According to data from the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC), vinyl (including vinyl-covered aluminum) was the most common exterior wall material used in homes started in 2013 (31 percent), followed by brick or brick veneer (24 percent), stucco (22 percent), and fiber cement siding (such as Hardiplank or Hardiboard) (17 percent). Far smaller shares of single-family homes started last year had wood or wood products (5 percent) or stone or rock (2 percent) as the principal exterior wall material (Figure 1).
The Census Bureau’s SOC data are available by the nine census divisions (Figure 2). Vinyl siding was the most widely used primary exterior material in five out of the nine census divisions. In the Middle Atlantic and New England, 80 percent and 71 percent of the new homes started in 2013 used vinyl siding. In the East and North West Central divisions, vinyl accounted for more than 50 percent, while in the South Atlantic it was used in 39 percent of all new homes last year.
Stucco was widely used as the primary exterior wall material in the Mountain and Pacific divisions in 2013: 58 percent and 49 percent, respectively, of the homes started in those areas used it. Also, 43 percent of the homes started in the Pacific used fiber cement siding as the principal exterior wall material. Brick or brick veneer was the top choice in the East and West South Central divisions, where at least 63 percent of the homes started last year used it as the primary exterior material.