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Remodeling Materials: Vinyl Siding

Remodeling Materials: Vinyl Siding

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December 15, 2008

So, the time has come to paint your house yet again. It seems like you just put that latest coat down a few years ago and it's already cracking and peeling, despite your best efforts to protect it. Isn't there anything you can do? Before you just keep on painting the same old wood siding year after year, why not take a few moments to explore the exciting opportunities afforded by the handsome alternative of vinyl siding?

Just What is Vinyl Siding?

Simply put, vinyl siding is a material that covers the outside of your home. It is ostensibly a plastic material composed of 57% chlorine and 43% common salts and ethylene. Because vinyl siding installation is a rather inexpensive and painless process, it has become one of the most popular choices for covering the outside of a home, both among homeowners and builders. As of 2007, as many as 30 - 40% of new homes were being built with vinyl siding as the material of choice, and when one looks at all the advantages offered by this exciting new material, it's easy to see why.

Why Should You Use Vinyl Siding?

Of course, just because something is new and exciting doesn't mean it's the best option. Why exactly should you choose a vinyl siding installation over another material?

Well, according to the experts at the Vinyl Siding Institute in Washington, DC, you should use vinyl siding because it essentially offers the best of all worlds as a building material. PVC is malleable enough to be sculpted and shaped with the kind of beautiful detail seen on wooden homes of old. These kinds of small architectural details tended to be overlooked in modern homes due to cost and time constraints until vinyl siding came along. In short, those who love an elegant, classical look to their homes need not worry. In fact, many users of vinyl siding claim that, from a few feet away, you can't tell the difference between their siding and the wooden siding of their neighbors!

At the same time, however, PVC is a plastic - this means that it's resistant to impact and is relatively non-porous, making it as sturdy and weather-resistant as a solid brick house would be. This also means that it's easier to care for than a wooden or brick home. Accumulated dirt or debris can be easily washed off without worrying about wearing away the paint job.

The reason for that, of course, is that vinyl siding doesn't have a paint job! Unlike wood or brick, where the outside of the material is covered in a thin layer of paint, vinyl siding is dyed during the mixing phase. This mean that if it's red, it's not just painted red, it IS red, through and through. No more chipping, cracking, or peeling!

And if that doesn't convince you, Remodeling Magazine reports that vinyl siding is said to have the lowest cost of installation of any construction material on the market!

Vinyl Siding Contractors - What to Look For

If you've decided that rather than deal with a vinyl siding installation yourself, you're going to go with a siding contractor, you still need to make sure that you find the right person for the job. While there might be any number of qualified siding contractors out there, one way that you can be totally certain is by checking out the Vinyl Siding Institute's Certified Installer Program. This registry contains a list of installers and companies who have been confirmed by the Institute to possess the knowledge and skills required to perform a vinyl siding installation to their rigorous standards. By taking just a few moments to check the qualifications of the siding contractor you're considering, you can save yourself quite a few headaches and ensure the best possible results for your home.

Long story short - vinyl siding is one of the best possible choices you can make when it comes to improving the look and value of your home. Easy to care for, inexpensive, and durable, vinyl siding combines all the value of other building materials in a single package that you just can't go wrong with.

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