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Metal House Siding: Pros, Cons, Types, and Cost

Written by Carol J Alexander , Edited by Gianna Cappuccio

Published on April 12, 2024


Metal House Siding: Pros, Cons, Types, and Cost

National Average Range:
$11,274 – $20,512
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Of all the options, one type of home siding stands out among the rest: metal. Metal siding is durable, long-lasting, and beautiful. If you're replacing the siding on your home soon, you'll want to learn the pros, cons, types, and cost of metal siding. This guide is here to help.

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What is metal siding?

Metal siding is home siding made of metal. The precursor to vinyl siding, aluminum siding was one of the first alternatives to wood siding. Metal siding is now made of steel and other metals, though aluminum and steel are the most common choices. Metal siding also comes in multiple styles. 

A graphic illustrating the different types of siding and how they compare to metal siding

Metal siding profiles

Initially, aluminum siding emerged as a lap siding to rival wood. But you can now get metal siding in other styles or profiles. Here are a few for you to compare.

Lap horizontal siding

Metal lap siding on a residential home

The original aluminum siding profile, lap siding is available in other metals and several lap styles. For example, PlyGem offers a traditional clapboard profile and a Dutch lap in both its Mastic® and Variform® brands. Lap siding comes in smooth and woodgrain finishes, as well.

Corrugated metal siding

Corrugated metal siding on a residential home

Corrugated metal wall panels have been a staple in the outbuilding arena for a long time. Now, it's a welcome addition to the home siding industry. The wavy profile strengthens the metal, making it stronger and more wind-resistant than other flat siding options. However, it's typically made of exposed fastener panels. So, if you want a corrugated product, look for one with hidden fasteners like the ⅞" corrugated from Western States Metal Roofing

Standing seam metal siding

Standing seam metal siding on a residential home

Standing seam siding is created in the same way as a standing seam metal roof. Sheets of metal are secured with an interlocking seam that "stands" out. Hidden fasteners and the folded metal create a weather-tight seam that provides strength and wind resistance. TruSnap by Bridger Steel is a prime example of standing seam metal siding.

Batten steel metal siding

Batten steel metal siding on a residential home

Similar in appearance to traditional board and batten siding, batten metal siding panels are the perfect profile for the modern farmhouse. Hidden fasteners give this vertical siding profile a clean, uninterrupted appearance. McElroy Metal offers board-and-batten siding in 24-gauge galvalume in various color options. 

Box rib panel siding

Box rib panel siding on a vacation rental home

A cross between lap and batten, the box rib profile delivers a strong appearance using a box-shaped pattern. Its aesthetics will improve curb appeal and make your home stand out from the neighbors. Bridger Steel offers box rib siding with exposed fasteners for easy installation and an anti-siphon groove to protect against leaks.

Metals used for siding

The average cost of aluminum siding is $8,374 to $15,236.

The average cost of steel siding is $12,609 to $22,942.

You may find a few off-beat metals used in siding. Copper, for example, may be used to side embellishments on luxury homes or landmarks. But for the most part, homeowners will find metal siding options for residential use are limited to the following:

  • Aluminum siding is lightweight and rust-proof. It comes in multiple styles to complement any home. It's more affordable than steel but also more susceptible to impact damage than other metals.

  • Steel is more durable than aluminum, so it's less likely to dent. However, steel is subject to corrosion, like rust, so it must be finished with a protective coating. Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) is a factory-applied, resin-based coating that comes in various colors. Manufacturers typically warranty siding with a PVDF coating like Kynar 500® for 30-40 years.

  • To produce Galvalume®, manufacturers hot-dip steel sheets in aluminum and zinc alloys to create a protective coating. The coating provides zinc's self-healing properties and aluminum's rust resistance. Galvalume is also a popular material for metal roofing panels.

The pros and cons of metal siding

Like all siding materials, metal has its pros and cons. Understanding these features can help you determine if metal is the best choice for your style of home.

