New siding will improve curb appeal, increase the value of your home and may even save you some money on utility bills – as long as it’s done right. However, you will probably only think about replacing your exterior siding once in a lifetime so the learning curve is pretty steep.
If the time has come to upgrade your home’s exterior, there will be many decisions to make. These are the top ten areas homeowners need to think about when replacing exterior siding.
Nail Down Your Goals – Do you want an entirely new, modern look or are you trying to maintain the historical look and feel of your home? Consider your home’s neighborhood and style when making major changes to your exterior. If you have a home owners association, be sure to check the rules before making any changes to your exterior.
Installation Options – The material and condition of the existing siding will determine if you need to tear off the original siding or if you can build over it. For instance, if you currently have wood siding, you are probably better off leaving it on and building out the window trim. On the other hand, if your siding is Masonite and deteriorating around the nail heads, you should probably tear it off and start fresh.
Maintenance – The amount of maintenance and upkeep you’ll have depends on the material you choose. Your choices will determine if you’ll need to paint, stain or power wash every year. Keep in mind that if you have many trees around the house you should spray with a garden hose every year regardless of the siding material you choose.
Siding Material – Your material choices include basic vinyl, upgraded vinyl, steel, wood, insulated vinyl, composite, fiber cement, even shakes or stone.
Siding Styles – The most common architectural styles include Dutch lap, clapboard, board and batten, shakes and scallops.
Color Selection – Choosing your siding color can be daunting. Here are some things to think about. Will the color complement your roof color? Do you have any brick or stone you need to consider? Do you want a traditional pastel or are you interested in a bold new color?
Profile – Sometimes also referred to as the exposure, your siding’s profile refers the vertical width of each plank of siding. The most common profiles are 4 inch to 4.5 inch. A new trend is 6-7 inch exposure, which tends to give your home a more modern look. Higher end products are available in the 6-7 inch exposure.
Seams – Standard planks are usually 12′ to 12-1/2′ long. Longer length sidings are typically offered in 16′, 20′ and 25′ ranges. Longer panels will result in fewer seams.
Insulation –Insulation options range from no insulation at all to very high quality insulation. Think about how long you will be in this home. The longer you stay the more savings you will realize on utility bills. Quality insulation can also help protect a house from moisture damage and mold issues.
Gutters, Fascia and Soffits – Will you replace your gutters and downspouts or keep your old ones? Is your roof getting enough ventilation or is it time to upgrade your soffits? Many houses today do not have enough airflow into the attic causing ice dams in the winter, mold, and higher utility bills.
If you have other questions about replacement siding options, Home Town Restyling offers free consultations from experienced project managers familiar with all the latest siding trends and options. You can also download our free eBook, Complete Guide to Replacement Siding, for more information about preparing for a siding replacement project.