Vinyl Siding – It's About More Than Just Your Choice Of Color

Vinyl is a durable, long-term, low-maintenance residential siding option, but nothing lasts forever. Although most vinyl siding doesn't require much care, that doesn't mean you won't eventually need to replace the siding on your home. If you have an older house or your house has suffered damage from storms, it may be time to consider installing new siding.

While color choices are usually the first thing to come to mind when discussing new siding, they aren't the only part of your choice that matters. There are plenty of other ways your siding decision can affect your home's appearance, maintenance needs, and even resale value. Keep reading to learn about three features you may want to consider when selecting your home's new vinyl siding.

1. Insulated Vinyl

Standard vinyl siding (sometimes referred to as "hollow" siding) typically comes in shaped panels with an open area at the back. If you press on a piece of standard vinyl siding, you'll usually find that it flexes noticeably and easily. There's a good chance you've noticed this effect if you've tried to learn something heavy against your home.

Insulated vinyl fills this gap with a rigid insulating material. This insulation adds a small amount of extra thermal resistance to your home while also creating a stronger and more rigid panel. If you have an older home with poor insulation or drafty walls, insulated vinyl siding may help to shore up these problems and improve your home's overall energy efficiency.

2. Style

Vinyl siding is incredibly popular for its cost-effectiveness and ease of maintenance. If you drive down any street in America, you're likely to see numerous homes clad in vinyl siding. Moreover, many of those homes are likely to use a style known as horizontal clapboard. This style emulates wood siding, although it's often easily recognizable as vinyl.

However, this style is far from your only choice. Vinyl comes in many styles, including those intended to emulate cedar shingles and log cabins. Higher-end choices will also look more like natural materials, such as wood, helping give your home a more unique and luxurious appearance. If you want your house to stand out from the crowd, these alternate styles may be worth a look.

3. Thickness

In addition to coming in many styles and colors, vinyl also comes in numerous grades or thicknesses. A good rule of thumb is that thicker vinyl panels are more durable but tend to do a better job holding in heat and moisture. These latter qualities can be advantageous in some climates, but thicker panels may not be suitable if you live in a particularly hot and humid area.

The best way to determine the ideal thickness for your new siding is to discuss your options with an experienced contractor. A local installer will know which types of siding work best for your area, allowing you to choose a siding that achieves a good balance of cost, strength, and insulating characteristics.