A Homeowner's Guide To The Different Types Of Vinyl Siding

A Homeowner's Guide To The Different Types Of Vinyl Siding

Are you looking to add vinyl siding to your home? If so, you may wonder about the types of vinyl siding available. Vinyl siding is one of the most cost-effective options and is also one of the easiest materials to take care of.

Vinyl siding is like a second skin to your home and protects it from the elements. By choosing the right home siding, you protect your home and can make it look aesthetically pleasing.

Let's explore the different types of vinyl siding to help you make the right decision.

Vinyl Siding

Horizontal Vinyl Siding

Horizontal vinyl siding is probably the most popular. It's a timeless classic and will not likely be outdated.

It comes in numerous styles and can mimic different styles like log cabin siding. Wood siding is more vulnerable to insects, mold, and splintering, which vinyl siding is not. This is a great way to get the "wood" siding look without all the added risks.

Let's take a look at some of the various types of horizontal vinyl siding.


In Colonial times, clapboard siding was first used in the U.S. It is the most traditional method.

Clapboard siding has long and narrow boards that are around four inches. The planks are nailed to the house lengthwise and overlap on the top and bottom. This gives it texture and depth.

Traditional Lap

Like clapboard siding, traditional lap overlaps the planks. The plank boards are usually around six to seven inches. The planks are wedge-shaped and get narrower at the top.

Typically, professionals install these starting at the bottom. This lets the thicker bottom edge overlap the bottom plant. It helps water to shed efficiently to protect the structure.

Dutch Lap

This style mimics the look of real wood. It has distinct grooves and decorative shadow lines. It makes an illusion that each panel is handmade.

Dutch lap goes beyond the traditional lap. The bevel angle is sharper to give more contrast between the planks. The troughs in these areas are deeper to give an even bigger and more pronounced shadow line.


There are no shadow lines with smooth siding. It looks more like freshly painted wood. There is no texture on the surface.

If you want a more modern look, smooth may be a good option. There are also several colors so you can complete your look.

Wood Grain

Vinyl siding can have wood grain. It looks as though the planks are real wood. You can pick various stain colors, so you can get the look you want with a more durable siding since vinyl can absorb moisture. It also won't rot like wood siding.


If you want a really decorative shadow line, you may want to look at beaded siding. It is similar to dutch lap siding but the beaded groove is at the bottom of the panels to give it a stronger shadow line.

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Vertical Vinyl Siding

This style is gaining more popularity with the modern farmhouse look. Vertical siding is traditionally used on farmhouses and barns. It stands out from the common horizontal siding.

The installation is more time-consuming and requires additional prep work, so the costs may be higher. The planks are typically wider than the horizontal siding, so you won't need as many if you choose to buy factory direct siding.

Here are some of the more common styles of vertical vinyl siding.

Board and Batten

This is the common barn siding. Board and batten siding is the widest siding, with planks up to 12 inches wide. You could install them horizontally if you wanted to, but they are more commonly used vertically.

Siding contractors will install narrow strips of wood that are nailed over the board gaps.


You can get a more rustic look using shake shingles. They look more like natural wood without the high price and maintenance. Shakes are available with either staggered or straight edges.

The staggered edges have jagged bottoms, so the shakes look as though they were handmade and laid individually. Straight edge shakes give more shadow lines between shingles and the bottoms are straight.


You can use scallop shakes for the whole house for a decorative appeal, or just use them on accent areas like gables or dormers. The scallops can be of various shapes like half-cove, half-rounds, hexagons, and more.

These styles are individually produced and range from five to seven inches in size.

Shake or Shingle Vinyl Siding

You can get the look of shake or authentic shingles for a fraction of the price with vinyl options. This type of siding is popular with historic homes and provides a charming or distinctive style.

You can arrange vinyl shingles and shakes vertically in various forms including staggered edges, hand-splint, or half-rounded.

They have a low-gloss finish to make them look like the real thing. The vinyl options have another underlying layer of insulation, so they provide better energy efficiency and sturdiness for the siding. They also cost a lot less than cedar shakes.

Other Options for Different Types of Vinyl Siding

In addition to the style of your siding, you will need to discuss the following with your contractor:

  • Thickness
  • Profile
  • Width
  • Color
  • Price

You can find examples in your area to find what style matches your home better. Need inspiration on colors? Here are some options that give a pop of color or a classic neutral.

Finding the Best Products for Your Home

As you can see, you have numerous options with the different types of vinyl siding. You can get about any color, style, and width to give your home the look you want.

Looking for other home products? Keep checking out our site for a list of some of the best products out there for just about anything.

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