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Could Fiberglass Siding Trump Vinyl?

Considering replacing that old siding? Then you might be interested to know that vinyl is no longer the end-all-be-all of siding materials. Marvin Windows and Doors, a Minnesota-based window company, is widening the narrow market to include Ultrex, a fiberglass siding currently being used in homes throughout New York State.

Recently displayed at a local home show, Ultrex has been steadily gaining praise for its use of non-toxic materials. It’s made entirely from glass fibers produced from sand and requires low embodied energy to produce. If it ends up in a landfill, it won’t leak toxins into the soil (like vinyl siding is notorious for).

Because Ultrex as a siding alternative is a rather new concept, there aren’t statistics to prove its energy efficiency. However, considering that the material is not a conductor of heat or cold, it would be fair to guess that it’s far more energy efficient than other options.

In addition to the possibility of lower energy bills, homeowners are being drawn to the material because of its wood-like appearance, easy maintenance and 10 color options. The one downside seems to be the price—Ultrex is currently selling for 15-20 percent more than vinyl siding. However, its durability might just make up for the extra cost.

Vinyl is still at the top of the siding market, but Ultrex may soon take the reigns as the most popular eco-friendly alternative. And, of course, it’s always better to have more than one choice when it comes to remodeling any area of your home.

Photo Credit: Tecton

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