Vinyl siding for your exterior is an ideal choice for it's durability, beauty and affordable pricing. Vinyl siding requires minimal maintenance, never needs painting, is easy to clean and generally last between 25 and 50 years. It is also impervious to water and bugs and can vent moisture. Vinyl siding has a wide variety of styles and color combinations to meet the look you are trying to achieve. The cost of vinyl siding is usually cheaper than wood and will cost less for installation.

To learn more about vinyl siding for your exterior and to get free estimates, enter your basic information and you'll be contacted by local contractors. These reliable local contractors will discuss cost and prices, color combinations and styles, and give you free estimates. You will learn more about vinyl siding manufacturers, distributors and installers. Vinyl siding is the top choice for many home owners. Get your free estimates for the best vinyl siding today!

Vinyl Siding Considerations

As a building material, vinyl siding is relatively new. It was introduced in the late 1950s as a substitute to aluminum siding. When vinyl siding first came on to the market by manufacturers and distributors, it was quickly dismissed as a good option to house siding because it faded, cracked, bucked and sagged. Since the early days, vinyl siding has come a long way in production materials, durability, installation techniques and style options. Today, it is quickly becoming the best choice for home owners and builders. Vinyl siding is now used in approximately 50% of the market and in continuing to grow in popularity.

There are a few items to consider when you are looking to buy vinyl siding for your home. Whether you are looking for vinyl siding for your barn, cabin, mobile home or house, you should consider quality, price, contractors estimates and manufacturers, distributors and installation. Additionally, there are a few key points you should be well aware of when looking at materials for your exterior.

Thickness of Materials - Generally, you will want thick vinyl siding over thin. Thicker exterior materials will likely be stiffer and more durable. Thinner choices can be cheap quality and sag or warp over the years.

Fading of Materials - Cheap vinyl siding will likely fade over the years. When comparing estimates and prices, be sure to ask about UV protection and find out how the exterior will handle sunlight. If your house has a lot of sun exposure due to climate or lack of shade on your property, also ask if the manufacturer recommends lighter colors for less fade over dark colors.

Wind Resistance - When getting estimates on vinyl siding, be sure to ask about the manufacturers warranty and if it covers wind damage. You will want vinyl siding on your exterior that will resist wind up to 150 mph in a storm.

Rain Resistance - Vinyl siding hangs loosely on your house because it provides better ventilation and contracts and expands with heat and cold. As such, it can also trap moisture or have areas where water can leak inside your home. You need to make sure the installation is done properly to avoid these problems. Proper flashings, house felt or builder's wrap should be added by the installer. Contrary to what some may expect, vinyl siding is actually less likely than wood to trap moisture. There are tiny holes in the butts of each plastic panel to release water and, because they are hung loosely, air can easily move behind the paneling. This is also why it is important that the contractor installs flashing, housewrap or builders felt. This would be done for wood siding as well.

Seamless Installation - Unlike a wood, metal, aluminum or cement exterior, vinyl panels are not attached tightly to your house. For lack of a better term, it hangs on the side of your home. This is because it contracts and expands with heat and cold. Ask your contractor when you are getting estimates about whether they offer double hem mounting area or a single hem. Double hem mounting in installation usually provides better attachment than a single hem. However, if the installer makes the vinyl siding is too tight, there will be poor ventilation, which is needed. If the installer makes the vinyl siding too loose, it can be noisy. Your vinyl siding needs to have proper installation for durability and quality. Be sure you talk to the contractors about their installation process and quality checks. You do not want to have to worry about repair on your home because of cheap installation.

Choose Your Style - There are many options and color combinations when choosing the style you desire for your house, barn, cabin or mobile home. You can choose to make your home look just like it has a cedar wood or pine wood exterior. You can also choose vinyl log siding, vinyl shake siding, and vinyl cedar shake siding. When looking for vinyl cedar shake siding, you have a wide variety of options to obtain your desired look, such as perfection, rough split, half rounds, insulated, clapboard, dutchlap, and board and batten beaded. There are also countless color combinations, trim choices, vinyl stone siding, shingles, cedar shingle, fiber cement siding, vinyl window options, decks and patios and more.

Materials and Installation

Vinyl is made from chemical combinations, and depending on the amounts of certain materials, it can be as flimsy as a shower curtain, as tough as a pipe or durable enough to handle heavy foot traffic. Simply rap on a vinyl sided wall with your knuckles and it will flex and sound hollow. This is because it generally has only a small amount of the panel is resting against the sheathing.

A cheap thin panel, or a panel without support, will more likely sag or warp over the years. To still meet building codes, the thinnest it can be is .035 inch thick. Premium options can be .044 to .048 inch thick. Some manufacturers will offer options that are up to .055 inch thick. The thicker the the exterior materials, the less likely they will sag or warp. However, the stiffness depends on more than just thickness of the products.

Panels with a folded over, double nailing hem and deeper profile are usually stiffer than others. This is true with narrow clapboards as well. Generally, the more bends the better. It is suggested that the thicker the vinyl siding the more impact resistant it will be as compared to thinner products. However, the impact resistance has more to do with the chemical composition than the thickness of the product. The chemical composition is not available to consumers who are interested in comparing products.

