Homeowners deciding how to cover the exterior of their homes have a lot of choices – paint, stucco, or cedar to name a few - but an overwhelming number seem to choose vinyl. According to the Vinyl Siding Institute, statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau show that since 1995, more homeowners side their homes with vinyl than any other material.
Vinyl siding was first introduced to the market in the 1960’s and it’s come a long way since then. Now, the Vinyl Siding Institute says it is available in almost 350 different colors and can withstand winds over 110 mph.
Perhaps you are pondering a vinyl siding installation yourself. Is vinyl siding the right choice for you and your home? Read this guide and find out.
Vinyl siding was first introduced to the market in the 1960’s and it’s come a long way since then.
1.Pro: Easy to install
Vinyl siding is not difficult to access or even put up yourself. It’s readily available in home improvement stores across the country. You can have it installed professionally or, if you are handy around the house, you can even put it up yourself by following the manufacturer’s instructions.
2.Pro: Long-lasting color
Vinyl siding is often recommended as an option for homeowners looking to change the appearance of their homes without a lot of fuss, muss or maintenance. Paint can chip, flake or fade but modern vinyl siding maintains its look for years longer. “Manufacturers have increased the availability of darker colors (and lighter ones, too) with improved color retention,” says the Vinyl Siding Institute. “Vinyl and other polymeric siding have the widest array of profile offerings of any exterior cladding.”
The Vinyl Siding Institute says that vinyl siding costs much less than other home cladding options. “Vinyl siding offers unsurpassed value with the lowest total installed cost of any other exterior cladding,” the group says. The group also says that re-siding a house using vinyl ranks among the best home improvement projects for cost recovery. To learn more, see our price guide on Cost to Install Vinyl Siding.
4.Con: Not watertight
Vinyl siding is water resistant, not waterproof. Because of the way that it is installed, water can sometimes get between the siding and the surface of your home. This can cause infestation and mold problems. The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) tells its member that “since wind-driven rain can easily get into the space behind the siding, building paper of housewrap should be installed behind the siding to protect against water damage. Drainage holes or slots in horizontal vinyl siding allow water behind the siding to drain.”
Because it is exposed to the sun and other elements every day, anything on the exterior of your home is going to fade somewhat. However, in the past, fading was a common complaint from homeowners. However, newer versions of vinyl siding come with special coatings to help preserve the color from the sun’s harmful rays. Experts also suggest that homeowners wash their siding to remove buildup and dirt that can dull the siding’s true color.
6.Con: Dents, Cracks
Extreme weather can cause your siding to bend, crack and break. According to InterNACHI, severe cold can cause siding to become very brittle and highly susceptible to breaks and cracks. The group says that exposure to high temperatures can cause problems, too. “Extreme heat can also cause vinyl to melt or distort,” InterNACHI says. “There have been cases reported of extremely hot reflections from nearby windows causing warping and melting.”
There’s a lot to consider when deciding what is best for your home. You want to make a decision that makes sense economically and that will make you happy for a long time. Vinyl siding is the right option for many homes across the country – but is it the right choice for you? Only you can determine that answer.