It doesn’t matter when you get your siding replaced, as long as it gets done, right? As it turns out, that’s not true—particularly if you’re installing vinyl siding. Vinyl is especially sensitive to temperature extremes, so a winter or summertime replacement could affect the quality of your installation.
According to siding experts, there are some parts of year when you can save money on your quote—so it may be worth it to wait until the right time if you can. If you want to know when you should reside your home, there’s a short answer: it’s usually in the fall. But the reasoning behind that answer requires a little more explanation. Read on to find out why.
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Hot Weather Can Botch Vinyl Siding Replacements
If you’ve read up a little bit about vinyl siding, you probably know it doesn’t always play nice with the sun. Vinyl is a plastic product, and just like any plastic, it can melt when it gets exposed to high temperatures.
But even if it doesn’t melt, hot weather causes vinyl siding to stretch and expand quite a bit. Nail a plank of vinyl siding to your home in 100-degree weather, and it could be as much as five-eighths of an inch longer than it is in winter. And that size difference is the issue—the expanding siding might bump against the window casings, causing it to buckle and eventually fall off.
But Cold Weather Installations Also Have Their Issues
Similarly, it’s not good to install vinyl siding during a freeze, or generally when temperatures drop below about 50 degrees. Cold weather installations have the opposite problem: cold weather causes the panels to contract, meaning it’s easy to nail them on too tight.
At the same time, freezing weather makes vinyl more brittle. So nailing the siding to the wall could cause it to crack and break apart. That leads to wasted panels—and guess what? Your siding company probably isn’t going to foot the bill for them.
And Spring Poses Problems with Moisture
April showers may bring May flowers, but they also make it a terrible time for a siding replacement. If your contractor gets halfway through siding your home and has to break for a sudden rainstorm, the moisture could potentially expose your home’s sheathing and walls to mold.
You don’t have to be a building expert to know how dangerous mold infestations can be. Extreme cases can cause a condition known as “sick building syndrome,” which can result in devastating affects on your health—and a costly bill for remediation.
Of course, that’s the worst case scenario. Most likely, that won’t happen if you choose to replace in spring. But still, better safe than sorry, right? Plus, your workers will be happier if they don’t to have to dodge the rain to put up your siding, as well.
Fall Projects May Offer Materials and Labor Discounts
Despite the issues listed above, most homeowners still get new siding installed in the spring or summer. This is where you benefit from not being part of the crowd. According to a number of building sites, siding materials tend to go on sale in the fall, when siding contractors’ new winter inventory comes in. That means you may score some heavily discounted clearance products—which have nothing wrong with them, aside from being last-season.
Likewise, because of the lack of installations, siding companies tend to be quieter in the fall. So you may harvest some great deals on labor, too, since contractors are trying to drum up whatever business they can. Additionally, when contractors are slow, they tend to focus more attention on your project—and finish the job more quickly than they might with a stuffed schedule.
An Autumn Installation Gets You Ready for Winter Heating Season
“Winter is coming,” is not just a slogan from your favorite TV show. It’s a reality your home’s exterior faces every year, as it struggles to keep you warm and cozy inside. A siding installation is a great time to add house wrap to your home, which can protect your interior walls from moisture, and greatly reduce heat loss, as well. Even if you don’t go for house wrap, your installation will give you a chance to seal gaps in old, aging siding, which can let in drafts and cold air during harsh weather.
Replacing your siding in fall isn’t just a regular home improvement project—it’s winterizing your home, as well. Really worn siding replaced with new, sealed cladding and a house wrap below may cause a significant drop in your heating bills—even better if you combine it with rigid insulation, as well. And you know what that adds up to? Improved energy efficiency.
Your contractor should be able to evaluate your building design and help you determine if additional weatherproofing features like these are appropriate. Now pour yourself a big mug of cider—with new siding, you’ll be cozy and toasty all winter long.