Aluminum vs. Vinyl Siding: What’s the Difference?

If you’re considering having siding installed on your home, you may be wondering if aluminum or vinyl is the better option. Both materials have their pros and cons, but in the end it comes down to personal preference. In this article, we will take a closer look at both aluminum and vinyl siding, so that you can make an informed decision about which material is right for you!

What Is Vinyl Siding?

Vinyl siding is a popular choice for homeowners because it’s relatively inexpensive and comes in a variety of colors and styles. Vinyl siding is made from PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, which makes it extremely durable. It’s resistant to moisture, won’t rot or mold, and will last for many years if properly maintained. One downside to vinyl siding is that it can be prone to fading over time when exposed to direct sunlight. If you live in an area with extreme temperatures, you may want to consider another material. [1]

What Is Vinyl Siding

The Look & Maintenance of Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is available in a wide range of colors and styles, so you can customize the look of your home without much effort. The cost to install vinyl siding is also relatively low compared to other materials. It requires little maintenance, aside from regular cleaning with a garden hose or mild detergent solution.

Vinyl Siding Installations in Varying Climates

When considering which material to use for your home’s siding, climate should factor heavily into the decision. While both aluminum and vinyl are low-maintenance and relatively durable options, they may hold up differently in different climates.

In wetter climates prone to moisture, mold and mildew, vinyl is typically recommended because of its resistance to water damage. The nonporous surface of vinyl makes it harder for moisture or dirt to penetrate the siding and cause discoloration or other damage over time. Additionally, since most forms of vinyl siding are insulated, these types of sidings can provide an extra layer of protection from the elements and limit energy loss from the home—making it a more energy efficient option than aluminum.

On the other hand, in dry climates prone to extreme temperatures—both cold and hot—aluminum siding may be a better option because it is more heat resistant than vinyl. This can help keep your home cooler in hotter months and reduce energy costs associated with cooling the home. Additionally, aluminum resists fading more effectively than vinyl due to its paintable surface, which allows you to customize your siding to fit your home’s aesthetic while also ensuring that it will maintain its pigment over time even when exposed to direct sunlight. [2]

The Durability of Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is made of polyvinyl chloride, often referred to as PVC. This is a type of plastic that is particularly resistant to weather and temperature changes, so it stands up to rain and snow very well. It’s also not prone to rusting or corroding like aluminum siding can be. Vinyl siding comes in many different colors and styles, so you have lots of options when choosing what look you want for your home.

On the downside, vinyl siding is not as strong as aluminum and can become warped from exposure to excessive heat or cold, although this effect is minimal. Also, if you live in an area with frequent hailstorms or other high-impact weather events, vinyl siding may not be the best choice as it is more prone to cracking or breaking.

What Is Aluminum Siding?

Aluminum siding is a popular choice for many homeowners. It is lightweight, yet strong and durable, making it an ideal material for exterior cladding. Aluminum siding comes in a variety of panel styles, colors, and textures that can help you create a unique look for your home. It is also designed to resist dents and scratches, so it will stay looking good over time. Additionally, aluminum siding is low maintenance – all you need to do is rinse it down with a garden hose occasionally to keep it clean. [3]

What Is Aluminum Siding

The Look of Aluminum Siding

Aluminum siding has been a popular choice of exterior cladding for homes since the 1950s. It comes in a variety of colors and textures, with an authentic painted metal look that’s often preferred over vinyl. Aluminum siding is also relatively lightweight, making it easy to install.

However, aluminum siding does require some maintenance — it can dent easily if hit by hard objects or hailstones; and over time, it may become discolored due to exposure to the elements. Homeowners must be sure to check their siding periodically for any signs of rust or corrosion.

Using Aluminum in Varying Climates

Aluminum siding is considered to be more durable and heat resistant than vinyl, making it the preferred choice in areas with extreme temperature variations. Additionally, aluminum siding is paintable, which allows for a customized look that can last for years.

On the flip side, aluminum does not offer as much insulation as vinyl and is prone to corrosion over time—especially near ocean or saltwater locations. For this reason, vinyl may be the better option for wetter climates prone to mold and mildew growth. [4]

The Durability of Aluminum

Aluminum siding is strong and durable, making it an ideal choice for those with homes in climates prone to extreme temperatures. It can withstand hot and cold temperatures without warping or cracking like vinyl siding may do. Additionally, aluminum siding is rust-resistant and doesn’t require much maintenance—just an occasional rinse with a garden hose will keep it looking good.

Making Your Choice

When it comes to choosing between aluminum and vinyl siding there is no clear-cut answer. Both materials have their advantages and disadvantages, so the final decision really depends on your particular needs, budget, and preferences.

Aluminum is often seen as a more traditional choice that still offers robust protection for homes. It’s a durable material that can last for decades with proper maintenance, but may not be the best choice in locations prone to extreme weather conditions because of its susceptibility to rusting and other forms of corrosion. Aluminum also requires regular painting and caulking to keep it looking its best over time.

