Siding: A Home Buyer’s Guide

Tingen ConstructionHomebuyer

A home’s siding – meaning its external walls – is the foundation of its aesthetic. In many ways it’s a symbol of your home, and is an easily recognized element that says “this place is mine.” But home siding is also diverse and requires upkeep and maintenance! Before you buy a home, know what its siding will need from you. Our guide below is not comprehensive, but covers most popular types of siding.


The familiar, horizontal stripes of vinyl siding are timeless and practical. Its durability, low cost, and wide range of color choices are the main ingredients behind its ubiquity. That said, the ubiquity can also make it seem a bit conventional, which could be a turn off for some.

Busy homeowners will appreciate vinyl’s low maintenance: just hose it off with a pressure washer and you’re good to go. Do be careful around it, as dents can occur from hailstorms or raucous kids.


Brick is classic for a reason: it’s warm, inviting, and beautiful. It’s also extremely durable and resistant to fire and insects, which lowers your home insurance costs!

Maintaining brick is equally easy: just an occasional wash will do the trick. Be mindful that the mortar can eventually break down, and replacement can be a bit frustrating. This is especially important for older homes.


The unique look of stucco is summery, airy, and bright, echoing the aesthetic of California or the American Southwest. It is reasonably durable, and resistant to rot and insects.

If you’re buying a stucco home, have your inspector take extra care around the foundation: if it shifts, stucco can easily crack. Its textured, bright surface shows dirt easily, and make sure you like the color: painting stucco is notoriously difficult.


Wood, like brick, is a quintessentially American look. It’s highly desired by many homeowners, especially for mountain retreats or heavily wooded lots. It’s also surprisingly energy efficient.

However, wood requires more maintenance than any other siding type! It must be restained every few years, and requires vigilant pest control to avoid becoming a buffet for termites. There’s also the obvious problem of fires.

Fiber Cement

Popular in newer mid-to-high end communities, fiber cement combines the look of wood siding with the durability of vinyl. The results are a beautiful, fire resistant, and overall reliable material.

Unfortunately, fiber cement does inherit some of wood’s maintenance characteristics. It needs to be repainted every so often, and chips can occur that require touch-ups.

Are you looking to buy a home in the North Carolina Triangle area? Contact Tingen Construction today and let’s build the home of your dreams.