07 Siding & Exterior Materials


This list of selections serves as a supplement to the Construction Documents (CD’s). Some of the selections below may be difficult to find or omitted on the CD’s. Check the CD’s for consistency with this list. Clarify with your contractor which document takes precedence for any inconsistencies.



There are several different materials and profiles to choose from for siding. Lap siding is the most common profile and is available in different heights. Shake shingle and “board and batten” siding have distinctly different profiles from lap siding. All three profiles are available in more than one material, including vinyl, wood and cement fiber.


Vinyl lap siding is the most popular siding material for new homes in the U.S. due to low cost, low maintenance and relatively good protection against water. An optional upgrade for vinyl lap siding is a foam board insulation layer adhered to the inside edge. In addition to its higher thermal performance, this product is available in a taller lap which is considered more aesthetically appealing and more closely resembles a traditional wood siding.


There are many exterior materials that are preferred aesthetically over vinyl lap siding. The cost of upscale exterior materials will likely drive your decision. Consider pricing out more than one option for your siding material. You can then obtain the cost differential and decide between the two prior to finalizing the design.


Select profile of siding:

__ lap              __ ship lap                   __ shake shingle         __ board and batten


            If lap siding is used, select height of lap exposure:

            __ 4”               __ 5”               __ 6”               __ 7”               __ other: ______


Select exterior siding material & color (may be more than one):

__ Vinyl (Polyvinyl chloride or PVC), low cost, low maintenance, low resistance to heat meaning low and medium grade vinyl can actually melt in certain circumstances, low impact resistance.

__ PP (Polypropylene), looks similar to vinyl, higher cost than vinyl, stronger, more environmentally friendly, may be available in more profiles and colors than vinyl, prone to cracking in cold temperatures versus.

__ Wood, not widely used due to its high maintenance requirements

__ Cement fiber, good heat & fire resistance, good aesthetics, Low maintenance – paint finish lasts 20 years, can absorb moisture, heavy and significantly more expensive than vinyl.

__ Engineered Wood Siding, More expensive than cement fiber siding

      Dryvit (or stucco)


Select alternate siding material not mentioned above: ___________________

Select color(s) of exterior siding material: _________________


Select size of vinyl blocks for exterior wall mounted lights:

__ Standard size (6” x 6”)

__ Larger size (may be required for if light fixture flange exceeds 6”)


Exterior Ornament

The size of exterior ornamental trim should be indicated on the construction drawings. Windows and doors are often adorned with ornamental headers, sills and side trim. Shutters may be designed in lieu of trim at sides of windows. Frieze boards, moldings and brackets are often designed under the roof overhang.


Ornamental Frieze Board under eaves:

Indicate type, location, material & size

__ Flat frieze board, location:____________                        material & size: ______________    

__ Crown mold, location: _______________                        material & size: ______________

__ Dental molding, location: _____________           material & size: ______________                

Select material for exterior ornamental trim at windows & doors

Azek and Fypon are popular brand names that have many profiles to choose from)

__ High density foam (Azek & Fypon)                        __ Wood

__ Vinyl                                                           __ Aluminum wrapped 2 x 6 or 2 x 8


Select shutter material:

(If shutters are selected, they typically replace trim at sides of windows)

__ Vinyl                       __ Composite 

__ Wood



Select Soffit Material:

__ Vinyl                       __ Aluminum                          __ Wood                                 

__ Composite              __ Cement Board                    __ Other, specify: _______

Select Soffit Color: _______________________


Select Fascia Material:          

__ Vinyl                       __ Aluminum                          __ Wood                                 

__ Composite              __ Cement Board                    __ Other

Select Fascia Color: ____________________________


Gutters / Downspouts:

Select Material:          __ Aluminum (most common)            __ Copper (very expensive)

Select Color: ____________________



Select Decking Material:

__ Pressure treated 1 x 6, with clear polyurethane

__ Pressure treated 1 x 6, stained

__ Natural wood decking, indicate species: ______________

__ Composite decking


Select Covered Deck ceiling material:

__ Wood plank painted                       __ Wood plank with clear polyurethane

__ Wood plank stained                       __ Wood bead board painted            

__ Wood bead board with polyurethane

__ PVC bead board                             __ Vinyl, grooved 5” o.c.                   

__ Aluminum, grooved 5” o.c.


Select deck skirt material:

__ Wood painted                                __ Wood stained

__ 1 x 6 P.T. Wood                              __ Vinyl                                              

__ Composite                                      __ Other: _______________


Select exterior guard railing baluster material:   

__ Vinyl                       __ P. T. Wood                          __ Metal        

__ Composite              __ Other


Select exterior guard railing newel post material:          

__ Vinyl                       __ P. T. Wood                          __ Metal        

__ Composite              __ Other


Select horizontal exterior guard railing material:

__ Vinyl                       __ P. T. Wood                          __ Metal        

__ Composite              __ Other


Select profile of exterior column:

__ Round, smooth       __ Round fluted                      __ Square, smooth     

__ Square, paneled     __ Tapered (Craftsman style)


Select material of exterior column:

__ Fiberglass, paintable (most expensive)     __ Aluminum              __ Wood


Once the installation of exterior windows, doors and house wrap is complete, the siding can be installed. In addition to siding, there are many other exterior products to install and inspect: trim around doors, windows and columns; decking and guard rails. You should review the specifications and installation recommendations for the products you selected and review them with your contractor.


Review Scope Of Work With Contractor

  1. Review exterior light box locations (don’t bury under siding).
  2. Review exterior wall vent locations. For instance, microwave and other exhaust fans should be installed prior to siding and then siding should but up to them.
  3. Confirm color is correct on sample.
  4. Confirm price, length of install time, length of warranty.
  5. Confirm if contractor is responsible for purchasing and delivering materials.
  6. Confirm who is installing exterior trim around windows and doors.
  7. Confirm if there will be a frieze board at horizontal eaves or rake trim at gable overhangs.
  8. Confirm who is responsible for installing soffits.


Inspect For Correct Installation Of Vinyl Siding

  1. Verify if all items above are installed correctly.
  2. Check for any warping.
  3. Pull gently at end of siding panel, where it overlaps another panel, to make sure there is at least 1” overlap (or more if specified by manufacturer).
  4. For outside corners above roofs, make sure corner posts are set up from J Channel sill so that water is not trapped at corner.
  5. Make final payment only after inspection and successful performance after hard rain.


Inspect For Correct Installation Of Other Exterior Materials

  1. Make sure all ornament is installed: around windows & doors, along eaves, ornamental louvers at gables etc.
  2. Check for perforations/openings in soffit for vented attics.
  3. Check that downspouts are secured at top to gutters and at bottom to underground drains.
  4. Check for loose deck boards, inform contractor immediately.
  5. Check for flaking of deck stain, request reapplication of stain if necessary.
  6. Check guard rails for code compliance, for instance, minimum height, maximum spacing between balusters.
  7. Check for plumbness of columns.