If you’re planning a home upgrade this season, consider a project that brings you all the most important benefits–better aesthetics, comfort, and energy efficiency. While there are a couple of ways to get such benefits, one of the best and most effective is siding replacement. How so? For one thing, your home’s exterior is one of your home’s most visible design elements. Not only does it impact on your home’s curb appeal, it also plays an active role in keeping your home dry and damage-free.
In an ideal world, you’d want your siding to remain lovely and intact all year round, year in and year out. But time can cause wear and tear and nature can bring on a slew of harsh conditions that can turn your home’s once-pristine outer shell into a sorry sight. The good thing about getting your siding replaced is that such a project can bring you loads of benefits, among them:
- Improved curb appeal. Your siding should draw the eye even from afar, but not because it’s cracked and faded. Siding replacement can help you deal with issues like this, allowing for a well-kept home exterior that will turn heads for all the right reasons.
- Better damage protection. Old and failing exteriors can be prone to gaps and cracks where moisture can seep in. This can weaken, or even rot, both the exterior and interior wall, compromising the home’s structural integrity. Today’s new siding options, however, are designed to better withstand the elements and keep other external threats at bay. This means a sturdier and safer home.
- Better energy efficiency. As mentioned above, damaged siding can allow for unwanted openings where moisture can enter. Outdoor air seeping in may likewise create drafts that affect indoor comfort. Costly heating energy can also leak out of the same openings. With newer, better siding you get better insulation, which helps maintain ideal indoor conditions for your home.
To enjoy these advantages, however, you need to make sure that your siding replacement project runs smoothly. This means considering the key factors that may affect how long your new exterior lasts and how well it performs.
One of the first things you need to tackle: deciding on your siding material. Research each option thoroughly and weigh in the pros and cons. Your new siding should be able to withstand fluctuating weather conditions while still looking good. Two of the most popular materials include:
- Versatile and easy to install, vinyl remains a favorite among many homeowners. It checks all the important boxes in a replacement siding, being a cost-effective option that can provide great performance. Vinyl siding, in fact, comes in insulated options for better thermal efficiency. This means you can enjoy optimum indoor comfort minus high energy costs. One other thing that makes vinyl stand out? It maintains a vibrant color that eliminates the need for repainting.
- Fiber Cement. If you want something highly durable and rot-resistant, you should consider fiber cement. It can handle moisture-related issues effectively, ensuring a longer service life. Because fiber cement is made from sustainable materials, it also an environmentally friendly option.
PRO-TIP. Both vinyl and fiber cement siding is available in a wide selection of colors, designs, and textures. Some of them even emulate the rich look and feel of authentic wood grain. Take advantage of the range of choices to find what will best complement your home’s architecture and exterior palette.
If you want your home to stand out in your neighborhood, pick a siding color that best suits your property’s design elements. Here are a few design tips:
- Consider the dominant color schemes in your neighborhood. Drive around and observe homes similar to yours. Note which colors are predominantly used with your specific architecture. Of course, you don’t have to choose the exact same shade for your own exterior–just look to your neighborhood as a guide. This way, your home can draw the eye while still blending in beautifully.
- Get inspiration from home improvement magazines and blogs. You can even consult a trusted remodeling company in your area for the siding color that matches your home perfectly.
- Take your roof’s color into account. If you have a darker roof color, choose a lighter hue for your exterior, and vice versa.
DIY work may not be the best idea when it comes to siding replacement. Working with a pro is the surest way to guarantee a quality installation. Of course, you’ll want to pick a reliable contractor–one that can ensure that everything turns just as expected. Here’s how to find the right siding professional for the job:
- Get referrals from family and friends. They can provide great insights on how contractors they’ve worked with before doing business.
- Work with a certified contractor who can not only offer access to high-quality materials but also ensure workmanship that adheres to quality specifications. They can add an extra layer of protection to your investment via solid warranties.
- Ask your contractor to provide a list of references, and solicit feedback from these customers to ease your mind.
- Check online reviews to see if your contractor has any outstanding complaints.
- Make sure you also have a detailed contract from your siding contractor before any work begins. Outline the particulars of the job, including the type and size of the siding, insurance, and warranty details.
Taking these essentials into account will help ensure a safer and smoother siding replacement for your home.
Vicki Kiger is Marketing Director of Exterior Source, one of the leading home remodeling companies in Virginia. She has more than 14 years of specific marketing experience in the home improvement field, with previous experience in the deck industry, and now, in exterior home improvements. Vicki has also served on the Board of Directors of the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce and the Richmond Animal League.