Most Popular Types of Coating Materials – Forbes Advisor – Forbes Advisor


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Choosing the best type of siding to install on your home is a big and often difficult decision. There are many different options and it is important to consider them all. When choosing the exterior siding for your home, you should prioritize durability, aesthetic value, cost, and required maintenance. Each type of coating has its own set of advantages and disadvantages in these areas.

Vinyl siding

Vinyl siding is one of the most popular choices in the United States. It is a form of plastic siding that is often seen on small homes or apartment buildings that need protection from the elements (especially in areas that receive a lot of precipitation and storms) . It can come in a variety of colors, making it an aesthetically pleasing exterior choice.

Vinyl is a relatively inexpensive siding option. For a typical single-family home of approximately 2,000 square feet, it costs between $ 6,150 and $ 15,900 to install.

Because it is made from polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, vinyl siding is essentially fire resistant. PVC will not ignite unless it reaches an extremely high temperature, around 750 degrees Fahrenheit. PVC also needs an unusually high amount of oxygen to keep burning. This means it’s harder for fires to start initially and even harder to keep burning.


  • Fire resistant up to 750 degrees
  • Vast choice of styles
  • Cheap

The inconvenients

  • May fade faster than other types (10 to 15 years, depending on climate)
  • Sensitive to excessive exposure to UV rays and harsh weather conditions
  • Prone to mold growth and decay of the siding if not installed with a waterproof seal

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Wood siding

Wood is one of the oldest exterior siding options available. It is very versatile as it can be stained or painted to look exactly what you want. Plus, it comes in several different arrangements, like shingles and vertical planks, to help homeowners achieve the look they want. Depending on the layout, the cost of the wood siding can range from $ 7,000 to $ 23,000.

Although wood siding tends to look impressive, it presents a fire hazard in the home. Wood is a combustible material, which means it can ignite when exposed to high heat. Wood siding can ignite, causing flames to spread along the wall and into the house. Wood siding also requires ongoing maintenance and repainting over time. Paint professionals recommend re-coating every three to four years. When wood siding is regularly maintained, it can last 20 to 40 years before needing a complete replacement.

TRICK: Wood is a combustible material, which means that it ignites quickly if exposed to high heat. One option that homeowners have to combat this is to add a fire retardant chemical to the siding, which comes at an additional cost.


  • Offers a classic look in a variety of styles
  • One of the most environmentally friendly options (since making wood siding is natural and non-toxic, unlike the processes required to make vinyl siding, for example)
  • Can be more versatile and customizable than other types

The inconvenients

  • Combustible and fire hazard
  • Lack of sustainability
  • Requires renovation every few years

Metal cladding

Many homeowners consider metal only as a roofing material, but metal is also gaining popularity as an exterior siding material. It is strong, relatively easy to install, and can be available in a variety of types, such as aluminum and steel. Once the metal siding is installed, it is virtually maintenance free.

The metal coating is durable and withstands harsh weather conditions like snow and extreme temperatures well. Unlike wood siding, metal siding does not tend to warp, rot, or be susceptible to pests. The downside is that metal is a poor insulator and is not soundproof. If you live in an area with an extreme climate and are sensitive to outside noise, metal may not be the best choice for siding.


  • Extremely durable and low maintenance
  • Fairly simple to install
  • Impervious to unwanted pests and fire

The inconvenients

  • Offers little insulation
  • Not soundproof; if you live in an area with an extreme climate or are sensitive to outside noise, this will be a problem.

Fiber cement siding

Durable and strong, fiber cement siding is a great exterior siding option for those looking for something that will last at least 30 years. Fiber cement siding is particularly suitable for homeowners who live in an intense climate because it can withstand inclement weather, including hail and strong winds.

Fiber cement siding is made from a mixture of wood pulp and cement. It maintains the durability of cement but offers aesthetic flexibility. Fiber cement siding can be designed to look like a variety of other siding materials, such as wood. The biggest obstacle to fiber cement siding is the fact that it is expensive to install. This is because the installation process requires a significant amount of manpower and hence labor time. You’ll likely need to pay a professional to install fiber cement siding, so be prepared for a hit in your wallet.


  • Durable, even in bad weather
  • Offers a wide range of styles
  • Low maintenance
  • Fire resistant

The inconvenients

  • Expensive to install
  • Absorbs moisture
  • Not energy efficient

Brick facing

Brick is a classic and timeless exterior cladding material, and it has been a standard in the building industry for years in large part because of its durability. Brick siding does not need to be repainted regularly, unlike wood or vinyl siding which has a tendency to fade in the sun. Brick is a very low maintenance exterior siding option that will last at least 100 years on average.

Brick also tends to increase the value of your home compared to other types of exterior siding, so it can be a good choice if you want to turn a home into an investment property. Acme Brick report shows the value of brick homes is increasing by around $ 4000 on a house with wood or fiber cement siding.

While brick siding outperforms other siding materials in appearance, longevity, and strength, it does come with a downside – its cost. Brick is one of the more expensive options on the market. For a 2,000 square foot home, brick siding costs between $ 8,900 and $ 25,000.

It also requires additional materials, like a waterproof membrane, to make sure it is effective. But besides these additional materials, brick is an all-natural and very environmentally friendly choice. Since bricks are made from natural materials, its carbon footprint is relatively small. In addition, the bricks are recyclable and biodegradable.


  • Respectful of nature
  • Low maintenance
  • Weather and fire resistant

The inconvenients

  • Expensive to install
  • Requires waterproof sealant
  • Color limits

Alternative materials

There are many other materials used for the coating to consider. These include:

  • Composite: Composite is one of the most durable types of siding with many styling options.
    Hardie Board: Another durable option, the Hardie Board can be more expensive than the other options mentioned.
  • Stone veneer: Stone veneer is a lightweight, economical option that is less environmentally friendly – it cannot be recycled.
  • Manufactured wood: This siding option looks like the real thing, but succumbs to mold if moisture gets in.

Final result

Not only is siding an effective tool for beautifying a home, it is also an important element of security and an investment in the value of your home. Its durability and cost differ depending on the material used, so it is important to keep the pros and cons of each material in mind when choosing the siding for your home. Contact your local coating expert to determine which option is best for your budget and region.

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