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How to Choose the Right Siding for Your New Home

June 21st, 2024

By Sofia Alonso

4 min read

Building a new home is an exhilarating journey, filled with numerous decisions that shape the look and longevity of your investment. Among these decisions, selecting the right siding can feel particularly intimidating. Your home's siding isn't just about curb appeal; it directly impacts energy efficiency, durability, and maintenance costs. With a myriad of options ranging from T1-11 and aluminum to high-end materials like James Hardie and Nichiha, homeowners often find themselves overwhelmed. How do you choose a siding that balances aesthetics, performance, and budget without compromising on quality?

At AV Architects + Builders, we have over two decades of experience guiding homeowners through the complexities of building and renovating luxury homes in Northern Virginia. Our team understands the unique challenges of selecting the perfect siding for your new home. We combine our extensive knowledge of local climate conditions, architectural styles, and the latest building materials to provide you with tailored, expert advice. We don’t just offer generic recommendations; we dive deep into the specifics of each siding option to help you make an informed decision that aligns with your unique needs and preferences.

In this article, we promise to unmask the process of choosing the right siding for your new home. We will provide a comparison of various siding materials, including their pros and cons, to help you navigate through your options with ease. Whether you are looking for budget-friendly solutions, mid-range options, or premium materials, this article will equip you with the knowledge necessary to make a well-informed decision. By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of which siding material best suits your home’s aesthetic, performance requirements, and your long-term maintenance goals.


Comparing Siding Material Options For a New Home

Basic Siding Options

1. T1-11 Siding

T1-11 is a plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) siding that is commonly used for sheds and inexpensive structures.


  • Cost-effective
  • Easy to install


  • Prone to damage from woodpeckers
  • Requires frequent maintenance
  • Limited lifespan

Screenshot 2024-06-21 140717Home Depot, Plywood Siding Panel T1-11


2. Aluminum Siding

Aluminum siding is a durable and waterproof option that has been used for decades.


  • Waterproof
  • Resistant to fire and insects
  • Lightweight


  • Prone to dents and scratches
  • No thermal value, meaning it doesn't contribute to insulation
  • Can fade over time

deluxe-aluminumGentek, Aluminum Siding

3. Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding was developed as an alternative to aluminum, offering improved aesthetics and durability.


  • Cost-effective
  • Wide range of colors and styles
  • Low maintenance


  • Can get dirty and requires power washing
  • Less environmentally friendly
  • Susceptible to cracking in extreme weather conditions

vinyl-siding-quote-1Exterior Medics, Vinyl Siding

Upgraded Siding Option

4. James Hardie Siding

James Hardie siding, also known as fiber cement siding, offers a significant upgrade in terms of durability and aesthetic appeal.


  • Highly durable
  • Resistant to fire, insects, and rot
  • Can mimic the appearance of wood, stone, or brick
  • Low maintenance


  • More expensive than vinyl and aluminum
  • Heavier, requiring professional installation

MACKENZIE-AV-ArchBuild-Commonage-Final-5James Hardie, Hardie Plank Lap Siding

Premium Siding Option

5. Nichiha Siding

Nichiha siding represents the pinnacle of siding materials, offering superior performance and aesthetics.


  • Thicker panels for enhanced durability
  • Higher R-value, providing better insulation
  • No need for power washing
  • Available in a variety of textures and finishes


  • Higher cost
  • Requires professional installation

1528 Forest Villa (6)AV Architects + Builders, The Hill House, Virginia, Photography by Sean O'Rourke Photography

Factors to Consider When Choosing Siding

When selecting siding for your new home, consider the following factors:

1. Climate

The climate in your area plays a significant role in determining the best siding material. For instance, in regions with extreme weather conditions, durability and thermal performance are critical.

2. Maintenance

Consider how much time and effort you're willing to invest in maintaining your siding. Some materials, like T1-11, require frequent upkeep, while others, like Nichiha, are virtually maintenance-free.

3. Aesthetics

Your home's appearance is important, so choose a siding material that complements your architectural style and personal preferences. Materials like James Hardie and Nichiha offer a wide variety of textures and finishes to achieve your desired look.

4. Cost

Siding costs can vary widely, so it's essential to balance your budget with the desired durability and aesthetics. While premium options like Nichiha offer superior benefits, they come at a higher price point.

5. Installation

Some siding materials are easier to install than others. DIY-friendly options like vinyl can save on labor costs, but for materials like James Hardie and Nichiha, professional installation is recommended to ensure proper performance and longevity.

6. R-Value

R-value measures a material's resistance to heat flow, which is crucial for energy efficiency. Higher R-value siding materials, like Nichiha, provide better insulation, leading to lower energy bills and a more comfortable home environment.

7. Sustainable

Eco-friendliness is an increasingly important factor for many homeowners. Fiber cement options like James Hardie and Nichiha are made from sustainable materials and offer a long lifespan, reducing the need for frequent replacements.


Choosing The Right Siding For Your New Home

Choosing the right siding for your new home involves balancing cost, durability, maintenance, and aesthetics. From budget-friendly T1-11 to premium Nichiha, each material has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. By considering factors like climate, maintenance requirements, and insulation needs, you can select the best siding option to enhance your home's beauty and performance for years to come.



Q: What is the most cost-effective siding option?

A: The most cost-effective siding option is T1-11, which is inexpensive and easy to install. However, it requires frequent maintenance and may not be suitable for all climates.

Q: Is vinyl siding better than aluminum siding?

A: Vinyl siding is generally considered better than aluminum because it offers a wider range of colors and styles, is more resistant to dents, and requires less maintenance. However, it may crack in extreme weather conditions.

Q: How often should I clean my siding?

A: The frequency of cleaning depends on the material. Vinyl siding typically needs to be power washed annually, while materials like Nichiha require minimal maintenance.

Q: Can I install siding myself?

A: Some siding materials, like vinyl, are DIY-friendly and can be installed by homeowners with basic skills. However, more complex materials like James Hardie and Nichiha require professional installation.

Q: What is the lifespan of fiber cement siding?

A: Fiber cement siding, such as James Hardie, can last 30-50 years with proper maintenance, making it a durable and long-lasting option.

Q: Does siding affect home insulation?

A: Yes, siding can impact home insulation. Materials with higher R-values, like Nichiha, provide better insulation and can improve energy efficiency.



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