Cost of vinyl versus painting

alexia10May 23, 2010

Out of curiosity what's the cost for a good vinyl job? How does that compare to a good painting job? I am aware of painting costs in my area but I have not a clue about vinyl. Assuming an established certified and licensed contractor is used.

The intend of the thread is not to debate the merits etc. I am only looking to put a $ number for general knowledge and curiosity.


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Alexia, what are you painting or vinyling?
You mean vinyl SIDING? or vinyl FLOORING?

I painted my floors in a family room when I could not afford any other floor covering. It lasted about 2 years but suffered toward the end. Then I put down sheet vinyl, and it was such a relief.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 1:12PM
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I am sorry. I meant the price of putting vinyl siding instead of painting the outside of the house.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 3:38PM
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I don't think it's a simple either or proposition. Vinyl siding is not the opposite of painting, even though the vinyl boys often want to conflate the two. The long term negative consequences of vinyl siding and, often, the permanent loss of building details during vinyl installation make it a very costly proposition for old houses. Painting is much superior for buildings, and not just for aesthetic reasons.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 4:38PM
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Vinyl itself is pretty inexpensive. 100 sq feet can be purchased for between $50-$80 dependant upon the style of vinyl choosen. Of course this number can go thru the roof if you get real fancy with the vinyl.

The big expense comes in on labor, you can get into the 10's of thousands of dollars quickly. Every window and door quickly adds to the expense, every interior and exterior corner adds, every slope adds, throw a complex slope in and it really adds.

Yours being an old home I imagine you have plenty of all of the above.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 1:54AM
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My house is old, tall and complicated. I just had it painted and it was a big production. I am not inquiring about my house. I was just curious to see if the money involved painting an old house is comparable to put vinyl siding. Let say you have an average central entry colonial and a paint job is about 10k in my area. Would vinyl be in the same order of magnitude? As I said just out of curiosity.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 8:41AM
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You are comparing apples and oranges. When you price out the cost of vinyl cladding a house, you either have to deduct the amount that you have devalued your house or add in the cost of what it will take to remove the vinyl and bring the house back to its original wood finish.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 7:30PM
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At a ball park guess? probably 4-5 times the cost to have it painted.

1 gallon of paint covers the same area no matter how that area is laid out. 1 box of vinyl will not necessarily cover 100 square feet due to waste.

Vinyl siding is a new product made for new homes. On a new home you will find that a lot of the dimensions between windows and corners, window to window, window to door, etc are uniform.

In example, a window will start 6 feet from the corner, the door will be 6 feet from the end of the window. Vinyl siding comes in 12 lengths. Simply cut the piece in half and there is no waste. Also the cuts to the vinyl are uniform. The laborer can open a box of vinyl siding, place the whole stack on the saw and cut them all in half at once.

For an old home, though there may be some similar cuts, if they attempt to do this they are going to be wasting a lot of siding.

The same holds true for your roof line slope. A new house will be 4/12; 5/12; 6/12; etc. All nice and uniform and slopes that just happen to line up exactly with indents on your average saw. God only knows what the slope on an old houses roof line is. It may be close to 5/12 but exactly 5/12 never. That means they need to figure out the degree to make the cut, but the fun doesn't stop there because more than likely you have some sag in that roof line too. It may not be visible but throw some vinyl siding up there so in effect you are putting a straight edge against your roof line for the whole world to see the imperfections.

The only reason to ever put vinyl siding on an old house is if someone already put aluminum siding on it. Why, because it's just about a guarantee that the aluminum siding destroyed the original wood siding over the years (or the siding installers did) and you can strip the aluminum siding off, sell it for scrap and have enough $$ left over to go on vacation. If you do the work yourself.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 9:43PM
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Hmmm, 4 to 5 times more...
I often hear the argument that they put the siding because they do not afford to paint every x years but if it is 4 to 5 times more then that argument does not hold. Unless they assume they increase the value of the house because the new owners will not have to paint.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 9:46AM
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