Replacing Siding with Vinyl

Transform the exterior of a house with vinyl siding for a maintenance free surface for years to come. Consider the choice of styles and colors and what's involved.

By Gene And Katie Hamilton

Replacing Siding with Vinyl

Vinyl is the most popular choice of siding material because it's good looking, durable and maintenance-free and will enhance and complement any architectural style. With its diverse characteristics, textures and colors, vinyl siding can transform even the humblest of homes into a Cinderella story.

The siding won't rot, peel, dent or show scratches and it's impervious to harsh weather conditions like heavy rain and snow and cold temperatures. Year after year vinyl has the look of freshly painted wood siding without the inconvenience and expense of repainting. Maintenance is easy, just use a garden hose and mild soap to rinse off dirt and keep it clean. The siding has companion trim pieces for corner posts, roof molding and soffit panels that call attention to details.

Styles of siding
  • Classic clapboard siding with overlapping boards create the look of wood and add character and charm
  • Beaded boards have a distinct half-round molding effect cut into the bottom of the panel so it shows dimension and creates shadows
  • Shakes have a square-edge design and rich cedar texture that resemble hand-cut cedar shingles found on New England style homes.
  • Dutchlap is a more decorative variation of the clapboard style where the face of the siding is beveled for added dimension. The bevel cut of its edge gives s house a distinct style
  • Textured siding resembles natural wood grain and features a slightly weathered, stained-wood finish.
Color Considerations

When deciding a color scheme, these are the three areas of a house exterior: the siding or dominant color with the largest surface area, the trim around doors, windows and corners, and the accents, which are features such as shutters and entry doors.

  • Choose colors that complement the fixed colors of house components, such as the roofing and brick or stone.
  • Use two or three colors or distinct tones on a home or if you want to highlight trim details or special features.
  • Light colors of the same shade make a house appear larger and unify its appearance. Dark colors make it smaller.
  • Dark colors on trim that contrast the color of siding tend to make a house look smaller.
  • Do your homework and spend time driving through neighborhoods to find houses with a siding color combination that you like. Keep a single-use camera in the car so you can snap a picture of what appeals to you. When you talk with a siding contractor these photos will be very helpful so you can "show and tell" him what you like.
What's involved in the job

The siding contractor's team begins a new siding job by removing existing siding. Depending on the particular style of house, trim around doors and windows and along the roof line may be removed. This phase exposes the exterior sheathing of the house so it's ready for the new material.

The new siding goes up quickly. The corner boards or trim that have been removed is replaced or in many cases covered with vinyl. The detail elements such as cornice trim, fascia boards, soffits and the trim around doors and windows are then covered. Next the installers fasten the new siding to the sheathing. They start at the bottom of the house and work upwards.

Accent trim like shutters are the final touch that makes your house becomes a traffic-stopper. Drivers and passers-by can't help but notice the dramatic transformation.

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