Both vinyl and aluminum are popular siding options. They are durable, affordable, and come in a variety of styles and finishes. But if you have to choose one, which one should you go for?
In general, vinyl siding is a better option when compared to aluminum siding. While, on average, they both last between 20 years and 40 years, vinyl siding is better in terms of durability because it is less prone to denting or scratching. It is a less noisy siding material. It offers slightly better insulation. And it provides more options in terms of color, size, and styling.
Here is a breakdown of how vinyl siding compares to aluminum siding.
Aluminum is a popular siding option. The following are the main reasons why it is a favorite among homeowners.
- It is durable with a typical lifespan of between 20 years and 40 years
- It is extremely easy to maintain
- It is recycle-able
- It is one of the most cost-effective siding materials in the market
- It is fireproof
- It is easy to paint
- It is not vulnerable to insect infestation
- Its popping and pinging noises can be a nuisance
- It is susceptible to denting
- It is vulnerable to scratching
Vinyl Siding Pros and Cons
Vinyl is one of the most cost-effective siding materials in the world. But the cost of the material is not the only reason why most homeowners opt for it.
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of this material.
- It is easy to maintain
- It is cheap
- It is long-lasting
- It does not scratch easily
- It is insect resistant
- It does not dent easily
- It is weatherproof
- It does not require painting
- Its color can fade after some time
- It can sometimes lower the value of your home
- Its manufacturing process is not environmentally friendly
It is not as resistant to heat as aluminum
Vinyl vs. Aluminum Siding
Vinyl and aluminum are popular siding materials. They are both durable, affordable, easy to install, and easy to maintain.
But the question is: if they go head to head, which siding will win?
Here is a breakdown of the differences between the two materials. It will come in handy in helping you to make up your mind on which material to go for.
Vinyl vs Aluminum siding: Cost
On average, installing aluminum siding is more affordable than vinyl siding. And even though vinyl siding costs can be as low as $2 per sq ft, they can be as high as $12 per sq ft. As for aluminum, its costs range between $3 per sq ft to $6 per sq ft.
But if what you want is the cheapest siding material, then low-cost vinyl siding will be your siding material of choice. This is because its cheapest option is cheaper than any aluminum option.
Here is a breakdown of the aluminum vs vinyl siding cost comparison.
|Description||Aluminum (Cost in $)||Vinyl (Cost in $)|
|The typical range (cost per square foot)||$3 - $6||$2.01 - $12|
|The average cost per square foot||$4.30||$7.5|
|Labor cost (per square foot)||$4.0||$3.70|
|The cost of a typical installation||$10,000 - $19000||$6,070 - $16,408|
Other factors to take into consideration
Here are a few factors you need to take into consideration
|Easy to paint||10||4||Aluminium|
|Style / look||6||8||Vinyl|
Vinyl siding outperforms Aluminum siding on many levels
Both aluminum and vinyl siding are durable. However, they are not equally durable.
Vinyl siding lasts between 20 years and 40 years and is very impact resistant. On the other hand, while aluminum can last just as long, it is way more vulnerable to getting dented and chipped.
Therefore, as far as lifespan is concerned, vinyl siding is way more durable.
Vinyl also wins the durability comparison because its color is baked into the entire material. As a result, its color cannot get chipped. It also doesn’t chalk.
Chalking and chipping are common when it comes to aluminum siding. This is because this siding is usually covered with enamel, and so when this enamel wears off or when it gets scratched, the siding’s appearance gets compromised.
As a result, it is way more likely to need to be repaired than vinyl siding.
Aluminum is a better conductor of heat than vinyl. This makes it less effective when it comes to shielding a home from heat loss in winter. As a result, in cold weather or extreme heat, you are going to need to run your air conditioner as aluminum siding provides very little protection or insulation.
By being a poorer conductor of heat, vinyl siding fares a little bit better at preventing heat loss during winter. It is better at improving a home’s energy efficiency. This is because the HVAC system in a home that is covered with vinyl siding is less likely to work as hard as one with aluminum siding.
Therefore, as far as making a home energy efficient with siding, vinyl siding is the better choice.
Aluminum siding is more environmentally friendly than vinyl siding.
It is easy to recycle. It takes less energy to make. And when burnt, it doesn’t produce any cancer-causing or toxic chemicals.