Vinyl siding is a popular alternative due to its affordability and ease of installation and maintenance compared to aluminum. It also offers excellent protection against the elements and tends to be more energy-efficient than aluminum. However, it can be prone to fading and cracking over time, so it may need to be replaced more frequently.

In addition to choosing between aluminum and vinyl siding, you’ll also have to decide on a color scheme for your home. A dark or light shade of siding can greatly affect the overall look of your house. If you choose a lighter color, it will help reflect heat away from the building in the summertime. Darker colors tend to absorb more heat, however, which could lead to higher energy bills in hot climates.


The first aluminum siding was developed in the 1930s and quickly became a popular choice among homeowners. It has since become one of the most common types of exterior cladding due to its durability and aesthetic appeal. Vinyl siding gained popularity in the 1970s as it offered an alternative to aluminum that was less expensive, easier to install, and more energy-efficient.


When it comes to durability, aluminum siding typically lasts longer than vinyl — up to 30 years with proper care and maintenance. Vinyl is more prone to cracking, fading, and other forms of damage due to its plastic composition.


Aluminum siding is a great choice for those who want the look of traditional wood siding but need the durability of metal. It’s rust-resistant and can be painted to match any color scheme you have in mind. Vinyl, on the other hand, comes pre-colored so you don’t have to worry about painting or staining it yourself.


Vinyl siding is often seen as the more energy-efficient option due to its insulation properties. It’s able to resist heat transfer better than aluminum, helping to keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Aluminum may not be as efficient but it is still an effective way of reducing air infiltration into your home.



When deciding between aluminum and vinyl siding, there are a few things to keep in mind. Consider your budget, climate, and maintenance requirements. Also ponder the aesthetic appeal of each material and decide which one best fits with the style of your home. Whichever you choose, both types of siding can offer excellent protection for your house against the elements and help make it look great for years to come.


One of the biggest differences between aluminum and vinyl siding is the amount of maintenance they require. With aluminum siding, you will need to keep an eye on any dents or scratches that may occur over time. Periodically, these areas should be repaired to prevent further damage from occurring. Additionally, aluminum siding requires repainting every few years to maintain its look and protect it from the elements.

Vinyl siding is much easier to maintain than aluminum siding as it does not require regular painting or repair for minor dings or scratches. However, if there is any chipping or cracking in the vinyl material then it must be replaced promptly before further damage occurs. Additionally, if strong winds have shifted your vinyl siding, you may need to check periodically to make sure it has not moved out of place.

Environmental Considerations

When choosing between aluminum and vinyl siding, it is important to consider their environmental impacts. Aluminum is a durable material that can be recycled for reuse. However, the production process for aluminum does involve energy-intensive practices such as smelting.

Vinyl siding can be significantly more harmful to the environment due to its plastic composition and non-biodegradable components. Additionally, most vinyl products contain chemical softeners that have been linked to health problems in humans and animals when released into waterways or soil.


Finally, the cost of both materials should be taken into consideration when deciding between aluminum and vinyl siding. While aluminum may be slightly more expensive upfront, its longevity often makes it a better investment in the long run. Vinyl is usually cheaper but will most likely need to be replaced after 20 years or so due to its susceptibility to damage from heat and cold temperatures.

Aluminum vs. Vinyl Siding: Understanding the Differences

When choosing siding for your home, comparing materials like aluminum and vinyl is essential. Below, we provide an in-depth comparison between aluminum and vinyl siding, highlighting their characteristics, benefits, drawbacks, and considerations to help you make an informed decision.

Aspect Aluminum Siding Vinyl Siding
Material Aluminum sheets coated with a protective finish. PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastic panels.
Appearance Offers a sleek and modern look with various finishes. Comes in a range of colors and styles, mimicking wood textures.
Durability Resistant to rust, insects, and rot; may dent or scratch. Durable, resists fading, warping, and cracking.
Maintenance Minimal maintenance required, occasional cleaning and repainting. Low maintenance, regular cleaning is usually sufficient.
Insulation Offers minimal insulation; additional insulation may be needed. Provides some insulation, enhancing energy efficiency.
Cost Generally more affordable upfront. Mid-range in cost, balancing durability and aesthetics.
Installation Can be more challenging due to the material’s flexibility. Relatively straightforward installation process.
Environmental Impact Recyclable, but energy-intensive during production. Recyclable, more environmentally friendly in terms of production.
Longevity Lasts 20-40 years or more with proper care. Can last 30-50 years or more with minimal maintenance.
Resale Value May impact resale value positively due to durability. Can enhance curb appeal and potentially increase resale value.

