Does your home’s tired and worn out siding need replaced? Unfortunately, old siding doesn’t only look bad, but it can also be causing damage to your home.
The struggle many homeowners face is deciding which type of siding is best. Vinyl and aluminum siding both offer excellent protection and give you more consistency in style. But the right kind of siding needs to look good AND protect your home at the same time.
Are you considering vinyl siding vs. aluminum siding for your home but having trouble deciding which is best? Both options offer several significant benefits. So which option is the best choice for your home improvement project? Check out the pros and cons of vinyl siding vs. aluminum siding below.
Vinyl Siding and Aluminum Siding: The Differences
As their names suggest, aluminum and vinyl siding consist of 2 very different materials. Vinyl siding is a form of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic. Aluminum siding consists of aluminum, a light yet durable metal.
Unlike natural wood or rock siding, vinyl and aluminum siding is non-organic and produced in a factory. Both options come in a variety of styles and siding colors, are extremely durable and do a great job of protecting your home from the elements while enhancing curb appeal.
With so many similarities between the two, it’s easy to understand why homeowners have a hard time picking one. There are, however, several differences between the two. Here’s what to consider when purchasing vinyl siding vs. aluminum siding.
Vinyl Siding Pros
Vinyl siding offers many benefits that make it an excellent option for home exteriors. In many cases, homeowners find vinyl to be a better siding option compared to aluminum because of its style and durability.
The Many Styles of Vinyl Siding
Vinyl siding comes in more colors, styles, and textures than any other type of siding. Many homeowners have little to no problem finding the perfect color and style to fit their home.
A few popular vinyl siding styles include woodgrain, clapboard, scallop, cedar and traditional shake. These variations, instead of opting for traditional lap siding, give homeowners more flexibility when choosing a style for their home.
Vinyl is More Affordable
Re-siding your home is not always a cheap project, and a big perk to vinyl is its affordability. Often, you can purchase high-quality vinyl siding for a fraction of the price of most other types of siding.
When it comes to the vinyl siding vs. aluminum siding price, vinyl is still the cheaper option. Whether you have a tight budget or want better quality for less money, vinyl is the way to go.
Vinyl Offers Durability
Vinyl siding is surprisingly durable and twice as thick as most aluminum sidings. Vinyl is also more resilient to impact damage, because it doesn’t dent or scratch as easily as aluminum. Vinyl also resists:
- UV rays
- The elements
- Temperature changes
This durability ensures both you and your home will stay protected for years to come.
Vinyl Siding is Easy to Maintain
Do you like home maintenance to be quick and easy? If you’re like most homeowners, your answer is probably yes! So, you’ll be happy to learn that vinyl siding is very low maintenance.
While many types of siding (like natural cedar shake) require constant care, such as staining and repainting, with vinyl, you’re left with minimal upkeep. In fact, the only maintenance vinyl needs is a quick cleaning every couple of years.
Insulate Your Home
Did you know vinyl siding can help insulate your home? Whether you need to keep your home warm in the winters or cool in the summers, vinyl helps increase your home’s energy efficiency. Vinyl insulates by sealing air inside your home, preventing hot air from leaking in or cool air from seeping out.
Vinyl Siding Cons
Despite the many great benefits that vinyl siding offers, it does have a few cons. Here are some items to be aware of before making a final decision.
Vinyl siding can withstand most temperature changes, however, it can become more brittle in freezing temperatures. Vinyl siding is more susceptible to cracking and splitting if impacted by an object in cold weather.
Low Melting Point
Vinyl siding is not fire resistant and melts when subjected to extreme heat. If you use an outdoor grill, heater, or hot exterior lights, make sure to keep them a safe distance from your home’s siding.
Vinyl siding can retain water if not correctly installed, and while the material is water-resistant, it’s not completely waterproof. Improper installation can cause mold, mildew and rot to occur between the siding and your house.
To prevent this, prep your home’s exterior with a house wrap or building paper to prevent water damage.
Aluminum Siding Pros
Home and building owners started using metal siding in the 1920s, but aluminum siding didn’t become popular until the 1950s. Since then, it’s popularity has grown and fallen with siding trends and uses. Here are a few advantages to aluminum siding.
Aluminum Siding is Eco-Friendly
Aluminum is recyclable and won’t take up space in a landfill, making it a green material. The process to manufacture aluminum siding uses less energy than vinyl and other forms of siding, as well. You’ll find that many eco-friendly homes choose aluminum siding for its low impact on the environment.
Fire Resistant Properties
Since aluminum is a metal, it’s fire-resistant. It won’t ignite, melt or burn like other siding materials. A significant advantage of aluminum’s resistance to fire is that some home insurance companies will offer you a discount for having aluminum siding.
Like vinyl, aluminum is relatively easy to maintain and can last you decades when cared for properly. In fact, well-maintained aluminum siding is known to last 40 years or longer.
Aluminum siding also resists extreme temperatures and weather better than vinyl. During the winters, you won’t have to worry about your siding becoming brittle and cracking.
Aluminum Siding Cons
Some homeowners find aluminum to be a great siding option. Despite this, there are several drawbacks to aluminum you need to know before making any siding decisions.
The Metallic Shine & Sound
Almost all aluminum siding has some metallic shine. This shine can be a turnoff to homeowners who prefer the traditional matte look of exterior siding.
When it’s raining, windy or sleeting, the aluminum siding also has a tendency to make a lot of noise. Without proper installation, this sound can cause the interior of your home to be very loud.
Aluminum Siding is Prone to Dents & Scratches
Aluminum siding isn’t as durable as vinyl when it comes to impact performance, and is vulnerable to denting and scratching (which are difficult, if not impossible, to remove). Owners of aluminum siding often need to fully replace siding with severe scratches and dents.
Aluminum Needs Maintenance
Like vinyl, aluminum siding will need regular cleaning. And, while aluminum is relatively easy and inexpensive to repair, it does require a higher amount of maintenance to keep it looking its best.
The outer enamel of the aluminum can erode over time, and this breakdown can cause issues with rust and discoloration as moisture and other elements damage the aluminum. Every few years, you need to gently sand rust spots and recover the aluminum with a weatherproofing enamel.
Aluminum Can Be Costly
Aluminum siding is more affordable than other siding options, like wood or fiber cement, but when it comes to vinyl siding vs. aluminum siding, vinyl is the more affordable option. On average, aluminum siding costs about $2-3 more per square foot than vinyl.
If you’re on a budget or want more for money, then vinyl is a better option.
Limited Styles & Colors
The challenge home and building owners have with aluminum siding is finding the right color and style. While vinyl siding comes in hundreds of different colors and styles, aluminum siding has a minimal selection.
If there’s a specific style or color you want for the exterior of your home, it’s likely you won’t find it in aluminum siding.
Which Type of Siding is Better?
Before you choose between vinyl siding and aluminum siding, be sure to also consider costs and resale value. Both types of siding are lightweight, making them easy to install, and both siding choices are also durable and long-lasting.
Vinyl siding offers a traditional look and easier maintenance, however, which homebuyers definitely find attractive. (And that’s typically why vinyl is often the more popular choice!)
Pick the Perfect Siding Today
Are you debating whether vinyl siding vs. aluminum siding is better for your home? If you’re looking for long-lasting and durable siding that’s affordable, vinyl is your best bet!
Ready to get started on your siding replacement? Check out our 30+ colors of vinyl shake siding and order today.