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A Brief Guide to Vinyl Siding

by Bonnie Phillips on May 30, 2020

Vinyl siding is, by far, the most popular siding choice in the world nowadays. It is built using PVC resin in a panel structure that is installed over the walls of houses for a smooth and clean finish. It was originally introduced as an alternative to aluminum siding, which tended to dent and fade easily, and was costly too.

Vinyl siding is also a suitable choice for those who love to change the look of their house with changing times, due to more color and pattern options than others.

Why Get Vinyl Siding?

The benefits of vinyl siding over others are:

  • Vinyl siding is manufactured in numerous colors and patterns and even with wood, brick, stone, and cement finish.
  • Vinyl siding is the most affordable siding option, both material-wise and installation, maintenance, and repair-wise.
  • Installation, maintenance, and repair of vinyl siding are also fast, easy, and hassle-free.
  • Vinyl siding is highly durable, weather and corrosion-resistant, and low-maintenance. A yearly wash and a good sealant or weather-barrier coat every few years is enough to last it for 40-50 years.
  • Vinyl siding is thermally efficient and
  •  Saves a significant amount in thermostat expenditure.

What Costs are Involved?

Thicker vinyl is costlier but brings durability to the table. Greater the sides and complexity of the house, greater the cost too. By complexity, we mean more corners and edges due to more doors, windows, balconies, arches, more sides, and so on. It is also due to the greater customization required on the panels and the linear footage from soffits, moldings, and trims, that adds to the cost.

Besides that, greater patterns and color variety, especially custom ones will increase the cost. Longer panels are more aesthetic but more expensive. You should also not choose the cheapest siding manufacturer or contractor for your house as a badly done job becomes more costly in the long run for siding repairs.

The things you must pay special attention to buying Vinyl Siding:

  • Material - The quality of siding increases from Regrind, recycled PVC, Virgin PVC, Virgin PVC with strengthening additives, and acrylic capped vinyl. For greater insulation, you can choose foam-backed vinyl. Check for ASTM D3679 quality standard and wind-speed rating to know more about it.
  • Color - Vinyl siding with high-quality, high-concentration pigments throughout the thickness, with titanium dioxide additives and following ASTM D6864, ASTM D7251 or ASTM D7856 standards are least likely to fade.
  • Construction - Thicker vinyl siding is more durable. Your choices are economy grade (0.038”), builder’s grade (0.040”), light residential grade (0.042”), standard residential grade (0.044”), thick residential grade (0.046”), and premium grade (0.048”).

    A thickness between 0.040” and 0.045” is the right balance between cost and quality. Among available profiles, like board and batten, beaded, clapboard, and Dutch lap, Dutch lap exhibits maximum strength.
  • Installer - Always choose an installer with years of experience, good reviews and references, all necessary certificates, insurance and a written warranty for the job. 

Although vinyl siding installation has some cons like no fire-resistance, melting and warping tendency, high coefficient of thermal expansion, the pros far outdo the cons and make vinyl the top siding choice for most people. 

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