The wooden exterior walls of my older home in Portland, Oregon have deteriorated over time. I want to install new siding, but I am confused by the claims. Is vinyl siding superior to aluminum siding? Is either one truly maintenance-free? Which is more difficult to install?
Victora U. ~ Portland, Oregon
Aluminum siding is becoming somewhat of an endangered species due to the introduction of vinyl. To claim superiority from one product to the next is tough to say. Price is often the case when it comes to the success of a product and vinyl is generally cheaper.
Aluminum has a baked on enamel color which is very durable, it can be repainted, but it can be scratched, it can become chalky over time, some climates can corrode aluminum, it can also be dented. Vinyl is the same color all the way through so it does not show scratches, it does not dent, the color can fade over time, it does become brittle in cold climates, and it is very difficult to paint.
Both products are pretty close to maintenance free, I say close because there still some things that can cause the need to service both products. Depending on whom you talk to, some people will say that vinyl is easier to install and others will say that aluminum siding is easier to install. I don't think that you are going find that one or the other is going to be significantly harder than the other to install.