Explanation of the Table:

  • Material: Describes the materials used for aluminum and vinyl siding.
  • Appearance: Highlights the aesthetic attributes of each siding type.
  • Durability: Discusses the resilience and vulnerabilities of both types.
  • Maintenance: Covers the upkeep requirements for each type.
  • Insulation: Describes the insulation properties of aluminum and vinyl siding.
  • Cost: Compares the upfront costs of both materials.
  • Installation: Discusses the ease of installation for each type.
  • Environmental Impact: Compares the environmental aspects of both materials.
  • Longevity: Estimates the expected lifespan of aluminum and vinyl siding.
  • Resale Value: Mentions the potential impact on a home’s resale value.

By understanding the differences between aluminum and vinyl siding, you can make a well-informed choice based on your home’s requirements and your preferences.


Is aluminum siding better than vinyl siding?

The answer to this question really depends on several factors. Aluminum siding is typically more durable and requires less maintenance than vinyl siding, making it a better choice for those with long-term plans. However, vinyl siding is usually cheaper upfront and does have some energy-saving benefits. Ultimately, the best option for you will depend on your needs and budget.

Can aluminum siding rust?

Yes, aluminum siding can rust over time if it is not properly maintained. It is important to inspect your siding regularly and repair any scratches or dents that might form in order to prevent rust from forming. Additionally, you may want to consider repainting every few years to keep the siding looking its best and prolong its life.

Can you paint aluminum siding with a roller?

Yes, you can paint aluminum siding with a roller. However, it is important to choose the correct type of paint for your siding and make sure to use light even strokes in order to ensure an even coat of paint. You may also want to consider using a sprayer for easier application or seek professional help for best results. [5]

Can you paint aluminum siding with a roller

Does vinyl siding crack in the cold?

Yes, vinyl siding does have a tendency to crack in cold weather. This is due to its plastic composition which makes it more susceptible to damage from cold temperatures. It is important to check your vinyl siding regularly for any signs of cracking and repair or replace as needed before further damage occurs. [6]

Does vinyl siding decrease home value?

While adding vinyl siding to your home can sometimes bring an increase in energy-efficiency and curb appeal, it is important to note that some buyers may be put off by the plastic composition of vinyl siding. Ultimately, when deciding between aluminum and vinyl siding, you should consider both aesthetic and financial factors before making a decision.

Which siding option is more durable, aluminum, or vinyl?

Both aluminum and vinyl siding are durable options, but aluminum siding tends to be more resistant to impact and denting. Vinyl siding, while durable, can be more susceptible to cracking in extreme cold temperatures.

How does the maintenance of aluminum siding compare to vinyl siding?

Aluminum siding requires periodic repainting to maintain its appearance and protect against corrosion. Vinyl siding, on the other hand, is virtually maintenance-free, as it doesn’t require painting and only needs occasional cleaning.

Is one siding type more energy-efficient than the other?

Vinyl siding often offers better energy efficiency due to its insulating properties. However, some aluminum siding options come with a layer of insulation underneath, which can also contribute to energy savings.

Which siding option offers more design choices and customization?

Vinyl siding typically offers a wider range of design options and colors, allowing for greater customization to match your aesthetic preferences. Aluminum siding options may be more limited in terms of colors and styles.

Does aluminum siding or vinyl siding require more frequent replacement?

Both aluminum and vinyl siding are designed to be long-lasting. However, vinyl siding tends to hold up better over time, as aluminum siding can fade, chalk, or dent more easily, potentially requiring replacement sooner.

How do aluminum and vinyl siding compare in terms of moisture resistance?

Vinyl siding is generally more moisture-resistant than aluminum siding. Vinyl doesn’t absorb water and won’t rust, whereas aluminum can corrode when exposed to moisture and salt, especially in coastal environments.

Which siding is more eco-friendly, aluminum, or vinyl?

Vinyl siding is considered more eco-friendly due to its lower environmental impact in production and maintenance. Aluminum requires more energy to produce and can be more challenging to recycle.

Is one type of siding more suitable for extreme weather conditions?

Aluminum siding is known for its durability and ability to withstand strong winds and impacts. It’s often chosen for areas prone to severe weather. However, vinyl siding’s flexibility and resistance to moisture make it suitable for various climates as well.

Can you install aluminum and vinyl siding together on the same house?

While it’s technically possible to install aluminum and vinyl siding on the same house, it’s not recommended due to differences in appearance, expansion rates, and potential moisture issues between the two materials. It’s best to choose one siding type for consistency.

Do aluminum and vinyl siding have different price points?

Aluminum siding is often slightly more expensive than vinyl siding, mainly due to its durability and resistance to impact. Vinyl siding offers a cost-effective option for homeowners seeking durable and low-maintenance siding.

Useful Video: Aluminum vs. Vinyl: The Battle for the Cosmetics of a Home


When it comes to your home’s siding, you want to choose a material that is durable and will last for years to come. Both aluminum and vinyl siding are great options that offer different benefits. Use this guide to help you decide which type of siding is the best choice for your home.