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PVC-Coated Aluminum VS Vinyl Trim Wrap: Which is Better?

vinyl trim vs pvc trim

The world of trim and siding is ever-changing and evolving. With so many new options, homeowners are faced with some tough decisions when it comes to making over or maintaining their home’s exterior. One such tough decision you might be facing is the choice between vinyl trim wrap and PVC-coated aluminum coil wrapped trim.


  1. Why Do We Recommend Aluminum Trim? (top)
  2. What Are Vinyl and Aluminum Coil Wrap?
  3. Curb Appeal
  4. Durability & Maintenance
  5. Cost
  6. Aluminum Trim Wrap: Special Financing & 50-Year Warranty

Why Do We Recommend Aluminum Trim?

In most instances, we at Capitol Improvements has seen the greatest success with PVC-coated aluminum wrap, and most often recommend this option to our customers. While vinyl wrap will do the job of protecting your wood trim from moisture damage, PVC-coated aluminum coil-wrapped trim has several important advantages:

Vinyl

PVC-Coated Aluminum

Warps over time Will never warp over time
Smooth appearance that exposes flaws Emulates natural wood grain and hides flaws
Susceptible to damage from heat Stands up to even the hottest temperatures
Costs more to maintain over time Costs less to maintain over time.
Harder to protect natural or flawed wood trim from moisture damage Better protection for natural wood trim against moisture damage.

To learn more about the differences between aluminum coil wrap and vinyl wrap, read on below. To get started with your aluminum trim project today, call us at 301-769-6909.

 

What Are Vinyl Wrap and Aluminum Coil Wrap?

 

Trim capping--or “wrapping”--is a method used by homeowners and contractors to protect wood trim from moisture and other damage.

When you wrap your trim,  you are fitting the existing wood trim with a precisely-cut and shaped outer layer of more protective material. Two of the most popular materials used for trim wrapping are vinyl and PVC-coated aluminum.

Both vinyl and PVC-coated aluminum offer you the benefit of greatly reduced--or eliminated--trim maintenance, but PVC-coated aluminum offers additional benefits when it come to curb appeal, overall durability, and cost.

 

1. Curb Appeal

curb appeal vinyl trim aluminum trim

The first thing many homeowners think about when they’re considering exterior work is how it’s going to look. This is true whether you plan to stay in the home for the foreseeable future or selling the home soon, but curb appeal is especially important if you’re preparing to put your home on the market. Either way, by ensuring your trim has aesthetic appeal, you’re ensuring a greater return on your investment.

Both vinyl trim and aluminum fascia have benefits when it comes to curb appeal, as long as they are installed by an experienced professional.

Vinyl Wrap

Vinyl trim has become popular over the past several years because of its ability to protect wood trim from moisture and eliminate maintenance costs for years or even decades. Vinyl trim is also highly customizable and easy to keep looking like new.

  • Smooth appearance
  • Choose from a variety of colors
  • Lasting like-new appearance
  • Easy to clean

PVC-Coated Aluminum Wrap

Unlike vinyl wrap, which is smooth and synthetic-looking, PVC-coated aluminum offers homeowners the ability to keep the natural wood trim look they love. Many homeowners prefer PVC-coated aluminum wrapped trim for this reason.

Because of its more textured surface, PVC-coated aluminum also conceals imperfections better than vinyl wrap, which has a flat or shiny and smooth finish.

Aluminum coil wrap comes in a wide variety of styles and colors to fit nearly any style of home, from elaborate traditional to minimalist modern.

  • Natural wood-grain look
  • Variety of colors
  • Lasting like-new appearance
  • Flexibility to suit any style
  • Hide imperfections for a seamless look

Best Choice:

For homeowners who want their trim to look natural and seamless, PVC-coated aluminum fascia beats out vinyl-wrapped trim in this category.

 

2. Durability & Maintenance

maintenance and durability aluminum trim vs vinyl trim

There’s more to choosing a trim material that how it looks: durability is arguably the most important factor when you’re deciding between aluminum-wrapping your trim or wrapping your trim in vinyl.  Both PVC warp and aluminum wrap offer improved durability over wood trim, but there are also key differences between the two.

Vinyl Wrap

Vinyl wrapping your home’s trim adds durability, but often comes up short in this area when compared to aluminum wrap.  Vinyl has a higher impact resistance than aluminum, adding to its durability value. However, vinyl trim doesn’t hold up as well against severe weather like heat and freezing temperatures as aluminum does.

Vinyl-wrapped trim doesn’t need to be repainted regularly like wood trim, but its appearance may become worn down or more brittle  over time. This is because vinyl is susceptible to heat, so it can dry out and crack with extended exposure. Vinyl also attracts dirt more so than aluminum, but it can be pressure/ spray washed once a year or as needed.

  • Higher impact-resistance
  • Lower weather-resistance
  • Attracts more dirt and staining
  • Susceptible to cracking

PVC-Coated Aluminum Wrap 

Like vinyl, aluminum wrap holds up against moisture much better than unwrapped wood trim, which must be maintained every 4-5 years to prevent moisture damage from regular weather conditions.

