What is Siding in Construction?

Are you considering a new look for your home's exterior? Siding is an essential cladding material that covers and protects the building's external frame. It forms a barrier against harsh elements such as sun, rain/snow, heat, and cold, making the interior environment stable and comfortable. Siding also enhances the aesthetics of the building, increasing its value in the market.

 This article discusses various types of siding materials that are available, including aluminum, vinyl, fiber cement, wood, and thatch siding. Each siding type has unique features, advantages, and disadvantages. Are you curious to learn more? Read on to discover the best siding type that suits your building's internal frame, site conditions, and cost considerations.

Siding material comes in various varieties, properties, designs, and durability. The right siding material is selected based on the internal frame of the building (wood or steel frame), site conditions, and cost considerations.

In this article we will be discussing:
  1. What is the need for siding the house?
  2. What are the types of siding?
  3. What is the cost of siding?

What is the Need for Siding for Homes?

  • All buildings do not require siding. For example, buildings made of masonry walls. But buildings that are constructed using internal frames of wood or steel do require siding. 
  • Siding a building not only protects the building from exterior environmental and weather factors but also helps to create a stable and comfortable environment on the interior. 
  • Siding helps enhance the building's aesthetics and thereby increases the selling value of the building.
  • Most siding materials are made from weather-resistant material that facilitates the expansion and contraction of material during moisture or temperature variations.
  • Siding installation is performed either using joints or without joints. Siding without joints might result in future cracks due to the provision of joints for movements and can even result in water damage. 

What are the Types of Siding Materials for Buildings?

Various siding materials have come and gone over the years and very few among them like vinyl, fiber cement, etc are commonly used nowadays. A quick overview of various types of siding for buildings is enlisted and explained below.

1. Thatch Siding

thatch siding

  • Employs thatch to side the roof and walls. Thatch is made from dry vegetation like long straw, water reeds, or combined wheat reeds.
  • They are installed by laying each layer of thatch one over the other and weaved to bring unique patterns.

Thatch Siding




Rustic design feature for the building.

Cheap and traditional.

Sustainable Material

A Design idea that preserves biodiversity

Positive impact on the surroundings


Slowly Inflammable

Not suitable for all building sites.


The figure above is an example of a floating office, which is yet another contemporary structure that revives the beauty of thatch for siding. The building was designed by Attika Architekten and the whole structure sits above the water of the Amsterdam canals.

2. Aluminum Siding

Aluminium sliding is made from aluminum either plain or insulated. Aluminum siding can be of the following specifications:
  • Cheap aluminum siding - 40 gauge
  • Standard aluminum siding-44 gauge 
  • Higher standard aluminum siding - 53 gauge
aluminum siding
Aluminum Siding

As you can see, with the increase in standards, the life expectancy increase and therefore its cost.

The aluminum panels for siding come in both horizontal format and vertical formats. This design flexibility provides the homeowner complete freedom while designing the building exterior. 

Aluminum Siding




Provide excellent insulating properties

Reduce heating and cooling costs.

It is light and easy to install.

Best choice for coastal areas as these sidings resist moisture and prevent rot or the growth of mildew.

Aluminum siding is rust-free, water and moisture-proof, and fire and insect-proof.

Aluminum is recyclable and a choice for builders looking for green construction.

 Aluminum siding dents easily and demands replacement of the complete panel. 

Aluminum siding panels lose color and become dull with time.

It is easily susceptible to scratches.

High-intensity winds or rain storms can cause aluminum to cause pinging noises. 

The highlighting benefits of aluminum make it the best choice for homes and buildings constructed in extremely moist and cold climate regions.

3. Vinyl Siding

After the evolution of aluminum, came the advent of vinyl siding as a result of searching for low-maintenance and low-cost siding material. In the 1960s one-third of homes in the US were sided with vinyl.

vinyl siding
Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding comes either as horizontal lap siding planks or shake or shingle products.

Vinyl Siding




Comes in a range of styles, colors, and textures.

Least expensive and affordable.

Very durable with a warranty of 50 years

Repainting is not required

Quick and professional installation

Undergo cracks in cold temperatures.

Damage requires the replacement of complete panels or planks.

Difficult in finding repair materials as product lines are frequently discontinued.

Susceptible to fire and heat damage.

Vinyl siding is the least expensive option compared to other modern siding options. They are good choices for retrofitting old building exteriors.

4. Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement sidings are manufactured from Portland cement and various natural cellulose wood fibers. Hence it is a resource-efficient material.

fiber cement

Fiber cement siding panels are available in a single prime coat that is painted as wish. It is available in the form of planks, shingles, shakes, or stucco panel styles.

Fiber Cement Siding




fiber cement siding

 Long lasting-50 years

Moisture and insect resistant

Unaffected by heat and flame


Difficult to install as it is heavy

Requires repainting as the appearance demands,

Fiber cement is a moderately expensive siding option used when the client requires a premium appearance with low maintenance needs.

5. Wood Siding

Wood is very versatile in style and employed in a variety of buildings. It can be painted or stained in any color palette desired. It can be painted or stained in any color palette as desired.

wood siding

Wood siding is applied in the form of planks, boards, panels, or shingles. 

Wood Siding




Accepts different stains or paint finishes.

Provide a luxurious authentic look.

Can be repainted.

Basic carpentry skills are only required for installation.

High cost

High maintenance.

Prone to moisture damage. 

Highly inflammable and a poor choice for wildfire-prone areas.

What is the Cost of Siding?

Siding Material


Aluminum Siding

$3 to $6 per square foot

Wood siding

$1 to $10

Vinyl Siding

$ 3 to $8 per square foot

Fiber cement siding

$10 per square foot

For budge-conscious homeowners metal to vinyl siding products are available as they are more durable. Metal is selected over vinyl if the region is prone to the danger of wildfire. Fiber cement and natural wood are very good choices if one can afford them. Obviously, each homeowner must do his or her own due diligence when it comes to siding a home. 

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