When updating your exterior; material matters. Your roof, doors, windows, and siding all come in a variety of materials that each offer different pros and cons.

Some exterior markets are clearly dominated by popular choices; for example, steel remains the dominant material for entry doors with a market share of just over 50%. However, in the siding market, there is less of an agreement over whether vinyl, cedar, cement, or aluminum is best.

With so many popular options, choosing the right siding can be a tricky task. Use the following beginner’s guide to find the best material for your home:

Vinyl Siding

Finally, vinyl is a well-known and popular synthetic material that graces a huge number of homes, and for good reason. Here are just a few of the many upsides of vinyl siding:

-Low maintenance requirements
-Insect and water resistance
-Huge variety of colors to choose from

In spite of its popularity, vinyl still has its drawbacks. Some homeowners dislike vinyl because it can rattle in the wind, crack under high pressure, and is more likely to burn when exposed to high temperatures.

Aluminum Siding

Aluminum is a soft, fairly lightweight metal that makes a great choice for many home exteriors. Some of the benefits of aluminum siding include:

-Insect-repelling qualities
-Better insulating ability than vinyl siding
-Humidity and moisture resistance
-Low maintenance needs

In spite of these benefits, aluminum siding is not always the best choice for a home. Some say that aluminum scratches and dents easily, which makes it less attractive over time. Aluminum siding with baked-on colors fades over time as well.

Cement Fiber Siding

This type of siding is relatively new and incorporates innovative fiber layers that are held together with a cement mixture to create an extremely durable surface. Some benefits of cement fiber siding include:

-Realistic imitation of wood’s natural beauty
-Impressive resistance to rain, snow, high winds, and fire
-Relatively long lifespan (30 years) with little maintenance

Like other siding options, cement fiber siding has downsides. Cement is heavy, which makes installation costly and time-consuming. Additionally, in some markets, the color options for this style are limited.

Before making your final decision, be sure you’ve weighed the benefits and drawbacks of common siding options. With careful consideration, you can find an attractive and durable siding that you’ll love for decades to come.

Cedar Wood Siding

Wood siding like cedar is prized for its natural beauty and traditional charm. Here are just a few benefits of choosing wood siding:

-Variety of colors, shapes, grains, and stains to choose from
-Lasts for generations with proper maintenance
-Sustainable and biodegradable

In spite of its beauty, wood siding has some drawbacks. Many high-quality species can be expensive, and proper maintenance of wood requires staining and sealing every two or three years which adds to the overall cost.