Home Exterior Design: From Siding to Roofing

There are amazing home exterior design ideas that will get your home from nice to fabulous. If you use the right materials and hire a professional contractor with a good track record for your project, you will design the perfect exterior that will elevate your home.

Are you wondering why hiring a professional is necessary for the job? Only a professional can narrow down the almost countless types of siding materials available and pick one that will perfectly complement your home’s architecture to enhance its curb appeal.

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For top-of-the-shelf home exterior design, you can never go wrong with these siding and roofing products.

Wood Siding

This is arguably one of the most attractive home siding options. It is available in a wide variety of textures, styles and finishes. It requires an exterior finish such as vanish, paint or stain. The common types of wood siding are planks, boards and wood planks.

Wood siding is easy to repair, though it is difficult to install it over existing siding. On the downside, wood siding is destroyed by long-term exposure to sunlight, and it is susceptible to rot if exposed to water. It can also be destroyed by insects such as termites. 


  • Painted finishes need to be redone about every five years, or as soon as deterioration is apparent. DIY painting requires lots of hours while it costs about $3,000 to $5,000 to paint a two story 2,300 sq. ft. house.
  • Stain finishes are usually less costly to maintain compared to paint finishes. This is because they penetrate the wood fibers and seal them from moisture.


  • Natural wood siding costs an average of $6 to $12 to install.

Metal Siding

The high maintenance costs associated with wood siding necessitated the introduction of metal siding. Aluminum siding was the first metal siding material to be introduced, then followed by steel siding. These materials are relatively easier to maintain and are increasingly being adopted as siding materials in newer homes.

Aluminum and steel siding products are available in horizontal strips, as though to mimic the traditional wood laps. Galvanized corrugated iron sheets are also sometimes used as siding materials.

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  • Aluminum and steel are low-maintenance siding products.
  • The most common problem with aluminum and steel siding products is denting.
  • Pre-painted aluminum and steel siding are susceptible to chalking.


  • Metal siding typically costs between $1 and $35 per sq. ft. 
  • Aluminum costs approximately $3-$6 per sq. ft., whereas steel costs about $4-$8 per sq. ft.
  • Insulated versions of aluminum or steel increase the siding cost by about $1 per sq. ft.
  • The upper limit cost of $35 is owed to copper siding, which costs about $20-$35 per sq. ft.

Cement Fiber Siding

This durable low-maintenance environment-friendly material is the latest addition to residential house siding products. Its installation process is similar to that of wood siding.

Cement fiber siding is eco-friendly because it is made from recyclable materials. It has a natural wood grain look and this makes it visually indistinguishable from some wood siding elements.

Cement fiber siding comes in planks, shingles or shakes, and stucco-panels. 


  • Unlike wood siding, it is not subject to insect damage or rot, yet it has a natural wood grain look.
  • Cement fiber is very durable and is virtually maintenance-free.


  • It costs between $5 and $14 per sq. ft., with a national average of about $10 per sq. ft. This cost varies with the siding product’s brand and quality, as well as the size and shape of your home.
  • While this average is higher than the average cost for aluminum and steel siding, as well as vinyl siding, cement fiber siding lasts a very long time, and you may never have to replace it for the entire period you occupy your home.

Vinyl Siding

This siding product is available in strips with interlocking edges, just like aluminum siding. It comes in a wide range of colors and styles, including horizontal and vertical panels. They are also available in many textures, including shingle and wood shake style.

Vinyl is often used as retrofit siding, applied over old wood siding during renovation.


  • This is a low-cost, low-maintenance siding product— doesn’t need to be painted.
  • If stained with dirt, vinyl siding can be washed using a soft cloth or a long-handled soft bristle brush.
  • Cleaning should be done gently to avoid surface abrasion.


  • It costs an average of $4 to $5 per sq. ft. This is with the exclusion of labor and installation materials.
  • The cost depends on the type of vinyl siding and the average costs in your area.
Image by JamesDeMers from Pixabay

Roofing Materials

You can’t talk about home exterior design without mentioning roofing— a roof says so much about a home’s aesthetics. A beautifully constructed house needs a well-designed roof that enhances both its curb appeal and durability.

When choosing a roofing material, it is advisable to choose a color that blends with the home’s siding. Gray-brown roofing shingles, for instance, would blend well with a rough texture of wood siding. If your siding has a rustic  feel, it can be well complimented by a gambrel roof. In some cases, a combination of different roofing styles can add magic to your home.

Photo by SUNBEAM PHOTOGRAPHY on Unsplash

If you’re considering replacing your roof, it is best to tear off the old one rather than to install a new one over the old one. This will expose the defects on the roof deck and allow the roofing contractors to tweak your roofing design to complement your home’s updated exterior section.


Exterior design is a vital contributor to curb appeal. Updating your home’s exterior can increase its aesthetics and improve its value.

Whether you select aluminum or steel siding, wood siding (cedar siding, redwood siding, pine siding, engineered wood siding, or wood fiber cement siding) or vinyl siding, a good design, color and great workmanship will bring the best out of your home.

Additionally, a complementary roofing design and color is a must-have in order to qualify your home exterior design efforts. You now understand why you need a professional to handle the exterior design works, don’t you? There are a lot of details involved, and only a professional can put them all into perspective.


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