Window Replacement Blog

Wood or Vinyl – Which Siding Is Right for Your Home?

Now that spring is on its way, it’s the perfect time to decide on replacing your home’s siding. Companies are going to be busy in the coming months, so it’ll be a good move to get an estimate and schedule an appointment sooner rather than later. Will you choose vinyl or wood siding?

Though vinyl siding gets a bad reputation due to its 1950s – 1960s debut and the poor materials used to make it, it is now one of the best options for any home. Vinyl siding is now composed of high-quality materials with modern manufacturing techniques and has risen in popularity since then, chosen by homeowners for up to 32% of all new home construction. These are some of the reasons why you should choose vinyl.

Durability

Vinyl siding is made from a PVC plastic resin with chemicals distilled from chlorine and the gas ethylene. It is a very strong material. Some of the durability features from using vinyl siding include:

• Resistance to the elements, from rain to heavy wind and impact from hail
• Longevity compared to metal or engineered wood, to the point where it has a lifetime warranty of up to 50 years
• Resistance to moisture, so unlike wood or metal, it is impervious to rot and corrosion
• Inability to conduct electricity or dent
• Strength against impacting items, like baseballs

Low Maintenance

Vinyl siding material requires the least amount of maintenance. According to the Vinyl Siding Institute, vinyl siding only needs an occasional wash with a water hose and a clean cloth to maintain an optimal look. Vinyl is impervious to termite or other infestations, so there’s no worry about the material wearing down or becoming damaged. Vinyl also saves money on painting, since the color stays for a long time and doesn’t chip or crack like regular paint often does. When color does start to fade five to ten years later, you only need an occasional replacement panel, instead of having to repaint the entire exterior.

Siding

Only two small types of maintenance are necessary with vinyl siding:

• Cracks. These imperfections only occur when someone works on vinyl in freezing temperatures during winter. You can work on vinyl in nearly any temperature except extreme cold.

• Holes. A very strong impact in a small area can create a hole on vinyl. It is easy to repair these damages with small patches or replacement panels.

Wood siding, on the other hand, needs constant maintenance to remain strong and will always need replacing every few years.

Effective Insulation

Vinyl is a strong insulator. In a process known as thermal bridging, insulated vinyl siding prevents heat loss between the wall studs located in the outside walls. Though homes usually have insulation between the wall studs, they bleed heat where they make contact with the exterior. Insulated vinyl coats the studs, keeping heat inside during the winter and outside during the summer. Insulated vinyl saves money in home heating and cooling costs, and even applies for energy tax credits.

Vinyl siding is one of the more environmentally safe siding and insulation materials around. According to the Vinyl Siding Institute, vinyl complies with the strict requirements of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for insulating data transmission and electric cables.

Aesthetically Versatile

Vinyl side comes in all varieties of colors, styles, and designs. The elastic nature of vinyl makes it an appropriate decoration for any home and in any style. In fact, according to the Vinyl Siding Institute, there are over 350 different types of vinyl siding colors available for customers. Vinyl presents plenty of artistic and design advantages, because it:

• Is available in every color and shade possible
• Lasts longer and is more resistant than regular paint
• Has a great variety of textures, from Victorian scallops, to painted wood, to smooth
• Can imitate wood textures without the drawbacks of wood
• Has numerous vinyl shading styles that are available with both vertical and horizontal applications
• Adapts seamlessly to both contemporary and traditional, classic homes

Easier to Install

Another contributing factor to vinyl siding’s rise in popularity comes from how easy it is to install. Vinyl rivals metal siding in terms of how they are both installed. Homeowners can apply both materials right over the existing siding. Because of this, there is no siding removal fee. Also, vinyl siding installation only requires a couple of tools aside from a hammer, which makes the overhead and process very simple. The lightweight footprint contributes to the installation ease.

On the other hand, wood such as redwood or red cedar needs far more tools to install, as well as constant painting. Neither of these problems are present with colored vinyl siding.

Affordable

The biggest advantage to vinyl siding is that it is more affordable compared with materials. Previously mentioned factors such as the low maintenance, easy installation, and durability help keep the costs down. Vinyl siding is also constructed from a manmade material, which helps keep it affordable. Vinyl lining costs $1.60 per square foot and is much cheaper than wood, which costs 2.5 times more. The following siding installation costs estimate for 100 square feet, accounting for labor and materials:

• Vinyl siding: $186
• Fiber cement siding: $289
• Stucco: $421
• Wood: $595
• Brick: $957
• Stone: $1,726

To further add, vinyl siding costs between $2,500 and $8,750 for 1,250 square feet. In comparison, installed wood siding costs between $6,500 and $100,000 for the same square footage. Installing vinyl siding without professional help will cut your costs down to between $1,000 and $1,250 for the same space.

Replacing the siding of a house with vinyl siding is also considered one of the best home improvement projects to recoup cost at the time of resale. The cost recuperation is 76.7% for 1,250 square feet of siding.

Making the Right Choice

In the end, there is no question that vinyl siding has great short-term and long-term benefits for your home compared to other materials such as wood. Vinyl siding is more versatile, more resistant, keeps your heating costs down, easier to install and overall saves you money. Keep vinyl siding in mind when you make the decision to replace your home siding for the upcoming spring season.

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