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Vinyl vs. Steel Siding

If you are in the market for new siding, you have a lot of choices to make. Most people today are choosing no maintenance siding, and steel or vinyl are both good choices depending on your budget and needs.

Steel siding is extremely durable and will last your lifetime, but it is expensive. It can be up to double the cost of vinyl. The benefits of steel are it is much stronger. Steel will not crack or buckle, and will hold up to dings such as rocks thrown from your lawn mower much better than vinyl or aluminum. The downside is the cost; and installation can be more difficult. You will need a special cutter (available at rental stores) to cut the siding correctly. For angled edges such as peaks, steel must be cut by hand with tin snips, which can be hard on your hands. It is also less forgiving than vinyl. It is much easier to snip 1/16 off vinyl than steel. However, if you are planning on staying in your home, steel is a great choice.

Vinyl siding is less expensive, and may be the best choice if you plan to resell your home in a few years. It is also very durable and will last many years, however it is not as strong as steel. When choosing vinyl siding, get the best grade possible; as cheaper siding is prone to bulging with extreme weather. Vinyl siding is relatively easy to install and very easy to cut as compared to steel. Incorrectly installed vinyl siding will buckle. This can be caused by too tight a fit side to side, or if the siding is nailed too tight to the wall. Siding needs room to expand and contract with the weather.

When you are pricing siding, be sure to include the cost of the J channel and corner pieces. Most people just look at the cost of the siding and do not factor in the finishing pieces. J channel is the finishing edge you place around doors, windows, and the top of the wall. The unfinished edge of the siding fits against the J channel, which works as trim for the siding. Corner pieces are the finishing pieces put in each outside corner that the siding butts up to. These pieces are expensive and will add a lot to your total cost. Another expense is the starter strip, which is a metal strip that the first piece of siding snaps into at the bottom of the wall.


Home Tips &
Related Articles

Common Vinyl Siding Problems
1. Crack or Punctures.
2. High Wind Damage.
3. Melts in high heat.
4. Poor Insulator.
5. Vinyl made with PVC may have toxic elements.
Common Steel Siding Problems
1. Costly.
2. Difficult to repair.
3. Limited color and style choices.
4. Poor insulator.
5. Easily bends or dents.

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