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Some popular types of exterior cladding

There are a lot of options for siding and it is often difficult to know which one to choose. The different shapes, colors and textures can greatly vary the appearance of your home. In addition to its aesthetic function, your building envelope plays an important protective role by providing a protective layer against weathering and UV rays. It is therefore essential to be well informed in order to make a wise choice. 

You need to understand the main types of exterior siding, their lifespan, their advantages and disadvantages, as well as the mistakes to avoid. Before taking any steps, remember to check with your municipality what type of exterior cladding is authorized in your area. Here are three popular types of the exterior cladding! 

  1. Engineered wood exterior siding 

Wood fiber is an almost perfect imitation of wood, but it is significantly less expensive. So that’s why it’s more and more popular. It is often also called composite wood or oriented strand board (OSB), although the technology differs a bit. Engineered wood is often known by the name of its manufacturers, such as CanExel or Maibec for example. The important thing to remember is that CanExel is a compound of lignocellulosic fibers (made up of lignin, hemicellulose and cellulose from plants). Visually, engineered wood is very similar to wood with its grooves etched into the surface of the material. It is the favorite choice of many homeowners because of its appearance a little more prestigious than vinyl. In addition, for the environment, this material ranks among the first. It has a lifespan of 30 years and more. 


Resistant to climatic variations and bad weather 

  • Resistant to climatic variations and bad weather 
  • Wide availability of colors 
  • Easy to maintain (compared to wood) 
  • Sustainable
  • Difficult to install 
  • Higher cost than vinyl 

2. Exterior steel cladding 

This product looks a lot like wood. It is very durable, resistant and its installation is simple. 


  • Sustainable
  • Low maintenance
  • More expensive than similar coatings
  • Heavy

3. Exterior vinyl siding

Vinyl or PVC is the type of siding most used because of its affordable cost and its availability in many colors and textures. Unlike other materials like aluminum or engineered wood, it is not painted. Color is an integral part of the material. So even if it’s scratched, it won’t, or hardly, show. There is also foam reinforced vinyl which is about 15% more expensive than the regular one. On the other hand, you will recover the price difference by saving on your energy costs. On the environmental side, vinyl, unfortunately, ranks as one of the worst choices. Indeed, it is made from petroleum products and chlorine, in addition to being hardly recyclable. The lifespan of vinyl is over 40 years.

  • Very affordable
  • Resists bumps and scratches
  • Resists pests and mold
  • Wide availability of colors
  • Dark colors fade over time
  • Made from non-renewable resources
  • Little fire resistance

Little fire resistance but whatever your choice, hiring reputable siding contractors is a must. Thank you for reading.

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