The bitter cold of the Northeast. Every region faces a set of unique climate challenges that—no matter where you live—slowly but surely work to erode the integrity of your home. As a first line of defense, exterior siding goes a long way toward keeping the elements at bay, and it may do so unfailingly for decades. But no siding lasts forever. Indeed, it’s only a matter of time before yours will succumb to driving rain, whipping wind, and the other threats it once protected against. Here we organized best practices to how to choose siding for your home. When the time finally comes for siding replacement, many homeowners proceed with the project intending merely to restore the status quo.
Of course, as in any home improvement project, only careful consideration and planning can ensure satisfying, if not jaw-dropping, results. At the outset, therefore—before you make any final decisions or spend any money—the wise course is to learn more about the role siding plays in the home and the clear-cut advantages replacement offers. For a detailed discussion of the main considerations to weigh in your decision making, continue reading now!
1. High Stakes
Cladding the entire home from the foundation to the roofline, siding easily ranks as the single most conspicuous element of the exterior. That being the case, its condition has a huge impact on curb appeal, largely determining the impression your home makes on first-time visitors and passersby. If your siding has begun to rot or crumble—or if it’s developed a great many cracks, holes, and gouges—then it’s compromising not only the appearance of your home, but also—and much more importantly—its structure. Don’t rule out the possibility of repair.
In cases where the extent of damage makes repair prohibitively expensive, replacement often offers a cost-effective alternative. The key is not to delay. After all, unsound siding leaves your home in a precarious position. For one thing, even small breaks in the material allow moisture to reach and potentially rot wood components of the interior, including the framing. And openings that let in water can also invite potentially damaging pests and other unwanted critters. True, many of these invaders are more nuisance than threat, but some are capable of causing extensive, expensive-to-resolve headaches. If you want to keep living in your home, you need siding that can keep it protected.
It’s not cheap keeping a home at a comfortable temperature year-round. In fact, heating and cooling equipment consumes more energy than most other appliances combined, accounting for more than half of the monthly utility bill in average homes. That said, if your current siding isn’t performing up to par—if it’s allowing air to exit and enter the home freely—you may be paying even more than strictly necessary. Why? To counter the heat lost or gained by air leaks, your HVAC system must work harder—and consume more energy—to maintain the target temperature set on the thermostat.
Although it’s rarely something that homeowners expect from the project, re-siding can help make your home more tightly sealed, not only eliminating the discomfort of drafts, but creating the ideal conditions for climate-control technology to operate with peak efficiency. Of course, on its own, siding of any material can offer only so much insulation.
How long does siding last? Much depends on the siding you install, and whether you’re prepared to maintain it. While some siding materials deliver first-rate performance without asking much in return, others require regular care to remain viable. For instance, wood siding appeals to many for its traditional beauty, but it’s probably the most demanding of all. In addition to seasonal inspection, wood requires periodic refinishing to look and perform its best.
In the past, if you were hesitant about such a high-maintenance siding material, you’d probably have chosen to go with aluminum instead. But over the years, aluminum proved to be a lot more hands-on than expected. The metal itself would last for decades, sure, but once its enamel coating faded, the material would require repainting. As well, its tendency to become scratched, pitted, or dented often necessitated the hassle and expense of repair.
Fortunately, the market now includes a broader, better range of options. Today vinyl siding trumps others in popularity, because it provides the “best of both worlds”—that is, the look of traditional wood siding without all the hassle.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Of course, while the phrase is typically used to emphasize the importance of eye contact and a firm handshake, it also applies to our homes—especially their exteriors. To approaching guests, or simply to people walking or driving by, the outward appearance of your home can express a great deal about your personality, your style, and your priorities as a homeowner. If you suspect that your current siding isn’t sending the right messages about you, there’s no easier, less expensive, or more effective option than painting.
The catch is that although a fresh coat of paint may be able to usher in a dramatic new look, it cannot solve deeper, performance-related problems with your siding. But don’t forget: Although you may be choosing to install new siding for expressly practical reasons, you can leverage the project to resolve your aesthetic concerns at the same time.
5. Resale Value
When homeowners undertake a home improvement project, they often do it begrudgingly. Nobody likes to spend money. Think of it this way—you’re not the only one who knows that re-siding involves considerable costs. Prospective buyers are also aware of this fact. Often act on that awareness by walking away from homes that have siding that needs work. You may not have any immediate plans to move. However, but whenever you do decide to sell. Having chosen to re-side your home could work to your ultimate advantage.
When it comes time to sell, the purchase and installation of new siding often gives a boost to home value. In fact we estimate that upon resale, homeowners typically recoup more than half of the project cost.
To gain even more confidence in your re-siding project, give us a call.
Typically, homeowners undertake an improvement project on their own timetable, to enhance their enjoyment of their house. Sprucing up the kitchen, adding a deck in the backyard—these are purely elective projects. Re-siding, in comparison, but in terms of consequence it edges out most others by a mile. Indeed, siding replacement can help ensure the continued health and happiness of your home.