Siding Change: From Wood to Vinyl

Preserving your home's exterior is not easy, as budget and maintaining the aspect of your dream house are of concern. Often, homeowners do some of their own home maintenance just to stretch their budget although replacing the siding on a house is a large enough task that it should be handled by professionals.

Why Change Wood Siding to Vinyl?

Wood rot is commonly found on window sills. Whatever type of wood trim, if it juts out from the home's exterior, it is closer to damage as dirt can be accumulated and can cause water to overflow or even stuck in it. Wood rot happens when the wetness of wood is more than 15 to 20 percent. One way to protect wood from damage is to paint the home's exterior.

Vinyl siding might be a better long term solution to having ongoing maintenance. There are local buildings products supply houses that offers vinyl texture and colors very similar to wood colors.

Why Home Owners Choose Vinyl Siding?

Vinyl costs lower than wood siding. The results are better when vinyl is installed by a professional who understands how the product reacts to changes in the weather and allows for this during installation.

Vinyl siding does not rot or flake like paint so you will have lower maintenance cost. Compared to wood that needs to be painted after a few years, vinyl simply needs to be washed with a garden hose once a year.

Repair costs are also lower assuming you caulk frequently so as to avoid hidden water damage behind vinyl siding.

There are a growing number of colors and styles to pick from. Vinyl doesn't have scratches because its color is baked through the product. It will not fade easily and the gloss depends on the weather. It is still easier to purchase extra materials for repairs over the lifetime of the siding.

Tip: Choose a color that you can live with for many years and if you want to dress up your home, add an accent color with shutters and or painted wood trim.

What You Give Up with Vinyl Siding?

• Fires in vinyl sided buildings are more hazardous as it gives off toxic fumes when heated.

• The PVC resin is thought to cause cancer in humans when disposed improperly.

• Vinyl is not as durable as wood. Heat from a smoky barbeque grill or the sun reflecting off a window can damage your siding. Falling icicles, blowing debris, a child's baseball and cold weather makes vinyl siding brittle so it can easily be punctured.

• There are hidden damages that can cause more problems when damages are discovered late, it will be more costly repairing it. One of the hidden problems is the moisture that can get trapped behind vinyl siding where it can promote mold and mildew, sight unseen. Consistent caulking where vinyl siding meets doors, windows and other exterior trim will reduce problems. Add more insulation when replacing your home's siding as you want to give serious consideration to adding insulation outside and/or inside the walls.

• Remember to look for products that are certified under the Vinyl Siding Institute's certification program. If you have more savings for the insulation include more insulation and a thicker, more firm siding product to avoid damage better.

Tina Gleisner, founder of the Association of Women Home Owners connects homeowners with concepts, terminology and advice to build homes that support today's lifestyles. Through the library and directory at, you can LEARN more about how to maintain and repair your home and more.


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