Types of Siding

A bright new coat of siding can improve a home’s curb appeal and boost its resale value. It can also help fend off harsh weather, insects, and energy bills.

Choosing the right siding material starts with understanding your remodeling project goals. What you choose to clad your house with should match your aesthetic preferences and your budget. Contact Hawkins Siding And Exteriors now!

While traditional wood siding is gorgeous, it has its own set of issues with rot, mold, and damage that can lead to expensive repairs. Engineered wood is an alternative that has been around for years but is growing in popularity due to its durability and ease of maintenance. It is also environmentally friendly because it uses recycled materials and can be manufactured from a number of different types of wood.

Engineered or composite wood products are created using strands, fibers, and flakes of real wood that have been bound together with resin. They are then pressed under high heat to create strong, durable wood panels. The result is a product that is resistant to rot, mold, and insects. It is also moisture resistant, which means it will not warp or swell. It can also be treated with zinc borate, which adds resistance to fungal decay and termite infestation.

These products are used in a variety of ways, from home and industrial construction to furniture development. They are available in many styles and colors to fit a range of aesthetic requirements. They can be a good way to utilize wood waste from sawmills and other processing plants, making them an eco-friendly option as well.

Some types of engineered wood are made with urea formaldehyde (UF) adhesives, which are the cheapest and most common. These are not ideal for exterior exposure, as they can release toxic formaldehyde into the air. Others use phenol formaldehyde or melamine-formaldehyde adhesives, which are safer. However, these are still more expensive than the UF products.

One of the most popular wood composites is oriented strand board, also known as OSB or plyboard. This is a wood structural panel that can be cut and formed to fit various sizes of openings, like joists and rafters in home or industrial construction. It is also popular for exterior deck flooring, railings, fencing, and benches.

Other wood composites include cellular phone, particleboard, hardboard, and veneer. Each of these is made with a layer of veneers, strands, or flakes bonded to other pieces with moisture-resistant glues under extreme heat and pressure. Some products also have an additional step of adding a wax coating, which improves the engineered wood’s resistance to moisture damage and fungal decay.

Natural Wood

There are many options when it comes to natural wood siding, and each type has its own unique aesthetic. From the historical elegance of clapboard siding to the rustic charisma of shingle, board-and-batten and log sidings, homeowners have a wide range of styles to choose from when building or renovating their home. Besides the visual appeal, wood siding also offers many practical benefits including durability and longevity. However, natural wood is prone to damage and needs regular maintenance and upkeep to protect it from the elements.

For this reason, more and more homeowners are choosing wood alternatives like Everlast polymeric cladding to provide the look of natural wood with less worry. Everlast features impressions of real cedar on its panels to give a true-to-life wood appearance, but is made out of a non-porous material that will not rot, require painting or discolor over time.

In addition to traditional cedar and pine, there are several other types of wood that can be used for cladding, such as spruce, pine, and cypress. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, but the main benefit is that they are durable and can withstand the harsh conditions found outside.

Spruce wood is a popular choice for clapboard and board sidings because it has a smooth surface and is available in long lengths. However, spruce is vulnerable to moisture and will need protection from rot. Likewise, pine wood is another common option for cladding because it has a smooth finish and is also affordable and sturdy.

Other popular choices include Siberian larch and oak wood, but they can be difficult to find in long lengths. Cumaru is another alternative, and while it has a similar texture to pine or spruce, it can last for generations when properly maintained. Cumaru is also resistant to fungus and insect damage, making it an excellent choice for homes in wet climates.

Massaranduba is another type of Brazilian timber that is gaining popularity for its ability to resist rot, mold and insects. Its dark color pigmentation also helps it stand up to sunlight exposure, preventing the interior of a home from becoming too warm.

Fiber Cement

As its name implies, fiber cement siding combines portland cement with wood (cellulose) fibers and other ingredients like sand or silica. It’s then pressed into molds to create either long siding planks or shingles.

Unlike vinyl and some other siding materials, this durable cladding resists heat and moisture without cracking or warping. It’s also noncombustible, which makes it a great choice for homes in arid locales prone to wildfires. And in coastal areas, it resists the effects of salt air and harsh sunlight.

It’s also incredibly resilient to insects, including termites and fungi. Those pests can chew, scratch and damage vinyl or wood siding, but can’t penetrate the hard, brittle fiber cement.

Homeowners can expect their fiber cement cladding to last for decades, with 30- to 50-year warranties being fairly typical. Its sturdy composition means it stands up well to severe weather, enduring wind gusts up to 130mph and rainstorms of up to 30 inches per hour.

Depending on the manufacturer, fiber cement cladding can come pre-painted or pre-primed, and can be tinted to virtually any hue desired by the homeowner. It’s important to note, however, that this material does require periodic repainting since it’s not as color-fast as vinyl.

When choosing a color, homeowners should consider how often they’re willing to do maintenance chores and how their home is positioned to the sun. Aside from repainting, the care and upkeep for this type of siding is relatively light. Generally, it’s a good idea to wash with a garden hose every few months and occasionally scrub down the surface with mild dish soap and a nylon brush.

Compared to brick, synthetic stucco and some wood siding options, fiber cement is less expensive. However, the manufacturing process does generate a fair amount of waste, and it isn’t as environmentally-friendly as some other materials. The RGB Construction team is well-versed in fiber cement installation and can help homeowners explore color options that complement their aesthetic preferences.


Vinyl siding is a popular choice for homeowners who want the look of traditional wood without the rot, pests, and constant maintenance. The polyvinyl chloride in vinyl is immune to these elements and the material will stay beautiful with little more than a rinse from the hose. It’s also a good option for those who are concerned about environmental impact. The production of vinyl siding releases low levels of greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide, and carcinogens.

One of the biggest draws to vinyl is its comparatively low cost. It’s also easy to install, saving money on labor costs as well. Vinyl is a versatile choice because it comes in a wide range of colors and textures. It can also be shaped and trimmed to create unique designer accents like gables, dormers, and other features that can help a house stand out from the street.

Another benefit to consider is the durability and low maintenance of vinyl. A vinyl siding that’s been installed properly is resistant to rain, wind, and sun damage. In fact, many manufacturers offer a 50 year warranty on their products, proving how durable they are. The color of vinyl is baked-in, meaning that it can’t be scratched or stripped like other cladding materials. This saves time and money on paintbrushes, touch-ups, or full replacements over the course of a home’s life.

It is important to note, however, that vinyl doesn’t insulate well. This can cause problems in climates with extreme cold or hot temperatures. Additionally, if vinyl is painted, the paint may fade or crack over time. This can make the vinyl less attractive to potential homebuyers if you decide to sell at some point. If this is a concern, it may be worth considering other options for your exterior cladding.