The Advantages of Vinyl Siding
Editor's Note: The advantages of vinyl siding are listed below, but for the alternative viewpoint check out the Vinyl Siding Problem.
by Michael Joseph
Vinyl siding is the most popular siding material today, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. A whopping 33% of all new homes built in 2012 used vinyl siding, more than any other cladding material, and if current trends are to be believed, vinyl siding will continue to lead the way in exterior home design.
Today’s vinyl siding is far different from when it first came out in the 1950s. Advances made in manufacturing technology in the last decade has witnessed amazing strides in vinyl siding production so much so there has been a marked resurgence of interest in the product all over the U.S. What are the advantages of vinyl siding? Here are a few good reasons why you should consider vinyl siding for your home:
Diversity in Beauty
- There is a diverse selection of vinyl siding profiles, colors, textures, architectural trim and other accessories.
- You can now get vinyl siding that can effectively mimic the look of many types of cladding and architectural accents, including wood, stone, and slate.
- There is also a much wider selection of colors with improved color retention. Currently, the Vinyl Siding Institute has certified more than 350 vinyl siding colors for color retention.
- Vinyl sidings have been so designed in a way that accentuates the best features of any architectural home style, so that homeowners do not have to compromise the beauty aspect while seeking to improve the curb appeal of their homes. As a result of these advancements, vinyl sidings are being used even in historic home renovations by many historical societies in the U.S. due to the availability of a wide selection of period colors, architectural details and advantages of low maintenance.
- Vinyl siding has the ability to withstand high winds and resist heat, cold and moisture, retaining its original appearance and performance capabilities over long periods of time. Able to withstand wind velocities of more than 200 mph these sidings have been well-tested even recently as they survived Superstorm Sandy.
- The lifetime warranties on the product as well as on installation offered by many vinyl siding manufacturers are clear testimony to its confirmed longevity.
- Vinyl siding, as a whole, is a green option. It outperforms most other exterior cladding, including brick, in almost all life cycle stages for environmental and economic performance.
- Insulated siding (also a vinyl product with the added benefit of insulation.) provides all the beauty, durability and sustainability of vinyl house siding with the added benefit of improved energy efficiency. Due to its ability to reduce thermal bridging, insulated siding has been added to the checklist of building products that can help meet the requirements to qualify a new home as an ENERGY STAR® Qualified Home.
- Vinyl siding is lightweight and one of the easiest exterior claddings to install.
- Since it can be installed over existing materials, it is a good retrofit option and because installation is relatively easy, labor costs are saved. A reputable manufacturer will handle the installation using the proper installation techniques required by the VSI Vinyl Siding Installation Manual.
- Vinyl siding does not need to be painted and only requires periodic (annual) cleaning with mild soap and water.
- Moreover it is not susceptible to problems associated with rotting, cracking or insect damage.
- Just wash with soap and water! It does not need to be painted.
- Vinyl siding has the lowest total installed cost of any exterior cladding as also the lowest life cycle cost over the life of a home.
- Recent surveys conducted have found that replacing a home’s siding with vinyl siding ranked among some of the best home improvement projects for recouping cost at the time of resale.
- According to the Vinyl Siding Institute, vinyl siding is one of the few materials which complies with the stringent National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) requirements for insulating electrical and data transmission cables.
Vinyl siding is by far the most popular exterior cladding for homes in the U.S. at present because of its versatility, beauty, cost-effectiveness, sustainability, ease of installation and its low maintenance.
When choosing the right siding for your home, weigh your requirements against the advantages and disadvantages of the siding you want to select. Vinyl house siding is recommended for the many good qualities it possesses.
Editor's Addendum to The Advantages of Vinyl Siding
While most the advantages of vinyl siding listed above are not controversial, the claims for sustainability are suspect. Since it is recyclable it can be considered sustainable, but how often is it recycled? Aluminum siding has a value that makes it worth recycling, but no one will pay for vinyl siding, so it is just extra work for the contractor.
When claiming this as one of the advantages of vinyl siding its proponents usually point to the energy used in cutting and transporting wood and stone and the energy used in making bricks, but there is also significant energy used in producing vinyl's chemical feedstocks.
About the Author
Michael has a natural flair for interior and exterior home décor. He believes home improvements should not only be aesthetic but sensible and energy-efficient as well. Michael is a freelance writer who has had 12 years of experience as an interior designer. He currently writes for Champion Window and other related topics of interest.
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