Whether you’re building a brand new house or remodeling an old one, one of the biggest decisions you have to make is what exterior material to use.

There are so many different options when it comes to the exterior of your home, and it can sometimes be difficult to decide what’s right for you. Many people think first about the look and feel of the material, but there are many more important things to consider when making this decision.

Durability

One of the most important considerations when it comes to your home’s exterior is whether or not the material is durable. Materials that can’t stand the test of time mean that replacements will be more frequent than materials that are more durable.

Some of the most durable materials are stone, brick, and stucco. This is because they are largely resistant to the wear and tear of the elements like heat, water, wind, and cold.

Wood is one of the least durable materials for the outside of your home, especially if it is not properly treated. The lifetime of wood also can diminish if the proper care is not taken of it over time, as wood paneling requires repainting and re-caulking every few years to deter rot.

Water and Weather Resistance

Another important thing to consider is whether or not your exterior material prevents water and other weather from entering and damaging your home’s interior. There are some materials that do a great job of this, and others that don’t do so well.

Brick, though very durable, often does a poor job of preventing water from seeping into the home, requiring the installation of other waterproof materials behind the outer layer of brick. Wood is another material that does a poor job, as wood itself is susceptible to weather damage.

Vinyl cladding does a good job of preventing water and weather penetration, though many homeowners still choose to install waterproof materials or furring strips beneath the vinyl for further protection. Stucco does a good job as well, because it is essentially a concrete mixture which coats the entire exterior of the home.

Cost

Stucco is usually one of the least expensive options because of how easy it is to make and install.

Stone and brick can be very expensive, because it is more difficult to install and requires a trained professional for hours, even days depending on the size of your home. This can be worked around by choosing brick or stone paneling, which can be applied by the homeowner much like tile to achieve the same look and feel without the cost and installation time.

Wood also is more expensive, because it requires constant upkeep to prevent weather damage.

One of the most popular choices when it comes to cost is vinyl, because vinyl cladding cost is generally much less than other materials. This is because vinyl is an inexpensive material and vinyl cladding is one of the easiest materials to install.