Wood versus Vinyl Siding: Home Improvement Questions and Answers

When it comes to replacing or installing new siding for your home, most property owners pick either wood or vinyl. There are many positive factors behind both of these material types, and you could pick either and make it look like the other one. Both have many different colors, finishes, and types to pick from, and that can make the entire process a lot harder. If they BOTH have benefits and could BOTH be a great investment for your home, which one is the right home improvement for you?

Q: Which is cheaper — vinyl or wood siding?
A: Price is very often a big factor when making a home improvement decision. The cheaper option of the two would be vinyl siding. The average two-storey, two-bedroom residential property would probably cost somewhere in the region of $9,000 - $11,000 for vinyl siding installation, depending on the exact materials used and labor costs. Wood siding, on the other hand, is usually just a little bit more expensive. The same property would probably set you back $11,000 to $13,000 for the same work in wood siding. Again, this very much depends on the kind of wood you want on your home and the contractor or team who is installing it. The best quality wood siding can sometimes cost more than 200% more than vinyl.

Q: Doesn’t vinyl siding look cheap?
A: Once upon a time, vinyl was known to be the ‘cheaper’ of the home siding options, but things have come a long way since they were first made available on the commercial market back in the 50’s. Vinyl siding can now be made to look like every other material, and it’s stronger, more durable, and keeps the color longer than it ever has before. If there was ever a good time to make the switch to vinyl siding, it would definitely be now. Options, options galore!

Q: Which is easiest in terms of maintenance?
A: Wood siding is generally considered the most high-maintenance choice of the two, requiring staining and repainting the material every few years. You also run the risk of having problems with wood rot and similar if you do not keep up with the maintenance, and you can be expected to perform some sort of treatment every three to five years or so.

Q: Which one is more energy efficient?
A: Wood was known for the longest time to be one of the best insulators for buildings in cooler areas. These days, however, it seems that vinyl is starting to overtake the older and more traditional types. Because of the nature of the material, wood can expand with heat and then shrink with cooler temperatures, and that can break the sealed-shut status of the siding. Vinyl is less inclined to do this, and will therefore stay completely sealed for longer. When the siding is sealed, the energy efficiency rating of your home will increase — you’ll need less heat to keep the building warm during winter. In turn, it will be cheaper for you to heat your home.

Q: How much will vinyl versus wood siding cost?
A: The average price for a 2-bed, 2-storey regular family home to have brand new vinyl siding installed is usually in the region of $10,000-$15,000. If you were going to opt for a wood siding instead, you’ll probably find that those costs increase to between $15,000 and $20,000.

Q: What should I do if I can’t make up my mind between wood and vinyl siding?
A: You should get in touch with your local roofing contractors. They’ll be more than happy to give you advice and information over the phone or online, and many of them also offer free assessments. This means that they will come to your property, give it an inspection, and then give you options to suit — including both wood and vinyl. From there, you can pick the materials based on your exact specifications ... and budget.

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