Siding is the external material applied to the walls of a house or commercial structure that keeps the integrity of the building intact. Proper siding discards water and protects walls from the effects of weather, while also insulating. Siding creates the exterior aesthetics of a structure, consisting of horizontal or vertical boards, shingles, or sheet materials.

In both residential and commercial structures, avoiding wind and rain infiltration through the joints is a major challenge. Expert installers tackle this issue by overlapping, covering or sealing the joints, or by forming an interlocking joint, such as a tongue and groove or rabbet.


Siding may be directly attached to the building structure. For wood construction, it is attached to studs or to an intermediate layer of wood (boards, planks, plywood, oriented strand board). This process is called sheathing.

The sheathing may have an intermediate air/moisture barrier applied. A modern sheathing material also serves as an air/moisture barrier.

Types of Siding

There are multiple kinds of siding options for both residential and commercial structures. Siding may consist of wood, metal, plastic (vinyl), masonry or composite materials.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is the most popular choice for remodeling and new construction. It delivers the quality appearance of wood without the costly, time-consuming maintenance. Vinyl won’t split, peel or rot. Vinyl never needs to be scraped, stained or painted because its color goes throughout the panel.

Fiber Cement Siding

Nearly 15 percent of new homes are taking advantage of fiber cement for siding. Why? Because it combines the rot-, fire-, and termite-proof performance of masonry with the look of painted wood clapboards, shingles, stone or brick.

There is minimal upkeep for fiber cement siding and goes for just a fraction of the cost of other siding materials.

Wood Siding

Aesthetics, durability, and the track record of wood siding makes it a choice worth considering. Under normal conditions and with proper periodic maintenance, quality wood siding will last the life of the building.

Wood siding is a veneer or protective covering that is attached to the exterior of the house. The wood is held in place primarily by nails, screws, or in some cases construction adhesives.

Water does penetrate wood, so it is important to install a moisture barrier between the siding and the structure. Wood siding will deteriorate if not properly maintained, particularly at joints, knot holes, or points of damage. The required periodic maintenance includes painting or staining and caulking.

Are you wondering what material would work best for your next project? Give us a call at 833-409-ROOF (7663).