On the other hand, vinyl is less friendly to the environment. Producing it takes more energy. When burnt, it produces a cancer-causing chemical: dioxin. And it isn’t as easy as aluminum when it comes to recycling.
Therefore, as far as environment-friendliness is concerned, aluminum siding is the better option.
Both vinyl and aluminum siding materials are considered to be low maintenance, especially when compared to other siding options like wood siding.
However, when compared to each other, aluminum siding tends to be the more demanding of the two. This is mainly because it is vulnerable to scratching and denting.
There is also the fact that its color is surface-level, and so tends to fade a little more easily.
Vinyl siding doesn’t scratch or dent as easily. Its color is baked into the material and so scratches don’t show as easily. These two things make it less demanding — maintenance-wise — when compared to aluminum siding.
Both aluminum and vinyl siding come in different colors and styles.
However, as far as the freedom to choose, vinyl siding definitely offers more freedom. This is because a homeowner has more choices in terms of color, size, texture, styles, and patterns.
While aluminum siding offers a variety of choices, these choices are not as varied as those that are provided by vinyl siding. Therefore, it offers less freedom for creativity. This can be a downside especially in cases where maximizing the curb appeal of your home is a priority.
Painting is an effective way of improving the curb appeal of siding. It is also great at prolonging its lifespan. As a result, it is a maintenance routine that you may have to turn to, especially in cases where you are on a budget.
While it is possible to paint vinyl siding, it presents more of a challenge. For the paint to not only stick but also last, special paints and primers have to be used. And in some cases, special techniques too.
Aluminum siding is easier to paint. It also tends to be better at holding paint.
Therefore, when it comes to how easy it is to paint, aluminum siding is the obvious choice.
Noise that is produced by siding can be a nuisance. This is especially if you live in an area that has extreme temperature changes or strong winds. As a result, if you live in such areas, whether or not a material makes noise can be a significant deciding factor.
As aluminum contracts and expands due to changes in temperature. And as it is also bombarded with strong winds. It makes noise. This can be quite a nuisance.
Vinyl siding is quieter. It does not experience as much contraction and expansion as does aluminum. And even when it is subjected to strong winds or physical impact, it does not make noise.
Therefore, as far as noise is concerned, vinyl is the better siding material.
Style / look
The metallic appearance of aluminum can have aesthetic appeal on the right house, and they even come pre-painted in a variety of colors, but in general, vinyl wins as it comes in a much larger range of styles and colors and also does a great job to mimic wood siding making your home’s exterior look a million bucks.
Vinyl siding, fiber cement siding, and stucco siding are the longest-lasting sidings in the market. Stucco siding can last as long as 80 years, which makes it the longest-lasting. Vinyl lasts up to over 60 years. And Fiber cement siding lasts up to over 50 years or more.
Siding replacement is always going to be more expensive than painting it.
Hiring a siding contractor to install siding costs about $7.50 per square foot while painting vinyl costs between $2.01 and $3.92 per square foot.
Yes, you can pressure wash it.
However, when doing so, you should make sure that you wash the sidings at a low setting. No more than 2500 PSI is recommended.
Also, make sure that when washing, you keep the pressure washer a healthy distance away from the sidings. Generally, a distance of about 12 inches is recommended.
Yes, you can put new siding over old siding. This includes putting vinyl siding over aluminum. That is, provided there are no underlying problems with the existing siding — such as rust.
However, it is always advisable to remove the old siding before installing the new siding because not doing so could lead to underlying issues.
Any moisture that gets trapped behind the newly installed vinyl siding could lead to extensive rusting. Even mold problems can develop thereafter. And there is also the fact that installation can be more challenging.
The cheapest way to side a house is to use vinyl siding.
It is among the cheapest materials in terms of pricing. It is easy to install, which leads to low installation costs. And it is also cheaper to maintain when compared to other materials like wood siding. Very little maintenance is needed for vinyl skiing making it a cheap and reliable option.
Vinyl siding typically lasts between 20 years and 40 years. However, it can last up to over 60 years when it is properly taken care of.
On average, aluminum siding is cheaper than vinyl siding. But this is mainly because high-end vinyl siding can cost up to $12 per square foot. This essentially drives the average cost up.
And so even though you can get the cheapest installation by using low-cost vinyl sidings — which are cheaper than aluminum sidings –, when you consider the cost of high-end installations, aluminum siding is, on average, cheaper than vinyl siding.