Replacing outdated, unappealing siding can make your home a lot more attractive, giving it a look that’s enduring and has loads of curb appeal. It can also make your home more energy efficient. According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report, siding replacement has consistently been one of the best home improvement projects for adding value to your home and is one of the few projects that can show a direct return on your investment. An exterior home project can be difficult to complete on your own, depending on the scope of your project. From removing old siding, dealing with permits and purchasing the right materials, know what you’re getting yourself into before you begin to DIY your siding project.
DIY or siding contractor?
If you are an experienced DIYer and you have replaced old siding with new siding, then you may be both competent and confident enough to take this on yourself. The DIY method will most often save you money, but it can take longer to complete. This will take much longer than a weekend. Professionals working full time can take up to a couple weeks to side a home depending on the size and the weather conditions, and that’s working without a learning curve. If an expert takes weeks to finish siding a home, your DIY siding project will most likely exceed that amount. Although a contractor will help keep your siding project on schedule, hiring a professional will also cost you extra. Siding contractors will charge either by the hour or a flat rate fee. This can be more expensive than just purchasing the materials and tools for doing it on your own. Compare all the factors that go into both DIY and hiring a professional for your siding project to understand the impact and benefit that each will have.
Not for beginners
If you have had little to no experience putting siding on homes, leave it up to the trained siding contractors. Siding installation may look relatively easy, but this is not for beginners. Working around corners, eaves, soffits and fascia, along with trimming openings like windows and doors, are all technical aspects of the project that can be easy to get wrong. If you choose to replace the siding yourself, you need knowledge about whether to repair or remove old siding. You need to know how to repair or replace the exterior of your house where mold, water, or vermin have damaged it. Do you know how to attach frieze board and sheathing for putting up the siding? You also must know which method lends itself to the type of siding you selected. You must have the skill and tools to cut the siding planks to fit and then attach them. When it comes to siding, it will benefit both you and your home to hire a professional.
- Quick and easy to repair, replace or repaint smaller sections
- Lower costs
- On your own time schedule
- Don’t have to rely on anyone but yourself
- Satisfaction from completing the project on your own
- May lack knowledge and experience required
- Have to acquire all tools for cutting, fitting, and installing
- Purchase materials on your own
- You may find further damage once you begin replacing siding
- Mistakes can be easily made and harder to fix
If you decide to hire a contractor
There are many details that go into a siding project, from using the proper tools per material, sanding and fitting techniques, along with finishing touches to make sure all siding is properly placed. Hiring a contractor can ensure that all of these details are taken care of, but before you hire a professional, make some informed decisions first. Decide on the siding you want and research the best method of installation and which type of contractors will be able to perform this work. Use Porch to choose a reputable, certified local contractor who has glowing recommendations. Once you have chosen a few professionals from the best, gather estimates from at least three contractors in your area. Be very definite about the services you need. The estimates of each contractor should give you a good idea of what your budget price will need to be. While replacing or installing new siding on your home can be an outstanding investment, it can just as easily go south on you if you don’t make smart decisions when it comes to hiring a siding contractor. Before you hire, consider the advantages and disadvantages of bringing on a professional for your siding project.
- A professional will be licensed, bonded and insured
- Legal protection through a signed contract
- Expert knowledge on all siding aspects
- Full service from preparation to cleanup
- Set schedule and budget regarding to your terms and contractor’s availability
- Warranty and guarantee conditions
- A professional will obtain necessary permits and abide by building codes
- All equipment, tool and materials provided
- High labor costs
- Availability can be unpredictable
- A professional may perform work a different way than you intended
- In the case of an unprofessional contractor you may have to fire him or her
Whether you hire a professional or DIY, you’re investing your money, but also your intention, your energy, and your good sense into improving your living space. Regardless of whether you are replacing a few cedar shingles, removing rotten hardboard siding, or installing entirely new fiber cement siding, you will want it done right. The exterior of your home can boost curb appeal, but it also acts as a protectant from outside factors like harsh weather conditions. If your siding project is above your skill level, leave it to a professional to provide you with high quality siding that you’re satisfied with.
Top Image Credit: JayMarc Homes