February 15

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Your House Siding Materials in Minnesota’s Climate


House siding in Elk River

In the vast expanse of Minnesota, where the chill of winter can be breathtaking and the heat of summer equally intense, your home’s exterior serves as a vital shield against the elements. The choice of siding is not just an aesthetic decision; it’s a commitment to your home’s protection and longevity. With an array of materials available, selecting the right siding is a comprehensive process that involves understanding Minnesota’s unique climate, as well as your personal preferences and budget. This ultimate guide walks you through the critical considerations when choosing the perfect house siding for your Minnesota home.

Weathering Minnesota’s Climate: A House Siding Primer

Before you delve into the realm of siding materials, it’s crucial to understand the climate you’re building against. Minnesota’s weather is famously capricious, veering from polar vortexes that plunge temperatures to extreme lows to humid heatwaves that stress building materials with thermal expansion. Your home’s exterior is its first line of defense against these oscillations.

Siding isn’t just about fortifying your home; it’s also about ensuring your living space remains enjoyable year-round. In Minnesota, where the average low in January is around 7°F (-13.9°C) and the high in August can hit 90°F (21.1°C), your siding must offer substantial insulation. However, Minnesota’s climate demands resilience against a variety of factors: not just temperature, but also substantial snowfall, rain, high winds, and large hail.

Factors to Consider

When evaluating potential siding materials, several essential factors should guide your decision-making process.

Prioritizing Durability for Minnesota Lifestyles

Minnesota’s weather is unforgiving, which means your siding must be able to withstand the test of time and the elements. Look for materials that won’t warp, crack, or deteriorate under pressure.

The Warm Embrace of Insulation

Energy efficiency is not a luxury but a necessity for Minnesotans. The right siding material can act as an insulating jacket for your home, reducing energy bills and maintaining a comfortable interior temperature.

Battling the Elements: Resistance to Moisture and Extremes

Moisture is an adversary, and in a state with nearly 200 cloudy days in a year, it’s a constant battle. Your siding needs to be impenetrable to water and resistant to freeze-thaw cycles that can cause serious damage.


Balancing durability, insulation, and resistance to local climate with your budget is the art of the perfect siding investment.

Types of Siding Materials

Dive into the variety of siding materials available and how they measure up to Minnesota’s climate challenges.

Vinyl Siding

house Vinyl siding replacement


Vinyl is praised for its durability and relatively low cost, making it a popular option in Minnesota. It’s resistant to moisture and insects, which are significant perks for the northern climate. However, it’s essential to note that vinyl’s color options are somewhat limited, and it can become brittle over time, potentially leading to cracks in extremely cold conditions.

Cost of Vinyl Siding in 2024

With current market rates, vinyl siding typically ranges from $7 to $9 per square foot installed. Companies like Exterior Portfolio, or Alside offer a variety of colors and styles. There are several other great siding manufactures in Minnesota as well!

Fiber Cement Siding

James Hardie house siding photo

Fiber cement has gained traction due to its commendable durability, even in the face of Minnesota’s extremes. It’s non-combustible, termite-resistant, and can mimic the look of wood or masonry. However, the initial investment can be higher, and it’s a heavier material that requires professional installation.

Cost of Fiber Cement Siding in 2024

Expect to invest between $11 to $14 per square foot for fiber cement, considering installation. James Hardie and LP are among the most trusted names in fiber cement siding. However, keep in mind that fiber cement requires special tools for installation which can add extra costs if you hire a professional contractor versus doing it yourself.

Metal Siding

Traditional Steel house Siding – EDCO Traditional Steel Lap Siding (Willow)

Metal siding, often made of aluminum or steel, resists fire, rot, and insect damage. It’s relatively low maintenance and can be highly efficient at reflecting the sun’s radiant heat in the summer. However, it’s important to address the potential for rust, which can occur if the material isn’t properly maintained.

Cost of Metal Siding in 2024

In today’s market, the cost of metal siding can vary between $11 and $14 per square foot, including installation. Companies like EDCO offer a variety of styles that are sure to fit your exact needs.

Pros and Cons of Each Material

To provide a comprehensive view, let’s weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each siding type.



Vinyl siding is prized for its low-maintenance needs, including no repainting. It offers good durability against weathering, is insect resistant, and generally comes with a decent warranty.


One drawback of vinyl is its limited color customization. It can also become brittle over time, particularly in cold climates, and may not be as resistant to impact. Poorly installed vinyl can trap moisture, leading to mold and decay.

Fiber Cement


Fiber cement is known for its exceptional sturdiness, making it highly resistant to Minnesota’s weather conditions. It has better fire resistance, being mostly composed of cement, and can mimic the look of wood or stone without the same level of maintenance.


On the downside, fiber cement is heavy, which can make installation more labor-intensive. The material can crack if not handled or installed correctly. Moreover, it carries a higher initial cost.



Metal siding is incredibly durable, offering the highest wind and flame resistance. It’s low maintenance, reflects a significant portion of solar heat, and is fully recyclable.


Metal can rust over time, especially if the coating is damaged, leading to potential maintenance issues. It can also dent, which may be more visible in some metal siding profiles.

Crafting the Perfect Match for Your House

The material you choose for your siding is a deeply personal decision, influenced by your budget, lifestyle, and the specific characteristics of your home. Consider the following steps to ensure your selection aligns with your needs and desires:

Reflect on Personal Preferences and Lifestyle

Ask yourself what you value most: a traditional look, ease of maintenance, or a balance between aesthetics and practicality. The siding you choose should reflect your priorities, whether that’s ensuring your home blends beautifully with the neighborhood or minimizing annual upkeep.

Seek the Council of Professionals

Material and installation costs are significant investments. It’s invaluable to consult with local contractors or siding companies who possess expertise in Minnesota’s climate and the materials best suited to combat it. They can also offer insights into local building codes that may influence your decision.

Consider the Long-Term Commitment

Remember, your choice is one you’ll live with for many years. Think not only about your immediate satisfaction with the appearance but the long-term viability of your selection. A siding material that offers a blend of longevity, ease of maintenance, and energy efficiency could be ideal for Minnesota homeowners.

Selecting the right siding material is a substantial decision that will affect the integrity, appeal, and value of your home. With Minnesota’s diverse climate as a backdrop, making an informed choice is not just prudent; it’s foundational to your home’s welfare. Whether you opt for vinyl’s versatility, the robustness of fiber cement, or the galvanized strength of metal, choose a material that will embrace your home for years to come.

Turn to the Pros at Shelter Construction

At Shelter, we perform free inspections and consultations, and we will be in business all Winter. We will perform minor repairs during the examination to small damage that we find. Call us at 612-284-6985 or schedule an inspection today on our website!


Siding, Siding Costs, Storm Damage

You may also like

How Long Does a Roofing Project Take?

How Long Does a Roofing Project Take?
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}