Vinyl SidingIn home remodeling discussions, there are few subjects that are as contentious as vinyl siding. Supporters of vinyl siding suggest that it never needs painting, while its detractors believe houses should never be covered with anything but real wood.

As a building material, vinyl siding is relatively new. It was introduced in the late 1950s as a substitute for aluminum siding. Recent changes in the product's chemistry and installation techniques have improved its performance and increased its acceptance by builders and homeowners. There are several main reasons why vinyl siding is a beneficial choice for homeowners.

Affordability. With the lowest cost of installation available, vinyl siding makes for an affordable option with a high rate of return on your investment.It is cheaper than most other siding materials and takes a lot less time to install. This makes vinyl siding one of the most affordable and cost effective siding materials, while still being able to maintain a designer look.

Many homeowners prefer vinyl siding because it costs less than traditional wood siding. Not only is the initial cost of installing the vinyl siding cheaper than wood siding but also the cost of maintenance will be cheaper over the long run. You home will look great year after year without you having to break out the ladder and paint over and over.  

Low Maintenance. After installation, vinyl siding is virtually maintenance-free. There is no need for painting, sealing, or caulking adjustments down the road. Insects will not eat vinyl siding. The weather wont rot, warp or cause vinyl to deteriorate and there isn't any paint to chip or peel off. The only suggested maintenance is the occasional rinsing with a garden hose and, for tougher spots, a washing with cloth and soap. Some vinyl sidings come with warranties that can last for as long as the lifetime of the house.

Durability. Composed of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), vinyl siding is built to last, unlike conventional wood or cedar cladding that weathers over time. It is also resistant to rot or insect damage. Vinyl siding has proven to outperform most cladding exteriors, including brick. However, vinyl siding quality can vary, and with vinyl siding you definitely get what you pay for.

If you are shopping around for vinyl siding you should look for several factors. The first factor you should look at is the thickness. Vinyl siding can come in thicknesses of .35 to .55 inches thick, and most quality brands come in between .40 and .50 inches. Vinyl siding is exposed to various elements: strong winds, hailstorms, and heat. Generally, the thicker the vinyl, the more likely it is to survive severe weather.

Wide Variety of Styles. There are many different vinyl siding styles to choose from. The variation of different styles makes it convenient to fit any home's architectural theme. Some of the different styles include lap, beaded, board and batten, shakes, shingles scallops, fish scales, half clove, hexagon and more.

Energy Efficient. According to the Vinyl Siding Institute, vinyl products consume less energy, generate fewer emissions and save more energy than many competitive products.

If you are considering vinyl siding as an addition to your home, there are a few factors you should consider. The most important factor is proper installation. Improperly installed vinyl siding can easily pull off, become damaged, or buckle under heat or stress. If you want your vinyl siding to live up to your expectations, it has to be done properly and by industry standards. Don't hesitate to ask potential installers for their certifications. Most of the large manufacturers certify installers in proper installation techniques.