We’ve spent a lot of time inside our homes over the past year, but maybe now it’s time to think about the outside. If you’re in the market for vinyl siding, Consumer Reports reveals the results of its rigorous tests against wind, weather, and other obstacles that nature can throw your home’s way.
Consumer Reports says that compared with wood, vinyl and other siding alternatives are easier to maintain and cost less, too. Vinyl siding is never going to look exactly like wood, but manufacturers are creating new styles and textures for a more woodlike appearance. And they’re doing the same with alternative sidings.
Those alternative sidings can cost $200 or more per 100 square feet. Vinyl siding, on the other hand, costs less, starting at about $100 per 100 square feet.
Which ones will stand up to years of weathering? That’s where Consumer Reports’ rigorous tests come in.
CR measures a siding’s resistance to impact from, say, branches and other debris that can hit your home. And because the temperature can affect how a siding performs, the test is done at 70 degrees Fahrenheit and then again at 0 degrees. CR also assesses wind resistance.
For most homes, the top-rated Alside Charter Oak Clapboard Vinyl Siding earned top wind-resistance and warm-impact scores. It’s a CR Best Buy at $95 per 100 square feet.
If you’re concerned that in winter your house might get battered by wind-blown branches or other heavy objects, you might want to stick with wood or with fiber cement siding.
CR recommends CertainTeed Cedar Impressions Double 7 Straight Edge Perfection Siding, an alternative product that costs $315 per 100 square feet. It’s about three times more than vinyl, but it earned top scores for resisting cold-temperature impact.
Most of the vinyl siding samples Consumer Reports tested in its weathering machine showed a noticeable change in color when compared with new samples in the color change test. The alternative products held their color the best.