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September 10, 2004 2:39 PM CDT

Maybe Nothing is Finer than Vinyl but I Pick Brick

By

...Consumers like me are the last thing the vinyl industry wants...

Even the vinyl industry seems in no hurry to defend older vinyl siding. Vinyl companies would prefer you look at their current products when you're evaluating claims that vinyl siding will never rust, rot, corrode or require replacement or repainting. If you then feel compelled to update your faded 15-year-old ivory vinyl with new vinyl "cedar" and vinyl fish-scale trim, they would be happy to sell you some.

To counter, the brick trade group posts names of cities that have forced residential vinyl into the background, among them Aurora, Colo.; Eden Prairie, Minn.; and Orland, lll. It dismisses vinyl siding as "beige fungus." "The reality is that the builder owns the home for a few months, the new home buyer may own it for a few years, but the community will own it forever," says Charles Ostrander, Executive Director of the Masonry Advisory Council.

And Louisville architect Gary Kleier offers an essay on "The Vinyl Lie" on the www.oldlouisville.com web site, disputing the claims that vinyl saves money and increases the value of your home. Kleier scoffs at the term "maintenance-free." "Every material, every installation requires maintenance... Even the best vinyl siding will fade. The deeper the color, the faster it will happen and the more noticeable it will be."...

The anti-vinyl lobby also points to the independent movie "Blue Vinyl," which slams the industry's environmental record...

But even vinyl might eventually be eclipsed in the marketplace. Thicker fiber cement siding is now being mentioned as a vinyl alternative, although it is more tricky to install and requires especially careful handling.


About the Author

The Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper in Lexington, Ky. offers local news coverage for Fayette, Bourbon, Franklin, Clark, Madison, Jessamine, Woodford and Scott counties in Kentucky. Read the Lexington Herald-Leader online at www.kentucky.com.

 

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