  • + Resistant to moisture, insect, and fire damage
  • + Durable
  • + Long lifespan
  • + Improved curb appeal
  • + Low maintenance
  • - Steel can rust if the coating is damaged
  • - Can dent or scratch
  • - More expensive than other siding options
  • - Not recommended for ocean-front property

Other cost factors of metal siding

Replacing existing siding

Siding professionals typically charge $95 to $118 per hour to remove siding, depending on your location.

If your current siding is outdated or damaged, replacing it is relatively easy. However, removing old siding requires additional labor, which may increase the project's total cost. But if your existing siding is metal, it is 100 percent recyclable, which could put a few dollars back into your pocket.

Gauge of metal

Gauge refers to the thickness of metal. The higher the gauge, the thinner the metal. Higher gauge metals cost more than lower gauge metals. However, to decrease the chance of unsightly dents, we recommend you opt for the heaviest siding you can afford. Typically, metal siding comes in 22- to 29-gauge.

Metal finishing

The longevity of metal siding depends largely on its coating. Coatings include resins that bind the pigments together for color and protect the substrate from the harmful effects of UV rays. High-quality coatings like PVDF provide superior protection against chalking and fading. Materials coated with low-quality resins are more prone to fading and chalking because the binder breaks down, failing to hold the pigment.  Here is a breakdown of the most common coatings on the market.

  • Polyester coatings are the least protective on the market. 

  • A step above a simple polyester resin, silicone-modified polyester (SMP) improves on straight polyester resin by adding PVDF. However, SMP is still inferior to a straight PVDF coating, especially for darker colors.

  • PVDF coatings provide the ultimate protection against sun-induced fading and chalking. For metal siding that will maintain its beauty for decades, look for coatings like Kynar or Hylar. 

Market fluctuations

Like other building materials, metal's cost fluctuates with demand. Therefore, the cost of metal siding is constantly changing. While we try to provide realistic cost ranges, always check with a distributor or professional siding installer for an accurate estimate.

How to save money on metal siding

You know you want metal siding, but your budget is squeezed to the limit. Here are a few ways to save money on this home improvement project.

  • Choose a product with a lower-grade coating. If you don't plan to live in the home for decades, you can save money by choosing siding with an SMP coating rather than a PVDF coating.

  • Use metal siding on part of the home and less expensive siding on the other portions, such as vinyl or stone veneer. Consult a professional home designer to help you choose a cost-effective combination that improves curb appeal while remaining within budget.

  • Compare brands and warranty terms. Some siding manufacturers offer more budget-friendly products than others.

How to care for metal siding

Care for metal siding products is easy. First, inspect it for damage, such as dents or punctures from hail or flying objects. Also, look for damaged trim or loose fasteners. When you're certain the siding is in good condition, simply clean it with mild detergent and a clean cloth. Remove soap residue with a garden hose sprayer. Do not use a pressure washer.

If you find scratches, apply a touch-up paint per the manufacturer's directions.

Is metal siding right for you?

Metal siding will definitely improve the curb appeal of your home. It comes in several styles, but you may still be unsure. Consulting with a professional siding installer will help you decide the right choice for your home and your budget.

Find a siding installer in your neighborhood

Frequently asked questions

Typically, vinyl siding costs less than metal. The average cost to side a home with vinyl is $6,753 to $12,287.

With proper care, metal siding can last forever. However, depending on the material and brand, manufacturers' warranties cover products for 45 years to a limited lifetime.

Steel siding can corrode when exposed to moisture. To avoid corrosion, choose a hidden fastener system with a superior coating that resists scratches.

No. However, metal is more resistant to fire than other siding options. Metal neither combusts nor spreads a fire. Tests show that metal siding takes hours to respond to direct flames, whereas vinyl siding takes seconds and wood siding takes minutes.

No. You are perfectly safe in a metal building during a lightning storm.

Written by

Carol J Alexander Content Specialist and Subject Matter Expert

Carol J Alexander is a home remodeling industry expert for Fixr.com. For more than 15 years as a journalist and content marketer, her in-depth research, interviewing skills, and technical insight have ensured she provides the most accurate and current information on a given topic. Before joining the Fixr team, her personal clients included leaders in the building materials market like Behr Paint Company, CertainTeed, and Chicago Faucet, and national publications like This Old House and Real Homes.