What’s the Most Popular House Siding? Types of Siding To Consider for Your Custom Home Build or Renovation in the PNW

The litany of decisions required in a custom home build or renovation is seemingly endless. With its impact on aesthetics and durability, choosing your exterior siding material is one of the most significant decisions you’ll make throughout the process.

You’ll need to navigate the maze of popular house siding options, including fiber cement, cedar, and stone veneer. You’ll have to research the characteristics of each, evaluate the pros and cons, and decide which option will transform your house into the home you've envisioned.

Whether you're drawn to the modern appeal of fiber cement, the timeless charm of cedar, or the elegance of stone veneer, we explore the unique qualities of each, helping you make an informed choice that aligns with your style and practical needs.

Table of Contents

  • The 3 Most Popular House Siding Options for Custom and Luxury Homes
  • #1: James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding
  • #2: Cedar Siding
  • #3: Stone Veneer Siding
  • How To Choose Between Popular House Siding Options
  • Lifetime Remodeling Systems Has Decades of Experience Installing the Most Popular House Siding

The 3 Most Popular House Siding Options for Custom and Luxury Homes

#1: James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement products have been used as structural siding since the early 1900s. The general composition of fiber cement siding includes cement, sand, water, and a reinforcing agent. In early fiber cement production, asbestos was used as the reinforcing agent. 

In the 1980s, James Hardie introduced a fiber cement siding product that replaced asbestos with cellulose fibers. Hardie® products are also formulated with proprietary additives to enhance product performance.  

Lifetime Remodeling Systems is a James Hardie Elite Preferred Contractor with extensive experience installing Hardie’s complete range of fiber cement products. 

Pros and Cons of Fiber Cement Siding

James Hardie siding is engineered to provide a quality product with a host of benefits, including: 

  • Valuable warranty: 30 years for siding products and 15 years for trim products
  • High-durability: Designed to withstand climate and weather events like hail, wind, ice, humidity, temperature fluctuations, etc.
  • Pest-resistant: Including termites and carpenter ants
  • Water-resistant: Limiting issues like warping, swelling, and rotting
  • Non-combustible (fire-resistant): Will not ignite when exposed to an open flame or act as fuel for a fire
  • Low-maintenance: Easy to clean and can go 15+ years without needing to be refinished/re-painted

The high-quality production of fiber cement siding and the skill required for installation means it may require a more significant investment up-front. It is also not a highly insulating product, so you must ensure proper insulation materials are used elsewhere to create an energy-efficient home.

Design Options Available With Fiber Cement Siding

Modern fiber cement siding design has evolved far beyond traditional lap & bevel. Hardie® products now include panels (for either horizontal or vertical installation), shingles of many shapes and sizes, trim boards, and more.

Any of these products can be used together to create unique styles and accents that help your home stand out and match your vision.

Fiber cement’s versatility also allows you to play with color and easily add a final flourish that brings the whole home together.

#2: Cedar Siding

As one of the oldest siding materials used for homes, wood siding provides a natural, warm, and timeless aesthetic. Because cedar siding is a real wood product, it has naturally occurring variability, creating unique patterns that add to a home’s beauty and custom design elements. 

Cedar is one of the most popular modern wood siding options and comes in a variety of styles:

  • Shake & shingle
  • Lap & bevel
  • Tongue & groove
  • Board & batten

Wood siding helps create pattern, texture, and dimensional elements that make your home feel like one-of-a-kind. It can be sealed to retain its natural color or stained to your liking.

Pros and Cons of Cedar Siding

For some homeowners, the visual appeal of wood is hard to beat. Compared to cedar siding, other siding options can feel too uniform and artificial. Cedar siding also offers a decent level of sound and temperature insulation. 

Cedar is biodegradable and one of the fastest-growing trees, which makes it more renewable than other siding options and a great option for eco-friendly homeowners. 

Cedar’s naturally occurring oils make it more resistant to insects and moisture than other types of wood, and with proper maintenance, cedar siding can last decades

There are a few factors to take into consideration before moving forward with cedar siding:

  • May not be budget-friendly
  • Requires diligent care and maintenance, including regular upkeep on paint or stain
  • Can be susceptible to mold, mildew, and rot (when compared to artificial siding products)
  • Flammable (can be treated with fire retardant)

Design Options Available With Cedar Siding

With cedar siding, you can choose to side your entire home in wood, create small textured spaces of accent wood, or anything in between.

If you’re siding your entire home in wood, the various cedar siding styles can allow you to create texture and delineate one area of your home from another. For example, you may choose to wrap the lower half of your home in lap & bevel and add shake accents in your gables.

