View All Posts

Vertical vs. Horizontal Metal Siding: Which Is Better?
Lauren Risotto

By: Lauren Risotto on August 4th, 2021

Print/Save as PDF

Vertical vs. Horizontal Metal Siding: Which Is Better?

Homeowner Education | Metal Siding

Vertical vs. Horizontal Metal Siding: The Pros And Cons


When you’re looking to install metal siding, there are many choices to make for your panels such as the color, profile, and gauge to use. Once you’ve made those choices, there’s one last decision to make: are you going to install the metal panels vertically or horizontally?

At Western States Metal Roofing, we manufacture metal siding panels for both commercial and residential use. While both types of applications can use either installation method, we tend to see homeowners opt for horizontal siding more while vertical siding is used more in commercial. The reason for this has to do with the pros and cons of each application.

In this article, we compare vertical vs. horizontal metal siding to help you decide which method is better for your siding.

Before we dive into the pros and cons of each orientation, let’s briefly go over how different metal panel profile types affect the preferred orientation.

vertical-vs-horizontal-metal-siding-1Horizontal Metal Siding - Western Wave in Black Ore Matte


Exposed vs Concealed Fastener Metal Wall Panels

Exposed Fastener Panels Are More Commonly Installed Vertically

An exposed fastener metal wall system features fasteners that pierce through the face of the metal panels and attach directly onto the structure. The screw heads are left visible, which is where the name “exposed fastener” comes from. Exposed fasteners wall panels are the more affordable, easier to install option.

Exposed fastener panels are more commonly installed vertically as exposed fastener panels are often used for siding on buildings where appearance is not the top priority. For example, when metal siding is used on a barn, vertical siding is preferred because it allows for easier cleaning and less maintenance than when panels are installed horizontally.


Concealed Fastener Panels Are More Commonly Installed Horizontally

A concealed fastener metal wall system features panels that attach to the substructure without any visible fasteners. Instead, the panels are attached using concealed clips and fasteners for a more streamlined, clean appearance.

Concealed fastener panels are more commonly installed horizontally because generally, they are thought to look more attractive when installed that way. One of the biggest advantages of concealed fastener panels are their appearance, and a horizontal installation is thought to enhance their appearance even more.


Horizontal Metal Siding Pros And Cons

Horizonal Pros Horizontal Cons
More attractive Less weathertight
More traditional Harder to clean

Horizontal Siding Advantages

Horizontal Metal Siding Is More Attractive

The look of your siding is a personal preference, however, horizontal siding is overall considered to be the more attractive way to install metal siding.

Horizontal Siding Has A More Traditional Look

Since horizontal metal siding is generally thought to be the preferred look, this makes horizontal metal siding more traditional, or common.


Horizontal Siding Disadvantages

Horizontal Metal Siding Is Less Weathertight

Horizontal metal siding is less resistant to water simply due to its orientation. The water cannot run off horizontal siding easily like it can with vertical  and can seep through the siding causing water damage issues.

Horizontal Siding Is Harder To Clean

Horizontal metal siding has more maintenance involved when it comes to cleaning. While vertical siding can be quickly power washed or rinsed off with a hose, extra care must be paid to horizontal siding. You want to prevent water penetrating between the horizontal slats as this will cause water damage issues such as mold and mildew.





Vertical Siding - R Panel in Copper Penny

Vertical Metal Siding Pros And Cons

Vertical Pros Vertical Cons
Great weathertightness Aesthetics
Easier maintenance Less traditional
Unique look  

Vertical Siding Advantages

Vertical Metal Siding Has Greater Weathertightness

When metal siding is installed vertically, it is more durable than horizontal as it’s more resistant to water damage. The water will not get caught on the siding and will just run off.

Vertical Siding Has Easier Maintenance

Metal siding is already known as being a low maintenance material, but a vertical installation makes that maintenance even easier. Vertical siding does not get as dirty and is easier to clean compared to horizontal siding.

When the panels are vertical, dirt and debris doesn’t accumulate on them as easily. When the panels do need to be cleaned, simply power wash the siding and the dirt will run down and rinse right off.

Vertical Metal Siding Offers A Unique Look

Choosing between vertical or horizontal siding solely based on their aesthetics is a personal preference based on which you think looks nicer. However, we can tell you that horizontal siding is more traditional and much more commonly used. If you are looking for a unique look that will stand out, consider vertical siding.


Vertical Siding Disadvantages

Vertical Metal Siding Is A Less Popular Aesthetic

What is a pro to some is a con to others. The look of vertical siding is generally less preferred than horizontal and will not be seen as often.

Vertical Siding Is Less Traditional

Since vertical metal siding is used less, it has an appearance that is out of the ordinary and may not blend as well with certain design styles.


Deciding Whether Horizontal Or Vertical Siding Is Right For Your Installation

As we mentioned earlier, deciding on vertical or horizontal orientation for your metal panel installation depends on visual preference when you’re just focused on aesthetics. However, when taking the other factors into consideration, we recommend the below.

Vertical siding for:

  • Less maintenance and easier cleaning
  • Climates where maximum durability is needed
  • A more unique look

Horizontal siding for:

  • A more traditional look

Now that we’ve gone over the differences, you can now look into the different siding profiles that Western States Metal Roofing offers.


To find the right siding panel for you, we recommend reading:

The 5 Best Metal Siding And Wall Panels. And What You’ll Pay

If you already know the panel you want, then it’s time to decide on color. Western States Metal Roofing is proud to offer over one hundred color options including custom colors that you won’t find anywhere else.

Visit our metal color resource center and request a sample of your favorite color today.

How To Choose A Metal Siding Color Guide

Click here to request a free metal roofing sample in your favorite color!

About Lauren Risotto

Lauren is the Content Manager at Western States Metal Roofing and provides insight on content creation and product promotions.