Metal vs. Vinyl Siding

Metal vs. Vinyl Siding

Many building owners opt to get siding for aesthetic purposes, added protection, or both. But choosing to get siding doesn’t mean that your choices are done. In addition to color and style, you must choose what material to have your siding made out of.

Two of the most popular siding options are metal and vinyl. If you’re stuck between those two choices, this information can help you decide which is best for you.

Metal Siding

Metal siding is the most popular choice for the majority of commercial construction projects that use any type of siding. The most common metals used are steel and aluminum, and steel is frequently galvanized or galvalume, although other options are also available. Typically speaking, metal siding is preferred for its functionality over its aesthetic qualities, but there are exceptions to that rule.

Pros of Metal Siding

  • Durability. Whether you have steel or aluminum, the metal is very durable. Steel is the stronger of the two, but they both have better tensile strength and impact resistance than vinyl. They’re also both weatherproof. You can reasonably expect them to last for decades.
  • Aesthetic Versatility. Metal siding can be quite attractive. It can hold different paints and finishes, and you can match it to a number of different looks. Also, painting or finishing metal is pretty cheap relative to other siding materials.
  • Eco-Friendly. Many underestimate how green metal materials are as well. Aluminum and steel are both completely recyclable. Additionally, metal siding can help with heat management and solar reflection, improving heating and cooling efficiency in the building.

Cons of Metal Siding

  • Cost. Metal siding typically costs more per square foot than vinyl siding. Additionally, installing metal siding usually costs more than vinyl installation, and when you need repair work, metal will once again cost more. Despite all of that, metal is usually more cost effective than vinyl in the long run because it lasts so long and needs so little maintenance.
  • Weight. Another potential drawback to metal siding is the weight. Vinyl siding is much lighter, and in some construction designs, the lighter weight is invaluable.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is at its most popular in residential construction. You have undoubtedly seen homes with vinyl siding. Its popularity stems from its low costs, which make it a favorite for developers who produce large numbers of homes. That said, a lot of people prefer the look of vinyl, and that also speaks to its frequent use in construction projects.

Pros of Vinyl Siding

  • Up-Front Cost. Vinyl siding is less cost effective over time, but in terms of up-front costs, it’s the cheaper choice by far. In many cases, up-front costs are more prohibitive than long-term considerations. 
  • Aesthetics. Vinyl siding comes in looks and styles that metal can’t match. Vinyl isn’t visually perfect for all designs, but if you want that vinyl look, metal will have a hard time mimicking it.

Cons of Vinyl Siding

  • Moisture Susceptibility. Vinyl is much more susceptible to mold and moisture damage than metal, especially if the siding is shaded through most of the day. In warm, humid climates, vinyl requires persistent maintenance to prevent mold and other moisture problems from becoming overwhelming.
  • Longevity. There’s also the simple truth that vinyl is pretty much never going to last as long as steel or aluminum. It’s more vulnerable to impacts and weather. It doesn’t stand up as well as heat or sun damage. It’s also substantially more flammable. In fact, metal siding can sometimes lead to lower insurance premiums than vinyl because of these differences.

Here’s the bottom line. As long as you understand your choices, you should get the siding that you want. Whenever durability, long-term costs, or functionality are your primary concerns, metal is going to be best. Even after you make that decision, you have plenty of options among metal sidings. For those options, you can contact Alpine Sheet Metal Systems. We custom fabricate metal siding for buildings throughout Dallas/Fort Worth. We can make whatever you want, however you want it. Contact us today to get started.

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