Amenity Roofing & Siding

The Pros and Cons of Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding

You’ve probably seen vinyl siding on many homes in your neighborhood. With its affordability and low maintenance, vinyl has become popular for homeowners over the past few decades. But is vinyl siding really the best option for your home’s exterior? Here, we’ll explore the pros and cons of this common siding material and discuss some good alternatives you may want to consider instead.

Vinyl Siding Is Budget-Friendly

One of the main appeals of vinyl siding is its low upfront cost compared to other sidings like wood, brick, or fiber cement. Vinyl is an inexpensive plastic product made from PVC resin, so it costs much less per square foot than natural or composite materials. This makes vinyl a top choice if you’re renovating on a tight budget. The low price also translates to lower labor costs for installation.

But It May Not Hold Up as Well To Extreme Weather

While vinyl stands up well to normal wear and tear, it doesn’t hold up as well as other materials in extreme weather. Hailstorms can cause dents and cracks in vinyl that are impossible to repair. And in frigid climates, vinyl siding can become brittle and deform from contraction and expansion. Replacing damaged sections of vinyl siding tends to be more difficult and costly than other types of sidings too.

Vinyl Requires Little Upkeep

Another big selling point for vinyl siding is its low maintenance needs. Unlike wood siding, it never needs repainting or restaining. You can simply wash it down with a hose periodically. And it resists rot, termites, mold, and other damage common to natural wood sidings over time. This makes vinyl a convenient, fuss-free siding solution.

But It Can Still Get Dirty and Dated

While vinyl siding won’t rot or peel, it can still collect dirt, mold, and mildew over the years. These can be tough to remove from textured vinyl surfaces with simple washing. And while you avoid the need to repaint, the color is baked into the vinyl panels. So, if you get tired of the color after 10 or 15 years, you’re stuck replacing the siding for an update.

Vinyl Is an Insulator Against Weather

Unlike wood siding with gaps between boards, vinyl siding is solid and completely covers a home’s exterior sheathing. This helps insulate your home better against outside temperatures. Vinyl siding helps block drafts from wind, lowering heating and cooling costs. Its moisture resistance also helps protect insulation and framing underneath from rain and snow damage.

But It Can Warp and Buckle in the Sun

While vinyl’s solid surface offers insulation perks, it absorbs and retains heat from sunlight. On hot summer days, the surface of dark vinyl siding can get extremely hot, reaching upwards of 180°F. These extreme temperature swings cause vinyl siding to expand and contract a lot. This leads to buckling panels and warped surfaces that become prone to wind damage.

Vinyl Is Simple to Install

Another construction advantage of vinyl siding is easier installation than wood, masonry, or other alternatives. Lightweight vinyl panels snap cleanly into place row-by-row with just essential tools. This speedy installation means less construction labor costs for your siding project. DIY-savvy homeowners may even tackle vinyl siding installation themselves.

But It Won’t Increase Resale Value

It is true that vinyl siding can be a cost-effective choice up front. However, it will not enhance your home’s value like other premium building materials down the road. So, if you ever sell your home, vinyl siding won’t impress potential buyers or recoup costs through resale the way natural wood, brick, stone, or fiber cement siding would.

Vinyl Offers Good Impact Resistance

Unlike other rigid sidings, flexible vinyl holds up well to dings, dents, and impacts from rocks, balls, branches, and other objects. So, it’s a good siding choice for homes in areas prone to windstorms or where kids and activity are rough on the structure. The resilient vinyl surface resists chipping or cracking from most typical impacts.

But It Has Poor Curb Appeal

While vinyl is inexpensive and low maintenance, it lacks aesthetic appeal compared to natural alternatives like wood or masonry. To some home buyers and real estate appraisers, vinyl siding detracts from a home rather than adding value. Especially in higher-end homes, vinyl siding is seen as cheap-looking. So, this can hurt resale value and appeal for future buyers with vinyl installed.

Good Alternatives to Vinyl Siding

In addition to vinyl siding, there are several reliable and attractive options that you can use on your home. Some options to consider include:

Fiber Cement Siding

One of the best vinyl siding alternatives is fiber cement. Made from wood fibers and cement composite, fiber cement offers durability similar to masonry but installs more like wood siding. It withstands weather extremes well and won’t rot, warp, or attract pests. Fiber cement siding comes factory-primed and offers more comprehensive paint color options. It costs more upfront than vinyl but holds its value better long-term.

Engineered Wood Siding

Engineered wood siding is also a fine choice over vinyl for a natural wood look with easier maintenance. Modern engineered wood is bonded and laminated for durability. It resists cupping, cracking, and moisture damage better than solid wood siding. Advanced stains and sealants also allow engineered wood siding to go much longer between restaining compared to the old days. Though still costlier than vinyl, wood siding adds excellent aesthetic value.

Brick and Stone Veneers

For superb weather resistance, beauty, and value, exterior brick veneers or manufactured stone veneers are exceptional alternatives to vinyl siding. Easy-to-install veneers give you the same stately, elegant look of actual brick or natural stone masonry for less. Contemporary mortarless veneer systems clip directly over exterior walls. Veneers withstand all weather extremes without fading or damage. And they require practically zero maintenance other than occasional pressure washing.

Which Is the Best Choice for Your Home?

Vinyl siding has some worthwhile benefits like affordability, low maintenance, and easy installation going for it. But it also comes with a few downsides, like susceptibility to weather damage, fading, and reduced curb appeal over time. Alternative modern sidings like fiber cement and engineered wood offer better durability and aesthetics while still being easy to maintain. Options like brick or stone veneers provide outstanding weather resistance and beautiful curb appeal.

Schedule a Free Estimate 

Deciding on the best choice for your home’s siding ultimately depends on your budget, priorities, and future plans. Consulting with a specialist like our team at Amenity Roofing & Siding in Montgomery, IL, is best for a personalized recommendation. Our experts are here to guide you through all the available options and help you make an informed decision that fits your needs. Call us today at 1-630-636-9954 for a free quote, and let us bring out the best in your home’s exterior.


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