Quality Counts: What To Look For In High-Quality Vinyl Siding

Vinyl Siding Deck

When you're shopping for new vinyl siding for your home, business or a new project, it's easy to be seduced by low prices and great deals. But how do you know whether the awesome buy is a real find or a serious lemon? Here are some characteristics to look for when you're shopping for high-quality vinyl siding that will stand the test of time and will look awesome.

Characteristics of High-Quality Vinyl Siding

  • Vinyl thickness. This is in reference to the thickness of the vinyl itself. Low-quality vinyl is usually thinner, which leaves it open to problems with heat sagging, high wind shear, cracking, impact damage and other problems. When it comes to vinyl siding, thicker is better. It helps stiffen up the siding, reducing sagging, keeping it from pulling during high-wind weather and makes it generally more durable.
  • Cutting Vinyl SidingProfile depth. This refers to the total thickness of the vinyl siding's profile, from the nailing strip to the highest point in the profile. High-quality vinyl siding often has more depth to provide a stronger architectural appearance, a more convincing wood-like appearance and it also helps stiffen up the vinyl siding panels to help prevent other problems down the road.
  • Double nailing hem. This is a feature of high-quality vinyl siding and allows the siding to be more solidly attached to the wall. It also conveys more resistance to high wind damage as it increases the area that is nailed down and strengthens the seam between each panel.
  • Longer panel lengths. Many high-quality vinyl siding manufacturers have begun producing longer panel lengths, sometimes as long as 16 or 20 feet. This helps reduce the number of seams on a wall or eliminating them all together, giving your project a better appearance and creating a more weather-tight shell. Longer panels can also provide a little more stiffness in the panel.
  • Existing foam backing. Though it's important to provide a cushion of support behind your vinyl siding, premium siding often already has it installed on the back of each panel. Because this foam is typically fitted to the exact profile of the panel, it provides superior resistance to cracking and impacts than lower-quality vinyl siding installed over sheet foam can provide.
  • Warranty length. This is another simple way to determine the quality of the vinyl siding you're considering. The longer the warranty, the longer the manufacturer thinks it will last because it's a better quality siding. The shorter the warranty is, the worse the quality. You wouldn't offer a 250,000 mile warranty on a vehicle expected to have a 100,000 mile lifespan, would you?
  • Guy putting vinyl siding on the side of the houseUV protection. This is one area where vinyl siding has gained ground over the past few decades. UV exposure used to cause fading, chalking and brittleness in vinyl siding, but new additives that have been developed over the past 60 years that have greatly improved vinyl siding's lifespan. Take a look at the manufacturer's website to find out what they do to protect the siding from UV damage.
  • Resistance to fading. Fading can be a problem with lower-quality vinyl siding, because it doesn't use the same amount of UV-protective additives, pigment or other additives that help prevent fading. Though a little fading may not seem like a big deal now, it will if you have to replace a piece because of damage down the road. If the rest of your siding has faded, the replacement piece will stick out like a sore thumb.

Now that you know what to look in high-quality vinyl siding, it's time to take the next step. You can get a rough estimate by multiplying your wall's total length by its height in feet, then dividing by 100 to figure out how many square you'll need. If you're hiring in a contractor, start getting bids or touching base with companies you're considering working with. If you have more questions, please feel free to contact us. We've been serving the area for over 40 years with five locations over the four-state region.

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Photo credit: dwcouch / Foter / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: patriotweb / Foter / CC BY-ND


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Wallboard Supply Company is a third generation, family run business that has been serving New England's building needs since 1970. Bob Filion started the company with a commitment to provide quality drywall and finishing products with unmatched customer service. The company has grown over the years, expanding its' product range, but never wavering from its' core values.