How do I Choose the Best Cheap Siding?

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  • Written By: Laura Evans
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 15 February 2019
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Siding is the material, such as wood, steel, aluminum or vinyl, that is placed on the exterior walls of a house. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages. The cheap siding winner on a square-foot basis is typically vinyl. Other factors, such as durability, appearance, biodegradability, and insulation values can factor into the "cheap siding" equation.

Vinyl siding is the winner when one is looking for cheap siding. Vinyl siding is easy to maintain, is long lasting and is available in a number of styles and colors. On the negative side, vinyl has a low insulation value. Foam backing must be added onto the vinyl to increase insulation effectiveness, which also increases costs. Vinyl siding is not biodegradable. In addition, vinyl siding, which is made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), gives off toxic fumes when burned.

Aluminum and steel are metals that are used to make siding. Both aluminum and steel, which are fireproof, are more costly than vinyl. Like vinyl, metals have low inherent insulation values and metals can be difficult to repair. There are fewer color and style options in metal siding than in vinyl. Aluminum is a particularly effective siding in coastal areas with salty air while steel works well in areas where winter weather includes hail storms. Both aluminum and steel siding are recyclable.


Wood siding, while not typically thought of as cheap siding, has its advantages. For example, many siding materials strive for the appearance and texture of wood. While the textures and appearances of other siding materials have improved, they're still not quite the same as wood. In addition, wood siding can be painted any color of the rainbow, has some insulation value, and is available in numerous styles that are imitated by both vinyl and metal siding. On the "green" side, wood siding that has not been treated with preservatives is biodegradable. Natural wood siding does require more maintenance than vinyl or metal siding to prevent rotting, splitting, and insect damage and is also also shorter lived than vinyl or metal siding.

Homeowners who are interested in cheap siding should investigate local options, taking into consideration weather conditions, ease of installation, and repairs and personal preferences about environmental issues. Local availability can also factor into the choice of cheap siding. For example, locally grown wood can be less expensive than wood grown in other areas for people who have a preference for wood.



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