Last updated on June 21, 2023

New siding is one of the most valuable home renovation investments that you can make. With siding you can improve curbside appeal, protect the structure of your home, and even increase its value. With materials like vinyl, you could recoup over 80% of your investment when putting your home on the market. Even if you don’t plan to sell, new siding will give you an improved aesthetic that can be enjoyed for decades to come.

If your home is starting to show its age, then a whole home renovation with new siding could be exactly what it needs. Of course, material selection will have a huge influence on price, durability, and the final aesthetic.

Before you plan your remodel, take the time to learn about three of the most popular siding materials, with all the pros and cons explained in detail.

1) Vinyl Siding for Affordable Home Renovation

This material is without doubt the most affordable option for whole home renovation, and it’s also the most popular. 30% of all exterior finishing projects use vinyl siding. In addition to being low cost, this material is also low maintenance, so it’s perfect if you lead a busy lifestyle and want to cut down on your seasonal home maintenance tasks.

There’s plenty of versatility in vinyl. Styles like horizontal and vertical panels, shakes, fish scales, board and batten, and shingles are all available so that you can find the perfect fit for your intended aesthetic. Vinyl comes pre-colored, so you won’t have to perform any painting, and this can significantly cut down the installation cost.

You can expect to pay between $3 and $7 for each square foot of vinyl siding in most cases.


  • Can last up to 40 years when professionally installed and maintained.
  • Low cost.
  • Pre-colored for convenience.
  • Textured vinyl siding is available to recreate the look of wood.
  • No infestation or rot concerns.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Available as insulated siding to increase the energy efficiency of your home.


  • The most budget-friendly vinyl has a noticeably ‘cheap’ look and feel.
  • Color can fade after years of sunlight exposure.
  • Can’t be painted and color choices are set by the manufacturer.
  • Susceptible to impact damage from falling tree limbs.

2) Wood Siding for Classic Home Renovation 

Des Moines contractors are often asked to install wood siding. The timeless look of natural wood boards, clapboard, or shingles is perfect for both traditional and contemporary homes. While wood offers a premium aesthetic, it is also one of the most expensive siding materials available. It requires maintenance including painting, staining, and caulking. Unlike many of the other popular materials, wood can attract pest infestation and it can warp or rot over time.

Despite the downsides, wood could last beyond your lifetime if properly cared for. If you want to make a permanent investment in your home exterior, then this could be the perfect material for you.

Most wood siding materials range between $5 and $10 per square foot, although prices for premium materials are significantly higher.


  • Minor repairs can integrate flawlessly with existing siding material.
  • The natural look is hard to replicate with other materials.
  • Wood is eco-friendly and carbon natural.
  • More energy efficient than most siding materials.
  • Lightweight and relatively easy to install, so Des Moines contractor costs are reasonable.
  • Staining and painting options are virtually limitless.
  • One of the most durable materials when well-maintained.
  • Easy to repair.


  • Wood species and specific siding styles can result in high costs.
  • High maintenance requirements.
  • High risk of rot and infestation.
  • Requires staining every two years or repainting every five years.
  • Can warp and twist.

3) Metal Siding for Modern Home Renovation

Both aluminum and steel are options for your next home renovation. Metal siding is most often seen on commercial buildings, but it may be the perfect fit for your home, particularly if you are going for a modern aesthetic.

Metal can be fabricated in countless patterns and styles, so versatility is high. Strength is a big advantage, with both aluminum and steel being stronger than most other popular siding materials. Steel resists damage from hail, making it a better choice than vinyl in most cases.

Steel and aluminum are fireproof and aluminum resists corrosion. Steel is susceptible to rust, but it can be treated to reduce the chance of deterioration.

Cost is like that of wood, with prices ranging from an average of $5 to $10 per square foot.


  • Highly resistant to mold. Impervious to insect damage and rot.
  • Can be considered an eco-friendly material, due to the long term viability of both steel and aluminum.
  • Fireproof and energy efficient.
  • Panels can be custom fabricated to meet your style and size needs. This reduces waste.
  • Extremely low maintenance. Paint on aluminum and steel can last for ten years or more.
  • Both steel and aluminum siding materials will last for up to 40 years.


  • Aluminum is softer than steel and can be damaged from hail and debris.
  • Matching repairs can prove difficult without a skilled Des Moines contractor.
  • Steel can rust if improperly installed. Scratched coating and exposed edges are most at risk.
  • Installation time and cost for steel can be high.
  • The aesthetic won’t appeal to every homeowner. Metal siding is best suited to modern homes.

Find the Best Siding for Your Des Moines Home Renovation Project

Even when comparing just three siding materials, it’s clear that there’s a lot of variation in terms of aesthetic benefits, maintenance, and cost. There’s no ‘perfect’ material for every home. Your choice will ultimately depend on your unique needs and the aesthetic you want to achieve.

When choosing siding for home renovation in Des Moines, consider the following:

  • Energy efficiency should be a focus. If your home is inherently inefficient, aim for a siding material that will decrease heating and cooling costs.

  • Think about aesthetics and texture. Wood may be expensive, but no other material comes remotely close to its timeless beauty. Metal might be unconventional, but it has a unique aesthetic that you may appreciate for a modern home.

  • Keep durability in perspective with cost. Wood will last a century or more, but it requires ongoing maintenance which could offset the benefit, particularly if you don’t plan to live in your home for life. With any material, calculate the maintenance cost along with the initial installation.

  • Consider how your siding could impact your environmental footprint. Wood is carbon neutral when sourced from sustainable forests. Steel and aluminum can also be eco-friendly if made from recycled materials. Vinyl isn’t easily recyclable and despite its low cost, it’s one of the least eco-friendly siding options available.

Stay true to your needs and you’ll be better prepared to choose the right siding material for your home. If you need advice or if you’re ready to move forward with home improvement, it’s time to talk to expert Des Moines contractors.

HomeWorx Iowa is your partner for all home improvements. From exterior home renovation to interior upgrades, we cover jobs of all sizes. Our expert design team can help you to choose the best materials for your unique needs and your budget.

Contact us today and make a long term investment in a stronger and more beautiful home.