Vinyl Siding Styles: A Guide to Choosing the Perfect Appearance for Your Home

There are a wide variety of advantages to using vinyl siding including, water resistance, the fact that it is low maintenance, and it also provides great energy efficiency.  That is why it is so commonly used on homes today.  The vast array of vinyl siding styles leave you with plenty to choose from.  Here are some examples of vinyl siding and an explanation of the benefits of each:


Smooth Siding

When picturing a house with vinyl siding it is common for people to imagine smooth siding.  This type of siding has no texture that can be seen, as opposed to other types that are created to appear as a certain type of material such as stone or wood.  Due to its simplicity, clean lines and neat appearance this siding has become an often chosen option.

Horizontal Siding

Horizontal Siding

This encompasses styles like; Traditional Lap Siding, Beaded styles, and Dutch Lap, and is the most chosen siding for homes.  You can make your selection from a number of wood grain textures that appear to be real wood, but come without the maintenance difficulties that using real wood siding brings.  One of the special things about horizontal siding is that you can create a classic appearance by utilizing different colors, shadow lines and textures.


Due to its far reaching amount of colors and textures, vinyl siding can serve to attractively accent many different styles, with no need to change the methods of installation.  With all of available extras and trims it will enable you to add the perfect finishing touches to any design you choose.

Clapboard Siding


Clapboard vinyl siding is actually the most in demand type of siding and has been in use for centuries in both Europe and America.  This is a horizontal siding available in a variety of different colors and textures, including insulated and non-insulated types.  It can actually be made to look like wooden planks.

Dutch Lap Siding

Dutch Lap Siding

This is akin to traditional lap siding with its overlap style.  However, Dutch lap siding has smaller planks, normally around 4” to 5” wide, and the bevel angle is steeper, allowing for more contrast between the planks in comparison to traditional lap siding.  Because the panels are thinner they can create a hand-carved appearance by causing stronger shadow lines with deeper spaces between them.


Vertical Siding

Vertical Siding

What is the big draw of vertical siding?  Vertical siding has become very much in demand either as an accent or main design component.  The main feature is the pattern of vertical lines which can have a markedly strong effect.  This makes it an ideal choice for low porch walls, dormers and gables, and entryways.

Moreover, there are a great many styles to pick from; like the customary vertical panels or a very different board & batten style that is quite effective in making your house look distinctive, by alternating between wide and narrow vertical panels to create an amazing classic appearance that has frequently been found in historical homes.


Since vertical siding is obtainable in two finishes, smooth and wood grain, you have the opportunity to make a choice that will give your home the ideal individual style that you are looking for.  You can actually turn it into a standout in the neighborhood.


Shingles & Shakes

Shingles & Shakes Siding

These have an excellent reputation due to their low cost upkeep, combined with their realistic appearance.  They are extremely effective as both siding to cover the entire house and as decorative borders and accents.  By teaming up shakes and shingles with other types of materials, like stone, which is a favorite, you will bring to life a look of natural beauty plus add amazing visual appeal to your home.

Most of the time you will see cedar shingles used as an ornamental element, usually placed on the gables of a home.


Insulated Siding

Insulated Siding

Ever since it was first displayed in public insulated vinyl siding has taken off in a big way.  Essentially, it is vinyl siding laminated and fused with foam.  The advantages of this type of siding are that it provides an air and moisture infiltration barrier together with a thermal break that stops heat transmission — making it the perfect choice to increase the energy efficiency of your home.  Also, insulated siding reduces noise and gives your home a cleaner and more appealing appearance.

Because insulated siding is created to shed water and improve the drying capacity of your walls, it helps keep mold from growing and gives protection from the elements.


Wood Grain

Wood Grain

This type of vinyl siding lets you have the visual appeal of wood grain without the high upkeep needs of real wood.  If you use real wood siding you will soon become aware that it can suffer from water damage or even rot after being exposed to the elements.  Add to that the fact that wood siding can attract termites, and in rural areas even a woodpecker or two.  Vinyl wood grain is extremely long lasting and almost problem free.

Wood grain vinyl siding can be found in different colors to look like stained wood.  It is also one of the only siding choices out there that comes in both horizontal and vertical styles.


Traditional Lap

Traditional Lap

This sort of vinyl siding is very much akin to clapboard, with the exception being that it uses broader planks, around 6” to 7” wide, which are narrower at the top than the bottom.  Traditional lap siding is installed by doing the bottom of the wall first so that the planks will overlap.  It is the variety in width that permits the thicker bottom to cover the narrow top.

While vinyl is more waterproof than other siding materials, the overlap style of traditional lap increases this.  Using this type of siding greatly lessens the chances of water coming into contact with the underneath structure of the house, because it will simply run off through the layers of panels.


Beaded Seam

This type of vinyl siding has an unusual appearance as opposed to smooth vinyl with a rounded edge along each panel’s bottom.  As a result of this beaded seam vinyl siding has an intriguing shadow line and is frequently viewed as one of the more modern styles.  It provides homes with an elevated appearance and is obtainable in many colors.

Board & Batten

Board & Batten

This type of vertical vinyl siding has earned the name barn siding, as it is the widest plank selection, with up to 12” in width.

This siding provides a different look, of late made popular by the barn house design style.  It is installed with a narrow strip of wood nailed beneath the opening between boards.


Half-round (Scalloped)

This siding is often referred to as “scalloped” and gives a distinctive look similar to that of fish scales.  This is because each shingle has a round shape.

You can have half-round siding installed over the complete exterior of the house giving it a classic look and add a gloss finish.

My name is Donald and I am the main author of this little page. I love working around the houses during the day and writing articles about house improvement in the evening. If you have any questions, just ask in the comments! If you need professional siding services use the form.


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