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What's the Difference between Premium vs Value Vinyl Siding?


According to a 2008 Consumer Reports study of vinyl siding there are several differences in premium vs. value vinyl siding that may justify prices differences. Thickness is the most basic difference. The value-priced, or builder-grade, vinyl siding is 0.040- or 0.042-inch thick, while some premium vinyl shingle styles that look like painted cedar are 0.1-inch thick. But thickness may not mean it is better.

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The Profile of Premium

The literal profile of premium vinyl siding is how much the vinyl protrudes to look like real clapboard. When the brochure refers to a "deeper profile" that means it protrudes more. A deeper profile, like ¾" is considered premium. The deeper profile, Consumer Reports found, is also less likely to look wavy once installed, a definite advantage of premium vs. value vinyl siding.

Hang On--It's Windy Out There!

To receive certification from the Vinyl Siding Institute, a trade organization for the vinyl siding industry, siding must withstand a simulated 90-mph wind. Consumer Reports found that the models that performed the best had a "double-hem mounting area." The double hem mounts to the house more tightly and stays flatter on the house and stays on longer.

Color at a Premium

One of the great benefits of all vinyl siding is that it is made with the color running through the entire thickness of the product. Scratches are unnoticeable, however, the powerful rays of the sun can wreak havoc on just about anything. Darker colors require a layer of UV coating to protect the color from fading and as features, are considered premium vs. value. Vinyl siding on the value side of the spectrum, tend to be neutral colors such as tan or grey.

Regardless what price level you choose, vinyl siding is built to last 25 to 50 years. It's hard to deny that it's a great deal.

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