Cedar siding can also be added as a focal point to a home otherwise wrapped in alternative siding. You might choose to run tongue & groove cedar alongside your garage doors to add a natural element to contrast with fiber cement.  

#3: Stone Veneer Siding

Manufactured stone veneer is an artificial product that is designed to replicate the look and feel of natural stone. While early versions of stone veneer were manufactured using sliced natural stone, modern stone veneer is composed of Portland cement, natural aggregates, and iron oxide pigments.

The cement used in stone veneer products creates reliable stability, making it ideal for aesthetic elements of your home, but it cannot be used structurally

At Lifetime Remodeling Systems, we exclusively offer products from Cultured Stone®. Their manufacturing process captures exquisite details from the surfaces of natural stone using molds of carefully selected stone. The result is a product that is hard to discern from natural stone — even to the trained eye.   

Pros and Cons of Stone Veneer Siding

There’s no question that stone veneer can elevate your home’s curb appeal, but beyond the aesthetic value, manufactured stone products: 

  • Can be installed on almost any exterior surface, including brick and stucco.
  • Are extremely durable and typically warrantied for anywhere from 20 to 75 years (Cultured Stone® offers a 50-year warranty).
  • Are very lightweight (compared to natural stone).
  • Are extremely fire-resistant and low-maintenance.

As with many types of exterior siding options, stone veneer siding requires proper installation to avoid moisture issues. Improper installation can result in water leaks, wood rot, and mold, so it’s important to use a contractor with extensive experience installing stone veneer. 

Design Options Available With Stone Veneer Siding

For exterior siding, your design options with stone veneer are endless. You might consider:

  • Making a bold statement with a grand entrance ensconced in stone veneer from your foundation to your roof line.
  • Creating a focal point with an isolated area of stone. This might be an accent wall along your front porch or the area surrounding your garage doors.
  • Delineating the floors of your home with stone on the lower half and an alternative siding option on the upper.

How To Choose Between Popular House Siding Options

Contemplate Aesthetics

There are several aesthetic considerations to think about when choosing siding for your home.  

  • Style of your home: A craftsman-style home may be styled with a combination of siding types, including Hardie® products, stone, and cedar. A sleek, modern home may steer clear of cedar accents and employ various uses of stone veneer. 
  • Neighborhood design: If your home is built in an HOA community, you may be required to stay within certain guidelines to create cohesion among neighboring homes. The versatility available with all three siding options outlined above means you’ll still have a multitude of design options to choose from.
  • Your personal aesthetic: Ultimately, your preferred aesthetic should be the driving force behind your siding choice. At Lifetime Remodeling Systems, we provide design services, including realistic renderings, to help you bring your vision to life.

Consider Climate 

Some siding options are better suited for different types of weather and climate. Homes in humid or tropical climates may not be suited for wood or vinyl siding options as they may succumb to rot and other forms of damage.

Homes in climates with extremely low temperatures would benefit from siding with a higher insulation rating to help with overall energy costs.

Some siding manufacturers have developed variations of their products to make them functional in various climates. For example, Hardie® siding products are available in two “zone” options: HZ5® for wet and freezing conditions and HZ10® to protect from heat, humidity, blistering sun, and more. 

Contact a Professional

Making the “right” siding choice can be daunting. You don’t have to do all the research on your own. Professionals who have extensive experience with siding installation have a wealth of knowledge to help you choose the house siding that matches your aesthetic and your budget.

Look for a contractor who offers design services and utilizes visualization tools like HOVER that generate before and after renderings so you don’t have to rely on your imagination to see what your home could look like.

Lifetime Remodeling Systems Has Decades of Experience Installing the Most Popular House Siding

As a full-service remodeling company, we have completed extensive siding projects in the Portland metro area. We have decades of experience with Hardie® products, cedar siding, and stone veneer. 

For every exterior siding project, we implement a 5-phase process:

  1. Initial Meeting: Our initial consultation will include education on our processes, product options, installation techniques and requirements, and accurate measurements to calculate an estimate.
  2. Estimating: We’ll provide a detailed quote with options to match your budget.
  3. Design: Once the estimate is approved, the design begins. We’ll help you navigate current siding trends and explore classic styles to develop the aesthetic that you’re looking for. We utilize HOVER to create renderings that include your material and color selection so you can see what the finished project will look like.
  4. Build: When the design has been completed and approved, we’ll schedule construction. Once a crew has been assigned to your project, they will be there from start to finish.
  5. Close Out: After project completion, your project consultant and crew lead will do a final walk-around.

Contact us today to get started on your exterior siding project.

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