What Should I Know Before I Buy Vinyl Siding?
Vinyl siding is the busy person’s best choice for siding: it’s low- or no-maintenance, cost effective, and long-lasting. These are among the top reasons why vinyl accounts for more than half of all siding sold. But there are several factors to weigh before jumping onto the vinyl siding bandwagon.
- Consider buying vinyl siding certified by the Vinyl Siding Institute, an industry trade group that asks manufacturers to meet standards for thickness, fading, and wind resistance for certification.
- While vinyl siding is almost universally touted as “wind resistant,” it’s not wind proof. Look at how the vinyl siding is attached to the home. For instance, a double-hem mounting area provides superior strength to a single hem.
- How does it look? A deep profile better resembles wood and looks straighter than siding with less depth. Models with a narrower profile can look wavy. Try to minimize vertical overlap seams by using longer, 16-foot panels on walls without doors or windows.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of form. Added bends in dutchlap styles, for instance, lend rigidity that is lacking in clapboard models.
- Think about potential for fading. Vinyl can’t be painted and even though color will stay true for many years, eventually some fading will occur. If you’re planning to go with a darker shade, check to see if the manufacturer has added a protective UV coating to protect the color. You can also refer to consumer advocacy group Consumer Reports, which conducts fading tests on top vinyl siding brands, to help guide your decision.
And last, but not least, check your home’s old siding. If it’s sturdy, remember that you can place the new vinyl siding over it.