Steel and vinyl are two popular exterior siding choices for residential building projects 一 and for good reason. Each provides unique advantages for property owners and the professionals that install them, making these two siding materials among the top choices to consider for a variety of new construction and renovation projects.
Not sure whether steel or vinyl is best for your next siding project? Take a look at the pros and cons of these two popular siding materials as we assess metal vs. vinyl siding in some of the most important categories, like affordability, maintenance expectations and longevity.
As anyone on a budget knows, the cost of a particular material is one of the most important factors when selecting new siding for a home or other property. In many cases, cost can correlate to quality, but as any contractor knows, it isn’t always the best assessment of long-term value.
When comparing the cost of steel siding vs. vinyl, homeowners often find there are many more affordable vinyl options on the market than steel. In general, vinyl siding often costs less than steel siding for a number of reasons, including the difference in production and raw material costs.
Both steel and vinyl are available in a wide range of attractive styles. Vinyl siding can commonly be found in traditional lap form, which are a consistent favorite for suburban residences. Steel siding also showcases quite an extensive range of designs, including vertical paneling and seamless installation (where a panel of steel siding runs the entire length of the home, so there are no visible seams). Steel siding manufacturers have made great strides in the aesthetic appearance of steel siding, and there are now many steel products that resemble traditional styles like lap, board and batten and wood-look panels.
The design potential of both vinyl and steel is impressive, so homeowners should easily find a style they love with either of these two exterior siding materials.
Durability is the category where these two materials differ. Vinyl and steel can both provide excellent protection for the home, but steel siding has a clear advantage over vinyl when it comes to durability in severe weather.
Durability should always be considered before making a final decision, but homes that experience volatile weather will particularly benefit from the durability of steel siding. This is because steel is better suited for standing up to severe weather threats, like strong winds, hail and excessive moisture. Steel is also fire-resistant, so homeowners who are concerned about wildfires may choose steel siding for peace of mind.
When it comes to maintenance, both of these materials are quite easy to work with. Steel siding requires very little upkeep, and a casual rinse with a garden hose is generally all that’s needed to keep it looking clean. Vinyl is also a generally low-maintenance siding product in most average conditions.
Homes located in areas with active weather patterns may require a bit more attention to keep their vinyl looking great. Heat, sun and wind can all be factors that take a toll on vinyl over time. Nonetheless, the average homeowner will find both vinyl and steel to be quite effortless to maintain.
For homeowners who want to utilize eco-friendly products, recyclability may rank high on their list of desirable siding qualities. Some materials, like fiber cement, are extremely difficult to recycle, but it is possible to recycle both steel and vinyl siding.
Steel is slightly easier to recycle than vinyl, and homeowners who replace vinyl siding often need to go out of their way to find a recycling center that accepts used vinyl siding. But both materials are eligible for recycling after use.
Assessing Your Specific Project Needs
Vinyl and steel siding each offer unique advantages. Assessing the specific needs of your project is key to determining which material is a better fit.
Vinyl tends to be more affordable upfront, but the increased durability of steel often correlates to greater longevity, which may offset its cost and deliver more value in the long run. Homeowners should also take their regional climate and weather challenges into consideration when establishing the priorities for their siding.
All in all, vinyl and steel are both dependable products that perform well when used in appropriate building projects. Consider the unique priorities of each for your project to determine the best choice.
Here at Rollex, we’re proud to have the industry’s best siding experts on the team. Call or email us any time for help determining the best material for your needs and budget.