Artisan Lap House with ShingleSiding vs. Painting? Our customers often ask us for a recommendation on whether they should continue painting their home or switch to maintenance free siding. Of course, it depends on different factors. Most people look at the cost of siding vs painting and while others have strong personal preferences.

In the short run, painting your home looks good on paper. The initial investment is less expensive. Some people prefer the traditional look of paint and are willing to invest time, money and energy into their home every few years to preserve that painted look.

However, if you are looking to save time and money in the long run, siding may be the answer for you. Siding, particularly vinyl siding, is more durable and saves money over time.

Before you make the final decision on siding vs. painting for your home, ask yourself these three important questions:

How long do you intend to stay in your current home?

If you are planning to stay at least five years, switching to siding is worth the investment. A paint job typically lasts 4 – 5 years. This is why we say that it’s only in the short term that painting your home is less expensive. Paying a professional painter to paint your house twice is equivalent to the cost of one siding job. In addition – according to Remodeling Magazines 2017 Cost vs Value report, the increased resale value of new siding recoups nearly 70% of the siding cost.

If you are planning to save money by painting your house yourself, you need to count materials as well as your own time and labor into the cost. Another factor most people don’t think about is the risk you run of injury when you do the job yourself. According to a report by ISHN, over 500,000 people are treated for ladder-related injuries every year.

What is the current condition of your exterior & overhangs?

Unfortunately, homeowners don’t often jump on home repairs as soon as they notice a small problem. Instead, they take action when they have no choice, at which point, irreparable damage may have already been done. For example, once Masonite boards or wood shingles start to absorb moisture, paint stops adhering to the surface properly. If your house has reached this point, painting is a waste of money because the paint you apply won’t adhere to the surface properly. This improper seal will cause the surface to crack and peal within just a couple of years.

Are there any areas of water or air infiltration on your home?

Harsh Iowa winters and hot summers can be very destructive to your home, particularly wood. Ice dams, driving rain and sun damage are the culprits. When your exterior deteriorates, energy leaks right through your walls, both through air infiltration and a phenomenon called thermal bridging. This is where energy finds the spot of least resistance (RFactor) and leaks outward. When you add siding insulation to your home, drafts and cold spots can be corrected because the siding acts as a barrier to the exterior.

Once you’ve answered these questions, you should have a better idea of the direction you want to go with your home’s exterior. If you have more questions, feel free to contact us. As always, before you hire a contractor to work on your home, learn the right questions to ask by downloading our FREE Guide, Iowa Contractor Comparison Guide – How to Make Your Remodeling Project a Success for tips on hiring the right local contractor.

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