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Most Popular Siding Materials on New Homes Over the Last 50 Years

Written by Adam Graham

Published on June 5, 2024


Most Popular Siding Materials on New Homes Over the Last 50 Years

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The popularity of different siding materials for newly constructed homes has varied dramatically over the past 50 years. According to data from the U.S. Census, in 1973, 35% of homes were finished with brick and 30% with wood siding. Today, stucco dominates with 27%, closely followed by vinyl siding used on 24% of homes. 

Take a look below at the bar chart race to see how siding materials have gained and lost their popularity over the last half a century. 

To calculate the square footage of your exterior walls and estimate your total project costs for different materials use our siding calculator

Below is a table that depicts the most popular siding materials and the years in which they held the number one spot. As you can see from the previous bar chart and the following table, there have been multiple changes over the last few decades. 

The most popular siding material for new single-family homes

Brick 1973 - 1974
Wood 1975 - 1993
Vinyl 1994 - 2018
Stucco 2019 - 2023

Stucco siding is currently the number one siding used on newly built homes across the country and has been since 2019 when it slightly overtook vinyl. Stucco has a lifespan of roughly 50 years, which is more than double that of vinyl siding (20 years). It’s an extremely durable material that helps the energy efficiency of a home, is easy to maintain, and is fire resistant. 

Stucco is most commonly installed in the West of the country, an area where a majority of 56% of new homes use stucco. 

Vinyl Siding: Dominates the Northeast

Vinyl siding has been commonly available since the 1960s, but it really started to dominate exterior home design in the mid-90s and has maintained its popularity ever since. It’s one of the most sought-after siding materials due to its easy installation, resistance, low maintenance, and affordability. Vinyl siding costs around $10,000 to install. It usually lasts around 20 years but can last up to 40 years in the right conditions. It does have its drawbacks; its color can fade, and it can potentially crack in cold weather. 

Despite this, it is most popular in the Northeast region of the U.S., where 73% of new homes are constructed with vinyl siding. Unlike stucco’s popularity in the West, only 4% of new homes in this region are built with vinyl.

Wood Siding: Once the Most Used

Wood siding, which became more favorable than brick on new homes in 1975, enjoyed nearly two decades of being America’s number one siding material. This ended when it was replaced by vinyl in 1994. The Midwest currently leads in the construction of new wood homes, accounting for nearly half of all wood siding properties. The appeal of wood lies in its customizable nature, eco-friendliness, and availability across various cost options. 

However, despite these advantages, wood has fallen out of favor due to its susceptibility to mildew in humid regions, vulnerability to pests, and fire hazards. Consistent maintenance is essential to prevent damage and prolong the life of wood siding.

Brick Siding: The Oldest 

Brick has been used in construction for thousands of years, making it one of the oldest known building materials. It has several advantages: it requires low maintenance, is versatile due to its wide range of styles, textures, and colors, and combines well with other siding materials. Additionally, brick is highly durable, often lasting for the lifetime of the house under normal conditions, and is resistant to fire, termites, and rot. Despite these benefits, brick is not as commonly used today primarily because of its high cost. Both the material and its installation are expensive, which makes brick one of the most costly building materials available. However, it remains the most popular siding material in the South region of the United States.

Written by

Adam Graham Construction Industry Analyst

Adam Graham is a construction industry analyst at Fixr.com. He has experience writing about home construction, interior design, and real estate. He communicates with experts and journalists to make sure we provide the most up-to-date and fact-checked information. He has been featured in publications such as Better Homes and Gardens, and written for various outlets including the National Association of Realtors, and Insurance News Net Magazine.