Vinyl siding vs Wooden siding

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by WoodysGirl, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

    74,215 Messages
    23,012 Likes Received
    I've got some dry rot on portions of my house and I need to get it repaired and painted for insurance reasons. I'm also considering vinyl siding just for information purposes.

    I've read up on it a little bit, but I was just wondering if anyone can provide any personal experiences re: the pros/cons of either.
  2. cowboyfan4life_mark

    cowboyfan4life_mark 5 outta 8 ain't bad

    3,029 Messages
    112 Likes Received
    Vinyl siding:
    Pro: Is good as far as maintenance.
    Con: It can "rattle" during hard winds.

    Wood/Masonite board:
    Pro: Better insulator, less in utility bills (heat & A/C).
    Con: Has to be painted and re-calked every 10 years or so.
  3. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

    74,215 Messages
    23,012 Likes Received
    Thanks. Seems simple enough for me...and enough reason for me to stick with wood.

    The every 10 year thing is probably why it's time for me to fix the siding now. Been here 9 years.
  4. lewpac

    lewpac Benched

    1,465 Messages
    2 Likes Received
    Vinyl siding is a good choice for only one reason: It won't rot or corrupt structurally due to moisture or intense UV/Sun.

    But, if you live in an area with above average rainfall or the like, you can't put mildewcide in the material. Mildewcide is an additive that you put in latex paints to ****** mildew from attaching itself to exterior surfaces. If the home is painted, any mildew (green, black or orange discoloring) seen is not inbedded into the siding if mildewcide is added to paint. It's simply a surface problem and can be washed off easily. With vinyl siding, the mildew gets into the product and becomes a part of the vinyl if not maintained.

    Cleaning a vinyl sided house is also more touchy than cleaning a wood-sided home. Power washers are normally powerful, as they should be in order to clean what they're made to do. Vinyl sided houses have a tendency to not be "air tight" due to the abundance of gaps between the panels. If you're not careful and too aggressive while washing, you'll shoot water between each siding "overlap" and get water all in the house.

    Also, they say that "vinyl siding cannot be painted". Well, that's not necessarily true. Anything can be painted if it's prepped and primed correctly. And therein lies the rub with vinyl siding. Because, if you ever decide to change the color of your home, it's a cumbersome and expensive proposition. I'm a painting contractor and have painted my share of vinyl homes.

    First, the entire surface (after a power wash) needs to be "etched", or scratched up for any paint to adhere. Unless you sand the entire house down, it's like painting glass or a car hood, and the paint won't stick. It'll peel off in sheets like wax-paper if you don't etch the entire home.

    Then, for a correct paint job, you'll hafta' caulk between every vertical or horizontal panel or "slat", which are generally 4" or 6" panels that make up the entire siding of the house. THIS is a TON of work. Then, the home would have to be primed of course, and the only primer that works on vinyl is "Fresh Start". Fresh Start is an expensive primer (around $140.00 per 5 gal.) made by Benjamin Moore. Most primers run around $55.00 to $65.00 per 5 gal. Fresh Start is made for just that, a "fresh start" on "re-paint" projects. It is "over specified" and not made for regular priming for new projects and the like. It's specifically made for existing projects that need to go back to the beginning and start all over again. Thus, the "Fresh Start" logo. And IT'S EXPENSIVE!

    After that, you could paint the vinyl house with whatever you please because the hard work is done.

    In a nutshell, unless you're committed to the same color house for the rest of the life of the home, then don't go "vinyl". Because the cost any re-paint project for a vinyl home is around triple the cost of a normal re-paint project on a stick house.

