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Why Vinyl Siding is Perfect for Historic Home Restorations

vinyl siding historic home

Many historic homes have a timeless appeal and a unique look that set them apart from their modern equivalents. Whether it’s the mighty balustrades of a Gothic-themed exterior or the refined quality of colonial bay windows, your home has a personality and feel of its own.

Incorporated into many of these styles is some sort of wood siding. Often looked at as the superior choice because of its high durability and rustic look, its advantages have come into question in recent years because of the increased quality of vinyl.

First seen on mass-produced homes of the ’80s and ’90s, vinyl siding has become a common choice for most historical home renovations. If the wood siding on your home is starting to become beaten up and rotted, or the upkeep is just becoming too much for you, then consider all the advantages of their vinyl equivalents.

Advantages of Vinyl Siding

Before we jump into why vinyl siding is great for historic homes, let’s first see why vinyl siding is often the first choice for many homeowners. This material is known as being remarkably durable and virtually maintenance free.

While this can be seen as a bit of hyperbole from enthusiastic vinyl companies this isn’t completely without merit. The nature of this material means that it’s practically moisture resistant and unpalatable by most insects.

Meaning that unlike wood siding, which needs to be painted and sealed every few years, vinyl needs none of these things. Even aluminum siding, which is often seen as a rival to vinyl, can become damaged from the united efforts of water, temperature, and sunlight.

Vinyl isn’t just about toughness but look as well. In the past couple of decades, vinyl manufacturers have brought a wide range of innovations to their process. This siding comes in a multitude of styles and colors now, making it great for historical type homes.

Replacing your home’s exterior material doesn’t mean you need to take a modern look either. Vinyl can be great for a lot of architectural styles such as Victorian, Prairie, Colonial, and much more. What is most amazing is that this material isn’t expensive either. In fact, vinyl can be mass produced with ease, making it one of the cheapest options available to a homeowner.

Professional Installation on a Historic Home

vinyl siding historic

Older homes, even properly maintained ones, can have multiple issues over the years. When replacing the siding on your historic property you need an installer that is aware of all these issues so they can make sure everything is done properly. Vinyl is known for being highly moisture resistant.

If an installer doesn’t properly diagnose wood damage from mold, insects, or whatever else in your home’s frame during the renovation process, then you’re going to have a beautiful exterior with a rotten inside – a formula for disaster down the line.

Cutting out and replacing a weakened wood portion isn’t the only thing an installer should be doing though. Prevention is superior to outright repair and a good installer should know how to properly insulate your property from these damages.

To further protect your property while also increasing its insulation, some sort of house wrap should be installed underneath the vinyl. In areas of high wind conditions, such as homes near the coast, further precautions should be put into effect.

A fastening strip, made from steel or aluminum, should be located along the bottom wrung. Other things like J-Channels and a good piece of vinyl trim should be found on the ends to further pin down vinyl in face of storms.

While the vinyl should be snuggled in, a contractor that’s worth their merit will give a little bit of a gap. The gap should be just enough to be covered up and allow for expansion in the summer heat.

Finally, in order to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck, you should invest in a higher gauge siding. Naturally, the thicker the vinyl the higher the cost. Thicker vinyl will last remarkably longer. For instance, a 40 to 45-gauge piece of vinyl can hold true for around 25 years, while 55-gauge siding can last upwards of 40 years or more.

What to Watch Out For

As mentioned before vinyl is often maintenance free. Keep in mind, while vinyl siding that’s ignored for a decade or more will still be there, it isn’t going to look good. In order to keep your home looking good, it’s recommended to do some annual basic upkeep procedures.

Thankfully, the process is much easier when compared to other types of siding. Cleaning can be done with nothing more than a bristle brush, sponge, hose, and a mild detergent. Lightly scrub the surface with the detergent and wash it away with the hose. Try investing in a high-pressure nozzle if you have accumulated gunk, mold, or algae.

The color of vinyl isn’t a surface coating, but rather permeates deep into the material. This means that the color won’t wear away as easily as on wood. However, if you want to change the color there are possibilities.

Get a few buckets of acrylic latex in the shade of your choice and paint away. That being said, keep in mind that once you paint siding it’ll need to be up-kept periodically, just like any type of painted product.

Even though vinyl is tough, it’s far from invincible. Make sure to keep products that generate a lot of heat, such as grills and fire pits, away from the siding as this can cause warping. Large lawn equipment like riding mowers should also be used carefully as vinyl can crack or become dented if subject to enough force.

If minor damage does occur, don’t despair. Small cracks can be covered up with caulking and the right type of paint, while bigger pieces of damage can be cut out and replaced if needed.

Final Thoughts

In just about every marker vinyl is superior to other types of siding, whether it be durability, price, or versatility. Manufacturers have listened to many of the criticism flung at vinyl products in the past and have expanded what they offer as a result. This means that vinyl siding can come in a large bounty of colors and designs making them viable for modern and historical homes alike.

Just like any major construction job, getting a contractor that knows what they are doing is of the utmost importance. Make sure they know how to work around the weaknesses of vinyl while also expanding on their advantages. A historical home can showcase a unique personality all of its own. In order to keep that personality for many years to come, consider investing in vinyl siding.

Vinyl Siding at Feldco

When you’re ready to replace your siding, look no further than Feldco. We offer vinyl siding replacement and we do the installation as well to make it easy and painless on you. We have plenty of style and color options to choose from so you’ll find just what you’re looking for at Feldco.

See for yourself why 400,000 homeowners trusted Feldco for their home improvement needs. Talk to a product specialist today and get a free quote now.

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