Blog: Siding Installation, Metal Roofing, Shingle Roofing in Riverdale, Midland, & Bay City MI

Types of Siding

Published April 12th, 2021 by Energy Plus Home Improvements

Types of Siding!

Which Types of Siding Work Best for You?

House Siding

Few home improvements or repairs can improve the appearance, curb appeal and value of your house like new house siding.

House siding materials have varied over the years and have included:




Hardboard Composite



These Types of Siding all have their different pros and cons and it all depends on you the customer and what works best for you. But here is the break down on these products.

Wood Siding

Wood Plank, Beveled Wood Siding and Wood Shingles

Wood clapboard siding is among the oldest types of house siding. You can see its beauty on older and historic homes.

Its disadvantage is that it is not low maintenance, requiring painting and caulking and is often replaced with aluminum or vinyl siding.

Frequently when that happens, a lot of the charm and detail of the wood home is lost.

So if you own a wood clapboard or wood shingled home you probably own a beautiful home.

As you know keeping it looking good requires taking care of paint problems and regular exterior paint maintenance.

And there are often special considerations for painting historic homes.


Wood siding available in clapboard, plank and shingle styles

Wide variety of styles, textures and finishes.

Wood clapboard or beveled siding is horizontal and has overlapping joints.

Wood plank or board siding is vertical and comes in board and batten, board on board or channel-groove or tongue and groove styles.

Board siding also comes in a plywood version often called T-111® which is just exterior plywood with different face treatments and groove patterns to emulate a traditional board and batten design.


Fairly easy to repair but difficult to install over existing siding.

Requires an exterior finish such as paint or stain.

Can be damaged by rot, insects, warping or splitting.


Cost varies widely by type of wood species and style of siding and exterior finish.

T-111 is least expensive.


Painted finishes tend to require higher maintenance and require good exterior house painting preparation.

Wood siding is prone to paint problems if the home is not properly ventilated.

Stained finishes usually require lower maintenance.

Aluminum Siding

With the maintenance associated with wood siding came the desire for an alternative.

Aluminum siding fit the bill and has evolved over the years into a very low maintenance and popular siding choice for newer homes.

Aluminum siding comes in strips and has perforated holes at the top for fastening into the exterior wall and interlocking flanges top and bottom to seal against weather.


Comes in a broad range of styles including horizontal, vertical panels and broad array of prefinished colors (sometimes this is not a good thing…)

Available in a variety of textures including wood shake/shingle style.


Common retrofit siding and has often, unfortunately, been applied over wood siding in many home “improvement” projects

where maintenance won out over aesthetics or the wood siding was severely damaged.

Durable material but prefinished painted finishes have been known to fade, chalk and runoff onto brick walls often below the siding.

Newer vinyl coated finishes are available and alleviate past paint problems.

Prone to denting and being noisy.

Aluminum lacks the ability for detailed trim work


Generally moderate in price.

Vinyl or plastic coated aluminum is expensive.


Low maintenance.

Plastic / vinyl clad aluminum siding can obtain 35 year warranty.

Standard pre-painted aluminum siding prone to chalking.

Denting is a common problem with aluminum siding.

Vinyl Siding

As the search for low cost, low maintenance siding continued, the next evolution after aluminum siding was the advent of vinyl siding.

Vinyl siding, like aluminum siding, comes in strips and has perforated holes at the top for fastening into the exterior wall and interlocking flanges top and bottom to seal against weather.

A special tool called a zip tool is used to join and separate the siding strips.


Like aluminum siding, vinyl siding also comes in a range of styles including horizontal and vertical panels and a range of prefinished colors.

Some of them can be pretty wild.

Available in a variety of textures including wood shake/shingle style.


Vinyl siding is also a common retrofit siding often applied over wood siding in many home “improvement” projects.

Prone to cracking in cold weather if subjected to impact. See Tutorial Repairing Vinyl Siding.

Proper installation is critical or siding will warp or buckle.


Lower range of moderate, usually less than aluminum siding.


Very low maintenance, never needs painting as color is solid throughout the vinyl siding.

If cracked, siding section needs to be repaired or replaced. See Tutorial Repairing Vinyl Siding.

Cement Fiber Siding

Cement fiber siding is the latest development in residential siding.

I love this product and used it in our new home in northern Michigan.

It’s durable, very low maintenance, made from recyclable materials so it’s “Green” and it’s beautiful to boot.

Some of the major manufacturers of this product include:

Allura (formerly CertainTeed)



Aesthetics/Characteristics Cost Maintenance

Cement fiber siding comes the closest to emulating a natural wood grain and is virtually indistinguishable from some wood siding products.

Like wood, trim and millwork pieces are also available to provide design detail for the home.

Comes in beveled siding, shingle/shake and stucco panel styles.

Extremely durable.

Installs like wood siding.

Cuts like wood siding.

Comes primed or pre-finished.

Not subject to rot or insect damage.

Moderate to high.

Virtually maintenance free.

Warranty of 50 years is common from the major manufacturers (Cemplank only 25 years).

If you ever need some advice on the types of siding you should use. Do not hesitate on contacting us we would be happy to help!

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