First, consider wood. Wood siding comes in many forms and is a popular choice for those aiming for a natural feel. Wood has a timeless, classic look that most sidings attempt to adopt. The types of wood siding include hand- or machine-cut shingles, clapboard and solid wood. Though the material is readily available and easy to install, it's susceptible to water, fire and insect damage. Its eco-friendly quality has unfortunate safety drawbacks.
Masonite siding is synthetically constructed from cellulose fibers, wax and other resins. Like fiber cement siding, this material is durable and stylish, however it is not weatherproof. The material may buckle when exposed to a rough outdoor environment and has issues with rotting, softening and leaking. Humid weather conditions can cause a buildup of toxic mold within the walls, and the thickened wood fiber material attracts hazardous pests.
Perhaps the cheapest option when it comes to siding is vinyl. Visually, there is no better siding option as manufacturers make vinyl that resembles just about everything using moldings. Vinyl is very low-maintenance but is not watertight. Rain is able to get behind the siding during storms, eventually causing mold and rot.
There are four varieties of fiber cement siding. They are all strong and durable, but they each have unique qualities.
Shingle fiber cement siding comes in individual shakes resembling wood shingles. This style is available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and is easily customizable to complement the style of your home. You can even install shingle fiber cement siding yourself by using caulk and nails to attach individual shingles to a sheet of weatherproof aluminum.
Lap fiber cement siding appears row by row. You can paint, stain, and texturize this siding to fit your needs in a wide range of climates.
Lap siding makes a great DIY project. Just nail each board onto your home's exterior. You need strategic placement of each row to achieve a clean, level look.
Stylish homeowners on a budget will love stucco or brick fiber cement siding. The siding is affordable but resembles high-price stucco. This particular siding will need professional installation for a top-notch look.
Sheet form fiber cement siding is available in large sheets and multiple textures. This low-cost siding option gives homes a modern finish.