Composite vs Vinyl Siding: Which is Better for Your Garage?
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Is Composite Siding Better Than Vinyl?
Are you on the fence about which siding to use for your garage? You’re not alone. It can be tough to make a choice, when it comes to composite vs vinyl siding. Both have their pros and cons. But is composite siding better than vinyl for your garage?
Vinyl Siding is better than Composite Siding if you want a decent looking, functional detached garage on a budget. Vinyl Siding is easy to install and will last about 15 years. If you are looking for something sturdier, more durable then go with Composite Siding. It will likely cost thrice as much but will last around 30 years.
Overall, composite siding is better than vinyl but it does come at a cost. Not only does composite siding cost more than vinyl, it is also not an easy DIY project. You may therefore end up paying a good amount of your hard earned money to professional installer.
Before you make any decision, read this article to find out more on the composite vs vinyl siding debate.
What is Composite Siding?
Composite siding is typically manufactured from waste wood fibers and plastic. The two are blended along with polymeric adhesives, colorants and other performance enhancing additives, to form a paste.
The paste is rolled into sheets. At this time the rolling process can print the desired texture or pattern on it. The material is cured using heat to form structurally strong & durable composite siding. The sheets are then cut to standard lengths.
What is Vinyl Siding?
Vinyl siding is manufactured by a process called co-extrusion and consists of two layers. The top layer is weatherable & durable PVC. The bottom layer is also PVC, but a lower grade to keep costs down.
The vinyl siding panels are cut to fit the garage exterior walls. Installation is done using brackets, clips, and nails. The bottom edge of each panel overlaps the top edge of the panel below it to create a watertight seal.
Both composite and vinyl sidings have their own unique benefits and drawbacks. To help you make an informed decision I shall compare the two in terms of durability, cost, maintenance, and appearance.
Which is More Durable? (Composite vs Vinyl Siding)
Composite siding is more durable than vinyl siding, as it is made from a combination of waste wood fibers and recycled plastic. Composite siding is engineered to withstand the elements.
Vinyl siding is less durable and can become brittle over time. Vinyl siding is therefore more prone to cracking. The colors of vinyl siding will sooner rather than later fade due to the UV radiation from the sun.
While both have high resistance to water and will not let rain or moisture permeate in, vinyl is less stable in hot conditions.
Resistance to Rot & Pests
Both composite and vinyl siding are very resistant to rot and pests. Vinyl sidings are completely synthetic as they are made from PVC.
Composite siding does have wood fibers but they are completely encapsulated in plastic. The wood fibers are totally protected from moisture & pests.
The strength of composite siding is higher than that of vinyl siding. Composite siding is more likely to stay intact when impacted by a ladder or a lawn mower. The wood fibers within the composite siding work to reinforce it against tensile stress.
On the other hand, vinyl siding does not have any inbuilt reinforcement and is likely to get torn or punctured when hit by a heavy or sharp object.
Composite siding has a lifespan of 30 years. Manufacturers of vinyl siding often claim similar lifespan. In reality this is rarely true. Expect your vinyl siding to last around 15 years.
Composite vs Vinyl Siding: Which is the Easier DIY Project?
Overall, composite siding is more difficult to install than vinyl siding. Both can be considered as DIY projects but composite siding installation will require more expertise and work.
Composite siding typically weighs 4 times as much as vinyl siding. This is a huge disadvantage when it comes to siding installation. Handling & lifting composite siding is tough work, especially when you are trying to fix it on the upper sections of the garage wall.
Composite siding is also tougher than vinyl. It can not be cut with a utility knife like vinyl siding can be. You need a saw to cut composite siding.
When fixing composite siding to a garage wall you must apply special adhesives to the back. Without the adhesive the fasteners will not be able to support the weight. Vinyl siding, being lightweight, does not need any adhesive. Simply nail it on to the garage wall studs!
Composite vs Vinyl Siding: Which has More Curb Appeal?”
A detached garage is often used mainly for storage or as a workshop. Aesthetics may not be that important, especially if the garage is not visible from the street. You may be more concerned about functionality and cost when choosing a siding.
Vinyl sidings look fairly decent but they certainly don’t look great or homey. They are more likely to evoke a feeling of cookie cutter, cheap, industrial looks.
Relatively speaking, a composite siding will make a detached garage look stable and classic. If your garage is visible from the street or is used for entertaining or hobby activities, you may want to go for composite siding rather than vinyl.
A well-maintained and attractive detached garage with composite siding can enhance the curb appeal of your home.
Composite vs Vinyl Siding: Which is More Affordable?
If you are looking for the most affordable siding for your detached garage walls, don’t even bother looking beyond vinyl siding. Nothing comes close to it on affordability.
A no-frills vinyl siding costs $3 – $4 per square foot. Compared to this the price of composite sidings start at $10 or more per square foot.
Vinyl siding works out cheaper than composite siding, even after you factor in the life expectancies of the two siding options. Composite siding lasts twice as long but costs 2 1/2 to 3 times more.
Durability, sturdiness and appearance are reasons to invest in composite siding. Affordability & ease of installation make vinyl siding a preferable option.
Go for Vinyl siding if you are on a budget. Composite or Fiber Cement siding is a better option, when you do not mind spending somewhat more for durability and aesthetic appeal.
Thank you very much for reading the post. I do hope you found it informative and useful.