The Homeowner's Guide to Replacement Siding

Does your home’s siding need to be replaced? Read our guide to learn about the various siding options available to you and find out how to install them.

Joe Roberts
Updated Jan 13, 2023
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9 min read

Vinyl is one of the most popular siding materials, though you can replace old siding with other options like wood, brick, and fiber cement instead. Image source: The Home Depot

Sturdy and attractive siding is one of the most essential elements of your home’s exterior. Like roofing, siding protects a home’s structure and interior from rain, snow, and wind while presenting an inviting facade. Without robust and well-maintained siding—also called cladding—your home can soon fall into disrepair and lose its curb appeal.

This makes it essential to replace your siding when it begins to deteriorate, though you don’t always have to replace all of your siding at once. You can patch up or swap the damaged siding if the damage is minimal. If you want to give your home a makeover, you can replace all of your siding whenever possible, even if the old siding still has some life.

Keep reading, and we’ll help you find professional siding installers and discuss the various materials you can choose from.

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How much does replacement siding cost

The average homeowner pays about $13,500 to replace all of their house’s siding, though we’ve seen it cost as little as $4,500 and as much as $60,000. Costs are most often somewhere within a $7,500 to $22,500 price range, though. The price of a siding replacement project depends on various factors, including the type of siding used and how large the home is.

Check out our siding cost guide to learn more about typical siding replacement and installation prices. 

Is replacing your siding worth it?

While it’s pretty expensive, replacing your home’s siding has considerable financial benefits. For one thing, new siding can increase your home’s value, though probably not enough to cover the project’s costs completely. New siding generally only increases a home’s resale value enough to recoup about 68% of its installation cost.

Because of this, it usually isn’t worth your time or money to replace your siding when you’re trying to sell your home. Instead, undertake this project when you’ve lived in your home for a few more years so you can reap the other benefits. These benefits include increased energy efficiency and greater longevity for your home’s exterior walls. 

With new siding to provide extra insulation, your home will retain heated and cooled air better, meaning you won’t have to spend as much on your utilities. Depending on what your new siding is made from, it can drastically lower your monthly costs, thereby helping you recover more of the money you initially spent to install it.

Additionally, properly protecting your home with durable siding can safeguard against painfully expensive disasters like mildew, moisture damage, and termites in your exterior walls. 

Why you should hire professional siding contractors

To the untrained eye, siding replacement can seem simple compared to other home improvement projects. However, this job is deceptively complex and difficult, especially if you don’t have experience working with the necessary tools or the material your siding is made from. For this reason, we strongly recommend hiring professional contractors instead of taking this project into your own hands.  

Pulling permits and planning your project to meet local building codes are the first hurdles you’ll have to overcome during a DIY siding replacement. While DIYers successfully overcome both of these challenges all the time, they can be hard to navigate if you’ve never done it before. Professionals take care of these steps for you. 

Then, there’s the job itself. Doing it wrong at any stage can result in additional costs to fix the damage you might accidentally do during installation. If you mangle a significant portion of your siding material while learning how to cut it down to size, you’ll have to order replacement materials. Additionally, improper installation might result in damage that isn’t noticeable for years. If pieces aren’t installed or sealed correctly, siding can leak, allowing water, air, and insects to wreak havoc on your home’s frame unseen until the walls deteriorate.

That said, some siding materials are better suited for DIYers than others. Vinyl Dutch lap siding, for example, is relatively easy to install since it comes in panels manufactured to slide easily together. You can also often cut vinyl siding with a utility knife and seal its edges with caulk. Other materials like brick and stone, on the other hand, are harder to install since you need special saws to cut them, and you have to seal gaps between pieces with mortar, which are much heavier.

Speaking of weight, siding replacement usually requires you to climb tall ladders with heavy materials. This makes DIY siding installation dangerous as well as difficult. 

So while replacing your home’s siding with your own two hands can save you some money, it does come with considerable physical and financial risks. All things considered, it’s a job best left to professional contractors, especially if you want to replace your siding with high-end materials like stone, brick, or steel. 

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Different siding options

In addition to the differences in how you install them, the various siding options also come with unique benefits and drawbacks. Understanding these differences is essential for choosing the best siding material for your home, so use this breakdown of common siding options to help you decide.

