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Pros And Cons Of Vinyl Siding: Cost, Quality, And More

March 24th, 2022 | 7 min. read

Pros And Cons Of Vinyl Siding: Cost, Quality, And More

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If you’re thinking about replacing your home’s exterior siding, finding the right type of replacement siding can be difficult. You know you need a siding that will hold up, protect your home, and something you won’t have to maintain often.

So, you’ve heard of vinyl siding and are wondering if it is the right material for your siding replacement.

Vinyl is one of the most popular types of siding available. Vinyl is made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and it has come a long way since it first hit the market in the 1960s. 

Like vinyl windows, vinyl siding used to carry a bad reputation. They were unable to withstand simple weather conditions, and came with a short lifespan. However now, newly engineered vinyl siding is made to be durable and long-lasting. 

Vinyl can be a quick and less expensive option for your siding replacement. It can also be an investment for years on your home if you choose the right one. 

So, we need to dive deeper into some of the pros and cons of vinyl siding so you can learn more about it and determine if it is right for you. 

At Southwest Exteriors, we don’t sell vinyl siding. But we want to be the contractor you can trust. That means educating you on everything you need to know for your siding replacement project so you can choose the best siding for you and be 100% satisfied with your project - even if that means not buying from us.  

We only offer fiber cement siding from James Hardie for all San Antonio home siding replacements. But because we’ve been a siding replacement contractor since 1989, our team is very familiar with all other types of siding. Typically, homeowners call us when they want the most durable, high-quality siding to last forever on their homes. 

While, of course, we only carry James Hardie siding because of their quality and reputation, we know that it is not the right solution for everyone. 

This article will outline the top benefits and drawbacks of vinyl siding, like its cost, quality, longevity, and installation. 

After reading, you will have a better idea of vinyl siding and how it performs. Then, you can determine if vinyl siding might be the right option for your siding replacement project. 

What are the major benefits of vinyl siding? 

Whenever you’re vetting one product over another, you are first curious about what’s so good about it. 

As we teased in the introduction, vinyl has come a long way since it was first introduced as a siding solution. So, let’s get into the specific benefits of vinyl siding.

1. Vinyl siding is a more affordable siding option 

The first major benefit of vinyl siding is how much it costs. A home siding replacement is a significant investment, no matter what type of siding you choose. 

Vinyl siding can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $25,000 for 2,000 ft.2 of siding. Other siding types, like fiber cement or wood, can cost from $25,000 to $40,000 for the same square footage. 

The cost of your siding project will depend on the total square footage of your project, the condition of your current siding, and any customizations you add to your new siding. 

If you’re looking for a more affordable siding option, vinyl might be the right option for you. It’s important to remember that cost and quality have a direct relationship. So, if you want a high-quality vinyl that will last longer on your home, it will cost more than the cheapest vinyl on the market. 

2. Newly engineered vinyl siding is a durable option

The second-largest benefit of vinyl siding is its durability. After vinyl siding was first introduced, it came with its issues of warping, bowing, and becoming misshapen when exposed to changing hot and cold temperatures. 

Vinyl was reinvented and engineered to combat those problems. Now, high-quality vinyl siding is sturdy, water-resistant, and does not come with the threat of misshaping under the sun, and vinyl siding can last for 20-30 years on your home. 

But, it’s crucial to choose a high-quality vinyl siding if you want it to be durable and long-lasting. Cheaply made vinyl will not come with these benefits. 

3. Vinyl siding can typically be installed on top of other siding types

The third benefit of vinyl siding is its installation with other siding types. If your current home siding is in good condition, sometimes, a contractor can install your new vinyl siding on top of it. 

This saves you money on your project and can shorten the installation process. If your current siding were not in good condition, it would have to be removed, and a new substrate would have to be installed underneath the vinyl siding. 

But, vinyl siding is known to be installed over many siding types, like brick and even stucco. It’s crucial to find a high-quality siding contractor, though, that knows how to install your vinyl siding correctly over other siding types.  

