Looking for the pros and cons of vinyl siding? We've got you covered. Vinyl siding has been the standard in many neighborhoods for decades!
Most homeowners cite vinyl siding’s affordability as the reason for installation. But this material is also extremely low-maintenance and easy to repair as needed.
There are countless styles available (which require no painting), many of which feature built-in insulation for improved energy efficiency. Unfortunately, what vinyl siding offers in affordability it lacks in durability.
Special treatments are required to prevent color fading and moisture damage.
So should you follow the status quo and install vinyl siding? Or is there a better option out there? Here are the pros and cons of vinyl siding:
12 Pros and Cons of Vinyl Siding – Is It Right For Your Home?
Pros of Vinyl Siding
Why is vinyl siding the top choice for mid-range homes built today? Because it’s inexpensive.
Vinyl siding isn’t always the most affordable or most attractive option. But — especially for the cost — it looks pretty good!
As with all housing materials, remember that you often get what you pay for. Some types of vinyl siding are more expensive than others.
From extra insulation to UV-resistant coatings, there’s almost always a reason for these higher prices. So consider your priorities before investing in the cheapest vinyl siding you can find!
2. Easy to Install
Vinyl is one of the easiest siding materials to install. This can help cut down on labor costs associated with professional installation.
Some homeowners opt to install vinyl siding themselves. While possible, this project is best left to those with hands-on siding experience.
You also shouldn’t take this as permission to hire the cheapest installers possible! Improper installation could damage your home’s interior framing and foundation over time.
Saving a few dollars isn’t worth the potential risk!
3. No Painting Required
Many home siding materials require regular painting to keep up appearances. Vinyl does not.
Vinyl siding is fully finished before installation. It does not need to be refinished during its lifetime.
In other words, the color you select at installation is the color your home will boast for the foreseeable future.
Some people enjoy the idea of caring for and updating their homes’ exteriors every few years. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance solution, however, then vinyl siding is more than ideal!
4. Many Styles Available
Take a good look around your favorite neighborhood and you may notice more vinyl siding than you previously assumed! On top of being affordable, vinyl siding is great at mimicking the look of more expensive siding materials.
Vinyl that looks like cedar shingles or board and batten siding is remarkably popular right now. You can even replicate the appearance of stacked logs with vinyl!
Plus, vinyl siding comes in an impressive range of color options. There are even manufacturers that will create custom-colored siding for an extra fee.
5. Energy Efficient
Vinyl is considered one of the most energy-efficient siding materials available. Combined with an insulating foam layer, vinyl siding keeps heat from entering or escaping through your home’s walls.
This reduces fuel consumption and lowers household energy costs. For maximum efficiency, insulated vinyl siding is a great option. Insulated vinyl siding features a built-in layer of foam.
If you’re concerned about termite damage to your home, vinyl siding may be one of the easiest lines of defense to install. Vinyl siding won’t make your home 100% termite-proof.
But it will deter the devastating insects far better than cedar shingles or wood siding.
7. Simple to Repair
Even the highest-quality siding will become damaged from time to time. Fortunately, repairing vinyl siding is relatively easy.
The best way to repair vinyl siding is by replacing the affected panels. There’s no need to overhaul the entire exterior just to fix one of two damaged pieces of siding.
With the right tools, most DIYers can finish this project within a few hours.
Cons of Vinyl Siding
1. Not Moisture-Proof
Vinyl siding is, by its nature, not watertight. A waterproof barrier must be installed behind vinyl siding to protect the home’s interior structure from moisture damage.
Problems can arise when this waterproof barrier is incorrectly installed or damaged during its lifetime.
2. Difficult to Paint
Since colored vinyl does not chip or flake, there’s no need to paint the siding to maintain its appearance. The only real reason to paint vinyl siding is to change the original color.
Unfortunately, vinyl siding cannot be painted any darker than the original color. All vinyl siding is manufactured to withstand a certain amount of heat.
Applying a darker color will cause the siding to exceed this temperature when exposed to prolonged sunlight (which could cause the siding to warp or even melt).
While you can paint vinyl siding a lighter color than the original finish, be aware that the paint will peel off if not applied correctly.
3. Not Environmentally Friendly
Don’t mistake vinyl siding’s energy efficiency for being 100% good for the environment! While it’s possible to recycle vinyl siding, few residential recycling centers accept the material.
So homeowners may resort to throwing old siding in the trash instead of disposing of it responsibly. Vinyl is a type of plastic, meaning that it is not biodegradable.
A large portion of discarded vinyl siding ends up sitting in landfills. Manufacturing vinyl siding can also release harmful chemicals into the air.
4. Prone to Fading
Vinyl siding that is regularly exposed to direct sunlight may fade over time. This is most noticeable with dark-colored siding.
High-quality vinyl siding is often treated with a UV protectant to prevent fading. If your home is exposed to the sun during most of the day, be sure to invest in fade-resistant siding.
5. Easily Damaged
In general, vinyl siding holds up to environmental damage quite well. But care must still be taken to avoid damaging your home’s siding.
Vinyl siding can be easily damaged by strong impacts from lawn equipment, children’s toys, and even pets. Improperly installed vinyl siding may be damaged by strong winds.
While not perfect, vinyl siding has a lot to offer for the price! And new additives and finishes are improving the material seemingly every day.
Vinyl siding is a wonderful solution for any homeowner looking to update curb appeal on a budget. It will last for decades with minimal maintenance required.
Vinyl is also a great option for those living in harsh climates or insect-prone areas. Despite its many benefits, vinyl siding is prone to storm damage.
Care must also be taken not to damage the material with heavy lawn equipment or other household items. Vinyl siding is far from ideal if you have your heart set on changing your home’s exterior color.
Vinyl is not designed to be painted, so updating the color often means replacing the siding entirely. Vinyl is also one of the worst siding solutions in terms of sustainability.