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A Brief Overview of Vinyl Siding Styles

Vinyl siding is entering a new renaissance with American homeowners. In past decades, it was often considered the siding choice for only the least expensive homes; it is now the number one choice for new construction — and has been for over 15 years. In fact, vinyl siding is one of the top choices for homes valued between $400,000 and $749,000, according to figures maintained by the Vinyl Siding Institute.

This is likely due to new sophisticated manufacturing techniques and the integration of high-tech materials that make vinyl siding more durable and energy efficient than other siding options. New insulated vinyl siding provides an extra layer of protection against hail and environmental damage, as well as enhancing energy efficiency. Today’s vinyl siding is inexpensive, virtually maintenance free for years, and amenable to DIY repairs. It also comes in more colors and styles than ever before, making it easy to get the perfect look for your home.

Whether you are designing an up-to-the-minute modern home or like the refined, yet rustic look of board and batten siding, you’ll find vinyl siding to meet your needs. Here’s a primer of popular vinyl styles.

Smooth Lap Clapboard


Smooth lap siding, also called horizontal siding, is a style that’s often associated with charming New England saltbox houses, early American and Dutch Colonial styles, and soaring Victorian homes. This style of siding was originally designed to be installed in an overlapping row pattern to allow wooden clapboards to expand when they swelled with moisture from rain and snow. Today’s vinyl clapboard siding comes in single, double, or triple rows in varying heights. Choose from smooth or wood-grain textured siding in virtually every color of the rainbow. Combining two profiles, such as scalloped siding with smooth lap, adds a custom touch.

Dutch Lap Siding


Dutch lap was inspired by European homes and many homeowners like the hand-cut look of this type of horizontal siding. Dutch lap is distinguished by the notch or groove at the top of each piece that creates a dramatic shadow line between the clapboards. The original Dutch lap siding was hand-carved from wood, and today’s manufacturers create textured Dutch lap vinyl siding to give an authentic wood siding look with an attractive, traditional feel.

Vinyl Shakes


Vinyl shakes give homeowners the pricey look of custom wooden shakes at economical vinyl prices. Unlike wooden shakes, which need regular painting and maintenance, vinyl shakes keep their natural good looks with little to no effort on the part of the homeowner. The best manufacturers replicate the unique cedar grain and texture so perfectly it’s almost impossible to tell the difference. Vinyl shakes can be installed over the entire home for a Hamptons-style beach home feel, or used as accents in dormers, gables, and window bays for luxurious architectural detail. Vinyl shakes come in a variety of hues, including authentic wood grains and lush, earthy colors.

Vertical Board and Batten


Image via Flickr by Runder

Board and batten, sometimes called barn siding, is experiencing a revival with homeowners who like the rustic look but with a contemporary flair. This siding typically features 12 inch boards with a one inch bead, or batten, between them, and is available in both smooth and wood-textured finishes. Some manufacturers make a more elegant version of board-and-batten siding that features rounded tops, which work well with Revival-style homes. If you’re looking for authentic siding for a farm-style house or even an angular modern home, you’ll love board-and-batten.

While this list is by no means exhaustive, it does introduce some of the more popular vinyl siding profiles. Many manufacturers also offer scalloped or fish-scale options, in addition to beaded horizontal siding that enhances a southern colonial home. If you’re building a new home, or re-siding your current one, you’ll find a vinyl siding style that matches your home.

What vinyl siding format appeals to you most?

Browse our selection of quality Vinyl Siding here.

One Comment

  1. I really like the dutch lap siding! My husband and I have been wanting to redo the siding on our home for a while now. We are trying to up our curb appeal along with getting a small fence. I think that vinyl siding is such a great option because there isn’t much maintenance that you have to do with it and it looks great. Thank you for sharing all of these options!

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