Home-Building Basics: How to Decide the Best Home Exterior for You

When building a home from the ground up, you have the option to design the exterior exactly to your specifications. A home's exterior will play a role in the finished look of the home, and it can impact everything from repair and maintenance requirements to how energy efficient the home is. With how important the exterior material choice that you make is, you want to make a thoughtful, informed decision. Focus on these points as you review the options.


From stucco, brick and natural stone to vinyl and wood siding, there are numerous materials that you can use with your home's exterior. The exterior materials used will have a major impact on the final cost of your project, so you generally need to review the impact of cost on your selection. Vinyl siding is generally one of the most affordable options available while stucco, brick and stone are on the higher end of the spectrum. Some who are trying to build on a budget will use vinyl siding throughout the exterior. Others may incorporate vinyl siding in combination with other exterior materials, such as brick, to keep costs lower. Vinyl siding comes in many different colors, and some are even made to look like wood and other materials, making this a great option for many homes.


When most people think about the style of a home's exterior, they think about what the home looks like from the front view. The sides may also be in view from different angles from the front yard, so the look of the sides of the home is often secondary. Some may want to use an affordable material like vinyl throughout the entire exterior. However, if you want to include a higher cost material, such as stone, in the exterior décor, using it on the front and sides of the building while using an affordable material in the rear is a smart idea.

Maintenance Requirements

You also want to think about the maintenance requirements of various materials. Mortar between bricks and stones can easily chip away to create a maintenance issue. Wood siding generally needs to be repainted or stained regularly. Stucco may chip or crack periodically. Vinyl siding is designed to have minimal maintenance requirements for decades. In fact, some vinyl siding does not need to be painted, and it may only need to be power washed as needed to keep it looking great.

Durability and Longevity

All popular exterior materials are selected in part because of their durability and longevity. A home's exterior will be exposed to the elements, impacted by pests trying to enter the home and more. Some materials may rank higher in areas of durability and longevity. For example, vinyl siding is resistant to wood rot, pest damage, weather-related damage and more. It often comes with a lengthy warranty period as well.

There are numerous factors to review when selecting a home exterior material to use on a construction project. Each option provides different benefits to a homeowner. Spending time researching the options carefully can help you to design a beautiful exterior that is easy to care for and that has minimal maintenance requirements.


Informational credit to Marsh Building Products.

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