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Exterior Finishes

When selecting an exterior finish for your home modern vinyl siding products, when properly installed, are one of the greenest and most durable selections you can make. Through advanced coloration techniques and continued developments in durability, by installing vinyl siding on your home you can be assured of an environmentally friendly exterior finish that will maintain its beauty and last many years, if not the lifetime of the home.

A key factor in selecting a vinyl siding is to determine the appropriate thickness for you application. A heavier gauge siding stands a better chance of looking good and staying rigid through the elements of nature. In the Mid Atlantic, we recommend .042” as your optimal thickness. In areas of more extreme conditions you may want to consider .046” or even up to a .055” panel. Cedar shake design panels also make for an excellent durability choice because by default they are manufactured much thicker, generally ranging from .080” up to .125” depending upon the manufacturer and style. Some manufacturers also offer attached insulation on their siding which is an excellent feature in terms of addional insulation R value and better overall panel rigidity. Whatever style vinyl siding you choose, you can find opportunities for LEED points for using “Environmentally Preferable Products” and more (Post Consumer Recycled Product, Local Building Materials, etc).

Vinyl siding is a green choice for your home long before it arrives at the jobsite. Today’s manufacturing process is very efficient. Almost all of the product waste/byproduct can be recycled and used in either the siding itself or in other components resulting in an almost zero waste factor. In fact, the recycled content of most siding today exceeds 80%. Recycled content varies by manufacturer and price, so check around for the highest recycled contect at the best price before purchasing. Most siding today is also packaged in recycled cardboard boxes which can be recycled once again after delivery. Considering the fact that vinyl weighs less than any other exterior finish you can install, the process of shipping it to the distributor and eventual delivering it to your jobsite/home is going to burn less fuel than anything else you could use.

As with any step in building a home, proper installation techniques have a major bearing on the final finish quality, efficiency, and most certainly the durability of your home. Panels must be installed per the manufacturer’s explicit directions paying close attention to overlap, nailing instructions, and spacing relating to all adjacent exteriors (window trim detail, brick moldings, j channel, etc). Siding nailed too tight as opposed to being hung properly on the fastener can “oil can” or warp with temperature change. With direct sunlight this can happen in a moment even on a cold day. In general, to perform optimally siding must be able to move with temperature change, have proper spacing, and of course be level on the house. The method of obtaining these results can be found in the manufacturer’s installation instructions and therefore should be closely followed.

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