Vertical vs horizontal panels: comparing price, style and functionality (2023)

Installing horizontal panels is the preferred option for most homeowners, but vertical installation is becoming more and more popular.

Vertical siding costs a little more, and if done incorrectly, your house will look like a barn instead of a house. However, when applied to the right home, it can really set you apart from the rest.

Vertical siding is typically used for commercial applications while horizontal siding is commonly installed in homes, but more and more homeowners are choosing vertical siding in 2021.

Vertical vs horizontal panels: comparing price, style and functionality (1)

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Things to consider before choosing

Okay, so you've decided on oneExterior cladding for your home. Vertical or horizontal cladding, which one should it be? Addressing these top three concerns can help you make the right choice.

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1. Unique or traditional look

This is where your personality comes into play. Would you rather your home blend in with your neighborhood with the elegant, traditional look of horizontal panels? Or do you prefer the distinctive and eye-catching vertical finish. Horizontal cladding offers benefits such as a timeless design that appeals to virtually everyone. If you choose vertical siding, however, you run the risk of your home becoming a polarizing feature (depending on your neighbor's architectural tendencies) in your neighborhood.

2. Consideration of durability

While horizontal siding is generally strong and durable, it is very susceptible to moisture damage. Fog, rainwater, and clothing can collect water behind trim strips and cause corrosion, rot, mold, and mildew. On the other hand, a vertical façade has no cracks or open seams, allowing water to run off.

3. Budget consideration

Horizontal siding is an affordable option for homeowners on a tight budget. The installation process does not require special tools or materials. On the other hand, installing vertical cladding is an expensive, complex and time-consuming affair that requires special tools and materials, impacting your overall costs.

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Vertical vs horizontal panels: comparing price, style and functionality (2)

tapume vertical

Vertical siding, as the name suggests, is a top-to-bottom vertical installation of siding panels on the exterior of your home. The sleek, modern look of vertical siding is one of the reasons many people consider it a more contemporary alternative to horizontal siding. A variant of vertical panels known as board and batten panels uses the same installation principle as top-down panels.


  1. Distinctive look and feel.
  2. Available in a variety of sizes, colors and shapes for you to choose from.
  3. Inexpensive and largely maintenance free as only regular cleaning is required.
  4. Exceptionally durable and resistant to moisture damage.

In contrast

  1. It can reduce your home's resale value due to its low overall appeal.
  2. The installation process is complex and time consuming.
  3. Higher installation costs due to labor intensive installation.
  4. Special tools and prior knowledge are required for correct installation.

Different types of vertical cladding.

There are different types of vertical cladding to suit your taste.

  1. vertical vinyl sidingis an excellent alternative todisguise. It's a durable, cost-effective finish option available in a wide range of colors and finishes. Verticalvinyl sidingHave aaverage life approx.30 years. It is waterproof, easy to install and maintain.
  2. Vertical Metal Coating -Verticalmetal panelsIt is an excellent choice for homeowners looking for durability and longevity without frequent maintenance. Available in steel and aluminum, the vertical metal siding is weather and fire resistant.
  3. Wooden vertical panels -Homeowners love the natural look of the panels, which explains their popularity. Although expensive and requires constant maintenance. The wainscoting's multi-dimensional contours enhance your home and add a level of appeal that few siding materials can match.
  4. VerticalBoard and slatted panelgives a unique look to the exterior of your home. It's constructed with clapboards (narrow strips of wood) alternated with wider sheets of wood or vinyl to create a layered look that offers extra appeal and protects your home for years to come.
  5. Vertical composite coating -It is made from a combination of wood and plastic polymer. Provides a durable, impact and fire resistant coating that can be machined to look like wood without the drawbacks.

vertical side wall mounting

Installation of vertical cladding is a complex operation, which is the main reason for its high cost. Before installing vertical siding, contractors should attach support battens to the surface of the wall to ensure a smooth, even finish. Here are some tips to ensure a quality, error-free vertical siding installation.

  • Do not attempt to install the vertical yourself unless you have the proper tools and experience.
  • When hiring a contractor, confirm that the company has extensive experience installing vertical siding.

