Regardless of which exterior cladding materials they choose, architects, builders, contractors and remodelers want the homes they work on to look beautiful and be durable, pleasing the homeowner for years to come. With an increasingly diverse selection of accessories, architectural trim, colors, profiles and textures, vinyl siding can suit a range of architectural styles and design tastes from historic to contemporary.
The quality of the exterior cladding and its installation are just as important as the aesthetic features of the product itself. Therefore, the Washington, D.C.-based Vinyl Siding Institute Inc. sponsors certification programs for vinyl siding and its installers to ensure beauty and durability throughout the products’ lifetime.
Products and Performance
The vinyl siding industry offers third-party product certification and certified-installer programs. Both programs are administered by an accredited, independent quality-control agency to ensure that products and colors meet or exceed ASTM standards and installers demonstrate knowledge of ASTM-accepted application techniques.
In 1998, VSI launched the VSI Product Certification Program for manufacturers to independently verify the quality of the vinyl siding they produce. As the program grew, polypropylene siding certification was added. Both are verified by an independent quality-control agency to meet or exceed the relevant ASTM standards. Additionally, the VSI Product Certification Program includes color-retention certification for vinyl siding. More than 950 products and 300 colors are certified through VSI’s program.
In 2005, the VSI Certified Installer Program was initiated to ensure individuals are properly trained and companies are properly staffed and managed to install vinyl siding consistent with the industry-recognized installation standard. The result is a comprehensive program that educates, trains and tests experienced installers about the proper installation techniques for vinyl siding. The program has three distinct types of certification: Certified Installer, Certified Trainer and Certified Installer Company.
To qualify as a Certified Installer, candidates must have at least one year of experience installing vinyl siding and accessories. Then they take a course and pass an examination about proper application techniques to become certified. VSI Certified Installers are required to take a test and recertify every three years to ensure they stay up-to-date about the latest vinyl siding application techniques. More than 4,000 vinyl siding installers are currently certified through the program.
To become a Certified Trainer, an instructor must complete the Train-the-Trainer course, plus pass an exam about his or her training skills and knowledge of installation techniques. Each Certified Trainer is required to teach an average of two courses per year to maintain his or her certification.
To be recognized as a Certified Installer Company, a vinyl siding installation company must register with the third-party verifier. The company also must demonstrate an approved quality-control program, including having one Certified Installer or Certified Trainer on every crew that is installing vinyl siding.
With the wide range of choices available for vinyl siding, architects, builders, contractors, designers and remodelers can help homeowners achieve almost any architectural style while ensuring durability for years to come. EC
Designing with Style
Designing Style: A Guide to Designing with Today’s Vinyl Siding was created in collaboration with experienced architects, builders, designers, remodelers and vinyl siding manufacturers as a resource for designing with or specifying vinyl and other polymeric siding, architectural trim and accessories.
It demonstrates the versatility and range of styles that can be achieved with vinyl siding. Architectural styles include Cape Cod, Craftsman, Federal/Adam, Folk Victorian, Georgian, Greek Revival, Italianate and Queen Anne. Although the guide originally was created as a resource for architects and designers, builders, contractors and remodelers use it as a sales tool when meeting with homeowners. To order the guide, visit VinylSiding.org.