Last month, we here at Crown Remodeling put vinyl siding up against cement siding for a side-by-side comparison. This month, we’re taking a look at two popular exterior materials: vinyl siding and aluminum siding.
There’s a reason why vinyl siding is so popular as an exterior housing material. Like we pointed out in our previous article, vinyl is a great low-maintenance option for the homeowner who doesn’t want to worry about having to repaint every few years. Instead, you can get by on only a periodic cleaning of your vinyl siding with a power washer every couple of years.
Vinyl is a cost-effective way to protect your home with costs of around $4 or $5 per square foot uninstalled. Because it is lightweight, vinyl siding is easier to install when compared to some other options. Vinyl siding is also designed to repel water easily and efficiently. It’s a durable material that holds up well in any kind of weather here in Maryland.
We also pointed out that today’s vinyl siding options feature lots of colors that are not only fade resistant, but that can seamlessly fit into nearly any color scheme. Vinyl siding is also available in a premium version that provides you with the appearance of wood siding but with all the advantages of vinyl.
Premium vinyl tends to be a thicker material that has a more rigid look when compared to regular vinyl siding. This is because premium vinyl siding doesn’t have oil canning — or a moderate buckling or deformation — that is sometimes seen in regular vinyl siding.
If you upgrade to premium vinyl, you’ll get an exterior home material that is stronger and that provides you with a longer lifespan when compared to regular vinyl siding. In many cases, you can also find premium vinyl siding that has insulation integrated into its design. This could help reduce your energy consumption and utility bills even further. Insulated vinyl siding is available in R-values between two and five.
As we pointed out in our article last month, vinyl siding can be affected by extreme heat. Not only can it experience fading in the hot summer sun, but the blistering summers can also cause the vinyl siding to warp.
On the other end of the spectrum is the effect that cold weather can have on vinyl siding. Over time or during periods of extreme weather, vinyl siding can become brittle and even crack.
Another disadvantage of using vinyl siding is that you’re stuck with the color or look of it. If you decide that you want to change the way your home looks or if you move into a home that has vinyl siding in a color that you don’t like, you won’t be able to refinish or repaint it. Instead, you’ll need to have it torn down and replaced to get the look you want.
Vinyl siding can also be easily dented and, in many cases, those dents and other blemishes don’t come out easily no matter what you do. While a portion of vinyl siding can be replaced, the process can be time-consuming and expensive, requiring a professional’s help. Besides, it might be almost impossible to successfully match the replacement panel with the existing vinyl siding unless you had your the siding installed recently.
Aluminum siding was one of the first available alternatives to brick and wood as an exterior material. It’s available in different size gauges with the thickest — 53-gauge — able to last for at least 35 years after installation.
While aluminum siding can be dented and scratched more easily than vinyl, it can also be repainted and repaired. Also, the aluminum underneath the dent or scratch won’t rust like it would if steel siding were used.
If a heavier gauge aluminum, such as the 53 gauge mentioned earlier, is used, you can experience excellent insulation when compared to uninsulated vinyl siding. If you happen to live in some of Maryland’s coastal communities, aluminum is a good choice because it doesn’t absorb moisture. Aluminum siding doesn’t rot, rust, swell or encourage the growth of mildew.
Another advantage of using aluminum siding when compared to vinyl siding is that it isn’t affected by extremely cold weather. Unlike vinyl siding which can crack and become brittle in the cold, aluminum is unaffected.
Aluminum siding goes a step further than being resistant to insects. It is essentially insect proof. Aluminum is also fire resistant enough to the point of almost being fireproof. This could translate into savings on your homeowner insurance premiums — depending on your insurance company as well as other factors.
If you are interested in exploring other textures and colors besides just plain white, aluminum siding has you covered. It’s available in a variety of diverse patterns, textures, and colors to suit anyone’s preferences. You can also paint aluminum siding to suit your whims when you want to change the look of your home.
When aluminum siding is exposed to the elements over time, its colors can become dull, and the aluminum itself can become chalky. Some people simply don’t like the way that aluminum siding looks when it’s viewed closely.
Another drawback of aluminum that some people cite is the fact that it can be noisy. During times of high winds, aluminum siding might make “pinging” sounds that are bothersome to some people. Exposure to the blistering sun can also result in aluminum siding pinging because the heat causes the metal to expand.
At Crown Remodeling, we work closely with you and listen to what you have to say about those features that are most important to you. We help guide you toward an exterior material that provides you with the attributes that best suit your lifestyle, budget, and location. Contact us to schedule a consultation today and let Crown Remodeling make your house the home you envision it to be.