Vinyl siding, Philadelphia style

Granted, a Georgian brick row house on Philadelphia's Society Hill might not be the most likely candidate for vinyl siding. However, the authentic styles, affordability and easy upkeep of vinyl siding can work beautifully on anything from Victorian-style residences in North Philadelphia to twin row houses in West Philadelphia. Just as the city's architecture ranges from Colonial to contemporary, so do the choices available with today's durable, nearly maintenance-free, vinyl siding.

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Much housing is from the early 20th century or older. Keeping the historic exterior is easy. The size and type of lapboards available can closely match your existing siding, so are usually permissible by architectural review committees. There are styles such as wood grains for newer homes, too. Say "good bye" to problems such as rot, mold, termites and mildew that you had with old wood siding. Vinyl is impervious to rain, cold and snow. Philadelphia is in the U.S. Dept. of Energy's zone 5 climate, meaning the city has an R-value--or measure of thermal resistance--of five, which is required for an Energy Star rating.

Finding qualified Philadelphia siding contractors

Here's how to find out about products and qualified contractors for vinyl siding in Philadelphia:

  1. Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI): This organization trains, tests and certifies installers nationwide and can help you find the names of individual installers and companies in Pennsylvania with VSI Certification.
  2. Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act: Pennsylvania contractors who do more than $5,000 a year of business must register with the Attorney General's Office. Their website has a list of registered contractors. It also has a customer complaint form.
  3. Better Business Bureau (BBB): When the above steps have given you a few possibilities, check each contractor's report card style grade and comments on the BBB website. For example,
    Fahey Roofing Siding Doors Window, Inc. at 8133 Winthrop Street in Philadelphia is BBB Accredited with an A+ rating.
  4. Contractor referrals: Ask three contractors who meet the above standards for names of customers you can contact and visit. Also ask co-workers, friends, and sports team mates, if they've had experience with contractors.
  5. Building and siding supply companies: Do this list in reverse by asking VSI-certified suppliers for names of contractors of vinyl siding in Philadelphia. For example, Allied Building Supply, 2430 E. Tioga St. carries Certainteed Cedar Impressions (TM) insulated vinyl siding.

You have thousands of dollars and years of expectations riding on the company and individuals who install your new vinyl siding. Doing your homework can optimize both your experience and your long-term satisfaction.

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