4. Most vinyl siding comes colored

The final benefit of vinyl siding is that most manufacturers create the siding with color. This means that the actual PVC is colored, and you do not have to paint over the siding. 

This will save you money on painting costs and upkeep in the future, as painting can eventually peel, blister, and chip off of the siding. 

The overall benefits of vinyl siding

The three major benefits of vinyl siding are cost, durability, installation, and color. 

If you’re looking for a more affordable yet durable siding option that will last for years on your home, then vinyl siding might be right for you. 

What are the major drawbacks of vinyl siding? 

Now that you know the benefits of vinyl siding, you want to know some of the cons as well. When looking at any product, you must be aware of some of the potential drawbacks that come with it. 

Depending on your goals for your project, these cons may or may not be a major deal-breaker for you. So, let’s look at some of the common drawbacks of vinyl siding. 

1. More maintenance may be required than other siding types

The first con of vinyl siding is the maintenance that comes with it. Although it is a siding material that will not rot like wood or dent like aluminum, there is still some upkeep required to keep your siding healthy and long-lasting. 

Dirt and grime can accumulate on and around vinyl siding boards and seams. Pressure washing your home once every couple of years will help to eliminate this grime and keep your siding looking good as new. 

Colored vinyl siding is also prone to fading over time, especially darker colors. 

While most vinyl is considered “maintenance-free,” it’s important you understand vinyl siding may require some upkeep to help your vinyl siding last longer. 

2. Lower quality vinyl is not as durable

The second drawback of vinyl siding is the quality, which has been a large topic of discussion throughout this entire article. 

High-quality vinyl is indeed a durable and long-lasting solution. But, not all vinyl is created equal. 

If you choose the least expensive vinyl siding that is not made well, it will not be durable. You will most likely experience those issues we outlined earlier, such as bowing, misshaping, and cracking. 

This is why you must beware of the quality of vinyl for your siding. Do not be tempted by a lower price if you are looking for a long-term solution for your siding. 

3. Color options can be limited 

While one benefit of vinyl siding is that it comes pre-colored, this can also limit your color options depending on the manufacturer. 

You can sometimes paint vinyl siding over, but it is not recommended. Because of the material of vinyl, paint does not adhere to it as well as it does to other siding materials, like fiber cement or stucco. 

If you decide to paint your vinyl siding, you may experience blistering, peeling, or cracking in the paint. It will not last as long on the siding, so you will have to strip and repaint the siding. So, this is something to keep in mind if you decide to paint your vinyl siding. 

The overall drawbacks of vinyl siding

Although vinyl siding has a few drawbacks, like the maintenance, quality, and color options, these cons do not greatly affect the overall functionality of vinyl siding. 

If you are interested in vinyl siding, the most important con is the quality. Depending on your goals for your project, you may be looking for a lower quality vinyl if you aren’t concerned about the longevity. If so, then a less expensive vinyl might be the best option for you. 

Is vinyl siding right for me? 

Now that you know the major benefits and drawbacks of vinyl siding, you can have a better idea if this type of siding is right for you or not. 

The most important thing about vinyl siding is that not all vinyl is made the same. Less expensive, lower-quality vinyl siding will not have the same durability and longevity benefits as higher-quality ones. 

But, whether you’re looking for a high or lower-quality vinyl siding, it is one of the more affordable vinyl siding options, which is one of its largest benefits. 

Although we do not offer vinyl siding at Southwest Exteriors, we know it is a viable option for many homeowners. 

We want you to be informed of all your options out there so that you can make the best-educated decision for your project. 

If you aren’t ready to commit to vinyl siding for your project, you’re probably wondering how it stacks up against other siding types. 

Check out this article that compares vinyl and fiber cement siding in cost, durability, maintenance, and more. Then, you can have a better idea of how vinyl performs when directly compared to other siding types and can make a better decision for your project.