Of the numerous siding materials available on the market today, vinyl siding is easily one of the most popular choices among homeowners. There are a lot of good reasons to choose vinyl for your home's exterior. But on the flip side, vinyl also comes with its share of disadvantages. By understanding the inherent advantages and drawbacks of vinyl siding, you, the consumer, will be in a better position to determine whether or not vinyl is right for you.
Inexpensive: Vinyl is one of the most affordable siding materials available on the market. Since it is easy to install, contractors are often able to offer competitive pricing for projects involving vinyl.
Low maintenance: Unlike other materials such as wood, vinyl siding does not require much maintenance at all. A yearly power washing session is usually enough to remove accumulated dirt and grime from the face of vinyl.
Hassle-free repairs: Vinyl is the easiest type of siding to repair because vinyl panels are made to snap in and out without difficulty. In many cases, homeowners are able to successfully replace chipped or damaged vinyl siding panels without the help of an outside contractor.
Nice finish: Many people like the finish that vinyl has to offer. Vinyl also comes in a variety of hues, so homeowners can get something creative with color. These days, manufacturers are pushing a type of vinyl siding that is made to look more like wood. This gives homeowners the best of two worlds: the classic appearance of wood without the heavy maintenance.
Insulation: Vinyl siding has insulating properties that can help lock warm and cool air into the home. The result is a significant savings in energy bills for the homeowner through the years.
Appearance: When it comes to the physical appearance of vinyl, there are two opposing camps: those who like it, and those who could not disagree more. Many people are of the opinion that vinyl does not look as nice as other siding materials. The biggest gripe among critics is that vinyl does not look natural, and that instead of providing a classy finish to a home's exterior, it makes it look cheap and plastic-like. Vinyl also almost always has seams, which many feel detracts from the home's appearance. To combat this issue, a newer type of longer, thicker vinyl siding without seams is now available on the market. However, this option is significantly more expensive than standard vinyl panels. Given the cost involved, it may make sense for a homeowner to upgrade to a more high-end material rather than pay a premium for vinyl.
Not so solid: Vinyl siding can be quite flimsy, especially as compared to other siding materials. Vinyl, even when installed with great care and precision, can not always stand up to harsh weather and wind. It has been known to blow off, buckle, crack, and even melt. While vinyl siding repairs are simply simple, homeowners should be aware that they are also fairly common.
The Bottom Line
Vinyl, like many other factors in life, comes with its own specific set of pros and cons. When it comes down to it, you might just want to ask yourself how you feel about vinyl, and take it from there. Some people find that the look of vinyl speaks to them, while others simply just do not care for it. If you fall into the latter category, then not to worry. With so many siding material choices available, there's no need to jump on the vinyl bandwagon. Just get yourself a good contractor, and together, you'll be able to find the siding material that's suited just for you.