Are you building a new home? Or maybe buying one and wondering if you should go with that gorgeous stone or the less expensive house with siding. If so, how long does vinyl siding last, anyway?

Since that’s a question that demands an answer, I’ll answer it for you!

There is no one size fits all answer to how long vinyl siding lasts. There are too many variables—direct sunlight, your climate, and other exterior forces will impact its lifespan. At best, vinyl siding will last 40 years, but a worst-case scenario is closer to 20 years.

Having said that, there is a lot to learn about siding, so read on!

The History of Vinyl Siding

Vinyl Siding on the side of a home
Vinyl Siding has been a popular option since the 70’s

Let’s see. What was popular back in the 50s? A quick Google search mentions some things I’ve never even heard of—like poodle skirts.

While girls were wrapping themselves up in these skirts, houses were getting wrapped up in vinyl siding. Up until then, aluminum siding was the go-to siding, but a company named Crane Plastics in Columbus, Ohio, started manufacturing vinyl siding.

However, the roll-out wasn’t without issues since the early product lacked consistency and that made for difficult installs. However, by the 70s, they had a better formulation process in place, and the rest is history. The new process was much quicker to manufacture, was better resistant to impact, and available in a range of colors.

Before long, it was one of the most popular choices for siding.

Why Vinyl Siding is so Popular

Vinyl siding on home in winter
Vinyl Siding is great at handling extreme temperatures.

Vinyl siding has been a very popular option for a long time. Let’s highlight a few of the benefits.

Vinyl Siding Pros

  • It’s inexpensive
  • Resistant to bugs
  • Resistant to mold
  • It can handle extremes in the temperature
  • Mostly maintenance-free

That’s quite a bit that it has going for it. Who wouldn’t love siding that can do all that and last for 40 years?

Another reason why it’s so popular is that it can be manufactured to look like something it isn’t. For example, you could trick someone into thinking your home was a log cabin because vinyl siding can be made to replicate the grain and knots of wood.

Log cabins aren’t your thing? Or maybe your neighbors would throw a fit? How about the look of natural stone instead? It would certainly be a lot cheaper than the real thing.

For those who are doing their best to create energy efficient homes, there’s one more advantage. You can get insulated vinyl siding and it will further cut down on your heating and cooling costs.

But are there any downsides?

Vinyl siding can get warped and bulge out

Vinyl Siding Cons

  • Installation can be tricky and should be done by a pro
  • Poor installation can cause serious issues
  • It can expand, crack, warp, and bulge
  • Dark siding fades quickly in sunny climates
  • Installation is often only warrantied for a single year
  • It can’t be patched

Does Vinyl Siding Decrease A Home’s Value?

The National Association of Realtors’ 2019 Home Remodeling Impact Report stated that new vinyl siding would increase the value of your home. Frankly, most renovation or remodeling will. It’s just not every project will increase your home by the same amount.

You can expect the value of your home to rise by 63% of the cost to install new vinyl siding.

But keep in mind the cons listed above. If the siding is in bad condition, yes, it will decrease the value of your home. Just like a driveway that’s cracking and broken.

The problem with siding is that if something goes wrong, more will go wrong. While it is resistant to mold, that’s only assuming the install was done properly and there hasn’t been any damage to it.

For example, you’re out there doing your favorite summer Saturday chore—mowing the lawn. And the mower manages to catch a stone and sling it at the house. It misses the windows—yay—but hits the siding and pierces it. Boo.

Now, you either replace the whole plank or you leave it. And if you leave it, you’ll get mold in the walls behind it.

So keep your siding in good condition and you’ll keep the value of your house elevated.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace Vinyl Siding?

Note that the standard “this is going to depend on where you live” answer applies here.  It’s also going to depend on the type you buy.

The average cost to install vinyl siding is between $1 and $8 per square foot.

ProsCons
1,200 Sq Ft Home$1,200 to $9,600
1,600 Sq Ft Home$1,600 to $12,800
1,800 Sq Ft Home$1,800 to $14,400
2,000 Sq Ft Home$2,000 to $16,000

If you are getting an estimate, here are some line items you can expect to see, assuming you’re provided with a breakdown of costs.

  • Installation permit
  • Finishing strips
  • Starter strips
  • Vents, gable vents, plug outlets, fixtures
  • Inside corners
  • Outside corners
  • J-channels
  • Nails
  • Shutters

If you have old siding to be removed and disposed of, there will be costs for that as well.

Other Siding Options

Brick siding on side of home
Brick siding is extremely low maintenance

Of course, you aren’t limited to vinyl siding. There are several other options but each of them is more expensive.

Aluminum siding. It’s soft and will dent easily, but it’s a better choice than vinyl if you live in an extremely cold climate. It’s also insect proof and when it comes time to replace it, it’s recyclable.

Brick Siding. It’s extremely low maintenance and it’s eco-friendly, as well as being weather and fire resistant. However, they do have a limited color selection.

Fiber Cement. It’s made from cement, so it’s durable. It can have a lifespan of 50 to 75 years and while not recyclable like aluminum, it is environmentally neutral.

Natural Stone. It’s gorgeous, but there is a cost for it. For both goods and labor, It can last a lifetime or more, and there’s a huge selection of stones and colors to choose from. It’s a perfect insulator and it’s fire and weather resistant. And it will likely increase the value of your home.

Stucco Siding. It’s another durable choice, and if it’s installed correctly can last for 100 years. It’s weather-resistant, low maintenance, and offers noise reduction.

Wood Siding. Wood needs a lot of maintenance and can attract pests. But you can stain it any color and it’s environmentally friendly.

Conclusion

So your vinyl siding could last you from anywhere from 20 to 40 years. But in order to hit the 40-year mark, there are a few necessities.

  • Make sure you hire a good installer
  • While it doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, you may need to replace planks if they are damaged.

And if you have a home in need of new siding, remember that vinyl siding is a good investment.

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