“Hey Vern!

I have an older home with wood clapboard siding. The paint is peeling- I know it’s not going to be a simple fix. Pieces are starting to come loose from the house. 

I don’t live in a historic district so I’ve been thinking of switching to vinyl. But I don’t want to cheapen the look of my house. I know Martin does both wood and vinyl. What do you think?


Pete from Hamburg, PA”

Hey Pete!

You’re right, we’ve had plenty of experience repairing traditional wood siding and installing vinyl. I admit, I love both. Wood siding, just like log cabins, will always be a classic look for a Pennsylvania home.

But the real question is- what’s right for your home?

Before we dive in it sounds like you feel uncomfortable with switching because of how you think your home might look. It’s a common mistake to think vinyl siding is the “lesser” of the two materials…both in aesthetics and cost. The good news? It’s not.

Vinyl siding has come a long way since the 1960s. The suppliers we use at Martin offer a range of widths, colors, and styles. It makes your question more complicated to answer…just asking whether wood or vinyl is ‘better’ isn’t an apples to apples comparison.

The best way for us to know whether your home’s wood siding should be repaired or replaced is to have our crew come out and take a look.

In the meantime, since you are considering the switch to vinyl, let me show you some options that might change your mind about the material.

Traditional Horizontal Vinyl Siding

Thinking of vinyl siding? This is likely the first thing that comes to mind:

Cleaning White Siding

It sounds like that’s what you want to avoid, right?

Decades ago, vinyl siding was slapped on both new builds and old homes alike because of its durability. But the downside? Homeowners didn’t have a lot of choice when it came to appearance.

Now, even the most basic horizontal vinyl material comes in dozens of colors and options. Manufacturers have gotten smart. They understand that homeowners want siding that blends into their home’s architecture instead of covering it up.

Consider this dutchlap style vinyl siding we used on Bob & Karen’s house. It has more depth than traditional vinyl siding. It gives the house a more “old world” look and blends well with multi-facade exteriors.

Duchlap VInyl on house

Close up of Duchlap

Our supplier, PlyGem, offers a wide range of styles and colors that can completely renew the look of your home- including popular modern colors like sage, olive, or everest blue.

Green vinyl siding

But horizontal is just the beginning. When it comes to versatility? Vinyl is just getting started.

Vertical Vinyl Installation

If your home is a ranch-style, why not consider a vertical vinyl option like this board and batten:

Board and Batten Vinyl


This classic farmhouse installation is very popular, both with new builds and remodels. Simple, clean vertical lines draw attention upward, lengthening the look of single-story homes.

If your home has a stone or brick foundation laid in a horizontal pattern, vertical board and batten is a great way to contrast materials on the exterior of your home. And who could resist this white refresh?

Vertical white vinyl

Vinyl Clapboard Restoration-Style Siding

Pete, you mentioned your home right now has wood clapboard siding.

What if I told you that you can get the low maintenance, high durability of vinyl and still preserve the architecture of your home?

Vinyl clapboard siding does just that:

Vinyl Clapboard Siding

This product is perfect for keeping the original style of your home while tapping into the benefits of vinyl.

Not only do you get the look of freshly-restored wood siding, your home’s exterior will have:

  • Greater resistance to wind
  • Greater resistance to fire
  • And be virtually maintenance-free

Want to change up the look of your home completely?

Why not consider Vinyl Cabin-Style Siding to turn your ranch home into a mountain escape:

Vinyl Cabin-style siding

Or Cedar Shake Imitation Vinyl for another rustic revamp:

Imitation Cedar Shake Vinyl

Vinyl Won’t Damage Your Home’s Value

Historic preservationists might cry that trading your home’s traditional wood siding for vinyl is a one-way-ticket to looking like a spec home. But it’s just not true.

In fact, adding new siding to your house of any kind can increase the return at resale value up to 78%

Today’s vinyl comes in so many forms and styles- you can feel confident that the switch won’t take away from your home’s curb appeal.

See What Your Vinyl Will Look Like Before You Choose

It’s not easy to choose the right type of siding for your home. How are you expected to look at a tiny swatch and imagine what it would look like across hundreds of square feet of surface area? I know I can’t!

That’s why pros like us use a tool that uploads a photo of your actual home and shows us what your choice will look like in real time.

One of the reasons I love our visualization software so much is that we can outfit you with the same tools designers use to revamp homes on popular shows. It’s always easier when you can see what your choice will look like on your home before signing a commitment.

Check out more about choosing a color for your home’s exterior (and see that software in action!) here.

Thanks again, Pete, for reaching out. Hopefully this puts you at ease about your choices.

We’d love to get you on our schedule and help you protect your home before the winter sets in! Give me a call at 570-345-0406 and we’ll set up a time to come take a look at your house!

Talk soon,