Vinyl siding shingles: a woodsy look without the upkeep

Shingles and shakes are different products. Shingles are usually sawn from a block of wood, and the bottom is sawn straight or in an arc. Shingles lie flat, though in profile they taper toward the bottom edge. Shakes are thicker, and being hand-split from a block of wood, often have a bumpy, irregular appearance. Both products may be used as either siding or roofing, although shingles are more often used as siding, and shakes as roofing. Wood shingles may have a saw or grain texture, or may be milled smooth. Both shingles and shakes are installed in random widths. Cedar is the wood most often used.

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The newcomer--vinyl siding shingles

Several decades ago, manufacturers started producing shingles and shakes made of vinyl compounds. There are a number of benefits to using vinyl siding shingles versus wood shingles.

  1. Vinyl's cost is usually, but not always, cheaper than wood. A rough materials estimate for a one-story, 1,800-square-foot, ranch-style house is about $6,000, though many variables exist.
  2. Vinyl shingles are available in a great variety of colors, from stained looks to painted, and the color entirely permeates the vinyl.
  3. The shingles are made using molds taken from wood shingles. Visually they are almost indistinguishable from wood shingles.
  4. Vinyl siding shingles don't rot.
  5. Invasive pests don't attach to vinyl shingles.
  6. Maintenance only requires hosing down the siding once or twice a year. Say goodbye to fading, flaking and repainting.
  7. Steel starter plates plus nailing hems and perimeter locks create an easy, secure installation that can't be matched with wood shingles.

Almost every vinyl siding manufacturer makes shingle styles. Start searching for your favorite.

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