Vinyl siding is top cladding pick

Vinyl siding was the top pick for exterior cladding on homes completed last year in the United States for the 20th straight year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual report, “Characteristics of New Single-Family Houses Completed.”

Vinyl siding was the predominant exterior wall material on 31 percent of the 569,000 homes built, compared to 25 percent for brick, 22 percent for stucco, and 16 percent for fiber cement. Seventy-six percent (76%) of homes built in the Northeast and 60 percent of homes built in the Midwest were first and foremost clad in vinyl siding.

“Building professionals choose vinyl siding more often than any other exterior cladding for good reasons,” said Jery Y. Huntley, president and CEO of the Vinyl Siding Institute Inc. (VSI).  “There are more attractive profiles and shapes to choose from than ever before, more matching or complementary trim and accessories, and more color options that any other pre-finished cladding on the market.”

The Census Bureau also accounted for siding preferences at various price segments of homes sold in 2013. Brick was the dominant material on homes sold for less than $125,000 (43 percent). Vinyl siding was the dominant cladding with 28 percent of homes priced between $150,000 and $399,999. It was also tied for top pick with stucco on homes sold in the $500,000 - $749,999 range.

Where brick saw gains, fiber cement saw losses. Nine percent of homes sold for under $125,000 were clad with fiber cement in 2012. In 2013, it dropped to 5 percent. Of homes sold in the $250,000 - $299,999 range, 17 percent were clad with fiber cement in 2013, compared to 22 percent in 2012. 

Twenty-one percent of homes sold in the $200,000 - $249,999 range were clad with fiber cement in 2012 versus 18 percent in 2013.

“Correlating the average sales price to the type of principle exterior cladding used will be a huge insight to planners who often assume that vinyl sided homes suppress property values,” said Matthew Dobson, senior director, Code and Regulatory at VSI. “U.S. Census Bureau data would say otherwise.”