Whether you’re building a home from scratch or renovating your current house, you face plenty of decisions. One major one is selecting the best siding.
Of course, siding is a big part of your exterior aesthetic, but you also have to consider functionality. The siding you select can affect how your home handles weather and pests. Siding also impacts your utility bills and the overall value of your home.
Many homeowners ask contractors for vinyl vs. aluminum siding comparisons, so we want to give you just that. We’ll break down exactly what you can expect from each material, including pros, cons, and cost.
Comparing Vinyl and Aluminum Siding
Aluminum and vinyl siding are the most popular siding choices. Each material has its unique appeal, and one may be better than the other for your home.
Below, we pit the two materials against one another, examing essential considerations homeowners should take when selecting new siding material.
Is Aluminum Siding Cheaper Than Vinyl Siding?
The cost difference between aluminum and vinyl is nearly negligible if we’re talking upfront costs. Aluminum tends to be slightly cheaper initially, but vinyl siding has better cost recovery. Vinyl can increase your home value when it comes time for resale because of its aesthetic appeal and enhanced durability.
What Lasts Longer: Aluminum or Vinyl Siding?
Durability is what we consider the most critical deciding factor in the great vinyl vs. aluminum siding debate. You want to ensure your siding will remain intact for many years to come and can hold up against even the most extreme weather conditions.
Aluminum, being a soft metal, is highly fire-resistant and rust-proof. It’s generally long-lasting, but there are a few caveats to this.
Though both are resistant to general exposure and wear, aluminum siding is prone to dents and dings. After a while, this can decrease the value of your house as it appears worn down and damaged – even if it’s functioning fine. Vinyl is thicker and impact-resistant, allowing it to take significant blows with no damage at all. Hail and baseballs are no match for this siding.
Both vinyl siding and aluminum siding have excellent durability. But when you consider everything that goes into it, vinyl comes out as most durable.
What Has Higher Energy Efficiency?
You want a home that can keep heat and cold in and keep extreme climates at bay.
Aluminum absorbs heat during the summer months, making it challenging to stay cool and strain your air conditioner. Additionally, since aluminum is prone to damage, any holes or cracks will make your home lose energy efficiency. Your bills will skyrocket if you don’t notice the damage.
Home exteriors with vinyl have improved energy efficiency and are better for extreme cold weather and extreme heat. Vinyl is made from polyvinyl chloride, a man-made material that acts as a good insulator. And when you consider how durable it is, you’ll also worry less about potential damage affecting your utilities.
What Material Offers Easier Installation?
In this round: aluminum siding vs. vinyl siding installation.
Both aluminum siding and vinyl siding have relatively simple, quick installation processes. In some cases, installing aluminum is faster as the material is lighter. But if you’re installing aluminum siding as a siding replacement for old aluminum, that isn’t always the case. Often, old aluminum seals in mould, crumbling walls, and insect infestation.
So, it depends. The more important factor here is ensuring you have your materials professionally installed.
What Maintenance Is Required?
You’re already investing money to replace your current siding – why would you want to worry about upkeep, too? That’s why choosing a low-maintenance material is so important.
As we mentioned, aluminum is more vulnerable to damage. Severe weather carrying debris can dent and scratch your house up. Repairing and replacing it isn’t always easy, and it’ll cost you. On top of this, the color fades and will require repainting here and there.
On the other hand, vinyl needs very little maintenance. During manufacturing, your home’s colour is baked in to ensure it looks brand new all the time. The only upkeep vinyl siding will take a good cleaning with a garden hose to keep it fresh. Once again, in the aluminum vs. vinyl showdown, vinyl takes the cake.
What Are the Style Varieties?
When you install siding, you’re giving your home’s style a facelift. It’s good to have options to match your specific tastes.
Aluminum has undoubtedly come a long way appearance-wise, but it still gives your home’s exterior a metallic appearance. A shiny, metal home could keep future buyers away.
Vinyl offers more variety in its design, like:
- Dutch lap
- …and more!
You can also mimic wood siding with a shake-style vinyl siding option. It’s the perfect way to give your home a classic, rustic look.
One downside of vinyl is how it comes pre-painted. The material has a hard time absorbing paint, so it can be challenging to paint over existing siding. However, that initial colour never fades, while aluminum requires painting again and again.
What About Wood Siding?
Wood used to be all the rage, but this material is far from durable, requires lots of maintenance, offers minimal fire resistance, and you certainly can’t call it insect-proof. It sure is pretty, though!
What Are The Disadvantage of Aluminum Siding? Of Vinyl Siding?
The disadvantages of vinyl siding include:
- Potential improper installation if not working with a professional
- Difficult to repaint
- Made of artificial plastics, which could harm the environment
The disadvantages of aluminum siding include:
- Easy to damage, difficult to replace
- Color quickly fades
- Poor energy efficiency
- Potentially lowers home value
Verdict – Is Aluminum Siding or Vinyl Siding Better?
We’ve come down to it. The final results of vinyl siding vs. aluminum siding. Drum roll, please…
It looks like vinyl wins! Out of all other materials and siding types, it requires lower maintenance, increases your home’s curb appeal, and is highly energy efficient. Sure, aluminum may have a low cost initially, but you’ll get a lot more mileage out of your vinyl siding.
Whichever decision you make in the battle of aluminum vs. vinyl siding, make sure you have it properly installed to guarantee it’ll protect your home.