types of wood siding

Decisions, Decisions: Understanding the Different Types of Wood Siding

If you want to give your home a makeover, then the siding is a great place to start. The right siding can give your house that “wow” factor, and make it the envy of all your neighbors.

Visuals aside, your siding also serves a functional purpose, which is to protect and insulate your home and its occupants from harsh weather like rain and snow.

When you’re in the market for sidings, there are a lot of choices. There are so many types of wood siding options that picking the right one may be a bit overwhelming. The difference is not only in the type of wood but also in its grade and overall design.

If you’re looking for the best wood siding for homes, then read on to learn about the many types of wood siding out there.

Wood Siding by Type of Wood

The type of wood you pick for your siding determines its look, durability, and insulation capability. Here are a few wood siding options to consider:


Fir sidings are among the more cost-effective siding options. Fir is a softwood that’s relatively easy to obtain. It’s ideal for large houses because you can get fir in long lengths.

It’s also generally easy to install and leaves a lovely finish. Since it’s a softwood, you can cut it into various designs. So if you want it in planks, shiplap, or tongue and groove, you can easily get it that way with fir.


Ipe sidings are among the lesser-known siding options, but they’re arguably the best type of wood siding. That’s because when you compare it to other wood options, ipe has a clear edge over the others.

First off, ipe is a virtually maintenance-free hardwood, requiring only one oil treatment annually to retain its color. It’s popular in some parts because of its ability to retain structural integrity even under the harshest weather conditions, among other benefits. That means you won’t need to replace your ipe siding for a good long time once you install it.

If you don’t maintain it, the siding turns a grey color, which is what most owners want. If you want it to get its original color back, you just oil it, and it’s back to brown.


Folks love cedar for its lovely color. You can also reveal the grain through the stain to make the siding even more appealing.

It’s also relatively low-maintenance when you compare it to other wood species. That’s because cedar is resistant to rot and insect damage, unlike most other wood types.

If your taste is more of the red type of cedar, then prepare yourself to pay top-dollar for “heartwood” cedar.


Cypress is an extremely durable hardwood that’s very popular across the country. In fact, it’s so durable that some folks can salvage it from demolished homes to reuse it, and it still lasts.

It’s also lightweight, which makes it easy to install. Plus, just like cedar, it’s resistant to rot and repels insects, hence it requires little maintenance. The downside to cypress is that it’s very expensive, and most people aren’t willing to spend that kind of cash on their sidings.

Siding Types by Wood Grade

Most people select wood sidings based on their appearance. As such, there are no building codes to stipulate wood grades. Some agencies, like the WWPA, create their own grading systems that many suppliers choose to adopt.

With that in mind, here are the most common wood grades.

  • Number 1: This is a clean, high-quality wood with little to no knots or defects. It gives a very high level of finish.
  • Number 2: This is also good quality wood, just not as good as Number 1. It has more knots and minor defects here and there.
  • Grade A to Grade D: These grades denote wood that has a considerable number of knotholes, slight warping, a few splits and checks here and there.

Siding Options by Style

When it comes to style, all your options boil down to two main types of sidings which are horizontal and vertical. Horizontal sidings are lovely to look at but are also harder to maintain than vertical ones. After you pick your sidings orientation, horizontal or vertical, you next have to pick a style.

When it comes to wood siding styles, you can choose from:


Boards are cut-outs from wood that you arrange either vertically or horizontally. They come in different lengths, widths, and thicknesses.

Color and Finish

The color and finish style has been all the rage for the past half-decade or so. After you install the siding, you finish it with a fresh paint coat of your preferred color. This style has immense visual appeal and also lengthens the lifespan of the siding.


The stylish person can always settle for shingles because it gives the house a more classic, rustic look. It works well, especially with ipe and cedar sidings. You can order shingles in a variety of shapes to suit your style.

Choose Your Types of Wood Siding Wisely

With so many types of wood siding, you have plenty to choose from. While it’s only natural to base your decisions off of aesthetics, you should also consider durability and maintenance.

Also, remember to buy your sidings from a reputable supplier to get your money’s worth.

For beautiful, durable, and robust ipe sidings, contact us today, and we’ll help you out.

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