Vinyl: Know The Limits


Deciding what material to use when an exterior home renovation is planned is dictated by a number of factors. For some, the appearance of the final job will be paramount. For others, a budget must be considered, where homeowners wish to achieve a functional solution, with looks becoming a secondary, though not non-existent consideration.

Different Materials For Different Homes, Budgets

The four most popular siding materials are wood, plastic, fiber cement, and vinyl. A local home siding company Austin TX based, and throughout the nation, can offer recommendations, as well as price quotations to renovate your house with each of the available materials. Vinyl and plastic don’t require as much maintenance as fiber cement and wood; each has benefits and drawbacks that make them suitable for a number of circumstances.

The Spruce has written about the “seven deadly sins” of vinyl siding, citing its reported low maintenance and price as making it seemingly perfect as a home covering, before asking “Or is it?” The publication notes that the manufacture of vinyl siding is “really bad” for the environment and that while recycling used vinyl siding is possible, it almost never happens. In fact, less that one percent of PVC is recycled worldwide, because of the cost and difficulty associated with the process.

Vinyl Holds Up Well, Until It Doesn’t

Though manufacturers tout vinyl lasting 20 years or more, a more realistic expectation might be for it to begin to show its age after about 15 years. Vinyl is also quite fragile, and may crack, chip, or break if hit with any force, such as from a baseball or stones thrown by a lawnmower. Vinyl siding is particularly susceptible to damage in cold weather.

Once vinyl begins to look worse for wear, there are few options other than replacing it. Paint does not adhere to vinyl. About the same time that wooden shingles will need to be refinished, vinyl siding exposed to heavy wear may need to be replaced. The Spruce cautions homeowners about rumors surrounding vinyl siding, or any siding, and decreased heating bills, but notes that among siding material choices, vinyl is not at the bottom of the list, as far as its value as an insulator goes.

Potential To Impact Property Values

Most importantly, if any type of siding has the potential to lower the value of a property, it is vinyl. It is said to “flatten” the appearance of the exterior of buildings. Homes of historical significance, particularly with ornate fascia, soffits, and other design features, are said to suffer the biggest depreciation in value as a result of vinyl. The cladding of other homes in the neighborhood, and whether any of them are also finished with vinyl, is likely a factor that contributes to whether vinyl siding may detract from a given property value in a given location. Local real estate agents carry a wealth of information with regard to siding, and other design feature trends.

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