Buying new siding: vinyl or aluminum?

Buying new siding: vinyl or aluminum?

There are many different types of siding available when it's time to re-side your home. If you're looking for the most economical, however, cladding made from vinyl and aluminum are the best options.

Which one should you buy for your remodeling project? Here's a comparison of both material types.

New vinyl siding

There's good reason why vinyl is the No.1 selling cladding product on the market and the top choice for homes under $300,000. It's affordable, and it lasts. It can also offer homeowners more than 70 percent of return costs during resale.

Typically, new vinyl siding costs less than aluminum, but only for standard-grade cladding products. Premium vinyl cladding, which is much thicker than standard grade, and insulated vinyl cladding both carry a price premium. Vinyl cladding products generally range in thickness (or gauge) from .040 to .046 inches, which makes them slightly more durable. Vinyl wall coverings are sold in four grades: economy, standard, premium and super premium. The gauge -- and the cost -- increases with each higher grade.

Because vinyl wall coverings are formed from a solid color, they never need painting and they are resistant to fading or scratching.

New aluminum siding

Metal cladding has lost tremendous market share to vinyl and fiber cement siding over the past few decades. However, it's still preferred by many homeowners for a variety of reasons.

Aluminum cladding products are made from rolled sheets of material, and the color is a baked-on enamel finish. A good whack with a baseball from the neighborhood kids' pickup game can dent the siding, and sharp objects can scratch it leaving bare metal showing. One advantage of aluminum is that it doesn't expand or shrink with the weather; however, it is a good conductor of heat and cold -- think of how cold a can of soda gets when it's chilling in an ice chest, and how quickly that soda heats up when exposed to the sun -- indicating it's a poor insulator.

Aluminum siding remains a popular choice for trim and other accessories, however, because it can be easily formed and bent to different shapes. It also takes paint better than vinyl cladding if you ever want to repaint your home.

So which product passes the test? Much of your choice should rest on cost, durability, and the climate of the region in which you live. Consult with the pre-screened and certified contractors found through this site to help you determine the best type of cladding for your home. These licensed, bonded and insured* contractors also can help you with a professional metal cladding or vinyl siding installation.

*See terms and conditions at: http://www.streetcertified.com/about/Terms.jsp

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