You may have grown accustomed to seeing many homes clad in vinyl siding if you’re from other regions of the U.S., but you’ll notice a very different aesthetic prevails in Las Vegas. Is the whole town simply out of touch with the rest of the country or is there some other explanation for this conspicuous omission of vinyl siding in neighborhoods across the Valley?
Vinyl Has Advantages
Vinyl siding has numerous advantages as an exterior construction material. It costs less than wood or aluminum siding, installs easily, and remains virtually maintenance free. Vinyl never needs painting, as color gets incorporated during the manufacturing process—so you better hope you’re happy with the color you choose today, as you’ll live with it for a lifetime. Unlike aluminum, there’s no potential for dents or scratches that require repair. It’s no wonder that vinyl captures 32 percent of the new home siding market in the U.S. This is all the more reason to wonder why vinyl siding hasn’t taken Las Vegas by storm given all the new construction in recent years.
Las Vegas Architecture
Much of the local architecture in Las Vegas takes its cue from Southwestern motifs. This choice seems only natural given that the Southern Nevada climate compares to the neighboring desert regions of Arizona and New Mexico where Pueblo, Spanish Colonial, and Southwestern styles are dominant.
These designs emphasize stucco over adobe largely due to the suitability of this material for the climate. Stucco’s durability has been recognized for over two millennia. It acts as insulation and provides an air and moisture barrier while letting the house breathe. The texture it lends to a home’s exterior, especially combined with a desert color palette, also offers curb appeal.
Las Vegas Heat
Smart construction in Las Vegas takes extreme heat into account. While vinyl siding has its strengths, the relentless high temperatures of a desert climate can put too much stress on this synthetic material, compromising its durability. Vinyl siding may actually melt in the 100 plus degree temperatures of the average summer day in Las Vegas.
Another factor exacerbating vinyl deterioration is a now common home building product that has desirable properties for combating the effect of high outside temperatures on your home: Low Emissivity (Low “E”) windows. These windows are specifically designed to reflect sunlight and prevent the sun’s heat from entering your home. Ironically, the reflective property of these energy efficient windows has actually been found to concentrate even more heat on vinyl siding, exacerbating the melting effect.