mark will appear;

  • Not fire resistant.

Wood siding

  • Gives extra value to the house due to its noble nature;

  • Galvanized or aluminum nails must be used to prevent rust;

  • It can be painted or stained;

  • Available in many different colours and textures;

  • It can be used on one section of the wall, in order to add a nice stylish touch to the house;

  • Between $5 and $14 per square foot

  • Affordable;

  • Nice look

  • Beware of fires!

  • Must be treated to prevent mold;

  • Requires more maintenance compared to other materials: flax oil treatment every 5 years;

  • Contact your local authorities to know if this type of siding is allowed.

Wood fiber siding (cannexel)

  • Engineered wood: wood fiber, resin and wax;

  • Top quality wood imitation;

  • Found in many different colours, textures and designs;

  • Approx. $3 to $11.50 per sq. foot, including installation.

  • Requires little maintenance;
  • Better resistance against humidity and UV rays compared to regular wood;
  • Good durability;
  • Good for the environment.
 

Fibro-cement panel

  • Mix of cement, sand, and cellulose;
  • Can be smooth or textured, sold in boards or panels;
  • Architect associations warn owners about using this type of material;
  • Fibrocement panels cost approximately $3.50 to $8.50/square foot.
  • It is apparently very resistant against fires and bad weather;
  • Unlikely to develop mould or to attract parasites;
  • Some affirm that it is very durable (although others have disputed this fact)**
  • Doesn't require a lot of maintenance.
  • **The Quebec Architect's association has noted that although it has been presented as durable, it is not as resistant as it should be: cracks, discolouration and chipping are common problems. However, manufacturers say that this is not true.
  • Manufacturers say that past problems have been fixed. You'll have to check with your contractor to get their opinon on the matter.

Brick exterior siding

  • Still a very popular option amongst home owners;
  • Brick exterior siding costs around $10.50 to $43/square foot. 
  • Very good for soundproofing;
  • Very resistant;
  • Lasts a long time;
  • Requires little maintenance.
  • Expensive;
  • The house's structure must be thicker to support the weight of the brick. Therefore, this may create extra costs;
  • Can lead to serious problems such as bulging walls.

Bricks without mortar

  • Made of calcite and cement;
  • Different colours available.
  • Can be installed on top of the mortar;
  • Easier to install than other types of bricks;
  • Requires a little bit of maintenance.
  • Installation should be done by a professional as it requires more work than putting up vinyl or aluminum siding.

Acrylic coating

  • Factory made products;
  • Mix of cement or expanded polystyrene with an acrylic base;
  • Approx. $8.50 to $10 per sq. foot, including installation.
  • Gives a nice look to the house;
  • Resistant to bad weather.
  • Must be installed by a professional;
  • Making this product creates a lot of pollution.

Suretouch

  • Ressembles brick and stone siding but costs a lot less money;
  • Bricks or stones are installed on a polystyrene mold which is bolted to the house using stainless steel sheets and screws;
  • Known for its insulating properties; 
  • Esthetically pleasing;
  • Costs approximately 9 to 10$ per square foot (materials only).
  • Easy to install;
  • Much quicker to install than brick;
  • Insulation (R13.5);
  • Same advantages as brick and stone but costs a lot less money;
  • Offers good ventilation;
  • Weatherproof (if the joints are well done);
  • Possible to install it on a new home or an older building.
  • If not properly installed, certain problems can occur (especially when it comes to the joints);
  • Since the product is relatively new, there is not a lot of documentation about its durability. However, up to now, the feedback is positive. 

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

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