Vinyl Siding vs. Wood – Which One Is The Best Choice For Current Homeowners? Several Factors Compared

Although wood siding has been the long-standing choice for homeowners, vinyl siding has been on the rise. Choosing wood or vinyl can be a difficult and confusing decision to make. A number of online articles exist offering help, but often in them a personal bias can be found in their attempts to make a sale. In seeking to make a decision concerning the best siding for a home, you must consider a number of factors.

vinyl siding versus wood siding

Vinyl Siding vs Wood : Short Comparison

FactorVinyl SidingWood Siding
AppearanceAvailable in a wide range of colors and styles. Can imitate the look of wood.Natural, unique appearance. Can be painted or stained.
MaintenanceLow maintenance. Does not require painting or staining.High maintenance. Requires regular painting or staining to maintain appearance.
CostInitially less expensive than wood siding. $1.60 per square footInitially more expensive than vinyl siding.$2.50 – 7$ per square foot.
Energy EfficiencyPoor insulator. Can lead to higher energy bills.Good insulator. Can help lower energy bills.
ResistanceResistant to moisture, pests, and fire.Susceptible to moisture damage, pests, and fire.

Vinyl vs. Wood: The Ultimate Siding Comparison

A would-be purchaser of siding may ask himself, “Why do most of the homes that I see have wood siding?” At the outset, it is important to know that vinyl siding is a relatively new product compared to wood .

This is an important factor to consider due to wood possibly being what you see most. Siding choices also sometimes vary from city to city. As a result of possibly seeing more homes with wood siding, an honest inquirer looking into what to purchase for his home may assume that since all his neighbors have wood siding, this must be the best selection. Wood may be the traditional choice.

However, since the inception of vinyl siding in the ‘50s, vinyl has been quickly growing among Americans as one of the most popular choices.

The appealing choice

Wood siding cabin

Wood siding has a high appraisal value and clearly takes the cake concerning the appealing look that it offers its buyers. Buyers can invest in an assortment of wood siding options: a log-cabin look, shingle siding, or drop channel siding.

Although the element of beauty seems to tip toward that of wood siding, vinyl siding is speedily on the rise as a competitor in this area and has been presenting would-be buyers with a growing number of designs.

Maintaining wood siding

Often when major purchases are made, thoughtful consideration is lacking. If there is an appeal to the eye, the investor is often swayed. This is often the case in the purchase of wood or vinyl siding. A major point to consider in the purchase of one of these materials is that of maintenance.

Regarding the maintenance of wood siding, many are unaware of what they are getting themselves into with the purchase of this material. Regular staining and painting must be done every few years to properly care for wood siding.

Maintaining vinyl siding

guy maintaining vinyl siding

What is involved in maintaining vinyl siding? This type of siding comes with a painted appearance and will more-or-less keep its appeal if properly maintained. While wood requires painting and staining that can prove to cost a lot over time, vinyl siding simply requires a garden hose/water, bucket, soap, and a rag.

The buyer can wash his home with soapy water just like would he would his car. Thus the maintenance of vinyl can prove to be much cheaper than wood. However, a warning must be given at this point that the homeowner must make sure he does indeed wash his home, or over time the vinyl could get stained if not properly cared for.


Siding planks price

A question homeowners often have is, “Why does wood siding cost more than vinyl?” It is important to note at this point that the greater cost for siding is not necessarily because something greater is being acquired by the buyer. You must consider the labor involved in installing wood or vinyl.

Not only is wood siding a more expensive material, but the labor is also more intensive (and thus more costly) than it would be for vinyl siding. Vinyl siding (with installation) averages about $1.60 per square foot, while its wood counterpart of a similar quality costs around 250% more for the same amount (ADR, 2018).

Energy efficiency

During the summer and winter months, homeowners experience the effects of the elements infiltrating their homes and taking up residence. The summer heat finds its way inside the home, and the freezing cold temperatures in winter leave many individuals with an increase on their electric bills.

Therefore in choosing wood vs. vinyl siding , another important point to consider is that of energy efficiency. Wood may be more weather resistant, but since wood tends to expand and contract, creating an airtight seal is virtually impossible. Therefore vinyl siding is the better option here since this type of siding is offered with an insulated layer that will leave the buyer’s home insulated better than wood.


As homes begin to age, buyers begin to see what they could have done differently. Since homes deteriorate over time, taking precautionary measures from the outset could prove to be the wise choice. The question arises then, “What is the more durable choice?” Vinyl has both pros and cons at this point.

Vinyl can chip and crack and leave your home unprotected in areas. However, vinyl is a great deterrent for insects, as insects such as carpenter bees, cockroaches, ants, and termites are not interested in the material. On the other hand, wood siding is prone to rot. Nevertheless, wood such as cedar, cypress, and redwood would prove to help prevent against insect infestation.

Is better wood or vinyl siding ?

In conclusion, wood siding is more expensive than vinyl. Yet there are other reasons beyond cost efficiency that also may not make wood the best choice for siding. Vinyl is easier to maintain, offers better insulation, resists rot, and is a superior choice in deterring insects that so often invade homes.

After a closer look at all there is to consider in such a major purchase, vinyl seems to rise to the top as the victor. Clearly, there is much more to consider than meets the eye, and vinyl may be the best choice for the homeowner’s next siding purchase.

American Dream Restoration, LLC. (2018, February 2). Yes or no? Switching from wood to vinyl siding.

My name is Donald and I am the main author of this little page. I love working around the houses during the day and writing articles about house improvement in the evening. If you have any questions, just ask in the comments! If you need professional siding services use the form.


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