Comparing Exterior Siding Options for Custom Homes in Ontario

Picture two houses side-by-side: one a log house, the other with red brick. Though they may be identical on the inside, it’s likely that each of these homes invokes a totally different ambiance in your mind from the exterior alone.

Homeowners have more exterior siding options to choose from than ever before. Today, many homes blend more than one exterior finish, such as a brick façade complemented by wood-grain vinyl siding. In addition to look and feel, the choice of exterior siding has a significant impact on a home’s budget and ongoing maintenance.

This guide will help you compare exterior siding options for your custom home in Ontario.

Vinyl Siding

Some builders label vinyl as the ‘budget’ siding option. It’s true that vinyl is among the most affordable siding exterior options available, but the vinyl siding of today is far more advanced than the products you may know from years past.

Improvements in manufacturing and installation techniques have made vinyl siding more reliable and aesthetically pleasing. In addition to cost, vinyl has the advantage of being low-maintenance. It does not chip, peel, or show scratches.

Vinyl siding also offers the widest variety of colours for exterior siding.

Advantages of Vinyl Siding:

  • Very affordable
  • Lightweight and easy to install
  • Low-maintenance

Cement Fibre Board

Fibreboard is made from a mixture of wood and Portland cement. It mimics the appearance and texture of wood or masonry while providing protection from rot, fire, and burrowing insects. The upkeep required is minimal.

Fibreboard comes stained in your colour of choice, but you can have it re-painted after installation if you decide to give the house a face-lift.

Advantages of fibre Board:

  • Non-combustible
  • Insect and rot-proof
  • Resembles wood or stone

CanExel Siding

CanExcel is an “engineered wood” made from wood fibres, resin binders and waxes. Of all the manufactured exterior siding options meant to resemble real wood, CanExcel provides the most convincing imitation. It’s one to consider if you love the idea of a wood house, but not the upkeep that goes with it.

 Advantages of CanExel:

  • Closely resembles wood
  • Insect and rot-proof
  • Lighter than fibre cement

Cedar Wood

Authentic wooden shakes and shingles provide a sense of warmth and nostalgia that few other siding options can match. Cedar naturally contains oils that protect against insects, making it one of the most popular woods for exterior siding. It is also very durable.

Wooden siding is finished to make it less flammable and protect it from expanding, splitting or cracking from moisture. Homeowners who choose wooden siding will have to invest in maintaining it for years to come.

 Advantages of Cedar Wood Siding:

  • Naturally beautiful
  • Durable
  • Highly customizable through paints and stains


Classic red and yellow brick houses are iconic in this part of the country, and brick remains a popular exterior siding option for new custom homes in Ontario.

Brick provides natural insulation against heat, cold, and sound. It is incredibly durable, lasting over a hundred years with proper care and maintenance. Brick siding also pairs beautifully with many other exterior siding options as an accent.

 Advantages of Brick Siding:

  • Very durable
  • Good insulation
  • Timeless aesthetic


Stone can adapt to any architectural style, from the rustic cabin to the chic, contemporary bungalow. It adds a sense of prestige and heritage while providing unmatched protection against the elements. Though costly to purchase and install (since it is heavy and difficult to work with), many homeowners use stone as an accent to other more affordable exterior siding options.

Advantages of Stone Siding:

  • Extremely durable
  • Weatherproof
  • Naturally beautiful

Cultured Stone

Cultured stone (also known as manufactured stone or stone veneer) is precast concrete with natural colours added in manufacturing. With proper installation, cultured stone is nearly indistinguishable from real stonework. It is also lighter and easier to install than real stone.

Advantages of Cultured Stone:

  • Closely resembles stone
  • Lighter than stone
  • Very durable


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