Not crazy about the idea of installing siding, but also tired of painting and re-painting your home every few years? Here are reasons to re-consider siding as a wise investment on your home, along with a look at typical installation and maintenance costs.
The first thing people notice on a home is, naturally, the exterior, and most homeowners at some point are faced with the question of how to improve upon that exterior. Most lean towards painting (and re-painting) every few years, a task that albeit allows for some versatility with a new color choice each time, but one that can become very time and labor intensive.
If you are building a home or remodeling your current one, consider siding as an alternative to painting. The material on the outside of your home should have visual appeal and durability while making a good first impression. Also keep in mind that siding can increase the value of your home by more than 100 percent.
If you need some convincing, or simply haven’t considered siding in the past, it’s best to start with a few basics.
There are several types of siding options, each with their advantages and disadvantages, and most, can be called budget-friendly. Some of the most common types of siding are vinyl, aluminum, wood shingles (or more specifically cedar shingles, aka “shakes”) and fiber-cement siding.
Leading the group is vinyl siding — the most popular option of homeowners in North America. Vinyl provides an appealing look at an inexpensive cost with virtually no maintenance. When comparing different types of vinyl siding chose thicker panels to ensure longer lasting durability and a more realistic look. Vinyl siding is one of the easiest materials to install and is cost efficient. You can expect to spend between $2 and $3 per square foot.
Aluminum siding is very similar to vinyl siding in that it’s easy to install, requires little maintenance and is inexpensive.
Wood siding, or more specifically wood shingles and shake siding, is also quite popular, with pine or cedar wood the most common variants. With proper maintenance, wood siding can outlast vinyl, but it is vulnerable to rot, splintering and wind damage. The cost for wood shingles runs between $5 and $8 per square foot and requires professional installation.
If you like the look of wood siding, but do not want the hassle and upkeep associated with it, fiber cement siding can be a wise alternative. It comes in a variety of textures and appearances such as wood shingles, stucco or textured patterns. It’s more durable than wood and typically carries a 50-year warranty. Installation isn’t easy and fiber cement siding costs between $4.50 and $9 per square foot.
When deciding between the different types of siding, you may also want to consider using siding made from local materials. This not only cuts on transportation costs but lowers emissions as well. Plus, buying local is great for your immediate environment.
As with any home improvement, it’s best to talk to a contractor and get quotes before deciding to do anything on your own.
Dale Eklund is a former construction manager with more than 20 years of experience building, remodeling, and landscaping homes. He is constantly improving his own home, and recently turned to blogging to help others do the same. For more tips, see his article on house siding prices here.