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Vinyl Siding: Pros and Cons

vinyl-siding-on-the-side-of-a-house

Whether you're considering vinyl siding for your own home or business or are working with a client who is making renovations to their building, you need to consider a few things. Like any building material, vinyl siding has both its benefits and drawbacks, its risks and advantages, depending on your needs. In this article, let's take a good look at the pros and cons to vinyl siding on your project.

Vinyl Siding Benefits

So why is vinyl siding so popular? Here are some of the many benefits of this siding option:

  • Guy cutting vinyl siding on the side of the houseInexpensive. Vinyl siding is by far one of the least expensive ways to side your home. Compared to a mid-grade cedar siding, mid-grade vinyl siding is usually about 2.5 times less expensive.
  • Durable and long-lasting. Many vinyl siding materials come with a longer warranty than in the past and are expected to last an absolute minimum of 10-15 years. There are many brands who now offer a limited lifetime warranty on their products, giving you the peace of mind in knowing that your home is covered if there's a problem with the siding.
  • Low to no maintenance. Vinyl siding should be occasionally cleaned to remove mold or mildew before it stains the PVC. This is done with a nylon brush and a 3:7 vinegar and water mix. Avoid using your power washer, however - it will force water up behind the siding and can cause mold problems inside your home. Re-painting and re-sealing is in the past.
  • Variety of colors and styles. We're talking way beyond just clapboard here. Vinyl siding comes in a wide variety of styles, including shingles/shakes, dutch lap, vintage scallops and is available in range of colors to suit any existing woodworking or painted accents on your building.
  • Earth friendly. If you're considering going for a LEED certification for your home or business, you can investigate vinyl siding options manufactured using recycled material, which not only keeps the plastic out of the landfill now, it keeps it out when it reaches the end of its usable lifespan and is recycled again.
  • Over 60 years' of improvements. Vinyl siding has been on the market since the 1950's. Though it's had a bad rap because of initial quality problems, those issues have been solved and the technology improved upon to include color and material stabilizers, UV protection and many other advancements over the years.

Vinyl Siding Drawbacks

But what about the drawbacks of vinyl siding? Here are a few things to consider before going all-out on this siding option:

  • Hard to change appearance. Dutch Blue is the way to go this year, but what about when you're tired of it in the future? If you do decide to change it, you'll probably require special paints that will stick to plastic and run your remodeling costs into the red.
  • Sagging in thin siding. In lower-quality, thinner siding, you may experience sagging between nails, especially as the siding ages in the heat.
  • Melted Vinyl SidingWind problems. As another thin-siding issue, it's a great example of you get what you pay for. Better-quality, heavier vinyl siding is often rated to hurricane-force winds.
  • Expansion and contraction. Don't like the look of all the trim at the corners and every junction? Don't go with vinyl. The trim is needed to give it room to expand and contract with the temperature.
  • Fading. Though you won't see as much as in previous decades, there can be a noticeable difference when you're making a repair and splicing in a new piece of siding.

There's no doubt that vinyl siding has its merits and its drawbacks, but it's up to you and your client to determine whether it's worth putting into your next project. At Wallboard Supply Company, we're more than just a home improvement and construction store. We've spent over 45 years working with the four-state community to build a solid partnership with our customers. Please contact us for more information on vinyl siding, to place an order or to schedule a delivery to your worksite.


Siding Installation and Connectors Guide

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Photo credit: ArmchairBuilder.com / Foter / CC BY

Photo credit: Editor B / Foter / CC BY

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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.