Hollow Vinyl Siding Basics

What is Vinyl Siding?

Vinyl siding entered into the exterior siding market in the early 1960s, and its industry has grown over the past four decades due its durability, versatility, and low level of maintenance. Vinyl siding is used for decoration as well as weatherproofing, and is an effective substitute for traditional wood siding. Vinyl is a man-made product that is created primarily from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). This PVC is created with chlorine and ethylene, and it is these two materials that give vinyl its strength and resistance.

One of the great things about vinyl siding is that it is particularly resistant to damage. It is fireproof and is not affected by most weather conditions. Homeowners that live on or near the coast will find that vinyl siding is particularly resistant against sea salt air. It conceals scratches very well and does not peel or rot, like many traditional wood sidings tend to do. Vinyl siding is an energy efficient choice and you are able to add an insulation layer to help cut heating and cooling costs. Homeowners have a large selection to choose from when it comes to vinyl.
It comes pre-painted in virtually every color, and does not need  repainting.

What is Hollow Back Vinyl Siding?

There are two major categories for types of vinyl siding. The first type of vinyl siding is called insulated siding, also known as expanded polystyrene (EPS). It was introduced in the 1990s and quickly became popular in southern United States.  This vinyl siding comes with a foam insulation that is permanently affixed to the panel. An added advantage of EPS siding is that it helps to eliminate any energy loss that occurs through the framework of the house. It also keeps the house quiet and is not susceptible to cracking or rattling in the wind. It fits firmly against the wall of the home, but does not give a tight and snug fit to the wall.

The second category is traditional hollow back siding. This is simply vinyl siding without any insulation. It is more lightweight and economically friendly, and is not as energy efficient and protective as insulated vinyl. Homeowners have the ability to choose the type of insulation to pair with their vinyl and are not limited to foam like EPS siding is. This siding has also been reported as very resistant against hail. However, traditional hollow back siding does have its downfalls. It will most likely chalk over time. There is also a traditional interlocking mechanism in the design of the vinyl that pulls apart over time because of gravity. It is cheaper than insulated vinyl, but it is much more flimsy and rattles in the wind. Despite its disadvantages, hollow back siding still features all of the benefits of insulated siding, such as expansion and contraction control, while offering a more flexible installation.


Vinyl siding installation is simple and straightforward. It requires nailing and securing the ends around the house. On average, a vinyl siding installation costs a homeowner roughly about $4,000 to $6,000. This cost includes materials, installation, and labor for a typically sized house of about 2,200 square feet. After installation, the siding is nearly maintenance-free. It is not very vulnerable to cracking and mold like wood siding is, and it mimics the looks of other styles of siding. Most installations will come with a lifetime warranty that is transferable between owners should the house be sold to a new buyer. This warranty covers materials and installation, peeling, blistering, pitting, corroding, hail damage, and chalking damage.

Vinyl Versus other Sidings

While there are many other home siding options, it is clear that vinyl is a top contender when comparing other siding types side by side. For example, brick siding, while beautiful and durable, cannot offer the range of design choices that vinyl can. In addition, the low installation costs stack favorably against costly brick installation and maintenance. When vinyl siding is compared to fiber cement siding, the issues of environmental performance, color selection, and weather resistance arise. However, vinyl siding maintains an incredibly long lifetime value and offers a more comprehensive warranty than most fiber cement package deals. Many competitors will make false claims against vinyl siding, but the truth is that vinyl siding offers many of its own unique benefits that are suitable for all types of homeowners.

Final Thoughts

Vinyl is the top choice for all exterior siding in the United States and Canada, as well as the least expensive of all choices. About a third of all homes in these countries have vinyl siding, and 73% of these owners find that the vinyl siding returns its investment. It offers a wide range of colors, options, and provides the perfect amount of support and durability. Most importantly, vinyl siding offers the beautiful and classic look of traditional wood siding without the high wood siding costs and the wood siding maintenance.


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Emilio has built a reputation as a content marketing whiz and also has an intuitive understanding of consumer buying behaviors. This has allowed him to deliver great content for our readers, ensuring they get useful information and the help they are seeking for their projects.

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