Understanding the various properties of exterior wall cladding options is important when making a decision, and knowing about durability, color choice and installation difficulty should all be part of your research. Let’s face it though; the biggest factor for most people is the cost.
Having a vague idea that vinyl is cheaper but brick is expensive is a helpful guide that doesn’t actually put any numbers in your budget. So we’re going to put together some rough numbers based on the average home size. Now, the average home in America, Australia and Canada is around 2,000 sq. ft., but there is no way to determine an accurate average of actual wall-coverage measurements due to so many variations in home structural design.
Since every house has different specific dimensions, even 2 houses with the same square footage can require different amounts of siding. So we are going to be providing averages per square foot rather than overall figures. It still provides a very helpful starting point to make comparisons.
As i mentioned, vinyl siding is one of your cheaper cladding options. Even so, there can be a sizable range in terms of price and quality in this category. You can get vinyl that runs from $2 to $5 per square foot.
A note on vinyl siding is that handy people may be able to do the installation with just minimal hand tools and basic construction skills. That can be a huge cost savings if you don’t mind doing the work yourself. The other products are not as easy to work with, and the average person isn’t likely to tackle big jobs as DIY.
Brick or Stone
If you are looking for this classic look, most people use either brick or “artificial” stone. The various stone products on the market are flat on one side for easier installation, and are a better price than true natural stone. Even so, you can end up paying $15 to $25 per sq. ft. to have brick or stone. True natural stone is even more expensive, and not all contractors work with it.
Wood siding can be a variable cost, because it will depend on the specific kind of wood (cedar, fir, maple etc.) and also the specific format. Cladding is either installed as clapboard or shingles/shakes, both of which have their own price ranges. Wood in clapboard format will run between $5 and $8 per square foot, and shakes are a little more expensive at $6 to $10 per sq. ft.
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Though it may not sound like a standard residential cladding, cement boards are becoming more popular because of its durability. It comes in around the same type of pricing as you would get with wood, roughly $5 to $9 per square foot of coverage.
This is a mixed bag of a category as many different companies have their own styles and formats for structured weatherboard cladding. Palliside is one popular example of this, and there are others. These products are usually designed to look like wood, and make a reasonable and ecologically sustainable choice. Expect the costs to be from $4 to $8 per sq. ft. for one of these cladding products.