Are you remodeling your home exterior and find yourself needing to choose a siding option? It’s important to know the difference between each type of siding and what will fit your specific wants and needs.

Your first decision will most likely be what material to use. While other options are out there on the market, vinyl siding can give you the same feel with more benefits. There are a lot of different types of vinyl siding to consider before making your decision.

Vinyl Siding Options

When it comes to siding, homeowners have a lot to choose from. One of the biggest decisions, for both cost and aesthetics, is the material of the siding itself. Vinyl siding is a popular choice for homeowners since many different style options and siding colors are available. Another benefit of vinyl siding is its low maintenance costs when compared to other siding materials.

Of the many vinyl siding options available, most (if not all) come with additional considerations, like smooth surface and a wood grain look/feel.

Smooth Siding Options

Most people visualize smooth siding when picturing a house with vinyl siding. Smooth siding has no texture visually, unlike others meant to appear as another material like wood or stone. The smoothness of this siding is a popular choice for modern architecture thanks to its clean lines and appearance. Because of its simplicity, smooth vinyl siding is also available in many color options.

Wood Grain

Wood grain vinyl siding gives you the curb appeal of wood grain without the high maintenance needs of real wood. Real wood siding can easily suffer from water damage or rot after exposure to the elements, and wood siding can also be a breeding ground for termites, woodpeckers, and more! Vinyl wood grain siding is highly durable and gives you the desired look without the hassle.

Wood grain vinyl siding is also available in varying colors to give the appearance of stained wood. This is one of the only siding options available with both horizontal and vertical installations to choose from, depending on your desired look.

So, once you have an idea of the siding surface you want for your home, it’s time to decide which siding style is best, as well.


Clapboard vinyl siding is the most popular type of siding sold and has been used for centuries in both America and Europe. Clapboard is a horizontal siding option that comes in many different colors and textures, including insulated vinyl siding and non-insulated versions. Thanks to its style, color, and texture options, clapboard siding can be modeled to look like wooden planks.

Traditional Lap

Traditional lap vinyl siding is very similar to clapboard. However, traditional lap uses broader planks, usually about 6” to 7” wide boards, which are more narrow at the top compared to the bottom. Traditional lap siding is installed with the bottom of the wall done first so that the planks overlap with each other. The variety in width allows for the thicker bottom to cover the narrow top.

Generally speaking, vinyl is already more waterproof than other siding materials; the overlap style of traditional lap heightens this strength. Water is much less likely to come into contact with the underneath structure of the house, as it simply runs off through the layers of panels.

Dutch Lap Siding

Dutch lap siding is similar to traditional lap with its overlap style. But, dutch lap siding has smaller planks, usually about 4” to 5” wide, and the bevel angle is steeper, creating more contrast between the planks when compared to traditional lap siding. The thinner panels also lead to stronger shadow lines with deeper spaces between them, creating a hand-carved appearance. Dutch lap siding is manufactured in sheets, allowing for easy installation.

Beaded Seam

Beaded seam vinyl siding has a unique look compared to smooth vinyl with a rounded edge along the bottom of each panel. Because of this edge, beaded seam has a more interesting shadow line and is often considered one of the more trendy style options.

Beaded seam siding was once a signal of wealth. When siding used to be handmade, the extra detail on the edge of the plank costs much more than smooth siding. To this day, beaded seam can still give the impression of an upscale home but for much less. This siding option gives traditional homes an elevated look and is available in a wide variety of color choices.

Board & Batten

Board and batten siding, also known as barn siding, is the widest plank option, with boards up to 12” in width. Recognizable as vertical vinyl siding, this option is widely considered “barn siding” because it is used on barns across the country (with popularity in both America and Europe).

Again, board and batten siding is a vertical siding that offers a different appearance, most recently popularized with the barnhouse design style. It is commonly installed with a narrow strip of wood nailed underneath the gap between boards for added dimension.

Cedar Shake

Homeowners across the nation have been flocking to the idea of cedar shake vinyl siding. Like other types of vinyl siding, it gives the highly desired look of real cedar wood shakes without the hassles of wooden siding. Cedar shake siding’s old style and traditional look has kept it around for hundreds of years, and has lead to the popularity of this particular vinyl siding style.

Traditionally, this siding option was handmade. Cedar logs would be chopped lengthwise to obtain the desired wedge shape. The shingles had a rough texture and unique look based on the wood used.

While real cedar shake shingle siding starts out with a rich color, it turns gray over the years and eventually dries out. Additionally, real cedar shake has to be regularly maintained with a fresh stain every couple of years or else the natural wood siding warps and rots from moisture.

Vinyl shake siding, by comparison, allows homeowners to achieve this classic yet rustic look without the upkeep and hassle of real wood. At Factory Direct Siding, cedar shake vinyl siding is manufactured in sheets for simple DIY installation, and provides a wide variety of color choices to match the desired look for your home siding.

Half-round (Scalloped)

Half-round siding, also known as “scalloped” gives an appearance similar to fish scales. These create a different look to your average vinyl siding with each shingle having a round shape.

Half-round siding can be installed across the entire exterior of the house or (more often) used in smaller sections, like gables, for a nice accent. The scallop appearance gives a classic look with options for a more modern gloss finish. While half-round shingles are also available in wood material, vinyl scallop shingles give the same look at half the price of initial cost and maintenance.

Save on Siding Costs

Vinyl house siding is a premier choice for your home improvement project thanks to its maintenance-free properties. Whether you need new siding to replace damaged shingles or are in the process of building a new house, choosing between the types of vinyl siding is a big decision. (Keep in mind that combining more than one type of vinyl siding is another way to add great curb appeal with a fresh, unique look.)

Factory Direct Siding has been in manufacturing for over 80 years, gaining decades of experience making customers happy. With FDS, you can purchase your vinyl siding directly from the supplier (us!) to eliminate unnecessary costs. Our material has proven durability and comes with a lifetime warranty. Get started today and choose from over 30 distinct color options!