One area you should compare is the wind resistance. The warranty given by the manufacturer will give you a good idea of how the product will handle severe weather. Different areas may have different wind codes that the manufacturer must live up to in order for installation of their product. One option, Wolverine Millennium, comes with a 180-mph wind resistance guarantee when nailed properly.

Whether you are using tools to fasten your vinyl siding to a barn, house, mobile home, cabin or shed, you must be careful not to fasten the plastic panel to tight to the structure. Vinyl siding must literally hang from the side of the structure. The product must be free to move as it needs to be able to contract and expand with temperature changes. A 12-foot length of plastic siding can expand up to 5/8 inch. If this plastic siding is nailed to tightly to a structure, it can buckle on a hot day. If you are wondering how to install vinyl siding so it doesn't buckle, you will will not want the nailheads to contact the hem. They should be left about 1/32 inch proud. However, if nailed to loosely during installation, the plastic panels will rattle and be noisy when the wind blows.

If you are learning how to install vinyl siding, you will also wan to be careful of how close the plastic panels are to the trim. The plastic panels should not be butted tight to the trim. A quality conscious installer will leave about 1/4 inch of clearance, or 3/8 inch in temperatures that reach below 40°F. At the end of plastic panel courses, at corners and door and window openings a trim piece called J-channel covers and conceals the resulting gap. You can ask your installer what measurements they use to get an idea of their quality. Other trim pieces offered by manufacturers to fit their custom vinyl siding options to improve appearance after installation include soffits, rake boards and crown moldings. J-channels are one characteristic of vinyl that distinguishes itself from metal, wood (cedar, pine, etc.), aluminum, steel, cement, stone or log options.

Another characteristic specific to vinyl siding and not to wood or metal is that the plastic panels overlap. Wood or cement siding meet in an unobtrusive butt; however, vinyl panels overlap by about 1 inch where they meet. The result is obvious vertical lines. There are two items that make these vertical lines even more obvious: thicker vinyl and double or triple widths of clapboards. Contractors with a focus on quality will have techniques to make the vinyl siding look seamless after installation. A quality installer will orient overlaps away from dominant views of the house. For instance, they will run the panels from the back corner to the front of the house or on the front of the home, the panels should be installed so it is seamless from a person approaching the front door.

Maintenance Free

There are a few main reasons people choose vinyl siding over wood (cedar, pine, etc.), aluminum, steel, cement, metal, stone or log siding. People prefer the style or look, appreciate the durability, like the cheap cost and pricing, and like that it is maintenance free. To keep your vinyl siding looking great and performing well, you will want to do some maintenance on it, however, there is still much less required than other materials.

To keep your vinyl siding looking its best, you will want to wash it occasionally to remove the mold, mildew, dirt and chalky oxidation that collects on the exterior. Power washers are generally not the best choice for cleaning because they can drive water behind the panels and cause too much moisture. The best cleaner to use is a mix of 30/70 vinegar and water and clean with a soft-bristle brush and a bucket. Another suggested cleaner or cleaning product is 1/3 cup of laundry detergent, 2/3 cup of powdered household cleaner, 1 quart liquid laundry bleach and 1 gallon of water. These cleaning products can be brushed on from the bottom up and washed off with a gentle hose.

In addition to cleaning vinyl siding, you may need to repair damaged plastic panels. It is simple with the right tools. With a zip tools, you can remove the panel from the hooks and pull out the nails. A new panel can be snapped into place, nailed down and replace back on the hooks and hangers. This repair is simple but home owners can have problems with fading. The new plastic panel may be fresh and the one needing repair may be faded. Simply take an undamaged, faded piece from a less conspicuous area of the house and place it where the repair was needed. Place the new, un-faded plastic panel in the less conspicuous part of the home.

Vinyl Siding Pricing

Vinyl siding pricing varies depending on the quality of the materials and how custom of styles you are interested in purchasing. You can quickly and easily get estimates by using a calculator to find cheap prices, but this won't guarantee you an accurate estimate or the quality you're looking for. If you want basic cheap vinyl siding, you may end up paying more in the long run by having to repair or replace your choice.

The best way to get accurate estimates on vinyl siding prices is to talk to a dealer. They can answer your questions about cost and tell you about quality and potential discounts. Generally, mid-grade materials will cost approximately $1.60 a square foot for installation. This does not include trim pieces. The same mid-grade of cedar clapboard, exclusive of trim and paint, will cost around 2.5 times higher than the vinyl siding prices. Some premium options will have prices that match the best grade of cedar, but the installation cost and maintenance cost will still be cheaper because installation process is quicker and it does not need paint.

When it comes to price and quality, whether vinyl siding is good or not, much like wood, this depends on the quality of the product and the installation job. Every good vinyl siding job starts with the contractor. When getting estimates and prices, be sure to ask the potential installer for their certifications and for references of satisfied customers. Also check their state contractor licensing boards, the BBB or a complaint list with local and state business associations.

The best way to get cheap and quality estimates is to fill in your basic information to get free quotes on vinyl siding prices. Take the first step toward beautifying your home with durable, maintenance free vinyl siding by getting your free estimates today!

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