Is Vinyl Siding Right For Your Home? (2023 Guide)

Typical Cost To Install Vinyl Siding Price Range: $5,320 - $7,860
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You have probably heard a lot about vinyl siding and for good reason: this is the material most commonly installed on homes across the US.

What drives vinyl siding’s incredible popularity is the relatively low cost, especially when compared to other siding materials.

Many homeowners who have a fairly tight budget find that vinyl siding strikes the ideal balance between quality, curb appeal and price.

Vinyl siding is also a favorite choice among DIYers because unlike many other siding materials, vinyl is fairly easy to install, even if you don’t have extensive prior experience.

This guide will take an in-depth look at vinyl siding to help you figure out if its the right material for your home.

What Is Vinyl Siding?

Average Cost to Install
Most Homeowners Spent Between: Most People Spent: $6,326 - $7,645
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Vinyl siding is mainly manufactured of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin and sold in panels. 

The first vinyl siding was produced in Ohio in the 1950s to replace the then-popular aluminum siding.

Scientists made it while looking for a way to efficiently use leftover plastic materials from manufacturing other products. 

Is Vinyl Siding Good?

Is Vinyl Siding Good

If you start researching vinyl siding on-line, you may come across the fact that many builders, designers and homeowners find that vinyl: “looks cheap”, “paint peels easily”, “warps and becomes cracked”, “can be easily blown off by strong wind”, “colors fade and start to look very worn-out and unattractive only after a few years”.

This kind of bad rep makes you want to stay away from vinyl siding, right?

In reality, while there is a good reason for this reputation, its not entirely true. The reason why there is a good amount of truth in this bad rap, is that when vinyl was initially manufactured in the early 1950’s (it was created to replace aluminum siding), it did indeed have most of the problems listed above.

However, over the years, manufacturers have vastly improved vinyl’s chemical formulation, and have made it into a much more durable, longer lasting and aesthetically appealing material than it once was.

At the same time, it is important to realize that not all vinyl is made equal today, and cheaper grades of vinyl siding will still exhibit many of these issues.

Essentially, you will get what you pay for: if you get the cheapest vinyl product, don’t expect it to last or look good.

However, if you are willing to pay a little more, you can get decent quality siding with nice curb appeal, at a price that is still lower than other popular siding materials, such as fiber cement or wood.

How Much Does Vinyl Siding Cost?

Average Cost to Install
Most Homeowners Spent Between: Most People Spent: $6,326 - $7,645
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High End

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Compared to other siding materials, vinyl has the lowest installed cost. This single point alone makes it highly attractive to many homeowners. How much should you expect to pay?

On average, prices for standard quality vinyl siding range from $4-5 per sq.ft. installed (does not include tear off). However, premium quality or designer vinyl siding will cost more, about $7-9 per sq. ft. installed.

Keep in mind that if you have two-storie house vs a ranch, and any complex architecture, the cost of professional siding installation will go up significantly.

We recommend getting 3-4 estimates from local siding contractors to get the best deal on your vinyl siding installation.

Why Is Vinyl Siding A Top DIY Option?

Vinyl Siding Benefits

When it comes to professional siding installation, it can cost as much as the material itself, making the total cost of replacement rather high.

Consequently, many people who are looking for major savings, choose vinyl siding, because in addition to saving on the material, they can save on installation by doing it on their own.

Vinyl siding is considered to be the easiest material to install DIY. You can just walk in to any big box home improvement store, such as Lowe’s or Home Depot and purchase vinyl siding.

They also have a starter kit that you can use for installation, which means that there is no need to spend money on expensive tools or special equipment.

You can also purchase vinyl siding from suppliers (they will have more color options) or on-line, from sites like Build Direct, which can offer even greater savings on the siding itself.

Because vinyl is so popular among DIYers, there are many videos and tutorials available on line, with step by step instructions you can follow to do your own install.

Finally, because installation is straightforward and fast, you have the option of hiring a handyman, rather than a licensed professional contractor for the install. Typically, a handyman can charge 40-50% less for their labor than pros.

This can be a good alternative if you are looking to save money, but don’t feel comfortable doing the installation yourself.

