The Essential Guide to House Siding Styles

May 13, 2022

Two-story, split-level home with double garage, gray lap siding, white scalloped shingle siding for the gables and natural stone accentsAre you getting ready to replace your house siding? If so, you may have done some research and run across a few industry terms that seem bewildering. It’s not truly necessary to know all the lingo before you approach siding replacement contractors to discuss your ideas for transforming your home—but it’s not a bad idea to be prepared by knowing some of the basics.

You might want to start by looking at the siding on other homes in your neighborhood or elsewhere in your community. There are three primary house siding styles, and chances are that you’ll see examples of all of them without straying too far from your home.

Horizontal Lap Siding

Also known as clapboard or plank siding, this is a perennial favorite among homeowners. As the term implies, this siding style comprises a variety of configurations in which a home is clad by long planks installed horizontally so that each course of siding slightly overlaps the one below. There are a number of lap siding variations. For example, James Hardie®—the most popular house siding brand in America—offers traditional lap siding in a range of widths so that homeowners can choose a look that flatters their home, no matter its size or architectural style.

For a special take-notice appearance, James Hardie siding customers may opt for a beaded lap style. The planks in this siding style have a thicker bottom edge, or “bead,” which creates a dramatic overall effect when the siding installation is complete. Additional twists on the basic lap siding style include Colonial Roughsawn and Colonial Smooth, which create a rustic appearance similar to Dutch lap siding.

Vertical Siding

This siding style is characterized by wide panels installed so they stretch vertically from a home’s foundation up instead of horizontally from one corner of the home to the other. This style of siding was typically used on barns and homesteads in the American pioneer days, and it’s sometimes still referred to as “barn siding.” Its cousin, board-and-batten siding, is another vertical style that takes on some added dimension with the addition of a narrow strip of wood—the batten—covering the joints where the vertical boards meet.

Shingle Siding

Sometimes described as shake siding, this style is often associated with Cape Cod cottages and Victorian-era homes. However, it can be a terrific choice for many different styles of residential architecture. It’s also quite popular as an accent material for roof gables and other exterior features that can give a home façade a multi-textured look that creates heightened visual interest.

Additionally, shingle siding is available with variations such as straight, staggered, or scalloped edges, which offer additional ways to make your home stand out from the crowd.

Of course, the color combinations you choose for your siding and trim, as well as your selection of simulated woodgrain textures or a smooth, polished finish, will help you create a one-of-a-kind appearance for your home that will draw admiring glances from neighbors and guests. What’s more, you’re not restricted to choosing a single style or even a single type of siding. When you have exterior home design experts at your side, you can mix and match siding styles and materials—such as fiber cement, vinyl, manufactured stone, and acrylic stucco—to transform a ho-hum home into the neighborhood masterpiece.

The Exterior Remodeling Experts Serving the Kansas City Metro Area

The exterior remodeling experts at Johnson County Siding & Window Co. are old hands at residential siding replacement, and we’ve won numerous awards for our home makeovers throughout the Kansas City metro area. We also offer our customers professional in-house design consultations that can take the mystery out of exterior home design and help you get exactly the siding options you need to bring your dream home to life.

Contact us today if you’d like more information.


If you know you want to get your home exterior project done, but are feeling stress about paying for it all at once, we can help.

Our financing partner, GreenSky, has sensible payment plans that work for homeowners who prefer to pay in installments. You can also ask your JoCo Siding & Window Co. sales representative about the details!

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