It’s a fact: your home’s siding needs work, and the equivalent of a band-aid isn’t going to do it. No, this time, the old siding really needs to go, pulled off and replaced with brand new boards. So here you are, having looked up what you need, and you’re wondering why you even need to hire professionals to your siding for you. It can’t be that hard, can it?
The fact is that the number one cause of subsequent problems after installing new siding is that the siding was not installed properly. Considering that roughly 99% of siding problems can be traced back, one way or another, to a bad installation job, it’s important to make sure your siding is installed properly and correctly, if you want to make the most of it. Before you break out your tools then, here’s a handy checklist to see if you’re up to the task:
Do you have the experience?
Probably the biggest factor of all is if you have any actual, hands-on experience in replacing siding. Most of the other questions on this list are related to this. If you’ve done the job before, then chances are that you shouldn’t do too badly with the new siding. However, if this is entirely new to you, then you should be extremely careful in making the decision to do the job yourself.
Can you get better materials than what’s commonly available?
One advantage of big-name contractors is that they have access to suppliers who can offer them better deals on the same materials, or even products that aren’t widely available on the market. You might save on the labor by doing the job yourself, but you could be missing out on some really good deals by sourcing your own materials.
Do you have the tools for the job?
While everyone’s got a hammer, pliers, and screwdriver somewhere around the house, specialized jobs like siding replacement require specialized tools to do the job properly. While your pliers can double as a wrench for most work around the house, and your wrench might serve to pound something out when you can’t be bothered to find your hammer, that’s not going to cut it for your siding installation.
Can you remove the old siding properly and safely?
There are two sides to this question: can you remove the siding without damaging the surface to which it was attached and, more importantly, can you do it without hurting yourself? That last might sound condescending, but if, for example, you have to go up on a ladder to remove damaged siding and aren’t all that confident in your ability to handle heights, you should seriously reconsider whether or not you’re doing the right thing.
Do you know how to prepare the surface for the new siding?
It’s not just a matter of removing the old stuff, pitching it aside, and putting up the new. If the surface isn’t properly installed, then you could be compromising one of siding’s most important jobs, which is to keep out the elements, particularly water. Haphazardly attaching the siding could very well result in unforeseen problems down the line for you.
Do you know all the steps in siding replacement?
This is not just about properly organizing your siding replacement job; it’s also about knowing how the siding is meant to be installed in the first place. The manufacturer will have a specific method for installing the siding that’s designed to maximize the effectiveness of your new product. Skipping any one of these steps could undermine your new siding’s effectiveness.
Do you have time to do the work?
These last four items go more or less hand in hand. First off (well, seventh, actually), even if you’ve had positive answers to the preceding, are you able to take the time to do the work? Depending on the scope of the project, it could take you a while to finish the installation of your new siding, and until the job is done your home is, literally, bare to the elements. Consider, too, that you could be hurting your finances while trying to save yourself the expense of hiring a professional siding installer.
Do you need permits, and can you get them?
If you go ahead with the replacement, and later on find that you needed permits to do the job, then you could seriously affect your home’s value. This will most seriously impact you if and when you put your home up for sale, but even if you’re not putting your home on the market anything that hurts your home’s value hurts you, too. Not to mention you may be looking at some hefty penalties.
Where will you dispose of the old siding?
This is both a question of logistics and of regulations. For one thing, depending on what your old siding was made from, your area might not have the resources to dispose of or recycle it. For another, have you considered just how much siding you’ll need to dispose of afterward? You could end up with a lot of old, useless material just lying around which, in addition to being an eyesore, could cause you problems later.
Are you willing to risk voiding your siding’s warranty?
This is related to number six, above. If your siding installation isn’t quite by-the-book, then the manufacturer could decide later on that you’ve effectively voided your warranty. You could be saving yourself some expense now, at the cost of having to spend more later to replace the siding again.
Keep in mind that your siding’s primary function is to protect your home from the elements. If you’re not sure that you can do the job properly, you’re always better off hiring a professional instead of risking the safety of your home, your family, and yourself. That’s why it’s good to know there are professionals you can hire to do the job for you. To learn more about siding replacement, don’t hesitate to give your local siding expert a call today.
Cris Keeter is a proud member of All States Exteriors’ team of highly skilled craftsmen. Treating every client like a part of the family is part of All States Exteriors’ professional yet caring approach to providing quality exterior home improvement in Wichita and Kansas City. For updates from Cris, check out the company blog!