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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Siding: Aluminum vs. Vinyl

As a contractor who installs siding, I am asked quite often “What is the difference between vinyl and aluminum siding?”

Vinyl siding is an extruded plastic material. It usually ranges in thickness from .040” - .046”. Aluminum siding is a formed material, typically .019” thick. Vinyl siding has a solid color, while aluminum siding has a baked on enamel paint finish.

Vinyl siding is typically more durable than aluminum being that it is over twice the thickness. Vinyl siding does become slightly brittle during the winter time. Aluminum siding maintains the same properties year round despite the temperature. Vinyl siding also expands and contracts in greater fluctuation than aluminum siding.

As mentioned before vinyl siding has solid color, meaning even if scratched the color won’t change. Aluminum siding has the baked on enamel finish, if scratched the paint will be removed and the bare metal below will be visible. However due to the expansive properties of vinyl, aluminum siding takes paint better if you ever decide to re-paint. It is not recommended to paint vinyl.

Aluminum siding has lost tremendous market share since the release of vinyl siding. Some statistics report as much as 80% of all sidings installed are vinyl. Aluminum siding is still very common for trim pieces because of its flexible properties. It is very easy to custom bend an aluminum trim piece. All vinyl has to be extruded or molded into shape.

In most situations it is recommended to install vinyl siding with aluminum trim pieces. Overall vinyl is more durable, has solid color and is cheaper than aluminum.
 

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Custom Builder
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Also:

While installing lookouts off pumpjacks, and your air hose gets wrapped around the foot of your ladder, then you yank real hard not realizing where the hose is stuck.

7 sq of aluminum gets a nice half moon sliding tent, and vinyl wouln't have.

It was a real bumber.

Bob
 
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painting vinyl

grumpy i have folowed a lot of your post and you are very much on the ball . I have to let you no that vinyl is very paintabel with a latex paint as it does exspand with the vinyl in nj its done all the time as to save the exspence of residing .I wish it wasn't so becuse my company does not paint but we do reside .thank you for the wealth of information you and the site gives to everyone
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Vinyl siding is not supposed to be painted because in the expansion and contraction that occurs during the heat and cold it will bubble and flake off after a year or two. If you are going to paint it you will need to sand it like your life depends on it.

If it works for you, perhaps it's jus tthe harsh Chicago climate.
 

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Siding Windows Doors
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Vinyl siding is not supposed to be painted because in the expansion and contraction that occurs during the heat and cold it will bubble and flake off after a year or two. If you are going to paint it you will need to sand it like your life depends on it.

If it works for you, perhaps it's jus tthe harsh Chicago climate.
Vinyl siding can be painted with oil based solid stain in spray equipment with very good results. Moisture will not travel through vinyl to blow paint off. Dark stains can make vinyl siding distort. Painting vinyl siding will void the warranty.
I have sided some of my cabin with d-4, .042, left overs and used a dark redwood oil based stain 7 years ago and it still looks great. Even with snow covering the bottom 3 ft in winter and 90 degree days in summer its holding up very nice.
Aluminum siding is very popular in Japan as the fire code prevents them from using combustible exterior finishes.
 

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Siding Windows Doors
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Which is better for color retention over the long haul ?

MarkC
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PA Replacement Windows, Basement Windows and Philadelphia Window Company
Color retention is different all over the USA because of the different UV rays each area has. Generally,white, silver, grey, tan and then all of the lighter colors will not fade out or absorb heat and distort like the darker colors, so they are less problematic, especially when using panels at .044 and less in thickness. Blue is the worst color, then dark grey as these colors have too much black pigment.

Victorian Grey in Salt Lake City has a tendency to turn purple but in our area works fine.
 

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Painting vinyl...

...bad idea.

First off, what ever warranty might be left is null and void.

In Texas, aluminum siding is all but dead and steel never really got started.

Hardi is King now in south Texas and I don't think I can stay out of it's way any longer.
 

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aluminum conducts heat and cold;horrible energy efficiency. it also dents and needs to be painted. you cannot beat a quality vinyl product. i use certainteed .46 monogram.
 

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actually most of the premium vinly siding have color and uv protection coatings factory applied thats why the back of the panel is not the same as the face imo once the face fades it dosent really matter that the color goes all the way thru and it is actually a good paint surface as long as its clean sherwin williams sells a paint called vinylsafe duration and you can go into the darker shades with it not to far tho
 

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yea i guess you have to get some paint in there and hope it dosent glue itself together not sure if that would even be a problem but if you go back to look at a siding jub a few years after you can see the sliding marks and the fade difference anyway
 

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aluminum siding here in the south cost insurance company to much for repair ,hell storm , you have to take down the whole wall to just replace one sheet ,with vinyl you can just unzip a sheet and replace it , the cost to insurancing a home with aluminum siding, to the home owner is alot highter , that why they do't put steel siding on home , because the cost to repair ,vinyl siding is the only way to go,
 

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i really like aluminum when it comes to tearing it off but other than that i dont much care for it.never installed it.and i can honestly say that i have never seen a aluminum job that looks as good as vinyl.may be its just the installers in this area.
 
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