The Pros and Cons of Vinyl Siding

by Rachel Laurendeau on December 30, 2012

The exterior cladding of your house says a lot about your home and is integral in the house’s first impressions and curb appeal. Additionally, the siding protects and insulates your home and can affect its energy efficiency. If it is time to update your home’s exterior, there are a number of siding options available to you. Here, we will discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of using vinyl siding.

Quick tip: if you think you may need replacement windows in the near future, you may want to talk to your contractor about changing both the siding and the windows at the same time to reduce labor costs.

Pros of Vinyl Siding
Vinyl siding is one of the most affordable siding options, which is probably one of the main reasons it is so commonly used.
• The new generation of vinyl siding is very durable, fade resistant and low-maintenance. You will never have to worry about painting or staining it and it is easy to clean with the garden hose and a gentle cleaner once or twice a year.
• A wide variety of colors and finishes are available since this is a manufactured product. You can get the look of wood, shakes, shingles and even logs or brick.
• Vinyl siding comes with a warranty. Of course, the warranty will vary depending on the manufacturer, so factor this into your decision when choosing your siding.
Insulated vinyl siding is backed by an insulating material, such as foam, to improve your home’s R-Value, saving energy and cutting down on your heating and cooling bills. This is a higher end siding and will cost a bit more up front.

Cons of Vinyl Siding
Older vinyl siding was prone to fading, cracking and warping over time. However, since siding has gone through so many improvements over the past decades, this point is no longer particularly valid when considering modern vinyl siding. Just be sure to buy from a reputable manufacturer.

• Vinyl is sensitive to heat, making it a less appealing option near the barbecue, grill or other heat sources.
• Additionally, its heat sensitivity can also make it more flammable in the case of a house fire.
• Vinyl siding is not a very good choice environmentally. When it comes to replacing it, it is rarely recycled and cannot be burned, as it will release toxic gases so it just ends up cluttering up the landfills.
• Aesthetically, many people consider vinyl siding to be less attractive than some of the other cladding options.
• Although you can buy siding that looks like wood, that doesn’t make it wood. If you live in a historic home, replacing your wood cladding with siding can reduce the historical value of the house.

If your home needs new windows or siding, talk to your local home improvement or window expert for more information.

Resources: Wikipedia and QualitySmith

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