Choosing the Best Vinyl Siding Styles For Your Needs

So, you’ve decided to put vinyl siding on your house. What’s next? Well, you should start researching to find exactly what you want so that you will be better prepared for the options, costs, and process of installation. Here you will find a handy guide to get you acquainted with the types of siding available, the benefits of each type, and the costs associated with installation. The purpose of this article is to give you enough knowledge to help you avoid confusion when you hear terms like “Dutch lap siding ” or “cedar shake”.

Overview of the Types of Vinyl Siding:

There are 6 basic types of siding. Each one has variable specifications and options to help you customize it exactly as you want it. Siding is available with vinyl thickness of .042, .044, or .046 inches. The 6 types of vinyl siding are:

Clapboard siding –  This is the most basic vinyl siding available, and can be seen on many homes around the world. This type of siding is attached horizontally with overlapping slats of paneling, made to look like wooden boards, to protect your house from all sorts of weather conditions. You can get the slats in a large variety of sizes and styles. Some of the styles available on clapboard siding:


  • Single. This refers to the siding with one horizontal slat on each panel. Usually available in sizes around 7 or 8 inches per slat.


  • Double. Clapboard siding with two slats on each panel. Slats can be smaller than on the single paneling, and each slat will be range from 4 to 7 inches depending on your preference.


  • Triple. There will be three slats on each panel with triple clapboard siding. These can come with slats even smaller than the double clapboard siding, because of the larger panel size. They range in slat size from around 2 to 6 inches.


  • Quad. Four slats per panel. This style is not as commonly available as the others, but can be found from select providers such as Crane’s Exterior Portfolio who offer it with 4 inch slats.

Beaded siding – This is a variation of the traditional clapboard siding that features an attractive bead, made to look like the original wooden siding, at the bottom of each slat. It is available with a 6.5 inch slat size.

dutch lap siding

Dutch lap siding. – Dutch lap is similar in style to clapboard siding, except that it gives off a more dynamic look by including deep grooves between each slat. This difference can give it a more dramatic appearance by using the shadows created in the grooves to add a depth to your siding that does not exist in any of the traditional clapboard styles. Dutch lap can come in these styles:

  •  Double – Because of the grooved design, Dutch lap does not have a single slat option, beginning instead at double. Double is  usually available with a slat size of 4 to 5 inches.


  • Triple –  The triple features three slats per panel, and sizes available are more limited. The size is usually around 4 inches.


  •  Quad – Four slats per panel, featuring the same groove size as the other styles. Typically found at sizes around 4 to 5 inches like the double style.

Vertical siding – Switching things up from the usual, vertical siding gives your house a unique look when it comes to vinyl siding by placing the slats vertically with very little gap between each panel. This is ideal if you want your home to stand out with a more classical look while maintaining the same weather protection as clapboard siding. There are multiple styles and variations of vertical siding:


  • Double. As the most common style of vertical siding, it is most widely available through vinyl retailers. Usually available in sizes around 4 to 5 inches.
  • Triple. This style is not offered by many companies, and you may have to search a while to find it. You will probably find it with around a 4 inch slat size.

Board and batten – As a popular variation on the regular vertical siding, board and batten adds more dimension to your siding by featuring a narrow and a wide slat in each panel. Additionally, it is different because the slats are pushed closer to the wall with the sections in between slats popping out. Board and batten vinyl siding is available almost exclusively as a double slat, because of the way the design works. These double panels are around 10 inches (including the narrow and wide slat together). There is an additional single slat styling that featuring the pushed in style panels but removes the narrow slat, replacing it with identical slats instead. Available in sizes around 12 inches.


Cabin board siding
 Cabin board siding –  This siding is designed to create a log cabin look for your home, with the vinyl bubbling outward in a realistic wooden appearance. Although it won’t be the same thing as having a log cabin in the woods, it’s the next best thing because you can easily add it to your house and it is just as weather-proof as the other vinyl sidings available. This style can usually be found with around 7 inch single slats.
Shakes –  The shake vinyl siding is modeled after old American homes where the builder would hand-split cedar logs to help weather-proof his house. Shakes are a very attractive style that will add a richer look to any home and can often look very similar to authentic wood. This style is created by placing vertical slats of different widths over top of each other. Usually available based on the length of the rows of slats, with double rows per panel, in sizes ranging from 6 to 10 inches. They are available with two edge styles.

  • Straight. With the straight edge shakes all vertical slats will be the same length, trimmed to evenly match each other. This is nice if you are looking for a more elegant and simple look with your exterior walls.


  • Staggered. Rather than being cut evenly like the straight edges, the staggered edge shakes will be varied lengths with rougher edges. This gives a more natural and rustic appearance that is perfect in a more rural setting.

 Shingles and scallops – The last style of vinyl siding available is not nearly as common as the others. This styles offers the buyer a unique look, taking what is traditionally used as a style for roofing and using it instead as a home siding. The overlapping panels of shingle or scallop styled tiles will grace your home with a personality all its own while still keeping it safe from the elements. These are usually found in 5 to 7 inch slat sizes.

Pricing of Vinyl Siding:

There are two costs associated with vinyl siding. These are the cost of materials and the cost of installation. Some people prefer to do the installation themselves, which will save a chunk of money since you will only need to pay for the necessary materials to put in the siding. Self installation can be risky unless you know what you’re doing, so most people choose to pay for installation.

vinyl siding price

Installation Costs:

The store you purchase from will most likely have an offer available for installation. Make sure you shop around beforehand and check out some other companies, especially local companies, to be certain you are getting not only a good deal but a good quality installation.

You will be charged by the square when talking about vinyl installation, with one square being 100 square feet of material installed. Once you know the cost of the material you can estimate the cost of installation before contacting professionals. The different vinyl styling will not have very much effect on the price of installation, but the quality of the material might.

Typically, the cost of labor for installation only will range from about $170-$250 per square, or 100 square feet of material installation. This does not include the cost of materials nor the potential cost of removing old siding if necessary. This accounts for labor costs, construction materials, and construction equipment allowance. Price can also vary with the difficulty or complexity of the job.

Material Costs:

There are many different qualities of siding to choose from, with the cheapest ranging from $60-$80 per square, mid-range $80-$130, and the most expensive going as high as $250 per square. These prices will reflect the quality of the material used, based usually on thickness, as well as the style of siding chosen. If you want to add insulation to your siding, some companies offer that option with an added cost. This is particularly useful for those houses built with very little insulation, and can help lower energy usage and power bills throughout the year.

Trusted Brand Names:

Two of the well-known and trusted names in the vinyl siding industry are Norandex and Alcoa, which now functions as a part of Ply Gem Industries.

Norandex offers a large variety of styles, more than most of its competitors in the market, at varying qualities. Norandex will also offer insulated siding on most of their styles, giving them an added advantage. Norandex siding will be long-lasting and durable, withstanding the elements of any conditions.

norandex vinyl siding

norandex vinyl siding company

Alcoa has been a well-known  name across the USA for years, and since 2006 their vinyl siding sector has been a part of Ply Gem Industries. Because Alcoa’s name is associated with quality products, it is no surprise that Ply Gem continues with this legacy. They offer a large choice in styles as well as colors, ranging from cedar shakes praised for their realism to bright and colorful traditional siding. You can read some alcoa vinyl siding reviews on the internet.

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