Most homeowners don't think about their home siding beyond the color because it's simply part of the house. Even when you build a house, production builders offer color choices but maintain consistent siding in their communities. This means the only time you get to pick your home siding is when you build a custom house or decide it's time to replace your home's siding.
When moving to a different part of the country with different siding materials, you might notice and learn more before buying a house. As I grew up in the northeast, moved to California and now live in Florida, an article about the most common exterior wall materials on homes started in 2019 intrigued me.
Most Common Home Siding in the US
Regional Variations on the Most Popular Exterior Wall Materials provides a nice summary of the data published by the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC). My expectation based on owning my handyman business, was that vinyl siding would be the most common material across the US. That's based on having lived in the northeast (68%) most of my life … and I was wrong, LOL.
Stucco was used on 27% of new homes started in 2019, followed by vinyl siding at 25%. My belief is this reflects the use of stucco on the hundreds of thousands of houses being built by production home builders across the southern part of the US, from Florida to California.
Fiber cement siding like Hardiplank has grown to represent 21% of the market while brick or brick veneer, is used in 20% of new homes. Much smaller shares of single-family homes use wood or wood products (5%), and even fewer homes (1%) have stone or rock siding.
Common Home Siding Where You Live
You probably want to discover (or confirm) the most common exterior wall materials where you live … and you might be surprised (like me) if it's not what you guessed. As you think about your home's siding, especially if you're considering replacing your home siding, here are the most important factors to consider:
- Does your siding choice compliment the style of your home and neighborhood?
- Does the siding manufacturer offer enough color choices so you get what you want?
- Are you comfortable with the time and cost needed to clean, maintain and make minor repairs to your home siding?
So now what you've been waiting for, the most common home siding materials used across the US. The data is from the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC) for 2019. The pie chart above and this map of the US were created by the National Association of Home Builders. The siding materials highlighted in red below show where stucco and vinyl dominate, with brick (or brick veneer) the top home siding in west and east south central regions.
|Common Siding 2019||Stucco||Vinyl||Fiber Cement||Brick||Wood||Other|
How Home Siding Trends Have Changed
As I love wood siding, it was hard to resist digging to see how it was faring across the US. Using the same Census data I was encouraged to see that along with the northeast, the midwest is still in love with wood.
More interesting were the shift in exterior wall materials since 1973, the earliest year where this data was captured (take a peek at Census Characteristics of New Housing, Exterior Wall Materials – Primary). Here are the most obvious shifts seen in the data covering 46 years:
- Stucco siding has grown from a low of 12% in 1973, to lead the us at 27% of new single-family homes in 2019. This is likely due to rapid home development occurring across the sun-belt.
- Vinyl is holding steady in the mid'20s although it wasn't measured until 1992. Prior to vinyl siding, many homes used aluminum siding … but vinyl easier to maintain.
- Fiber cement came after vinyl, joining the list of home siding materials measured by the census in 2005. This siding has the look of wood and withstands the elements much better than wood.
- Brick siding was actually the leading exterior wall material in 1973. It's use has dropped since the introduction of vinyl siding but seems to be holding steady at 20%.
- Wood siding sadly has dropped from 30% in 1973 to only 5% in 2019.
|Common Siding||Stucco||Vinyl||Fiber Cement||Brick||Wood||Other|
PS While I've got lots of articles on roofing and siding, while researching this article I discovered New Ideas for Siding for Your Home, with some fun ideas on siding color, textures and opportunities to mix different home sidings.