    Also, should any damage or need to replace anything on a vinyl home (high winds, if your car bumps the siding and damages it, earthquake repair, etc..............) you're gonna' have to track down the EXACT SAME siding to match. This becomes a problem if the home was completed, say, a dozen or so years ago, and you have to find the original siding from the original vendor or supplier in order to match. Your siding may have been discontinued by then, or out of stock. Or, the supplier may have gone out of business or relocated, etc, etc.................Trying to find a few pieces of YOUR siding that was installed in 1994 in the year 2009, I'll guarantee ya' is gonna' turn into a major hassle. If the house is a wood-sided and painted house, you simply go to the nearest Lowe's or Home Depot, buy the siding, install the repair and paint it to match existing.

    Finally, the ONLY thing you can clean ANY VINYL with is water and extremely mild water-soluble cleaners (Windex, light bleach, "green" cleaners, etc....) Any cleaner even remotely strong (denatured alcohol, thinners, Xylene, MEK, TSP, etc.............) will burn the surface. It'll melt it. Instead of being able to let the cleaning product to the bulk of the work (and all you have to do is rinse), you're gonna do the bulk of the work with a lot of "elbow grease" applied. If you paint a wood-sided house, you can "TSP"-it a ton and simple rinse and the home will be clean as new.

    These are just a couple of tid-bits from my own experiences as a painting contractor for over 20 years. I'm sure other's in the field will concur and agree. Of course, I'm biased. The less vinyl homes out there, THE MORE WORK FOR ME!!!!!!!!!!
  5. big dog cowboy

    big dog cowboy THE BIG DOG Staff Member

    67,285 Messages
    22,575 Likes Received
    Vinyl is final.
  6. kmp77

    kmp77 Active Member

    5,945 Messages
    0 Likes Received
    We had a vinyl siding on a house when I was about 12 or so. My dad installed it and was easy to take care of. You could just hose it off when it got dirty..not need to paint!! I damaged it a few times by hitting it with golf balls etc...and was easy to repare. That's about all of my experience with it.
  7. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

    28,566 Messages
    3,118 Likes Received
    vinyl is ugly as hell. Wood however needs to be painted over and over - where I live the sort of timber that was prevalent 60 years ago combined with the weather mean every 2 years you've got serious touch up.

    You might try hardiplank or some thing like that
  8. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

    45,816 Messages
    5,733 Likes Received
    Yeah, I'd go with a masonite/hardiplank material rather than actual wood.
  9. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

    74,215 Messages
    23,012 Likes Received
    I'm sticking with the wood siding. My regular Handyman/contractor just came by and gave me a quote.

    Wasn't completely happy with it, but I was able to stick a couple other things in there to make me feel better.

    Now I just need to pick out the colors and he'll get started tomorrow.

    Unfortunately, I'm on a time crunch, so the sooner he can start, the better.
  10. Jon88

    Jon88 Benched

    7,665 Messages
    0 Likes Received
    I would go silver and blue. One layer silver, next layer blue, and so on. I think it would look great. Your neighbors would love it.
  11. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

    74,215 Messages
    23,012 Likes Received
    On my car, yes. On my house, no.

    I went with a popular color palette. Who knows? I may change the garage and front entrance later.

    Front entrance and garage
    last tango
    (50YR 16/569)Sample:

    the rest of the house
    golden tan
    (90YR 34/468)
  12. Jon88

    Jon88 Benched

    7,665 Messages
    0 Likes Received
  13. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

    74,215 Messages
    23,012 Likes Received
    Yeah, but you never know with some people.

    Da Fan comes to mind. :)
  14. Jon88

    Jon88 Benched

    7,665 Messages
    0 Likes Received

    I don't know what to tell you about the colors. I would always go with white, offwhite, or light tan.
  15. Kangaroo

    Kangaroo Active Member

    9,893 Messages
    0 Likes Received

    hardiplank is the way to go now days the hell with Vinyl theogt nailed it right there
  16. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

    74,215 Messages
    23,012 Likes Received
    Even tho my neighborhood is relatively old, I'd say 90% of the people have some form of tan. The monotony of it all drives me nuts.
  17. Jon88

    Jon88 Benched

    7,665 Messages
    0 Likes Received
    Reminds you of Edward Scissorhands? LOL.

Share This Page