The Best Home Siding Options in Florida

Home Siding and Exterior Maintenance

While you may have some familiarity with the common types of Florida home styles, you might still have some uncertainties about the different types of siding options, and which ones are better. Choosing the right siding for your property is a crucial decision, as it not only improves the overall curb appeal but also provides protection against this region’s varying weather conditions. But what is the best siding for your property? We’ve compiled a list of the top choices for home exteriors in Florida. Explore the advantages and disadvantages of each material, considering factors such as aesthetics, maintenance, durability, and price. Whether you’re looking for a long lifespan or an affordable cost, there is a siding option that will meet your unique needs and enhances the beauty and functionality of your Florida home.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl exterior has been wildly popular since it was introduced in the late 1960s, resulting in a third of American homes having vinyl siding in 2023. Vinyl is available in a wide range of designs and colors, making it easy for homeowners to match their siding with the vibe of their home. Since it’s made of plastic, it’s inexpensive to install, however, it can require spending more money on repairs. This type of siding can be ideal for homeowners who are looking for a more budget-friendly option with very minimal upkeep.  

Advantages of Vinyl Siding
  • Affordability: Being made of plastic, vinyl siding is the least expensive exterior to install and repair. With prices ranging from $4.50 to $8.20, this is a great option for those seeking to save money but still maintain a lovely appearance.
  • Little to no Maintenance: Other than basic cleaning, vinyl siding does not require routine maintenance, excluding repairs.
Disadvantages of Vinyl Siding
  • Short Lifespan: This material may save money at the beginning, but due to its cheaper material, the lifespan is shorter, typically resulting in the exterior needing to be replaced within 10-15 years of installation.
  • Weak Weather Resistance: Another aspect to watch out for with this cheaper siding is that it’s very prone to breakage, especially during severe weather. Vinyl doesn’t always hold up well in severe thunderstorms or hurricanes, resulting in cracks. Furthermore, repairing a final exterior isn’t an easy task. Even if only one-panel cracks, the whole plank needs to be replaced.

Stucco Siding

Stucco siding is very commonly seen in Florida homes since its aesthetic provides a very coastal aesthetic, and it’s very durable in extreme weather. Stucco is a mixture composed of cement, sand, water, and a surprise ingredient: lime! It’s very popular amongst Florida property owners, most often coming in neutral tones that match the aesthetic of any home. A stucco exterior may be a great option for homeowners looking for a beautiful, sophistical feel, with the added security of weather protection.

Advantages of Stucco Siding
  • Safety First! Being primarily made of cement, stucco provides its inhabitants extra protection during storms and hurricanes. Additionally, this material is much less flammable than vinyl or wood, making it a safer choice when it comes to fire safety. Essentially, stucco siding can withstand nearly anything mother nature throws at it, giving homeowners peace of mind.
  • Long Lifespan and Low Maintenance: With its strong durability, a stucco exterior can last up to 50 years as long as it’s cared for properly. Once installed, the only routine maintenance requires is power washing.
  • Versatility: When homeowners decide on stucco siding, there are various options for customization right from the start. For those who want their siding to be a different color rather than neutral tones, color can be mixed right into the batch. When the time comes to apply it to the exterior of the property, the material can spread in a variety of textures. Additionally, it can be changed later if the homeowner chooses. An exterior that was once rough and textured can be smoothed out.
Disadvantages of Stucco Siding
  • Maintenance: Residents of Florida are no strangers to hot temperatures and humidity. Over time, stucco siding can be very affected by moisture. Since the material is porous, moisture can sneak its way in and cause damage. This can also create the perfect environment for mold to grow. Should a homeowner’s stucco siding be affected by moisture, it’s crucial to address and repair the damage quickly to prevent irreversible damage.

Fiber Cement Siding

Even though it’s one of the newer property exteriors, fiber cement siding is a staple for American homeowners. When it was released in the mid-80s, it quickly became a desirable option because of its ability to withstand almost any weather condition. Made of materials including cement, sand, and cellulose fibers, this type of siding is perfect for homeowners looking for a durable, and equally stunning exterior.

Advantages of Fiber Cement Siding
  • Long Lifespan: The lifetime of this siding is significant – it can have a lifespan of up to 50 years! This exterior is extremely resistant to rain, hail, humidity, and hurricane-force winds. For those intense tropical storms, you can have peace of mind that you and your other home residents are protected.
  • Little to No Maintenance: Once the installation is complete, there is really no additional maintenance required for fiber cement. Aside from routine cleaning, which can be easily done by power washing, there isn’t too much upkeep needed to keep this exterior beautiful.
  • Customizable: No matter what your style is, fiber cement can match the aesthetic of your home. It comes in a variety of styles, textures, and colors, and you can even paint it a new color if you’re looking for a change.
Disadvantages of Fiber Cement Siding
  • Expensive: Though less expensive than stucco, the initial costs of installing fiber cement siding can be more expensive than anticipated. Since it takes so long to install, the cost of labor may significantly affect the total cost.

Hardie Board Siding

Hardie Board siding is another variation of fiber cement siding, but much more environmentally sustainable. This exterior is completely made out of recycled materials and sourced from regional suppliers. Like fiber cement, Hardie Board is extremely affordable and durable against all kinds of weather conditions, including salt spray from the ocean. With a lifespan of up to 50 years and little maintenance required, Hardie Board is a great option for homeowners looking for weather resistance, affordability, and style.

Advantages of Hardie Board Siding
  • Very Durable: Like fiber cement, Hardie Board is extremely weather resistant and provides protection in severe storms, and comfort during humid days.  
  • Pest Resistant: Hardie Board is essentially a pest repellant. It keeps termites, carpenter ants, and other insects away from your home. Birds are less likely to bother the exterior as well.
  • Eco-Friendly: According to the official James Hardie website, Hardie Board is actually the most “green” siding out there due to it being made of completely recycled materials.  
  • Low Maintenance: Also similar to fiber cement, not much maintenance is required after installation besides cleaning. 
Disadvantages of Hardie Board Siding
  • Expensive and Long Installation: Due to its long lifetime, durability, aesthetic, and sustainability, Hardie Board is one of the more expensive exterior options out there. The material is naturally heavier and therefore may require more time and labor to install. Like fiber cement, the more labor required, the more the cost will rise. 
  • Prone to Fading: While Hardie Board has a lifespan of up to 50 years, the aesthetic does require some routine updating. The color o the siding is prone to fading, and it’s recommended to repaint every 10-15 years if the homeowner wants to maintain its lovely aesthetic. 

Siding Installation and Repair Costs

Before selecting the type of home exterior, you want, it’s crucial to explore which options will fit into your budget. The chart below breaks down the average prices for the installation of each material. It’s important to note that the total cost will vary based on the exterior square footage, the shape of the house, and the physical labor required. Be sure to consult with a professional contractor to ensure you make the most informed decision.

Average Cost of House Siding Installation in Florida
Vinyl  $4.50 – $8.20 per square foot
Stucco Siding $9.30 – $16.90 per square foot
Hardie Board $4.70 – $8.50 per square foot
Fiber Cement $4.70 – $8.50 per square foot

*data provided by Modernize

Choosing the Right Home Exterior for You

There is no right or wrong answer for what type of siding is best for your Florida home. When evaluating your options, it’s important to clearly identify your top priorities whether it’s budget, durability, or appearance. You can gain additional guidance from your trusted REALTOR®, who can recommend contractors and even help you determine which home siding will best suit your needs.