Unlike vinyl, PVC-coated aluminum wrap can withstand high temperatures and extreme weather conditions.

On average, aluminum is sturdier and therefore easier to maintain than vinyl trim. If damage does occur, repairing PVC-coated aluminum wrap is generally easier than repairing vinyl wrap, too.

  • Higher weather-resistance
  • Lower impact-resistance
  • Better stain-resistance and color retention
  • Susceptible to denting/bending

Best Choice:

The best choice for your home will depend on your concerns as a homeowner, as well as the region in which you’re located. If you’re willing to put in some time cleaning your home’s trim every year or so to keep it looking like new, and you live in an area with limited heat and/or high winds, vinyl trim might be a viable option.

If you want less maintenance requirement overall, better protection of your wood trim (including imperfections), and/or live in a hotter climate, aluminum is the better choice.

 

3. Cost

cost of aluminum trim vs vinyl trim

If you’re making significant improvements to your home, chances are you’re working within a budget. Both vinyl and aluminum wrap offer great returns on your investment, whether you’re planning to stay in your home or sell it in the near future. But cost can still be a major deciding factor for many homeowners.

Vinyl Wrap

Although vinyl and PVC-coated aluminum cost about the same amount to install, vinyl trim wrap requires more ongoing maintenance than aluminum and is more easily damaged by weather conditions like high temperatures.

  • Potentially greater maintenance costs

PVC-Coated Aluminum Trim

PVC-coated aluminum costs about the same as vinyl wrap to install, and it also offers long-term savings compared to vinyl.

  • Install it and forget it for a lifetime

Best Choice:

In the category of cost, you can usually get the best return on your investment with PVC-coated aluminum wrap, which will offer lower maintenance costs for years to come.

 

Aluminum Trim Wrap: Special Financing & 50-Year Warranty

financing for aluminum trim

At Capitol Improvements, we’re confident in our aluminum coil wrap, and even more confident in our ability to install perfectly-cut and applied aluminum wrap that’s built to last.

That's why we offer special financing and a 50-year warranty on aluminum coil wrap installation, so you can truly install it and forget it for a lifetime.

Capitol Improvements is proud to offer financing through Enerbank USA, which allows us to offer these benefits (based on creditworthiness):

  • Low interest financing
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Financing for as low as $99/month
  • Finance terms from 60-120 months
  • Unsecured loans (no collateral required)
  • 365 same-as-cash

Rather than worry about regular trim maintenance like repairing cracks or repainting every five years, we recommend making worthwhile investment in aluminum wrap now.

How To Never Paint Your Exterior Trim Again (50 Years or More)

exterior trim that is rotting

A home’s exterior trim paint is often ignored until it’s in desperate need of repainting, repairing, or replacing. Without proper maintenance, wood trim can quickly fall victim to the elements and require replacement within just 10 years or less. To avoid that kind of irreversible and costly damage, wood trim has to be repainted at least every 4-5 years.

As a homeowner, you may be wondering if there’s an easier way to keep your trim intact and maintained while avoiding the regular hassle and expense of trim repainting. Luckily, there is.

 

Comparing Exterior Trim Options

Wood trim, whether natural or manufactured, remains a popular choice among homeowners because of its relatively low cost to install. However, wood materials absorb moisture more than any other, ultimately leading to irreversible damage.

To prevent this kind of damage, wood trim must be repainted every 4-5 years. Alternatively, you can choose to cap your wood trim with aluminum coil wrap or replace your wood trim entirely with a wood alternative like cellular PVC.

1. Fully Cellular PVC

  • Cost $24-28 per linear foot
  • Lifespan: 30-50yrs depending on manufacturer.
  • Design: Limited to what the manufacturer produces.

 

To entirely avoid the hassle of maintaining your wood trim, or if you need new trim installed and want a lower-maintenance option, fully cellular PVC trim is a good alternative.

Fully cellular PVC trim is a wood trim replacement that acts much like wood trim, without the many disadvantages of wood.

PVC trim can be cut and shaped like wood, but doesn’t absorb moisture like wood trim, and doesn’t need to be repainted every four to five years.

 

Pros:

  • DurabilityPVC trim isn’t susceptible to the same damage and decay as wood siding, making it more maintenance- and worry-free.
  • Cost Over TimeBecause of its hardier nature, cellular PVC also becomes more cost-effective than wood trim after the initial investment.
  • Lifespan: The lifespan of PVC trim is a lifetime warranty. It will never rot due to the longevity of the pvc.

 

Cons:

  • Design LimitationsPVC trim limits homeowners when it comes to design, since it only comes in a range of different designs and colors provided by the manufacturer.
  • Up Front CostPVC trim is more expensive to install, which may be a drawback for many homeowners who prefer the low cost of paint.

