Vinyl Log Siding
USA: Vinyl Log Siding Manufacturers
ABOUT VINYL LOG SIDING
Vinyl log siding is an essentially decorative product, made from profiled vinyl sheet with an insulating molded foam backing. It has a curved surface, simulating the look of a log cabin. Vinyl log siding can be applied to existing or new buildings, to give them a log cabin look. It is available in a range of wood colors, and has a surface texture resembling wood grain. Some vinyl log siding is supplied in panels imitating several logs. For example one leading manufacturer produces panels each of which simulates three logs.
It is durable and requires negligible maintenance. It also has the advantage, compared to flat vinyl siding, that the insulated foam backing, filling the curved section, provides some additional thermal and sound insulation. However, particularly when inspected closely, it does not have the surface character of real log siding. Nor does that have the full character of a solid log building.
CHOOSING THE BEST TYPE
Choices include light wood, dark wood, and white finish. In all cases there is a slight wood grain effect, but the even finish is very different from real logs, with their variation of knot and grain. We would advise using the dark wood color; white is seldom used in real log buildings, and the light wood colour is liable to look very plasticky and artificial.
They key challenge in installing vinyl log siding is that, like any vinyl siding, it expands and contracts substantially as the temperature changes. A standard 12 foot length of siding can be as much as half an inch shorter on a cold day compared to a hot day. This means that the siding needs to be nailed loose. You should be free to slide the length of siding by half an inch from side to side after it is fixed. This movement is taken up by overlapping vertical trim pieces nailed at each end.
The surface to which the siding is fixed should be flat and firm. Galvanized shingle nails are used for fixing. Each siding panel typically contains three or four horizontal 'logs'. Panels can be cut using a circular saw with a plywood blade, or with tin snips, or by scoring the panel with a knife and breaking it.
In addition to the standard 12 foot lengths of siding, manufacturers supply metal starter strips, and matching window and door trim channel, J-channel, corner moldings, utility channel, and soffits which may be vented or unvented. These accessories enable you to make an overall effect which is waterproof and visually consistent.
LEADING USA MANUFACTURERS
Points of difference between manufacturers are both decorative and practical. In decorative terms, their siding ranges vary in the colours and styles of finish. In practical terms they vary in the range of shapes, and degree of thermal insulation.
Timbermill. Timbermill, based in Fremont, Ohio, is a leading supplier of vinyl siding including vinyl log siding. Its Log Cabin range has vinyl planks, 6.5 inches wide, with rounded exterior resembling a log cabin. The texture and color is designed to simulate American Cedar. Timbermill supplies matching J Channels for supporting the bottom of the siding, and inside and outside corner pieces. The outside corner pieces and the door and window casings may be supplied with pre-installed foam insulation inserts. The Timbermill website contains downloadable installation manuals.
Vinyl Siding Zone. Vinyl Siding Zone is based in Paris, Missouri. It is a distributor of all types of vinyl siding, including vinyl log siding. Its siding is manufactured by Timbermill from TempRite CPCV. It features insulated foam backing which conforms to the curved shapes in the panels. Each panel gives the appearance of three logs. The panels are claimed to shield the home from exterior noise, as well as reducing water infiltration, heat transmission, and air leaks. It also supplies Insulated Vinyl Siding, and Vinyl Siding Tools. The website contains a section giving guidance on costs of installing siding yourself. This covers all the costs involved, including the siding material, insulation foam, builder's permit, garbage rental, corner pieces, shutters, nails and delivery charges for vinyl log siding.
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