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Siding Choices: Why Vinyl Siding Might Be Best for Your Home

Nov 22, 2022 | Blog, Siding, Vinyl

Vinyl-siding is the most cost-effective type of siding in Indiana. Around here, the term “vinyl village” is used to describe housing tracks where the houses are nearly 100% vinyl without any accent walls of brick or stone. The term of course is a way to emphasize the cost-savings associated with vinyl siding.

What is vinyl siding?

Vinyl siding is made out of about 80% PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and 20% additives that improve the look of the product. In terms of lifespan, vinyl siding can last 30-50 years depending on the initial quality of the product and weather conditions. The most common threats to the longevity of vinyl siding are color fading, penerations from debris, and damage from wind.

Vinyl Siding Panel Profiles

Vinyl siding commonly comes in two panel profiles: clapboard vinyl (also called straight or traditional) and dutch-lap. Dutch-lap panels are usually just a tad more expensive than clapboard, but this feature is mostly about personal preference. The dutch-lap panel has a slight curve between each row causing a small difference in appearance. Below is a comparison of dutch-lap and traditional siding.

Pictured below is an example of traditional vinyl.

Pictured below is an example of dutch-lap vinyl.

Vinyl Siding Panel Widths

Once you have decided whether to go with dutch-lap or straight panels, you will need to decide on the width of the panels. You will mostly see D4 and D5. The number refers to the number of inches in width the row is and the D stands for double, because the panel comes with two rows. 

There are other widths, and panels can also be single or triple, but double is the most widely available. 

The difference between the common sizes D4 and D5 is very minor to the average eye, so it’s really just up to personal preference. Given material shortages these days, you may want to keep an open mind since sometimes the supply house will have only one is stock while the other might be special order, thus delaying the start date of your project.

Vinyl Siding Panel Thickness

The next feature of vinyl siding is the thickness. As you might guess, the thicker the material, the more expensive the siding product. A higher thickness is also correlated with higher impact resistance, meaning it will be less likely to crack or break when children’s toys, hail, or debris hit the sides of your house.

What is the R-value of vinyl siding?

The most commonly cited number is .61-R, which is quite frankly barely anything. The thickness of your vinyl will have only the most moderate of impacts on the insulation capabilities of your siding. 

Want to know more about R-value and insulation in Central Indiana? Click here!

What accent features can you get with vinyl siding?

In addition to the panels (or laps) that most people think of for vinyl siding, you can also get panels that create attractive accents on your house. 

The house pictured below shows shake vinyl on the top half with contrasting panels in a red shade on the bottom half of the house. This is an example of using a cost-effective material to create a unique look. Your siding contractor should be able to help you design your siding project to fit your vision, so make sure to ask what kind of special features they might recommend!

Is vinyl siding a sustainable option?

While technically recyclable, most vinyl siding is thrown into landfills after removal due to cost and lack of access to recycling facilities. Being that it is made of a plastic-like material, vinyl siding does not break down easily. However, when considering the lifespan of the product, the fact that it does not need to be painted, and the minor amount of scrap waste produced during installation, vinyl siding actually stands up fairly well to other siding options. 

If sustainability is an important factor to you, consider getting a higher grade, since this product should last the longest.

To close, which siding you go with is an important decision since your siding will create the majority of your curb appeal. Vinyl siding is a cost-effective, long-lasting option that comes in a variety of colors and looks. To speak with a trained specialist about upgrading your vinyl siding, give Rojas Roofing a call today!