How to Compare Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is created from polyvinyl chloride, otherwise known as PVC.

This safe material is perfect for the exterior of houses because it is strong, rigid and resistant to impact. It won't deteriorate like wood and it won't succumb to termites. If you're considering using vinyl siding for your home remodeling project, be aware that there are varying levels of quality when it comes to siding. You'll need to compare different vinyl siding in order to find the material right for your home.

Choose siding that has a certification from the Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI). Certified vinyl siding has been inspected and deemed good enough to go on the exterior of the average home. Pick a product with the seal on the packaging or choose from a list of certified siding from the VSI located in the resources section at the bottom of this article.

Compare the "Good", "Better" and "Best" ratings on some vinyl siding. Many manufacturers grade their own siding based on these three ratings. While "Best" vinyl siding will cost more than "Good," it will also be of a higher quality.

Choose thicker siding. The package will list the thickness, which is usually between 0.035 and 0.050 of an inch. The thicker the vinyl siding, the sturdier it will be. Pick siding of at least 0.040 inches.

Compare the look of different vinyl siding. Some vinyl siding will look like smooth, uniform panels, while others are made to resemble wood. Choose a design that goes with the look of the exterior of your home. Faux wood vinyl siding works well for cabins or houses surrounded by trees. Smooth siding is the traditional look of vinyl siding.

Purchase vinyl siding that is within your price range. While you may want the thickest siding with a "Best" rating, it could cost too much. According to the vinyl siding cost analysis sheet at Siding4U, the average price of siding is $5.50 per square foot. Avoid prices over $9 per square foot as these tend to be overpriced.

Tip

  • When calculating how much vinyl siding you need, add 20% to your total just in case you need extra siding during your project.

About the Author

Trisha Bartle began her writing career in 2007, with work appearing in publications such as "Adventures for the Average Woman" and DexKnows Weddings. She has also been a professional wedding photographer since 2001. Bartle holds an Associate of Applied Science in programming and game development.