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6 Unique Exterior Siding Options For 2018 (That Aren’t Vinyl)

We’re sorry to break it to you—your home will be judged by its cover.

Exterior siding can dramatically improve or worsen the appearance of your home unlike anything else. And choosing the right siding can be a tortuous process.

We’ve gathered 8 unique exterior siding options to open up your eyes to the power of alternatives to that old standby, vinyl siding.

Before we begin, a few notes about vinyl siding:

There’s nothing inherently wrong with vinyl siding; it has its pros and cons. Vinyl siding is made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) whose production puts some not-so-great substances in the air. Which upsets some people, understandably so.

Vinyl siding is widely used because of its affordability and durability (kind of). But it is still known to melt, crack, fade and get dingy over time depending on environmental factors.

While it may not be the greenest option in the world, we and other contractors still use vinyl alongside all of these other alternative exterior sidings.

Let’s jump in!

 

1. Stone or Brick Veneer

Some of the most ancient structures in the world are made of stone. The impervious nature of actual stone makes it an expensive building material.

To make the beauty of natural stone more affordable for homeowners, manufacturers started mass-producing faux stone and brick made from Portland cement and mixed with color and texture agents.

Despite this cost-effective alternative to real stone, stone veneer is still an expensive siding option. With that price tag though, comes increased curb appeal and resale value.

 

2. Stucco

Stucco, typically a combination of cement, sand, lime, and water, is an ancient plaster that’s seen periods of resurgence throughout US History. It’s an incredible insulator and naturally resistant to fire. Stucco can also be tinted, eliminating the need for paint and giving your home a flair all its own.

 

3. Fiber Cement

The darling of the siding world, fiber cement is a chameleon that is made to resemble wood, masonry, stucco and more. Though it is long-lasting and low-maintenance it isn’t everlasting, as some are lead to believe.

Fiber cement’s resistance to outside forces is impressive, but, like other sidings, will need to be repainted and repaired—just not as often.

 

4. Engineered Wood

If you’re looking for an inexpensive alternative to traditional wooden clapboards, engineered or composite wood is a great option. Lightweight panels are easy to install. With a uniform, manufactured grain patterns, engineered wood is distinguishable from real wood but more natural than vinyl.

 

5. Corrugated Metal

Source: NEON Architecture, Indianapolis

Corrugated metal is typically associated with roofs, barns and industrial spaces. But more often, architects and homeowners are experimenting with these metals as stylistic elements, bringing space-age, steampunk, industrial vibes to 2018.

Indianapolis-based, NEON Architecture, has highlighted (pun intended) neighborhoods like Fountain Square and Bates-Hendricks with their distinctive style and unique materials.

 

6. Cedar Shake and Shingle

For natural wood lovers that want an alternative to high-maintenance wood clapboard, cedar shake or shingle (there’s a difference) is for you. Since they are stained rather than painted, peeling isn’t as a problem.

Cedar is a durable species and some manufacturers guarantee a lifespan of 25 years or more if well-maintained. Plus, chances are, you’ll be one of the few neighbors with this beautiful, timeless look.