Pros and Cons of Using Vinyl Siding on Your Home
Vinyl siding is a polarizing topic. Some people love it, but others would rather see their home coated with just about anything else. If you’re not sure where you fall on the spectrum, keep reading. We’ve outlined the pros and cons of vinyl siding below. Let these points help you determine whether or not vinyl siding is right for your home.
The advantages of using vinyl siding on your home
It is very affordable
One of the biggest advantages of vinyl siding is that it is very economical. In fact, according to Angie’s List, a review platform for home improvement services, vinyl is the most economical type of siding. On average, it costs just $4-$5 per square foot. In addition, since vinyl siding is lightweight and features an interlocking design, installation is often easier — and using less labor can also save the homeowner money.
It doesn’t require much maintenance
With other types of siding, maintenance is a big concern. Wood siding, for example, requires regular staining or painting to prevent it from splitting. Vinyl siding, on the other hand, does not require that much labor-intensive upkeep. All that’s recommended is that you take the time to power wash the siding at least once per year.
It can match many different aesthetics
These days, there are innumerable aesthetic options for vinyl siding. Since vinyl siding is made by molding each piece of vinyl into a pre-defined shape, it can be molded to mimic just about any look. In fact, most vinyl siding is manufactured to mimic wood siding, like cedar shakes.
For those who would prefer a solid color, vinyl siding comes in a variety of shades, from traditional white to more vibrant colors like red or purple. Choosing a different color can ensure that your home stands out, even when most of the homes in your neighborhood use vinyl siding.
It’s pretty durable
Since the color is baked through vinyl siding, the finish for this material does not scratch, rub, or wear off in the same way that traditional paint or stain might. There is some risk of fading from sun exposure. However, this is usually relatively minor and newer models include additives to ensure that the panels do not fade as quickly as older models have in the past.
It has a decent resale value
One of the biggest objections to vinyl siding is the resale value. That said, the 2020 Cost vs. Value Report by Remodeling Magazine found that vinyl siding has, on average, a 74.7% return on investment when you go to sell your home. That number is only 3% less than fiber-cement siding, which has a much higher price point.
The disadvantages of using vinyl siding on your home
Durable does not mean indestructible
Unfortunately, one of vinyl siding’s downsides is that it can be fragile. If it comes in contact with too much force — say, a child’s baseball gets thrown against it, for instance — it can crack. Exposure to extreme cold weather can cause it to crack, as well. While, on the other end of the spectrum, exposure to hot weather can cause it to melt.
Replacement can be complicated
The other downside to vinyl siding is that replacement can be complicated. With this material, there is no such thing as patching a crack. Instead, the entire panel must be replaced. When that happens, it may be hard to find a color that’s an exact match to the rest of your home, especially if it’s been a few years since your siding was installed.
Your best bet for overcoming this problem is to buy a few extra panels upon installation. That way, you have them on-hand if a crack in your siding does happen.
Water intrusion can lead to problems
While this problem is unlikely if you’ve had a reliable contractor do the installation, it’s still something important to keep in the back of your mind. If it is installed improperly water can get trapped beneath the surface of the siding, which can start to rot, grow mold or mildew, or even attract insects.
This is particularly likely to occur if you simply install new vinyl siding over existing siding.
It’s not very eco-friendly
Last but not least, those who have sustainability in mind may want to choose a different siding material. Vinyl siding is made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which contains hazardous chemicals. Dioxin, which is released when the material is burned during construction, is highly-regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, it is still considered hazardous.
In addition, though newer versions of vinyl siding are considered to be recyclable, some sources argue that it is still not standard practice to recycle these materials during disposal.