“Paper, Rock, Scissor, Vinyl“
I first posted this blog a few years ago on my Prudential website.
It’s summertime in New England. The golf course calls to you, you want to sit by the pool, the flowers you’ve planted over the years look fabulous, and the exterior of your home is crying for paint. What should you do? You can call the painter or, like we will probably do, schedule about 4 summer weekends scraping and painting. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it…or do they?
If someone had told me I would write a column extolling the virtues of vinyl siding, I would have laughed at them. I still use wood to barbeque. I prefer natural fibers to acrylics. I buy fresh over canned. Yet here I am telling you that the next generation of vinyl siding is nothing like what you are used to.
I started researching vinyl siding that doesn’t look like wood after hosting an open house where the vinyl hand split shake, that’s right, vinyl shake, was so reminiscent of cedar shake you had to tap it to make sure it wasn’t wood. The product’s rough hewn texture created the same shadow effects found in the natural product but without the time consuming and costly maintenance. Want a cedar shake look with out the rough texture? You can have that, too.
Have you always wanted to live in a log home? I located a company that specializes in vinyl log siding. Like its fancier cousins, this product is impervious to wood boring insects, resists fading and will never split or corrode. Each ‘log’ is backed with insulated foam which conforms to the shape of the siding panels to eliminate air pockets and protect the panels from damage caused by extreme weather.
Is your home a quaint cottage or Victorian style home? Why not try panels of half rounds under the eaves to create that whimsical feeling we’ve come to love about these homes.
How about stone? No, I’m not talking about the kind that screams faux from a mile away. I’m talking about a hand chiseled look you could marvel at even up close. I would love to do a stone front on a ranch house. Even “hand cut stone” architectural columns for fencing, decking, porches and landscaping aren’t a problem.
And let’s not forget the roof which accentuates all the other architectural details of your home. Say goodbye to those ubiquitous asphalt shingles. You can now add the beauty of chiseled slate to create a vintage look or a high barreled “clay” tile for a Mediterranean feel. Produced with a high performance polymer, your vinyl roof will resist expansion and contraction thus avoiding splitting and cracking in any climate under any conditions.
So you’ve updated your home’s exterior but what are you going to do about the deck? Why not complete your maintenance free home with a maintenance free deck. One company offers a line of wood-and-plastic-fiber composite materials as a “green alternative” to pressure treated lumber. These low maintenance products, made from reclaimed wood and recycled plastics, besides being non-toxic and preservative-free, don’t splinter and are impervious to rot and insects. They require no sanding, painting, or staining and come in a wide variety of colors and styles.
Once upon a time, when I was married, we lived in Goshen where, in April, you sometimes have snow up to your window sills. One particularly snowy winter night we were asleep when all of a sudden our Jack Russell, Baby Shamu, started barking furiously. He wasn’t the smartest dog so my then husband yelled at him to be quiet and we went back to sleep. It turned out the dog was barking because the deck attached to our bedroom wall separated from the 2nd floor of our house and crashed to the ground while we slept. Carpenter ants ate the deck, the house and the supports between the two.
These new fangled vinyl’s aren’t cheap, but if you are looking for maintenance free curb appeal with superior insulation efficiency and the ability to withstand the elements and the insects, then maybe you should think vinyl. I am.
- Vinyl Siding: Exterior Design’s Most Popular Design Decision (baseboardradiatorheatercover.wordpress.com)
- Why Use Vinyl Siding? (gaknnrel.wordpress.com)