Exterior Cladding: Strength vs Weaknesses

When considering an exterior update to your home, it is important to weigh all your options. Below, we compare 3 popular types of exterior cladding. 

Vinyl siding, composed of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), is an affordable, long-lasting and virtually maintenance-free cladding choice for any home’s exterior. Vinyl siding is offered in many styles, textures and colors, including many with the look and feel of real wood. Vinyl siding yields an exceptionally high rate of return on your investment. Add matching soffit installation or vinyl siding trim packages for a truly cohesive exterior.



Durable construction and long lasting finish


Features one of the lowest installed costs, with a very large payback on investment 


Vinyl siding is virtually maintenance free, no painting, sealing or caulking required 


Available in a wide array of colors with fade-resistant finishes


Profiles mimic the natural look of wood siding available


Rot and insect damage resistant


Available vinyl soffit and architectural trim elements create a  designer look 


Ideal with a variety of architectural styles 


A lifetime warranty usually offered 


Outperforms most other exterior cladding choices, including brick, in many environments.


Fiber cement siding is made from a mix of wood pulp, sand, cement and bonding additives. It is formed into long boards or shingles and is attached to your home directly with nails. Available pre-primed and painted.



Does not rot; resists moisture, insects and pests

Costs more than vinyl products 

Looks similar to real wood. Offered in a range of styles like shakes and lap siding

Pre-painted more expensive than primed unpainted

Does not expand/contract as much as real wood

A heavy product; can add thousands of pounds to a typical house 

Paint friendly – if you like to paint

Product warranties may be limited and are often pro-rated.  Removal of existing siding may be required 

Fire Resistant

Caulking and periodic re-caulking of seams required to prevent water damage 

Pre-primed and painted finishes are available

Absorb moisture, crumble and delaminate if not maintained. 


Nails can loosen and panels may lift away over time 


Special cutting tools and respirators to prevent inhaling toxic silica dust may be required. 


Limited insulation properties or R-Value

Insulated siding is vinyl siding with rigid foam plastic insulation that may be laminated, or otherwise permanently attached by the manufacturer. Insulated siding provides the style, and durability of regular vinyl siding, but the energy efficiency is questioned. It isn’t a bad panel if your home is adequately insulated already.



Rot and insect damage resistant

Darker colors in wider profiles may not be available at this time


The rigid backing curtails air movement and fills the wall system’s drainage plane. Filling the gap between the vinyl siding and the wall system takes away the major performance benefits of vinyl as an exterior cladding. There’s no drainage plane to manage condensation and long-term vapor accumulations and eventually, rot.

Vinyl siding is virtually maintenance free, no painting, sealing or caulking required

Foam insulated back makes it impossible to continue the insulation at the seams between the pieces of siding. This can leave 1-3 inches of space at every seam, around your home with NO insulation, thus, limiting the true energy efficiency of insulated vinyl siding

A lifetime warranty usually offered

 However, if a vapor barrier is NOT installed with your insulated panel, it will void the manufacturer’s warranty. Some companies do not add that barrier.

Once you have done your research and decide you want vinyl siding as the exterior upgrade for your home, give us a call. We would love to opportunity to earn your business! 

Categories:Arkansas, Vinyl Siding, Siding, Energy Savings, Estimates

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surrounding areas

We service the entire state of Arkansas with the Exception of Benton, Carroll, Washington and Madison Counties in extreme NWA and Randolph, Clay, Lawrence, Greene, Craighead, Mississippi and Poinsett Counties in extreme NEA.

Wilson's Home Improvement has a reputation for excellent customer service all over Arkansas. Our estimators and installers are strategically placed throughout the state to insure that if you want Wilson's Home Improvement, you've got us! (With the exception of a handful of counties in extreme NWA and extreme NEA.)