Freeman Exteriors

Top 4 Home Siding Options: Pros and Cons of Each

home siding

Your home’s siding is a crucial part of your home’s exterior. In addition to determining how your home looks, it also provides protection from the elements. When choosing siding for your home, it is important to understand your options and the pros and cons of each type of home siding.

Types of Siding

Today, there are many types of siding you can choose from. However, they fall into four basic types.

These are:

  • Vinyl
  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Cement

1. Vinyl Home Siding

Vinyl siding is the most economical siding option, which makes it popular with many homeowners. Vinyl siding has been around for 6 decades, so it has a long history of performance. Today, 1/3 of today’s homes have some type of vinyl siding.

Vinyl siding comes in nearly every color you can imagine. There is also a wide variety of textures and several types you can choose from.


  • The least expensive type of siding
  • Durable
  • Low maintenance


  • Can’t be repaired if damaged; must be replaced
  • Can crack in extremely cold weather
  • Can be damaged by fire

Horizontal Vinyl Siding

Horizontal vinyl siding is the most common type of vinyl siding. As the name suggests, this type of siding is installed horizontally. It’s a great choice if you want a traditional appearance and the least expensive type of siding.


  • Easy installation
  • The least expensive type of siding


  • Water can accumulate in cracks
  • Hard to clean

Vertical Siding

Vertical siding offers a unique look. This trend is growing in popularity, particularly in the Western states. It was once used for barns because it mimics the traditional look of a barn. Today, some homeowners also choose this type of siding for their homes.


  • Unique appearance
  • Water doesn’t accumulate in cracks


  • More expensive than horizontal siding
  • More complicated to install than horizontal siding

Insulated Vinyl Siding

The last type of vinyl siding you should know about is insulated vinyl siding. Insulated vinyl siding is essentially standard vinyl siding with insulation added to each piece. The insulated is made from polystyrene.

It increases your home’s energy efficiency, reduces outside noise, and increases the durability of the siding. However, it can be significantly more expensive than regular vinyl siding.


  • Increases energy efficiency
  • Improves durability


  • More expensive than other vinyl siding options
  • Limited color and style options

2. Wood Siding

Wood siding was the most common option for siding for centuries. Generally, wood siding was chosen when brick wasn’t feasible. Wood siding is still popular, particularly if you want a traditional look for your home.

Wood siding is often divided by the type of wood it’s made from. Pine is a popular and relatively inexpensive choice. Cypress, spruce, and fir are also reasonable options. More expensive options include redwood and cedar, which provide a beautiful appearance.


  • Durable
  • Environmental friendly
  • Increases home value
  • Many styles and types of wood to choose from


  • More expensive than vinyl
  • Requires regular maintenance
  • Poor fire rating

Clapboard or Lap Siding

Wood clapboard siding was the most common type for centuries. In fact, you can see it in many historical homes today.

Plank or Board Siding

Wood plank or board siding is another option. This type of siding is vertical instead of horizontal.

Plywood siding is another option you can consider. Instead of individual boards, plywood sheets are used. The sheets have a face pattern that looks like traditional wood styles.

Shake and Shingle

Lastly, you can consider shake and shingle siding. This type uses wooden shingles. They look similar to roof shingles, but they are larger. This can give your home an authentic or whimsical vibe.

Engineered Wood Siding

Engineered wood siding is made from wood fibers combined with a resin. It’s less expensive than traditional wood siding and offers greater durability. However, it has some downsides of traditional wood, including being susceptible to fire and moisture.


  • Less expensive than traditional wood
  • More durable than traditional wood


  • Requires repainting
  • More expensive than vinyl

Log Siding

Log siding is another type of wood siding you can consider. Rather than being made from wood planks or boards, log siding is made with logs that have been cut in half. This provides a log cabin look.


  • Log cabin appearance
  • Highly insulating


  • More expensive than vinyl, metal, and some types of wood siding
  • Susceptible to mold, mildew, and insect damage

3. Metal Home Siding

Metal siding has a long history of use, becoming popular in the 1950s. Aluminum siding came onto the scene first. In recent years, the availability of inexpensive steel has made it a viable option as well.

Like other types of siding, you can choose a horizontal or vertical style. You can also find shake-style metal siding. Some styles look very similar to wood and can be nearly indistinguishable from wood siding. Some types are coated with vinyl or plastic, which gives them the look of vinyl siding with added durability.


  • Very durable
  • Heat and fire-resistant
  • Not damaged by cold temperatures
  • Low maintenance


  • Can be dented
  • The finish can fade over time
  • Can be noisy during severe weather
  • Difficult to repaint

4. Cement Siding

Cement siding is another option. You may be surprised to learn that cement can be used for siding. The most popular type of cement home siding is fiber cement siding. This type is created with wood fibers and concrete.

It’s environmentally friendly, because it’s made with recycled materials. It is nearly indistinguishable from wood, even when you look closely.

You can choose lap style siding, shake style, or stucco style. You can choose a style that is already finished with your chosen color. The other option is to choose cement siding that has been primed, allowing you to paint them any color you choose.


  • Extremely durable
  • Very low maintenance
  • Resistant to insects and moisture
  • Fire-proof


  • More expensive than vinyl and metal siding
  • Hard for DIY homeowners to install
  • Requires occasional repainting

Home Siding at Freeman Exteriors

If you need home siding in Champaign, IL, contact us at Freeman Exteriors. We will take the time to learn the style you want to achieve and what you want in your siding when we provide you with a free estimate. Schedule your appointment today by calling us at 217-355-5447.


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