NEW YORK — Vinyl siding is trusted by homeowners looking to add aesthetic appeal to their home’s exterior. Though vinyl siding may seem to be a cut-and-dry type of product, the vast array of vinyl siding colors and styles has created certain trends among consumers.
Made chiefly from polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, vinyl siding is the most commonly installed exterior cladding for residential construction in the United States and Canada, according to the Vinyl Siding Institute.
The history of vinyl siding can be traced to Ohio, where it was introduced to the exterior cladding market in the late 1950s by a private company. The process of mixing colors was done by hand, and the product was very inconsistent. New innovations in siding manufacture during the next few decades helped solidify vinyl siding’s place among cladding materials like shake, wood and aluminum. Vinyl siding comes in several different types. Here are the key variations.
Seamless vinyl siding
In the past, siding was created in specific lengths, requiring siding panels to overlap at points, often creating an unpleasant pattern. These points provided spots for insects, wind and moisture to infiltrate, leading to a weaker product. Today there are vinyl siding products that have removed the seams, creating a more visually appealing and durable product.
Solid core vinyl siding
Even the best-made vinyl siding had a flaw: it was not rigid and generally didn’t lie flat against the surface of a home. Solid core vinyl siding alleviates that problem by having a solid backing on which the vinyl panels are attached. The core is then attached to the home. These products also boast a higher-than-average insulation rating because the foam core interlocks during insulation. This makes a solid barrier around the home.
Vinyl shake siding
Vinyl shake siding has been designed and colored to look just like real cedar shakes, but without the maintenance, such as powerwashing or staining, associated with a wood product. Vinyl shake siding offers the same benefits of other types of vinyl siding, but tends to look like it is an expensive cladding material.
Vinyl log siding
Log cabins may seem like an adventure. However, being surrounded by wood can have its disadvantages, most notably maintenance issues surrounding wood. Vinyl siding manufacturers have created vinyl log products molded directly from real lumber, providing a look that mimics real wood, like that used for a log cabin.
As vinyl siding continues to be a favorite among homeowners, certain trends emerge each year. While rich-colored siding was a popular trend just last year, homeowners engaging in siding renovation products are now turning more to warm, earthy colors. Expect to see more gold, clay, and warm red shades with trim colors only one or two shades off, for a monochromatic effect.
Another trend involves a continued interest in renewable materials or siding comprised of some post-recycled consumer content. Energy conservation is also on the minds of consumers, and some areas of the country have modified building codes to require continuous insulation of home exteriors to prevent heat and cooling losses more effectively. As a result, more customers may opt for solid core vinyl siding to meet demands for home insulation.
For homeowners who prefer a one-of-a-kind look to their homes, mix-and-match siding trends have developed. Mixing and matching siding styles can create instant curb appeal and an interesting backdrop for outdoor gardens and patios.
Stone entryways mixed with vinyl siding as well as a mixing of traditional horizontal siding with vinyl shake or board-and-batten are also considerations.