Considering Vinyl for the Exterior of Your Home? What to Know


The exterior walls of the home have an important job to perform. As the initial barriers to sun, wind, and precipitation, they shield and protect the interior of the home and its occupants. They must also be strong enough to offer support for the roof and bolster the entire structure. 

Protecting the integrity of the exterior walls is the goal for every homeowner and most choose to do so by covering them with some type of siding. In the few short decades since it entered the construction market, vinyl has become increasingly popular as a siding option for residential structures. Homeowners can use the following information to help them decide if vinyl siding is right for their situation. 

1. Time and cost

When homeowners are planning a home siding project, project cost and the time frame for installation are two of the most important considerations. Unlike wood, cement, and other types of siding, vinyl siding can be installed very quickly by a small crew, with no need for painting or staining once it is in place. 

Vinyl siding can be ordered in uniform lengths or panels that installers can easily measure and cut on site. It is also available in a seamless form, which usually means it has been extruded to longer lengths or will be extruded on site, as needed, using a portable extruder. 

Installing vinyl siding is done using specially designed starter strips, J-channel trim, and clips to ensure that each piece is firmly attached and joined to resist moisture and insect infiltration. Once the starter strip has been attached, each interlocking length or panel can be easily fit into place. 

Windows, doors, vents, and other openings in the wall are framed using the J-channel and other specially designed pieces to cover all raw edges and ensure a uniform, attractive appearance. Vinyl options are also available to cover soffits, fascia, railings, and posts, to give home exteriors a congruent, finished appearance. 

Using inexpensive PVC (polyvinyl chloride) in the manufacturing process can reduce the overall cost compared to other types of siding. Vinyl siding is also lighter in weight and less expensive to ship from the manufacturer to the installation contractor, further helping to reduce the cost. 

2. Maintenance and repair 

Since vinyl siding is designed and installed to retain some flexibility, it often withstands impacts without becoming damaged. If debris from storms or rocks thrown from lawn care equipment cause any damage, it can easily be repaired by removing and replacing the affected length or panel. Small holes may also be easily repaired with the use of a caulking material in the same color as the siding. 

If installed correctly, high-quality vinyl siding products rarely require maintenance. Most are able to maintain their original color without fading or needing any type of adjustment. In certain situations, vinyl siding may become dusty or experience some mold or algae growth. If this occurs, washing the vinyl siding with a soft brush dipped into a mild dish soap solution and then rinsing with a garden hose is all that is needed to restore the appearance. 

3. Current and future benefits

Installing vinyl siding can give homeowners the immediate benefit of increased curb appeal, especially if the appearance of their home's exterior was unsightly, due to patching or repairs. Homeowners who install vinyl siding and plan to stay in their home through retirement can also benefit from knowing that they will no longer need to have their home's exterior painted or stained every few years. 

The design and manufacturing process for vinyl siding continues to expand, offering homeowners many more choices in color, texture, and appearance. To learn more, discuss your situation with a reputable residential siding contractor.


5 March 2021

Roofing Fundamentals: What To Know Before Replacement

When it came time to install a new roof on my home, I had no idea where to start. In fact, I was exploring roofing options that were a really poor fit in my climate. It wasn't until I reached out to a local roofer that I got some lessons on how to choose the right roofing material for my home and the weather exposure it is subjected to. I built this site to share my journey, including the mistakes I made and the things that I learned along the way. If you are considering replacing your home's roof, I hope that the information here can help to guide you through the process.