Vinyl siding is one of the most popular choices for exterior finishing. This affordable and highly durable product is found on a majority of homes across North America, often in combination with brick veneer, natural stone or other materials.
Homeowners and builders are drawn to the low maintenance feature of vinyl siding, but many are looking for a more distinctive appeal than standard vinyl products offer. Consider all of the alternative profiles, designs and styles available to create an exterior finish that perfectly suits your taste.
Vinyl Made to Resemble Wood
This is a common alternative and is readily available at your local building materials retailer or vinyl siding supplier. Vinyl cedar shakes are a popular style, available in a variety of pre-finished colors and sizes. Installation is also much cheaper than genuine shakes, since the vinyl product comes in panels that lock together quickly and easily providing a moisture proof seal on your walls.
Vinyl shiplap siding is another option that captures the warmth and charm of coastal homes. Echoing the colonial style, this profile is often available in the bright colors seen in maritime villages - sky blue, deep green, whitewashed pine and bright white. You can also find vinyl decorative trim that can complete this classic look and create an entire exterior of maintenance free products.
The best thing about choosing vinyl over genuine wood is the maintenance factor. Prefinished at the factory with color that penetrates the product all the way through, vinyl siding does not need to be repainted and will even hide shallow scratches and dings.
Look for brands that boast wood grains and textures that mimic rough-hewn wood. You'll be surprised at how difficult it is to tell the difference between these high quality vinyl products and traditional wood siding.
Vinyl Made to Resemble Log Cabins
Perhaps you have always dreamed of a log cabin in the woods, but find yourself content in suburbia. Finish your house in vinyl siding formed to mimic a classic log cabin. Each log shape is meticulously molded into the panel to create a true-to-form look. You'll find that more expensive products even mimic the knots and wanes found in lumber used for log walls.
Finish the look with casual shutters and a front porch and you have created your dream retreat right in your own neighborhood. Best of all, this house can include the latest in insulation and standard behind-the-drywall wiring and mechanical work. This vinyl siding product allows you to appreciate the benefits of a traditional wood framed home, yet still admire the look of a log cabin on the exterior.
And again, you'll never need to seal or stain the siding. It will not be attacked by pests or suffer rot from prolonged exposure. Vinyl can be simply washed clean with a hose. And any repairs that need to be done are simple - replacing a vinyl siding panel is a straightforward job compared to repairing the exterior finish of a log cabin.
Vinyl Made to Resemble Stone and Brick
Many homeowners feel that brick or stone veneer adds a level of class to their home. These materials are natural and sturdy, with earthy tones and a texture that denotes warmth and durability. But vinyl siding products can present the same face, with none of the maintenance needs and expense of brick or stone veneer.
Most of the products made to resemble stone or brick are manufactured from polymer compounds. Strong and maintenance free, they may be slightly heavier than standard vinyl and often come in different dimensions. Polymer stone-look panels can be installed inside the home or out, with a wide variety of applications. Many people like to create an accent wall in their living space or dress up a den, office or library with this type of finish.
Exterior applications are still the most popular for this product. Partner stone-look polymer panels with traditional vinyl siding for an upper class appeal that is much less expensive, easier to install and just as durable.
Stone and brick deteriorate over time, requiring repairs and repointing. This can be an expensive project and must be completed by an experienced mason. Genuine stone and high quality brick may be the material of choice for new construction, but many times the vinyl replica is a better choice for renovations and additions. It can be installed for a fraction of the cost and provides an attractive faÃ§ade with realistic texture and color.
Advantages to Installing Vinyl
Some people insist on the real deal. If they are willing to pay the premium price and invest the hours and money on maintenance, genuine wood siding, log cabin construction or stone veneer may be the best option. But when budget is a concern, or a low maintenance alternative is desired, these vinyl products take center stage.
The wisest course of action is to have a look at these products at the retailer. You can also ask for the addresses of any model homes in the area and have a look at how these products hold up over time. You will find that vinyl maintains an attractive look for years and years, resisting fading, cracking and general wear.
Damaged vinyl is easy to replace. It will stand up against storms, extreme temperatures and most environmental conditions. Wood siding is also durable, although it requires frequent refinishing and is subject to pest attacks. Well built log cabins are extremely durable, but come with a premium price tag and require regular maintenance over the home's lifetime. Brick veneer is a popular choice on homes and is often paired with standard vinyl siding. But natural stone veneer is pricey and difficult to install on an existing home. Vinyl products may be a better choice for a combination of reasons, depending on the tastes and budget of the homeowner.
Consider all of the siding options available when completing your new home or renovation. Vinyl siding can resemble wood siding (shakes and shiplap), log cabins or stone and brick veneer. These products offer an affordable, low maintenance alternative to traditional siding products.Posted by: diana