The Pros and Cons of Popular Vinyl Siding Styles

The Pros and Cons of Popular Vinyl Siding Styles

While there is most likely a style of vinyl siding that will work for your home's exterior, some styles are better suited than others for certain situations. Before making such a big decision, you have a lot of choices to consider.

So Many Vinyl Siding Styles Make It Tough to Choose

Your decision involves a long-term commitment to the exterior appearance of your home, as well as a large chunk of your budget. Consider these various pros and cons of vinyl siding styles:

  • Seamless vinyl clapboards are perfect for homes which have wide walls, because you can avoid having unsightly joints staggered across the side of your house. While many standard sized horizontal clapboards are available in 10- or 12-foot lengths, seamless vinyl panels are available up to 40 feet long. The downside to this style of vinyl siding is that it is difficult to install by yourself.
  • Uninsulated vinyl panels are light weight, cost effective and easy to handle on the job site. Unfortunately, these standard vinyl panels are also more susceptible to damage because of the hollow space behind the beveled clapboard profile. This style of siding performs best when installed over solid insulated sheathing, which may increase the overall cost of the project.
  • Horizontal vinyl panels with different profiles, such as ship-lap, beveled, or beaded, are some of the most commonly used vinyl siding styles. The benefit is that they are straightforward to install; the horizontal panels simply snap together and require only a few nails to attach to your house. Unfortunately, vinyl expands and contracts, so long pieces of horizontal vinyl siding require overlaps at the joints and special trim to hide the ends of the panel. Inside the trim is where water can get under the siding. A correctly installed house wrap or moisture barrier is necessary to avoid water damage. Among the pros and cons of vinyl siding styles, water permeability is critical consideration

When determining which style of vinyl siding is right for your home, also consider the architectural aesthetic you want to achieve and who will be installing the siding. Proper preparation and installation must be followed for the siding to perform as designed.

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