It’s Not What You Think: The Difference Between Everlast® Siding and Traditional Vinyl

June 15, 2023

Not all siding products are created equal. Manufacturers, installers, homeowners, and homeowners associations (HOAs) all know this.

HOAs quite often allow only one or two types of siding to be used for the homes within their community to maintain a consistent appearance. This means they will only approve those specific products for any exterior retrofits or new home builds within their jurisdiction. If most of the existing houses feature real wood siding, the only exception an HOA might make is for the use of fiber cement or engineered wood, which can be manufactured to mimic the look of real wood. Unfortunately, both wood and fiber cement siding have serious performance and maintenance drawbacks.

Where does that leave all other siding products? Unfortunately, most of them do not enter the consideration set. This is especially true if the alternatives are improperly classified in some way as vinyl.

Time to dispel the misconceptions. 

A New-Age Alternative

Composite siding products are gaining traction in the residential and light commercial construction sectors. For houses constructed within a development that is regulated by an HOA, such products have more difficulty getting specified.

Composite products such as Everlast advanced composite siding are extremely durable, fade resistant, and long lasting thanks to their multi-component composition. However, composite sidings are relatively new to the market compared to other materials. Therefore, most HOAs do not know about them, so they do not end up becoming an option. This is especially true for HOAs comprised of members from an aging demographic that formed the organization prior to the rise in the popularity of composite sidings.

Perplexed by PVC

As the name suggests, Everlast advanced composite siding is a composite product, meaning it is created from a specific mix of ingredients designed to make it one of the highest-performing products on the market. One of those ingredients is PVC, but that is just one of the many materials that makes Everlast siding what it is.

For HOA members, the confusion and disapproval of composites often arises when they see the “V” in PVC and immediately assume the product is vinyl. In actuality, Everlast composite siding leans into the hardboard category because of its thickness and the mix of materials that differentiate it significantly from vinyl siding.

What Sets It Apart?

First, Everlast siding is 6.35mm (1/4 in) thick, whereas traditional vinyl siding is much thinner, typically only around 1.4mm-1.7mm thick (0.055” – 0.065”). Everlast siding consists of a thick and solid composite substrate called C CORE®, which is made from a blend of minerals and polymer resins, giving the product the unique combination of impact resistance, durability, fade and water resistance, and overall strength.

One of the most common concerns for HOAs when specifying cladding comes down to aesthetics. Many HOA leaders want all of the homes in their communities to be outfitted with real wood, or at least something that looks like real wood. Traditional vinyl, even when created to mimic wood, does not quite achieve the true look. However, composite sidings are much thicker, so it is much easier to achieve an authentic wood appearance. In fact, Everlast siding’s renowned surface finish is produced from the imprint of an actual specimen of rough-sawn top-grade cedar. This gives it a natural wood grain texture that HOAs are now discovering imparts the look they want with performance that exceeds the materials they replace.

In terms of longevity, wood and fiber cement sidings do not last nearly as long as composites do. In addition, once installed on the wall, wood and fiber cement expand during freeze/thaw cycles and changing temperatures. Both products are prone to water absorption. By contrast, Everlast siding is much more resistant to expansion and contraction due to the material composition and because it is water resistant.

Water resistance is critical to on-the-wall longevity of the siding product, because once siding planks begin to expand or contract, they will crack, seams open up, product rots/deteriorates and cannot be installed to grade. Conversely, Everlast siding’s movement is controlled because it is a floating siding system attached to the wall via nail slots that allow for lateral movement and can be installed to grade. Panels are never hard nailed tightly to the wall. This, combined with water resistance, produces siding that is designed to last a lifetime.

The Case in Winchester, Ohio

The Hunter family was building their new home in Winchester, Ohio, in a community managed by an HOA that had only allowed homes to be constructed with fiber cement exteriors. The Hunters wanted Everlast siding on their home because of all of its performance benefits, knowing that its appearance would be consistent with other homes in the community. However, they had hurdles to overcome in terms of getting permission to use it on their home, and the HOA initially denied its use.

“The HOA made it clear that they were fans of fiber cement. They pushed everyone toward using it,” said homeowner Jeff Hunter.

With assistance from Chelsea Building Products, the manufacturer of Everlast siding, the Hunters defended the product to the HOA board by detailing its performance benefits, how it would outlast the fiber cement on other homes in the community, and how its true wood grain appearance would not clash with the existing houses.

“We had a few discussions with the HOA and made the case that composites, such as Everlast siding, are not vinyl siding. Granted, PVC is an ingredient, but there are clear differences between the two with composite siding being far superior in terms of durability and looks,” added Hunter.

After review, the HOA ultimately understood the validity in the Hunters’ argument. In the end, they determined Everlast siding was a viable alternative to the fiber cement siding, that was the long-standing standard for the community.

This scenario was a first in this HOAs’ history.

“The siding looks amazing – every bit as good, if not better, than the fiber cement and engineered wood on other houses in the neighborhood. I would tell HOAs who forbid composite siding to reconsider. This is a newer type of durable siding that looks the just as good or better than other premium siding materials,” concluded Hunter. “HOAs need to evolve with the building industry and adopt these better solutions.”

The Final Say

The industry is beginning to see the advantages of composite sidings for residential, multifamily, and light commercial construction. Even HOAs, who tend to be late adopters of new products, are now starting to understand its benefits and are surrendering their long-held beliefs in favor of longer-lasting, lower maintenance exteriors.

Do you live in a community managed by an HOA? Want to install Everlast siding but getting pushback?

We can help.

Contact Chelsea Building Products today and let’s get started.

It's time for Everlast,
the last siding your home will ever need.