Are you looking for the most compelling way to change the outside of your house and make it stand out? Siding is the way to go. Exterior choices are scary and the most significant decisions you can make, but planning ahead will assure that you get something that appeals to you now and for years to come.

To assist you in your exterior plans for your current house or your new dream home, here is what you want to know about the three most significant siding styles.


Shingle siding is also known as shake siding. It is easily recognizable and commonly associated with Victorian-style houses and picturesque New England Cape Cods. It is also used as an accent in roof gables.

Shingle siding isn’t restricted to small accents. It can be used as the main feature of the home in combination with other siding materials. For instance, a home might have stone up to the middle of the first floor, followed by a section of horizontal siding, and a wide band of shingle siding at the top.

Typically, wood is the common material for shingle siding, but contemporary materials like fiber cement are available. They come in various textures and lengths, with staggered, straight, or scalloped edges. This mimics the look of wood but with less maintenance. 


Vertical siding is usually called panel siding and is characterized by its tall, wide panels. This presents a clean, modern appearance that is indicative of contemporary homes. Vertical siding on its own gives the home a modern look, but it is also used for the popular board and batten style. This is where vertical batten strips are arranged atop panel siding at regular intervals, creating a rustic aesthetic.

Although board and batten are often linked with farmhouse-style houses, it is a versatile style. One can easily adjust the character of the design by narrowing the space between battens, creating a more contemporary statement.


Lap siding is also known as plank siding or clapboard and is probably the most recognized style. Long planks are placed horizontally, slightly overlapping the top rows over the bottom rows.

It is often seen on traditional houses, but small tweaks can provide lap siding with a more modern flair.

Traditional homes tend to use small-to-mid planks that stop on wide trim boards. These trim boards are usually found on corners, around windows, and fixtures. Lap siding can look more up-to-date by getting rid of the trim from the design.


It is important to understand that the look you achieve will be defined by the style of siding you choose for your home. Make sure to describe your feelings to your architect or designer clearly. Find out their design viewpoint as well, in order to ensure your vision comes to life.

Most contemporary siding will come in similar styles, so it is important to examine what the materials are made of, keeping in mind long-lasting protection with minimal maintenance. 

Fiber cement is an enduring siding material that comes in a broad range of styles, finishes, and looks that mimic wood and stucco. It is engineered to stand up, no matter the elements.