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Vinyl siding thickness: a gauge of quality?

If you're giving some thought to putting vinyl siding on your home's exterior, you're probably taking a little bit of time to consider the numerous options offered in this durable low-maintenance material. Vinyl siding has come a long way since its inception when homeowners could choose between two or three styles and five or six colors. There are now an abundance of colors, styles, and profiles available for you to pick from, but there's one more factor to consider when making your decision -- vinyl siding thickness.

Vinyl siding thickness and quality

One of the biggest advantages of vinyl siding is that it can protect the exterior of your home for a very long time with a minimum of upkeep. That's all the more reason for choosing a product that's designed to maintain its attractive appearance: You and your neighbors could be looking at the siding for many years. While just about all vinyl siding manufacturers have attractive products, some model lines are a little more high quality and one way this is defined is by the thickness of the vinyl. Thinner gauge vinyl siding can be an excellent budget-friendly option, but by choosing a heavier vinyl you may be able to avoid potential problems such as these:

  1. Cracking. If you live in a region where temperatures may drop into single digits, thicker vinyl siding can be more resistant to becoming brittle and cracking.
  2. Expansion. All vinyl siding expands and contracts with temperature changes, but thicker gauges don't display the trait quite as visually.
  3. Waviness. Thin gauge vinyl often hugs your home's exterior framing and can exaggerate imperfections, while a heavier vinyl can usually hide them.

What's considered the optimum vinyl siding thickness? It can depend on the style and manufacturer, but usually siding that's .040 inch or thicker is considered to be a higher quality. Many manufacturers offer model lines featuring .044 inch and heavier vinyl that are considered premium grades and are a little more expensive than builder-grade or economical options. Just about any vinyl siding can be a great upgrade for your home, but the material may maintain its attractive appearance a little longer when you choose a heavier gauge.

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