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A tale of two vinyl sidings: Alcoa vs. CertainTeed

Chances are if you get into a conversation about cladding or siding, two well-known names will come up. One is Alcoa vinyl siding, the other is CertainTeed building products. Both have a long history, well-established track record for quality and sell affordable, vinyl siding.

Alcoa, now Mastic

Alcoa, which you might consider the Ford or Chevy of the siding world, made its name by becoming one of the first aluminum siding manufacturers in the U.S. about 50 years ago. In the late 1980s, Alcoa merged with Mastic, a leading vinyl siding manufacturer. The result was to sell both aluminum and vinyl siding. Now, Alcoa vinyl siding is operated by Mastic. Still, the name and quality persist.

Mastic sells numerous types of vinyl siding that range in thickness from .040 inches to .050 inches. As an example of versatility, siding lines such as Quest are available in 35 different colors, ranging from light to dark. The Quest line of siding boasts a double-nailed flange, which earns it a rating for wind of up to 240 miles per hour. Other lines are available in a variety of colors, textures and price points. Mastic and Alcoa vinyl sidings are covered by limited, lifetime warranties.

Still siding after all these years

CertainTeed, like Mastic, got into the business decades ago by making and selling asphalt-based siding. Now, they are one of the leaders in the vinyl siding market. CertainTeed also makes higher-end, siding products like polymer cedar shakes and fiber cement siding.

Like Mastic, CertainTeed offers numerous product lines in more than 40 colors. They range in thickness and lap, from the standard 4.5 inches to 6.5 inches. The finishes on CertainTeed's vinyl siding range from a brushed paint look to wood grain to cedar shingles.

But really, how do they compare?

Both of these companies offer quality, vinyl siding at the low-end of the siding price spectrum: wood, fiber cement and architectural treatments usually cost significantly more. For the homeowner, vinyl siding is a cost-effective way to update the home. When installed properly, vinyl should be virtually maintenance-free.

According to MS Twamley Exteriors, a builder in New Hampshire that sells and installs both Mastic and CertainTeed vinyl siding, the two products are extremely comparable. The basic Main Street product line by CertainTeed sells for about $4.50 a square foot, installed. It is .042 inches thick and comes in a variety of colors. The Ovation product line by Mastic is the same thickness as Main Street. In lighter colors, Ovation sells for about $4.43 per square foot, installed; in darker colors, it sells for about $4.55 per square foot, installed.

Since the quality and price are so similar, the choice between Mastic and CertainTeed vinyl siding products may actually come down to details, such as color or texture. Sometimes, it may even be whether or not you can negotiate pricing with a local dealer. In the name of a better price tag, it's certainly worth a try.

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