Super siding

August 8, 2009 11:58:49 PM PDT
From far away, the siding going up on this house is hard to distinguish from real wood. That's one reason vinyl and plastic have become the siding of choice for most homeowners. John Castellano, homeowner said "I think it looks very nice, and i don't have to stain it and sand it every couple of years."

Consumer Reports' Rico de Paz tested more than two dozen kinds of vinyl and plastic siding in this weather machine to see if they would fade.

It simulates exposure to sunlight, rain, and extreme temperature.

Rico de Paz with Consumer Reports said "All the vinyl siding that we tested did a great job of retaining its color. That's very different from just six years ago when only one got an excellent score."

Another test measures the force needed to pull the siding from the house. Watch how this siding buckles when air is pumped in from behind.

Rico de Paz with Consumer Reports said "You should look for vinyl siding with a double hem, like this, where the material is folded over. That's what keeps it on the house with high winds."

When all the testing was done, Consumer Reports found a best buy at a low price. It's Heartland's Hearttech vinyl siding, for 75 dollars per hundred square feet. But this test shows the one drawback with all vinyl Siding. When it's cold, it can crack.

Rico de Paz with Consumer Reports said "You can see that the vinyl shattered like glass when it got hit."

You can avoid that problem with the plastic siding going up on this house. It's certainteed's cedar impressions. Although it costs four times more, it earned top ratings in all Consumer Reports' tests.

Your contractor may prefer one type of siding over another. But consumer reports says because there are such big differences in siding, it pays to tell your contractor what you want.

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