Vertical vs horizontal panels: comparing price, style and functionality (3)

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horizontal panels

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Commonly seen in homes, horizontal siding is a favorite of homeowners and builders due to its ease of installation and affordable cost. You can install horizontal siding in strips or slats to create a traditional look for your home's exterior. Other patterns include wooden planks, wood paneling, and horizontal panels with pointed edges.


  1. An excellent choice for homeowners on a budget.
  2. Overall appeal and acceptance will increase your home's resale value.
  3. Easier to install than vertical siding. It requires no special skills or tools, making it the ideal DIY project.
  4. Horizontal flooring comes in a variety of colors, styles and shapes.

In contrast

  1. The design flaw allows water to seep between trim strips and damage the trim or wall.
  2. Horizontal wood paneling is particularly susceptible to moisture damage.
  3. Although advertised as easy to install, horizontal siding consists of several small panels and requires a lot of screws during installation.

Different types of horizontal cladding.

  1. Horizontal metallic cladding -Available in steel and aluminum, it is extremely popular with homeowners looking for durability and aesthetics. Horizontal metal siding provides a strong, durable protective covering around the outside of your home with little to no maintenance.
  2. Horizontal cladding in log house look:gives your home a lookrustic look. The horizontal cladding with a log wood look can be replicated using a variety of materials including wood, metal and composites.
  3. Wooden horizontal panels -It is a popular and relatively inexpensive cladding material. It is available in a variety of shapes, sizes, textures and colors. Though prone to water damage. Wood paneling is durable and can last around 20 years with proper care.
  4. cedar sidingIt is a beautiful horizontal wall panel that gives your home an elegant and natural look. Unlike most wood siding, horizontal cedar siding has natural water-repellent properties and is less susceptible to damage from moisture or rot.
  5. Horizontal fiber cement coating -It is a kind of permanent water repellent coatingeasy maintenanceand cheap to install. It's an affordable option for homeowners looking for a durable alternative to wood. Additionally, horizontal fiber cement siding is less prone to mold damage and is a weather resistant siding material.

Horizontal panel installation

Installing horizontal trim is pretty easy, whether you're a DIY enthusiast or hire a professional. Several online DIY guides cover the entire installation process, from wall prep to painting. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's guidelines at each step. Below are some tips to help you with this.

  • Remove any old paneling from the walls before installing a new one.
  • Allow for ⅛ inch expansion gaps between each board when installing fiber cement overlay panels.
  • We recommend priming your facade on both sides before assembly and painting to protect the back from rot.

Mixture of vertical and horizontal panel

You can combine vertical and horizontal panels on the outside of your home to create a stunning visual effect. Also, mixing vertical and horizontal side panels of different colors can give your home a more distinctive look. There are countless examples where you can incorporate both styles of siding into your home's structure.

  1. Homes with attached garages can benefit from two lateral orientations to transition between the two structures.
  2. You can use horizontal panels in your home, reserving vertical panels for the gable ends.
  3. Vertical panels can provide an excellent decorative backdrop for dormer windows in a home with horizontal panels installed.

Vertical x horizontal coating costs

The average cost of installing vertical and horizontal cladding depends on the type of material, the complexity of the project, the design of the house and its size. Vertical panels usually cost more than horizontal panels. Below are the average material and labor costs by type of finish.

TypeCROWDPrice range for vertical panelsPrice range for horizontal side panels
VinylPro Quadratfuß$ 4 - $ 12$ 2 - $ 8
wood woodPro Quadratfuß4,5 $ - 10 $$ 3 - $ 8
hardiplank costPro Quadratfuß$ 7 - $ 28$ 5 - $ 20
cost of wood panelsPro Quadratfuß$ 4 - 17$ 2 - 14
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common questions

Vertical siding This is the most expensive siding due to its higher installation cost. The average labor cost of installing vertical panels is 25-60% higher than the labor cost of horizontal panels.

Installing vertical siding on your home will not make it taller. However, people are drawn to the longitudinal orientation of the panels, which wrap around the roof and make the house taller than it appears.

Vertical siding has long been a staple for cladding the exterior walls of commercial buildings. However, vertical siding is quickly becoming a trend among homeowners who want a rustic farmhouse look to their homes.

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Author: the big question- Funso is a freelance writer with over ten years of experience as an accountant. Her love of writing fueled her foray into the world of freelance writing and she is active on freelance sites like Upwork where she has completed numerous writing projects for various clients.


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