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Types of exterior wall coverings

Updated February 21, 2017

Choosing the material for the exterior walls of your home is a personal choice. Learn what's available and some of the benefits of each covering type to make the best decision. Look at the homes in the area and choose an exterior that works well with the architecture of your home and the area. Consider mixing materials for a unique look.

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Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is a popular home exterior covering for its low maintenance. The colour doesn't easily fade and it doesn't require repainting. It's flexible so it resists dents from hail, mowing debris and kids toys. Vinyl siding is easy to clean, typically only needing to be hosed off with a garden hose to remove dirt and grime. Depending on the home, vinyl siding may improve the value, but if the home is historic, vinyl siding may reduce the value of the home.

Clapboard Siding

Clapboard siding is wood. Clapboard siding is strong and weathers well. It does require a high quality paint job to protect the wood. This siding comes in a variety of widths and lengths. It's available in many different wood types and dates back to colonial times. The product is less expensive than vinyl siding, is lightweight and not difficult to cut to size.


Stucco is known for its durability. It's fire resistant and provides more insulation than vinyl or clapboard siding. Stucco requires little maintenance other than routine visual inspections for cracks. If cracks are found, they need to be cleaned and patched to prevent them from expanding and causing serious damage to the exterior of the home.


Brick exteriors are rarely full bricks but brick veneer. Brick veneer is much lighter than brick. The bricks themselves are porous, so the use of a high-quality vapour barrier between the structure and the veneer is critical. Brick is highly durable, looks good in its natural state or painted and requires little maintenance. Annual visual inspections for deterioration in the mortar between the bricks is necessary. Clean and patch any loose or damaged mortar immediately to prevent more serious damage from occurring.

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About the Author

Angela Roe

Angela Roe is a freelance writer who specializes in writing online articles, including topics as diverse as home improvement and decor, crafts, ballroom dancing, sports, fitness and business interests, as well as marketing and research, and business associations. She also provides SEO copy to industry-leading Web-content providers.

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