A Quick Guide to Vinyl Siding
Note: Vinyl Siding is only available in the San Antonio Market!
Upgrading your home to vinyl siding is a wise choice for homeowners.
Vinyl siding first appeared on the scene in the late 1950s. At the time, most house siding was aluminum, but the vinyl version proved to be cheaper and easier to maintain than its aluminum predecessor. Since that time, manufacturing enhancements have made vinyl more durable and a better insulator than many other siding products on the market today.
Of the four main siding options (metal, wood, fiber cement, and vinyl), vinyl is the least expensive material, and the second least expensive to install. Only metal siding is cheaper because it can be snipped and riveted into place. However, being cheaper can come at a cost. After all, you get what you pay for, right?
Installing vinyl siding requires special skills and attention to detail. That’s why vinyl siding installation is best left in the hands of a craftsman.
There are many siding options when it comes to vinyl, and the features you select can affect the price. Why do vinyl siding prices vary so widely? It is because of the differing features incorporated during the production of the material.
Thickness – Vinyl usually comes in a thickness of .040”. Thicker siding, such as .052”, is more durable and has better fade resistance, but will cost more.
Styles – Plain, smooth vinyl with no textures or other features will always be cheaper than the textured material that resembles wood, stone, or other materials.
Layout and Size – Clearly, a larger house will require more material, more labor, and will cost more. Also, keep in mind that odd-shaped openings, such as custom windows and doors, require the siding to be cut to non-standard shapes.
Details – Moldings, trim, soffits, corners, vents, and other customizations are extras, so make sure to ask your consultant about these options.
Labor – If you are not skilled with installing siding, DIY can potentially be the most expensive option. If you have any doubts about your ability to do the job, call a vinyl siding specialist. It will be more affordable in the long run.
AppearanceVisually, vinyl has a significant advantage over other siding choices because it can look like just about anything and it comes in such a large variety of colors and styles. It will not be hard to find a style that suits your home.
Broad Range of Color OptionsVinyl siding is also available in a broad range of colors available for vinyl siding. Since it’s blended into the vinyl itself, every color is as rich as possible and won’t show scratches easily. When shopping for siding, don’t be surprised if you’re shown a selection of 40 or 50 options (though some companies offer 700 standard colors)! If that palette doesn’t give you what you want, ask about custom colors. They may cost extra, depending on how “custom” the color is – but if you want your house to look perfect, the extra cost is worth it.
Vinyl can be made to look like different materials because it’s molded at the manufacturer’s site. Vinyl can be found in the following styles:
Beaded Seam – This style resembles wood siding from the 1800s. It’s a classic look that can fit any home, older or modern.
Smooth – This is a simple, non-textured style. The clean look is very popular.
Board and Batten – Also called “barn style”, it consists of alternating wide and narrow horizontal or vertical strips. It has a rough texture, like cedar wood.
Shingle – Sometimes called “shake”, the rough, staggered edge gives a warm, rustic look. Other styles may be available. Make sure to ask your consultant for details. Other styles may be available. Make sure to ask your consultant for details.Compared to other materials, vinyl offers the widest variety of options in terms of both color and styles. e.g.
Metal can be painted, while vinyl generally doesn’t handle paint well, but it comes in a variety of durable color options. The difficulty of reshaping metal makes vinyl a more versatile choice.
Wood has a more natural look since it’s a natural material, but it must be stained or painted every couple of years to preserve its beauty. Stucco can suffer from weathering and also needs periodic maintenance driving up maintenance costs.
Siding MaintenanceVinyl siding requires little to no maintenance, which is why it has stood the test of time within the home-improvement industry. Regular cleaning is usually the only form of maintenance you need to do. A quick spray of water from a garden hose will keep dust and dirt from accumulating. If mold and other heavier build-up are apparent, a soft-bristled scrub brush and gentle cleaning solution will do the job. If you choose to use a pressure washer, use a low-power setting to avoid spraying water and grime between the siding and the wall. When cleaning, start at the bottom and work your way up to prevent wet dirt from running down and drying on the siding. Small, stubborn spots can be eliminated with any ordinary cleaner and a soft scrub brush. When rinsing, start at the top. Work in small areas, and be sure to rinse them immediately to prevent staining from your cleaning solution.
Vinyl vs. Other SidingModern techniques have improved the vinyl materials, making vinyl a top choice for homeowners looking to replace their home’s siding. However, there is no one “best choice” since every material has advantages and disadvantages. Instead, compare vinyl siding to other options: Wood – Wood siding has a more natural look. Using reclaimed or sustainably harvested wood makes it environmentally friendly, and disposal is easy. However, wood is very high maintenance and costs twice as much as vinyl. Engineered Wood – Engineered wood siding is an emerging material made of wood strands coated in resin and compressed for strength. It offers strong resistance to the elements, cost-efficiency, and an authentic wood appearance. Aluminum – Aluminum’s big advantage is that it can be bent into unusual shapes, while vinyl must be formed to shape at manufacture. Aluminum can also be painted, but if it is dented, the paint will crack and flake off. The cost of aluminum siding fluctuates with the market, but it is very recyclable. Fiber Cement – Fiber cement is flame-resistant and can withstand hurricane-force winds. Standard siding maintenance includes re-caulking and painting.
What are some key considerations for installing vinyl siding?
Durable colors. Although some fading due to UV light is possible, modern color manufacturing techniques make even darker colors resistant to fading (because the color is embedded within the material).
Chips or cracks. Vinyl doesn’t show chips or cracks easily.
Cost. Overall, vinyl is the least expensive siding material, even when installation costs are included. Also, you can recoup around 78% of your cost at sale.
Water resistant and watertight. When we install vinyl siding, on every job we also install Tyvek, a moisture barrier that prevents water – especially wind-driven rain – from getting under the siding. This prevents mold and rot.
Simple maintenance. Easy to maintain and clean.
Vinyl siding holds up in any environment. Vinyl can withstand extreme heat or cold-weather conditions.
ConclusionVinyl siding is becoming a popular siding choice. Take advantage of the modern techniques and give your house an easy and affordable facelift! Are you in the San Antonio market and are you ready to install vinyl siding? Request a no-obligation vinyl siding quote right now through our web form.