Wood siding 

Natural wood siding generally costs between $2 and $35 per square foot, with exact prices varying depending on the type of wood the siding is made from. Wood is a versatile siding material since it can be stained and painted easily, and natural wood grain can have an appealing rustic look. Be warned that wood requires routine maintenance to prevent water damage and pest infestations.

Plywood siding is a cheaper wood option, generally costing between $2 and $3 per square foot, but it’s also much lower quality and doesn’t last as long as all-natural wood. 

Engineered wood siding costs between $6 and $17 per square foot, so it’s cheaper than some natural wood options and more expensive than others. Additionally, engineered wood is typically more low-maintenance than natural wood and can last longer while still providing the same charm. 

Vinyl siding 

Vinyl siding usually costs between $2 and $13 per square foot. Some vinyl pieces are hollow and lightweight, making them easy to work with for beginners, while others come with insulation to provide extra durability and energy efficiency. Since vinyl is plastic, it’s not as eco-friendly as natural options like wood, metal, or stone. 

Vinyl is a molded plastic, so it comes in an immense variety of colors, and it can be made to imitate the texture of wood, stone, and brick. This means you can almost always find vinyl cladding that will match whatever style you’re going for with your home’s exterior. 

Metal siding

On average, metal siding costs between $4 and $9 per square foot. It’s a little rarer than wood or vinyl, but it does provide a few benefits they don’t. Metal siding is much more flame-resistant than the other two materials, for example, and it isn’t vulnerable to insects like wood is. 

Aluminum and steel are the two most common metals used for cladding. Aluminum siding can be more affordable, but it requires routine paint jobs to maintain its good looks. Steel siding, on the other hand, steel siding doesn’t need to be painted, so it’s much more low-maintenance than aluminum. 

Other metals like tin, zinc, and copper can also be used to side a building, though they aren’t commonly installed on houses. 

Stucco siding

Stucco siding generally costs between $6 and $8 per square foot. Unlike other siding options that come in pieces that need to be placed individually, Stucco is installed like cement. To install Stucco siding, you mix a bag of the material with water, then use a trowel to apply it wet to a wall you’ve prepared with water-proof paper and casing beads.

Stucco is a durable siding material that can last up to 100 years. However, excessive moisture can cause Stucco to crack, warp, and become discolored, so it doesn’t last as long in humid or rainy climates as in arid regions.

Fiber cement siding

For fiber cement siding, you should expect to pay between $6 and $13 per square foot. Like vinyl, this siding option is typically made in a mold, so it can be crafted to imitate the texture of other siding options like wood and stone. Fiber cement can last longer than vinyl if it’s properly cared for, though, and it’s much more fire-resistant as well. 

Brick siding

Brick siding typically costs somewhere between $12 and $35 per square foot. Brick is another low-maintenance siding material that can last for 100 years or longer, and it doesn’t come with many of the problems other siding options pose. It doesn’t warp when exposed to moisture, swell or contract depending on the temperature, or rot when it ages.

Also, because brick is an ancient building material, it gives a home a quaint, traditional look that never goes out of style. 

If you want your home to have that authentic brick look for a fraction of the price, opt for brick veneers instead. Brick veneers are much thinner than full brick siding, so they aren’t as energy-efficient or durable, but they offer many of the same benefits, and they only cost $6 to $9 per square foot. 

Stone siding

Natural stone is one of the most expensive siding options, and it usually costs between $19 and $45 per square foot, depending on what type of rock is used. The weight of stone makes it especially difficult to install, so it’s one of the worst materials for DIYers to use for siding. 

However, the benefits of stone siding make it worth the trouble and cost. The material can last hundreds of years, is incredibly energy efficient, and is among the most low-maintenance siding options. Like brick, stone siding also gives a home a timeless look that harkens back to castles and picturesque cottages. 

Like brick, stone siding comes in thinner veneer options that offer most of the same benefits and aesthetic appeal for a small portion of the price. Stone veneers typically cost between $12 and $22 per square foot. 

Replacing your home’s siding: the bottom line

Now that you know the costs and benefits of different siding options, you can talk to a local contractor about refreshing your home’s old, worn-out cladding. You can either get the same material—especially if you’re just patching up some damage—or replace it with something more stylish, energy-efficient, or protective.

Hire a local siding pro today