Vinyl siding wins on cost, but there are alternatives ::


— Given the current real estate market, many people are opting to remodel their homes inside and out. New siding can bring one of the most dramatic changes.

5 On Your Side’s Monica Laliberte found in a 2020 Cost vs. Value report in Remodeling Magazine that siding replacement has one of the highest returns. Vinyl siding returns roughly 75% of the investment on average.

And vinyl is by far the most common exterior wall material in North Carolina. Consumer Reports ran rigorous tests on different sidings, looking at resistance to impact – say from branches and other debris – temperature performance and wind resistance.

Consumer Reports says compared to wood, vinyl and other siding alternatives are easier to maintain and less expensive.

“Vinyl siding is never going to look exactly like wood, but manufacturers are creating new styles and textures for a more wood-like appearance. And they’re doing the same with alternative sidings,” said Tobie Stanger with Consumer Reports.

Those alternative sidings can cost $200 or more per 100 square feet. Vinyl siding starts at about $100 per 100 square feet.

When all the comparisons were done, Consumer Reports rated Alside Charter Oak Clapboard Vinyl Siding a Best Buy at $95 per 100 square feet.

For those who prefer an engineered, alternative siding, Consumer Reports recommends CertainTeed. It costs about three times more than vinyl.

Homeowners who choose vinyl should note that color change is a problem. Most of the vinyl samples Consumer Reports tested showed a noticeable change in color. Testers say alternative products held their color the best.

And when you interview contractors, get all-inclusive price estimates from at least three companies.

To make comparisons, you’ll want to know the total price for materials, labor for tear down and installation, and disposal.

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