Vinyl Siding - Complete Guide

Vinyl siding gives any home a timeless look and feel that won't go out of style anytime soon. Expected to last between 20-40 years, vinyl siding is virtually indestructible thanks to the strong PVC material it is made from. Vinyl siding is weatherproof, insect-proof, and heat- and moisture-resistant, among other great features, making it an excellent investment if you're looking to upgrade your home's exterior.

If you're interested in getting vinyl siding put on your house, here's everything you need to know to decide if vinyl siding is right for you.

Vinyl Siding Styles

There are two distinct styles of vinyl siding: shake and horizontal. They're made of the same materials. It's simply the style that's different, so it depends on your preference.

  • Shake vinyl siding looks like shingles. The PVC siding is cut into small squares layered vertically throughout the home's exterior. Typically, shake vinyl siding comes in more neutral colors, though some brands will offer bolder colors. You can even get shake siding to appear like wooden shingles for a more rustic feel.
  • Horizontal vinyl siding features long, thick rectangular pieces of PVC that are mounted horizontally. It is a more common type of vinyl siding. Again, the color selection may vary based on the brand. Still, there tends to be a more comprehensive color variety with horizontal vinyl siding.

Vinyl siding is between 0.035 and 0.055 inches thick, and in this case, the thicker, the better. It is your primary line of defense from the elements, so it's essential the vinyl siding is strong enough to withstand harsh weather. You don't want your panels cracking after a hail storm.

Both are easy to clean and maintain; no power washing is necessary! If you notice your siding looking dull, rinse it with your hose. You can rinse with a vinegar and water mixture and scrub for stubborn grime.

One of the more common colorations of vinyl siding.

Fade Resistant

No matter what color you pick, vinyl siding is fade-resistant, helping you maintain the vibrancy of your color selection years later. Some vinyl siding may slightly fade if exposed to direct sunlight over time, but this is rare. Check your manufacturer's warranty as some carry a lifetime guarantee to maintain the quality of their product.

These resistant properties of vinyl will often protect against fading, cracking, and other damage. Call the company that helped install your vinyl siding if you're unsure about the warranty. They can help point you in the right direction.

Environmentally Friendly

The right siding can provide additional insulation to your home, making it more energy-efficient and lowering your electric bills. Vinyl siding offers excellent insulation for homes, which will pay for itself in time as you look at your energy bills. Many other factors impact your home's overall heating and electric bills. Still, you'll notice a difference after your home is adequately insulated.

Vinyl siding is less wasteful than other siding materials. It's cut to size, has little waste, and doesn't need maintenance like caulking. Being made from PVC, it's also not overly toxic to the environment during manufacturing and, importantly, can be recycled. So you can feel good that your siding is not contributing significantly to your carbon footprint.

Mix shake and horizontal siding with hue differences for a stylistic touch.


Vinyl siding is highly rated against the weather and maintains its shape and integrity through the worst of storms. But did you know that it is also made to withstand winds up to 110 MPH? Unless you're in the path of a hurricane, your siding should be safe from harm – at least where the weather is concerned.

If there are loose pieces, you can always reinstall the siding yourself or call the company to see if they will fix it free of charge. Most companies stand by their google reviews, and they may be willing to go above and beyond to get that 5-star review.

Average Cost

The average cost of vinyl siding is between $2 to $8 per square foot, so if you have a 2,500 square foot home, you could be paying anywhere between $5,000 to $20,000 in total, depending on the cost of the materials, labor, and more. Be sure to scout out different quotes to help you get the best price. You may get more competitive pricing during the off-peak season, being the fall and winter.

While vinyl siding isn't cheap, it factors out to cents per day if you consider the average life span of the siding. It's an investment, but one that's worth it if you're planning to stay in your home for at least three years or more.

It may cost more initially, but you will save big on maintenance.

How to Know if It’s Time for New Siding

It can be hard to tell if you need to replace your entire home's siding or just parts that need some extra love and attention. After all, it's much cheaper only to fix a small portion of your home's siding than it is to buy an entire facelift for the house.

If you notice any gaps, cracking, delamination, or missing pieces, you may want to explore your options. Mold can occur, especially when their swelling and moisture inside the panels on the house. If you find yourself in these situations, you should consult with an expert to see what type of siding is best for you.

The Verdict on Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is a moderately priced solution to help your home look better while providing great benefits like protection from the elements and added insulation. Vinyl siding has different colors, styles, and thicknesses that you can choose, each of which will set a distinct tone for your home. It's like a second skin for your house, so you need to take care of it with regular cleaning and routine maintenance to prolong its lifespan.

Suppose you do not plan on staying in your home for the long run. You may want to consider fixing up what you can on your existing siding with paint or only fixing the areas already damaged. It's hard to tell if the upgraded siding could help you get more money when you sell your home, but if you're looking to stay less than three years in your current home, you won't recoup that cost in your sale.

Whether you're casually looking or ready to upgrade your home's exterior, there is something for everyone with vinyl siding.

Posted by Melissa Jackson

Melissa is passionate about all things home and garden, helping others to fashion their dream home one space at a time. An avid reader, when she’s not writing, you can find her nose deep in a book, cuddling with her two dogs.