So you’re thinking of doing an exterior renovation and are quickly getting overwhelmed by the options available. Do you go with the more economical option of vinyl siding, or do you choose durability over all and opt for James Hardie fibre cement board. I put together this comparative blog to give you the pros and cons of the most popular siding options available to the residential market today. I will use my many years of installation experience and knowledge to give an unbiased review of each product. Enjoy!
In my opinion, the most attractive feature about vinyl siding is the price point. This is by far the most cost efficient option available to consumers, which is why it is the most widely used product in the exterior cladding business.
Another thing that has come a long way is the technology used to manufacture vinyl siding. To the consumer, this means many more colour options that were not available years ago. Deep, rich colours that were previously unimaginable to manufacturers (due to issues with fading and oil-canning) are a thing of now.
Lastly, a major pro in the vinyl siding department is speed of installation. When you choose to hire the professionals at Kubura Siding, the speed at which the job gets done leaves some homeowners in awe. A project that would take several weeks to complete in wood or James Hardie siding only takes a few days to wrap up in vinyl. This is a major benefit for homeowners who do not want their contractors to become a permanent fixture on their property.
Like everything in life, with the good must come the bad. Let’s take a little time to go over the cons (in my opinion) of vinyl siding.
As good as they make this stuff, and as far as the technology has come, I believe durability remains an issue. In extreme weather situations (hail, damaging winds, driving rain) vinyl siding would definitely be my last choice if comparing to pre-finished wood or fibre cement siding; here’s why: vinyl siding is less than 0.04 inches thick. This makes it very lightweight (good for us) and prone to deformation if hit by large hail, or possibly complete failure if high winds get behind the system. Again, I am talking about some pretty extreme situations, but this weather does exist in Ontario and we have seen this happen.
My last criticism of an otherwise awesome product is a bad news/good news scenario. First, the bad news; this is a plastic product and I have heard from some clients and potential sales the dreaded “it looks cheap” phrase. When I see jobs done using pre-made vinyl corners, and 3/8” vinyl j-trim around windows, I tend to agree with these pessimists. Here comes the good news; there are ways to dress it up and give vinyl siding a completely rich and sophisticated look. I have been convincing my clients of this for years. We install custom-made aluminum corners, aluminum friezeboard (which gives off the crown moulding vibe), and thicker window capping—all with a built-in j-trim. I usually recommend doing the aluminum trim work in contrasting colours to the vinyl siding to really make it pop. This honestly changes a vinyl siding job from a monotone blah to something very comparable to a wood siding job.