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The outside of your house has a huge impact on its curb appeal. Keeping the yard tidy and cared for is important, but that can only do so much. If your siding is visibly deteriorating, the market value of your house suffers.
Fortunately, there are plenty of options on today’s siding market. Do you want the newest version of the existing siding? Are you eyeing a major aesthetic change? Regardless of your goal or budget, a siding replacement contractor can help you find exactly what you need.
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How to Choose the Best Siding for Your House
Updating your home’s existing siding is a great investment. The 2022 Cost vs. Value Report published by Remodeling magazine puts siding replacement at an average return on investment figure of close to 70 percent. That’s an excellent use of your money.
To help you choose the best siding product for your project, check out our overview of your options. Be sure to work with an experienced, reputable siding contractor. A professional installation is key to getting the most for your money.
It’s hard to go wrong with vinyl siding. Vinyl is cost effective and comes in a wide variety of colors and styles. The vinyl siding products available today are easy to clean and resist fading from sun exposure.
If you don’t like the look of seams, ask your contractor about extra-long planks. The main downside of vinyl siding is that it can be difficult to paint. If you decide to paint your house in the future, work with a professional painter with experience painting vinyl siding.
Wood siding is distinctive and beautiful. Most conventional wood siding products are made from cedar or redwood. These varieties are naturally resistant to insects and decay. And if you change up your house’s color scheme, wood siding is easy to paint.
If you opt for wood siding, make sure you understand its maintenance needs. Your siding will need to be painted or stained and sealed every three to five years. If you don’t stick to this schedule, the wood planks will be vulnerable to rot and decay.
Fiber cement siding
Fiber cement siding is a popular option because of its style options and sturdiness. This type of siding can be made to look like almost any texture. From wood planks and shakes to stucco and stone, fiber cement products are incredibly versatile.
As long as it’s properly installed, fiber cement siding lasts for decades. It typically doesn’t need much in the way of maintenance. Stains can be washed off, and planks are easy to paint. Fiber cement siding is more expensive than some other options. Its longevity and durability, however, outweigh the upfront cost.
Metal siding is less common than other products, but it is still a great, durable option. Aluminum and steel siding come in lots of different colors. Metal planks are also hard to damage, and they’re fire- and pest-resistant.
If, however, metal siding is damaged or dented, it’s hard to repair. In most cases, the damaged plank or section will need to be replaced altogether. Any scratches in the metal should be painted over as promptly as possible. Bare metal starts to rust quickly.
Engineered wood siding
If the cost and maintenance needs of conventional wood siding aren’t what you had in mind, look into engineered wood siding. This type of siding is made from wood fibers and binding agents. It’s durable and resistant to pests. And it’s easy to paint, if you want a different color in the future.
Keep in mind that engineered wood siding isn’t completely maintenance-free. Plan to have your engineered wood siding painted approximately every ten years.
Brick veneer siding
Solid brick homes are few and far between, mostly because of the cost. But that doesn’t mean that the brick home of your dreams is totally out of reach. Brick veneer is a great way to get the look you want.
When it’s installed correctly, brick veneer doesn’t need much in the way of maintenance. Your siding contractor should install weep drains during the veneer installation. These drains funnel moisture behind the veneer to the outside of the house. If the drains clog (or don’t exist at all), you can have interior moisture problems.
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Choosing a Contractor for Exterior Siding Installation
A professional installation job is just as important (if not more important) than the siding product you choose. Even the highest quality siding can look less than ideal if it isn’t installed well.
Major home exterior updates are big projects. Interview and get bids from at least three companies. This gives you some information to compare. High-pressure sales tactics are a bad sign, so mark those companies off your list and keep looking.
When you compare bids, look at the following information for each contractor:
- Will the crew remove the existing siding and repair rotten wood as needed?
- Is house wrap and flashing installation (you need it at corners, windows, and doors!) included in the estimate?
- Will the crew clean up the job site and remove debris and trash?
- What products does each company use? Are they comparable and what you want?
Getting roughly the same information from each siding company will help you make a decision. Siding replacement jobs take about a week, on average. Check in with the crew’s foreman to get a better sense of their timeline.
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