If you choose to go this route, its important to hire someone you trust can do quality work. Still, you should realize that a handyman’s siding installation job may not be of the same quality as that of a pro.

Vinyl Siding Lets You Save On Professional Installation

Average Cost to Install
Most Homeowners Spent Between: Most People Spent: $6,326 - $7,645
Low End
High End

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If you want your vinyl siding professionally installed, it will still cost you less than other materials.

As mentioned before, no special equipment is required, and the siding can be put up much faster than other materials.

Moreover, time is also saved because there is no need to paint or stain vinyl siding, which is often a necessary and labor intensive part of installation of many wood siding products, as well as some fiber cement products.

Great Curb Appeal of Vinyl Siding

 How Good Is Vinyl siding

Whether you are looking to install siding on a new construction home, or replace old siding, curb appeal is of utmost importance. After all, siding is what most people notice first, when they see your house. In terms of looks, vinyl certainly does not disappoint.

Thanks to advancements in technology, vinyl siding is available in an almost endless array of colors and styles. High-end grades of vinyl siding, such as vinyl shake, can closely replicate the look of more expensive materials, such as wood.

Custom color and style options are also available for an extra cost.

The bottom line is that you can get a really great looking vinyl siding product, that will not look cheap at all, and it will still cost you 20-30% less than other premium siding materials.

How Durable Is Vinyl Siding?

If you are looking for the most durability you can get out of vinyl siding, you should go with boards that are thick (these will be more expensive).

Thin boards are a lot more likely to warp and will be blown off by strong wind easier than than thicker boards.

Durability also depends on the chemical composition of the material, which is not available to the public.

The best way to gauge durability is to carefully read the manufacturer’s warranty.

Color Fading Issues Of Vinyl Siding

One of the greatest disadvantages of vinyl siding is that eventually, after about 10-15 years even high quality vinyl siding will begin to fade, and the change in color will be noticeable.

Cheaper quality vinyl will fade even sooner. You can fix this issue by painting the siding, but this would defeat the purpose of installing it in the first place, so that you wouldn’t need to bother with painting.

Another issue with fading is that if you need to repair a few boards, you may have a hard time matching the new boards to the old ones, because the color has faded.

In this situation, contractors recommend getting boards from less visible areas of the house to match the color of the ones being repaired (especially if they are in the visible part of the home) and purchasing similar color boards for the less visible area.

Vinyl Siding Is Truly Low Maintenance

One of the greatest advantages of vinyl siding is its relatively low maintenance. All you really need to do is keep it clean, and periodically wash off dirt, mold and chalky oxidation that collects on the surface.

Repair is also very easy, as you can simply take down the broken vinyl board and replace it with a new one. Any handy homeowner can do this without trouble.

Compared to wood siding, which needs to be regularly maintained, and painted/stained every couple of years, vinyl is ideal for homeowners who want to invest their precious time into other activities.

What Type Of Vinyl Siding Is The Most Popular?

Horizontal vinyl siding is one of the most popular options among homeowners, thanks to its timeless look.

For accent areas, like gables, homeowners typically go for vinyl shingles or scallop panels.

Since all three options are affordable, you can even combine them to achieve an eye-catching pattern.

Vinyl vs. Aluminum Siding

Aluminum siding is an environmentally friendly, unique looking, modern siding option. It requires very little maintenance and is resistant to moisture damage, unlike vinyl siding.

Aluminum lasts about twice as long as vinyl siding, between 40 and 50 years. Another advantage of aluminum is that it can be custom bent if your home is uniquely shaped, unlike vinyl which can only be made in standard sizes and forms.

While aluminum used to be another budget friendly siding choice, similar in price point to vinyl siding, today most aluminum siding is actually more expensive than vinyl, starting at $5.5 – 7 per square foot installed.

Vinyl Siding vs. Engineered Wood Siding

Engineered wood is similar to vinyl in that it mimics the appearance of real wood siding. However, engineered hardwood is more durable and long-lasting than vinyl, although it is also more expensive.

Engineered hardwood lasts up to thirty years, which is slightly longer than vinyl siding.

