How to Choose the Right Vinyl Siding Installation

Vinyl siding is the country’s top-selling exterior building material, following by brick and fiber cement (Hardie siding). Why do builders and homeowners opt for vinyl siding more often than any other material? Read on to find out why vinyl siding installation is the top choice for homeowners across the country, as well as right here in Binghamton, NY.

Three basic types of vinyl siding

When choosing vinyl siding, the first thing you need to decide on is which type you’d like for your home. The three basic types of vinyl siding include vertical, horizontal, and shake (which looks like cedar shake shingles). Because the most popular choice is horizontal siding, vertical and shake can offer an added level of uniqueness to your home.

Siding type is probably one of the easiest things you’ll decide when it comes to home siding installation. From there, you must choose which style of siding you prefer, and what would best suit your home.

Styles of vinyl siding

There are four styles within the horizontal siding category.

  • Clapboard: Uses long, broad planks designed to overlap one another so that each layer covers a portion of the one below it. This design also helps protect your home from water intrusion.
  • Dutch lap: This is basically the same as clapboard; however, the difference is that the planks overlap at a steeper and sharper angle, giving Dutch lap siding a different appearance than clapboard. It was designed this way to make it look more like hand-carved wooden planks — a sign of wealth in the past.
  • Beaded: Also designed to create the appearance of the hand-carved wooden planks preferred by wealthy homeowners, beaded vinyl siding has a rounded groove, or notch, running along the bottom. This gives beaded vinyl its distinctive shadow line between the face and groove of the panel.
  • Log: This style of horizontal siding is designed to resemble log cabins. Today’s technology can easily replicate the appearance of natural woods on vinyl, a much more affordable option than actual wood.

Vertical vinyl siding: More options than you think

Within the vertical siding category, you have just the board and batten siding style. The name comes from the design of the siding itself. Wide planks or boards (traditionally wood, but again, due to technological advances, vinyl can mimic wood’s appearance very well) run vertically along the home, with battens (narrower planks) fastened over the joints of the boards. This seals the space between the boards while giving visual depth to the home siding.

While board and batten is the only style of vertical siding, it can be installed in a number of different ways to fit a homeowner’s style and uniqueness. For example, we can reverse the board and batten style described above to create a batten and board style, in which the narrower battens are now placed beneath the wider planks instead of on top. Or you could opt for board and board, in which each layer is the same width.

You can play around with the width of the planks, as well. Traditionally, the boards are 9-12 inches wide and the narrow battens are between 2-4 inches wide — but the options are endless. Speak with your contractor, who can help you select the best option for your home and budget.

Shake vinyl siding

Shake vinyl siding was created again to mimic a style of wooden siding, namely cedar shake siding. If you’re looking for that rustic, outdoor look, this is your best choice. You can opt for traditional vinyl cedar shake, which are square-ish shaped (flat bottom), or you can choose half-round or scallop-shaped shake siding.

The benefit of choosing vinyl shake siding is that actual cedar wood shingles often weather unevenly (picture an old wooden home with splintered shake shingles). This comes with a higher cost of maintenance and the more frequent need to replace shingles.

Vinyl siding colors and combinations

Another reasons vinyl siding is so popular is it comes in practically endless colors. The most popular color choices in recent years include shades of blue and gray with white trim, earthy and light greens with beige, white, and brown colors, as well as combinations of warmer reds and browns.

You can also integrate different styles of siding to give a truly unique look to your home. For instance, some homeowners choose to combine horizontal siding on the lower portion of their home, with vertical or shake above. 

Don’t know where to start?

If you’d like help ensuring you’ve reviewed all available options and received the best recommendations for your home, KC Construction is happy to assist. We service homeowners in Binghamton, Elmira, Ithaca, Cortland, Scranton, and all surrounding areas.

Call us today at (607) 748-0188 for a free siding consultation.



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