Vinyl Siding: What Should I Look for When Buying Vinyl Siding?

Buying vinyl siding doesn't have to be difficult, but most people have no idea where to start.  Bottom line,  you need to choose a vinyl siding that is strong, rigid, durable, and energy efficient, that is also beautiful.

Think about it!  When you drive up to a house the first thing you notice is its appearance.   A vinyl siding with solid construction will affect how it looks.  It immediately boosts your curb appeal and increases the value of your home.

As you shop for vinyl siding, consider the following:

Strong vinyl siding is constructed to perform well over time.

Look for a siding that has been impact tested and has a panel thickness of at least .44.   Choose siding with an insulated backing to  offer you even more  impact resistance and overall strength.  Finally,  look for features like a staggered or  rolled nailing hems that will increase the quality of the install by making sure the connection of the siding panels to your home is tight.

You want your siding to be very rigid.

When the install is completed you want to gaze proudly at the strong straight lines down the side of your  house.    Your siding should never look wavy, sag, or have any gaps in it.

The  TriBeam suspension system offered in the UniShield siding is one of the most rigidly constructed panels available  and will make sure your siding will continue to look beautiful for years to come!

How durable is the siding?

Weather is the enemy of poorly constructed siding.   A thin siding with no insulation will be quick to dent and chip in a hail storm.     A siding that hasn’t conformed to industry fading standards will fade quickly under the heat of the sun.  Siding panels in the shorter 12’ lengths increase the total seams on your house – giving wind a chance to pull away those panels  and giving water  and insects an open invitation to invade.

Finally, look at the warranty.   A  5 year warranty is okay.   A 30 year warranty is better.   A warranty against hail damage and fading is the best.     Always ask about the warranty and ask to see it before making your buying decision.

Perm Ratings matter.

Did you know that the average household creates moisture and humidity through normal activities like showering, and cooking?      Perm ratings measure how well that moisture can escape the house.   Choose a house wrap and vinyl siding product with a perm rating of at least a 5.

Always pick Energy Efficiency.


It's just smart.  Look for a siding with a full insulation backer to increase the overall energy efficiency of your home.  Your siding covers your entire home.  You want it to be at least as energy efficient as your windows, right?


To learn more about UniShield Siding from Universal Windows Direct, contact us today for a free, in home consultation.   Remember, the price reflects when you buy direct!

Hiring a Contractor: Find a Contractor You Can Trust

Easy, right?   Start by getting referrals from family and friends.   If someone you trust had a good experience with a company, chances are you will too.  Don’t forget to Use your social network on Facebook and Twitter!

If a contractor is punctual, professional and organized when he meets with you, chances are he will run a clean job site.   Use this quick checklist as a guide:

  • Is he on time?
  • Does he have a tidy appearance?
  • Is he licensed?
  • Does he carry liability and workers comp insurance?
  • Is he certified by the EPA to perform lead safe practices on your home if needed?
  • Can  he describe the install process to you?
  • Is he able to show you pictures of his work?

Remember, YOU are the customer.   Don’t let him push you into making a decision until you are ready.   You get to decide what you want on your home. Make sure he answers all of your questions to your satisfaction.  And always, ask for references!

Universal Windows Direct is proud to be a contractor you can trust.   Contact us today for a free quote.  612-866-2888

Replacing Siding: When should you replace your siding?

First of all, it isn’t as hard as it seems.  If you’re starting to think it might be time to replace your siding, you might be right.

Homeowners ask us these questions all the time:

“When should I replace my siding?”

“How do I know my siding needs to be replaced?”

"I want my siding replaced, but should I?

Top 5 Ways to know it’s time to replace your siding

Is the existing siding damaged? Stand on the street or in your backyard and evaluate the overall siding.  Can you see cracks, chips, or holes in any of the panels?  How many of the panels?   A good rule of thumb is to replace all of the siding on your home when at least 5o of the panels are damaged.

  1. Is the siding warped or wavy? Stand along the side of your home and look down it.  This could be a sign of water damage.  
  2. How are the seams? Are they tight or are they loose and pulling away from the house?  Loose seams allow rain to get in behind the siding panels, causing ongoing damage to your home.
  3. Check for mildew, mold and dry rot – particularly if you have wood siding on your home now.  Mold and mildew create an unhealthy environment for you and your family.
  4. Lastly, think about the energy efficiency of your home. The siding industry has made some amazing improvements in the construction and performance of siding over the last few decades.  Replacing your old siding with new, energy efficient siding will make you more comfortable in your home.

Also worth nothing, although not really “top 5 list” worthy is this:   If you don’t like your siding anymore and you just want your house to look different, that is a good reason too.

No matter what your reason, when you’re ready to get a free quote on replacing your siding, contact Universal Windows Direct at 612-866-2888.  Serving the entire Twin Cities Metro Area.