 

 

2. Aluminum Coil Wrap - *Best Value*

painting exterior trim

  • Cost: $15-20 per linear foot
  • Lifespan: 50 yrs with manufacturer backed warranty.
  • Design: Allows you to create something unique or tailored to your home.

Rather than repainting their homes’ trim every four to five years, many homeowners opt to wrap exterior wood trim in aluminum.

Also known as “trim capping”, aluminum coil wrap can save you the regular maintenance of painting and can better preserve the integrity and appearance of your home.

Pros:

  • Realistic Wood-Grain Look: PVC coated aluminum coil wrap looks like real wood.
  • Low-MaintenanceAluminum coil wrap requires little to no maintenance after installation. Just clean it off during your next power-washing session
  • Lifetime Warranty: You will get the same 50yr lifetime warranty as installing a fully cellular PVC for 30% less.
  • Cost EffectiveAfter the initial investment, aluminum coil trim becomes more cost-effective than repainting every four to five years. That means within a 10 year span you would have already recouped your investment in savings.
  • Wide Color Range: Aluminum coil wrap comes in a wide range of color options so you can match the exact look of your home or change the look to completely transform your homes exterior.
  • Customization and DesignAluminum coil wrapping offers homeowners many more design, finish, and color options than either paint or cellular PVC.

Cons:

  • Cost Up Front:Aluminum coil wrap requires a slightly larger investment up front but you will recoup that within the equivalent of 2 paint maintenances.

 

3. Exterior Trim Paint

painting exterior trim

  • Cost: $5-$8 per linear foot
  • Lifespan: 4-5 years
  • Design: Limited to existing design

Repainting is one of the most popular methods when it comes to maintaining wood exterior trim. Exterior trim paint helps protect wood trim from the elements and prevent damage and warping.

Many homeowners choose to paint their exterior trim themselves, but hiring a professional is always the safer and often most cost-effective choice.

Pros:

  • Low Cost Up FrontRepainting wood trim is still a popular choice among homeowners because of its relatively low cost at the time of service.
  • Color RangePainting gives you a range of different color options to choose from.

Cons:

  • High-MaintenanceRepainting is the most labor- and maintenance-intensive method of maintaining exterior trim.
  • Cost Over TimeThe low cost of trim painting is deceptive since painting must be done every four to five years to be effective.
  • Damage and RepairsSince homeowners often neglect to perform this regular maintenance, more costly repairs often become necessary.

 

 

Your Exterior Trim Experts at Capitol Improvements

exterior trim sample

Capitol Improvements often recommends aluminum coil wrap because of its combination of maintenance-free longevity and value. Having us install your new aluminum coil wrap offers our customers these benefits:

 

1. Lifetime Warranty

One of the many benefits of aluminum coil wrap trim is its durability and ability to last up to 50 years without having to be repaired or extensively maintained. With Capitol Improvements, you can rely on that durability even more with our 50-year warranty.

2. Save Money Within 2 Paint Cycles

In addition to the time you can save by avoiding regular trim maintenance, you will also save money by avoiding regular repainting and repairs. Aluminum coil wrap is a one-time investment that offers an enormous return when compared to the ongoing cost of repainting and repairing wood trim.

3. Safety / Install It Once and Forget It

Aluminum coil wrap offers a unique balance of affordability and quality, making it the most effective choice for many homeowners. Aluminum coil wrap is a one-time investment that eliminates the regular nuisance of repainting exterior trim and ensures your trim stays healthy and intact for up to 50 years. This way you stay safe by not having to get up on a 3 story ladder to try and paint the entire exterior of the home. 

4. Designed & Color of Your Choice

Aluminum is the most popular material for trim capping because it’s sturdy and low-maintenance, and it’s available in various colors, styles, and applications. It comes in smooth or wood-grain PVC coating and offers more design customizability than any other material.

5. Add Value To Your Home

Because aluminum coil wrap trim can last up to 50 years, potential homebuyers will see this has a major value-add when considering your home.

 

 

Trim Financing

exterior trim company

Many homeowners choose to continue painting their wood trim every 4-5 years, rather than making the larger investment of installing aluminum wrap.

 

However, with special financing available with Capitol Improvements through Enerbank, you can make the switch to a more cost-effective and maintenance-free alternative sooner rather than later. We can approve finance amounts for as little as $1,500 making it a no-brainer to do the coil wrap now and recoup your investment shortly down the road.

 

If you think you can’t afford aluminum coil wrapped trim, consider how financing the installation now could affect your home maintenance costs for years to come. You’ll find that you’d save money in the long run by financing and installing aluminum wrap, rather than continuing to repaint every four to five years (or postponing maintenance until you have to replace the trim entirely).

 

Choose the Best for Your Home

Choosing the right exterior trim for your home can add tremendous curb appeal and value, and it can also save you time and money for years to come. If it’s time to update the exterior trim of your home, consider the more efficient option of aluminum coil wrap.

 

Capitol Improvements is here to help you choose and finance the best trim for your home. Call us today or get a free quote from Owner, Pat Jewell, to get started.