Vinyl Siding for Extreme Climates

It's no secret that vinyl siding costs less than most other cladding materials. Unfortunately, some homeowners mistake affordability with reduced quality, particularly when cladding in extreme conditions. The truth is vinyl siding can provide excellent protection and insulation for homes in virtually any climate--the trick is to know what features to look for.

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What Are Extreme Conditions?

Regions with extreme conditions experience temperatures that drop below freezing or top 90 degrees for extended periods of time. Those living in high-wind areas are also in extreme climates.

Insulated Vinyl Siding Can Boost Efficiency

Insulated vinyl siding isn't just more efficient than standard vinyl siding--it can actually outperform more expensive siding materials. A study conducted by the New York State Energy Research and Development pinned vinyl siding against fiber cement in a measure of heat efficiency and found that there was less heat loss with vinyl. Insulation adds about $1 per square foot to your vinyl siding costs, but in most cases your reduction in heating and cooling costs can more than make up the difference over the lifetime of the product.

With Premium Vinyl Siding, Size Matters

What separates premium from economy vinyl siding? About .015". Building codes require vinyl siding to be at least .035" thick, but a cladding of this grade wouldn't fare well in extreme conditions, particularly in windy areas and hurricane territory. Most homes can get by with .045", but those living in particularly variable climates should consider a premium product measuring between .048" and .055" thick. This heavier gauge improves energy efficiency and reduces lifetime replacement or repair costs by withstanding higher winds.

Managing Vinyl Siding Costs

Premium or insulated vinyl siding costs more than thin, economy cladding products, but that doesn't mean that the most expensive products are always best. Request quotes from more than one vinyl siding contractor to be sure you're getting a good deal.

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