Vinyl Siding vs. Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement siding is a low maintenance, durable option. It can be customized very easily, unlike vinyl siding which is only available in standardized forms.

Fiber cement siding brands, such as James Hardie and Nichiha cost almost twice as much as vinyl siding.

One disadvantage of fiber cement is that it can be susceptible to cracking.

In case you are debating between these two siding materials, check out our extensive guide on Fiber Cement vs Vinyl Siding.

Vinyl vs. Stone Siding

Stone is a beautiful, durable siding option. Stone siding can last over 100 years. It is the most expensive siding option.

Stone siding is resistant to moisture damage, insect infestations, and is fire proofed. Vinyl siding, in comparison, is very susceptible to damage.

Vinyl Siding vs. Brick

Brick siding is a pricey option, but it is incredibly durable and can last over 100 years with very little maintenance.

Brick makes up the structure of the home, so is often installed while the home is being built. Vinyl siding lasts a very short timespan in comparison to brick. Also, brick siding has a unique rustic appearance that vinyl siding cannot mimic.

Vinyl Siding vs. Real Wood

Both wood and vinyl have distinct advantages and disadvantages. Wood siding has a warm, authentic appearance that is unparalleled, even with vinyl siding that attempts to mimic real wood.

Wood is susceptible to moisture damage and can experience rot, mold, and mildew. However, if wood is damaged it can be refinished, unlike vinyl which needs to be replaced after experiencing damage.

Siding made of real wood is also more customizable than vinyl siding, and can be painted or stained any color. Wood is also more high maintenance than vinyl.

Pros and Cons of Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding has many distinct advantages and disadvantages. Carefully considering the pros and cons of vinyl siding can help you decide if it is the right siding choice for you.


● Affordability: Vinyl is the most affordable siding option, priced as low as $1.50 per square foot.

● Damage Resistant: Vinyl siding is resistant to several types of damage, including rot, mildew, and insects.

● Style Selection: Vinyl siding comes in a wide range of styles, colors, and designs that mimic real wood siding.

● Low Maintenance: Vinyl siding is low maintenance, and does not require repainting or resealing like many other siding materials.

● DIY Possibilities: Vinyl siding can be installed DIY. It is best suited for those with some experience in home improvement projects because it is somewhat difficult, but still do-able, to install DIY.

● Add-Ons Available: Vinyl siding can be customized with add-ons such as extra insulation and noise resistance.


● Short lifespan: Vinyl siding has a relatively short lifespan, lasting only between fifteen and thirty years. This means that you will need to replace vinyl siding much more frequently than other siding types.

● Susceptible to Some Damage: Vinyl siding can warp, bend, and crack. This is most common during extreme temperature changes, so if you live in an area with a fluctuating climate be prepared for the vinyl siding to experience some damage.

● Cannot be Changed: Unlike wood which you can repaint into any color at any time, vinyl siding is stuck in the original shade. The only way to make changes to your vinyl siding is to replace it entirely.

● Environmental Issues: Although vinyl siding is marketed as an environmentally friendly option because it is recyclable, in actuality it is very difficult to recycle vinyl siding.

Therefore the vinyl siding will most likely end up in waste dumps, in which it will not decompose because it is made of plastic.

● Water Damage: Although vinyl is more water resistant than wood siding, it can still be damaged by water because it is water resistant, not waterproof. If you live in a wet, humid environment you may experience some issues with water damage.

● Potentially Decrease Home Value: Vinyl is considered a low-end building material and therefore may decrease your home value when you are trying to sell your home. This is especially true if you have an expensive home over $500,000 in a premium neighborhood. This is an important fact to keep in mind if you plan on selling in the near future.

Environmental Considerations

If you consider yourself to be an environmentally-friendly person, vinyl siding is probably not for you.

This is because when vinyl burns, it releases toxic chemicals, which are hazardous to the environment and to our health.

Additionally, vinyl siding cannot be recycled, and the only way to dispose of it is by taking it to a landfill.

Typical Cost To Install Vinyl Siding Price Range: $5,320 - $7,860
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