Stone vs Vinyl Siding: What’s Best For Me?
If you’re thinking about remodeling the facade of your house or working with the contractor or architect to wrap the facade in a particular look, you might be considering a classic-looking outer layer like stone, which is especially appealing on the more traditional styles of homes. Stone vs vinyl siding, what’s the best for my home?
An irregular, natural-looking stone look is great for rustic and craftsman homes that are meant to evoke an alpine or woodland feel, while a regional variety of regularly-spaced quartz blocks create a stable and stately vibe for colonial homes. Stonework is not just confined to the stylistic realm of the classical, however…it also looks great in contemporary arrangements, adding a touch of the natural to the modern or futuristic.
The Vinyl Surprise
So with all the design-related stylistic benefits offered by stonework, you might think it’s best to go authentic; however, you might be surprised to learn that when it comes to the new siding on your house, a stonework look can achieve with a much better and more cost-effective option: vinyl.
I’m talking about plastering the exterior walls of your home in all the old records your spouse made you get rid of (you know, the ones you “threw out” by clandestinely placing them in a forgotten corner of the garage or attic). In any case, vinyl records seem to be making a comeback, so you probably wouldn’t want to use them as decorative insulating material.
No, I’m talking about a synthetic siding material that carries great architectural benefits while simultaneously possessing availability in a wide range of colors, textures, and material look, such as stone.
The Potential Pitfalls of Stone
Now in case you aren’t aware of some the potential pitfalls associated with stonework, let’s go over them briefly here.
You may think that using an all-natural material is the way to go, especially if you’re into the environmentally friendly movement. Have you considered where the stone is coming from? The mining process of quarrying stone can cause ancillary environmental damage, so at the end of the day, your attempt to go organic when it comes to building materials may be like robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Natural stone siding is also expensive. The material itself is pricey (it can be up to $30 per square foot for certain types), and that doesn’t even include the craftsmanship of a specialty mason that you’ll need to pay for, if you want it done right—which you would, otherwise you’d face irreparable or costly home damage consequences. Ever hear the expression set in stone?
Improper installation of stonework facade can cause huge amounts of damage to your home, from water-related damage to outright structural problems. If problems do arise for whatever reason (including shoddy workmanship) it can cost a pretty penny to remove and replace.
Stone is also very susceptible to environmental damage, which can reduce its aesthetic appearance (note: we did not say it adds character). Chemicals, pollution in the air, de-icing salts, cleaning solvents, and—get this—even good old H2O can disfigure or deface the look of the stone.
If you’re not living in a mansion or palace with ample funds from a historical society to facilitate exterior cleanups, you can find that after a few years, the stone exterior of your home is not looking like it did in the catalog.
Did you know that there are even some types of stone (such as granite) that carry radioactive elements? Granted, in most cases, the presence of elements such as radon or uranium exuding from materials like quartz or granite is negligible and not nearly enough to become like Kryptonite to Superman, but in some areas around the country, studies have been conducted showing an elevated presence of undesirable, hazardous components in locally mined materials.
The Benefits of a Vinyl Veneer
By contrast, vinyl siding offers many benefits that aren’t readily furnished by their natural counterparts, and if you’re going for an authentic look, you can still give your home that appearance through the use of vinyl siding.
Vinyl siding provides great insulation for your home, increasing the R-value of its walls (the capacity of an insulating material to resist the flow of heat). In some cases, the siding may even come with an insulating foam underlay.
While the walls of your home contain insulating material (hopefully) between the studs, the studs themselves can bleed heat, but siding can create a consistent and smooth layer of insulation that cover up this Achilles heel of your homes heating and cooling factor.
Vinyl siding is also much more cost effective to install than stone; for example, covering 1,250 square feet of facade can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $8,750, which comes out to—at most—fourteen cents per square foot, making it 214% more cost effective than the $30 per square foot stonework option we mentioned earlier.
Vinyl siding is more durable than even stone, surprisingly. It’s often impact-resistant, so it can handle impact from rain, hail, sleet, and surprise blows, while stone siding can become irrevocably chipped or damaged.
Its resistance to moisture means it won’t corrode over time, and many companies who install it will offer a great (if not lifetime) warranty for their product, so confident are they of its superiority as a suitable exterior material.
Vinyl siding these days also offers a surprising amount of stylistic variety, with hundreds of different colors and textures available, allowing you to mimic traditional looks you’ve always admired, with a fraction of the attendant costs and problems posed by natural materials.
And, if you ever decided to change the look of your home, it won’t cost you nearly as much to swap out elements of the exterior, whereas, with real stone, it would be a very expensive process to obtain that new look.
Vinyl siding is also incredibly low maintenance, which is great for homeowners who don’t have a budget for annual or biannual power-washings and don’t have time or energy to break out the elbow-grease themselves. And if you’re environmentally conscious, many vinyl sidings are made from recycled materials, making them a much better option than quarried stone.
And the Winner Is…
In conclusion, anyone who’s considering remodeling the exterior of their home, or finishing up the facade on new construction, should consider the many benefits offered by vinyl siding over traditional stonework. If cost, maintenance, and the effectiveness of insulation are factors that are important to you (and we assume that they are) you’re likely to find that vinyl siding is a much more appealing alternative.
Moreover, you won’t lose out on the aesthetic look of your home, and you may even find more stylistic variety that you were expecting, especially if there are only certain types of stone available in your region, and you’re otherwise barred by the cost-prohibitive factor of shipping a specific variety of stone.
Vinyl siding is a great insulator, it’s often made from recycled materials, it cuts down the transfer of heat through the walls, it’s easy to maintain, and it’s certainly not radioactive. Moreover, whether you’re looking for the appearance of Granite, Slate, Sandstone, Limestone, or Quartz, you’re sure to find it in a variety of cuts and patterns within the context of a vinyl selection.
Choose Feldco For Your Vinyl Siding
If you’re looking to get vinyl siding, then you’re in the right place. Feldco has high-quality vinyl siding in various shapes and sizes perfectly fit for your home. Call or fill out our form today to get a free quote.