A home’s siding is an integral structural element, not only aesthetically but for preservation purposes.
A recent Cost vs. Value report noted that replacing your siding could yield a high return on your investment. Effective siding can also help lower energy bills. Still, it’s a serious project that can be labor-intensive, as noted in Modernize’s Siding Replacement Guide and can rack up costs.
In fact, according to our Siding Cost Calculator, prices can range anywhere between $4,000 and $14,000.
But there are ways to save.
When it is time to replace your home’s siding, here is what you need to know and consider.
How to leverage short-term savings
When considering any major home improvement project, it’s important to weigh your options.
As noted by Modernize, the best practice is to compare three to four contractor’s quotes to find the best price. There are also ways to negotiate with your contractor and drive down the price, such as doing prep work yourself.
Ahead of installing new siding, there is preparation that has to happen which can contribute to your short-term savings, including tying trees back, clearing items out of the way and making sure your driveway is ready for a dumpster delivery. Some contractors may offer to assist with preparation either for a price or as part of the final quote. But consider doing the work yourself. Then, that move can be used as leverage when negotiating the final price with your contractor. Modernize has a list of preparation work you can take into consideration.
Additionally, completing your siding project during the off-season when contractors are offering discounts can also add to your project’s short-term savings potential.
How to leverage long-term savings
Along with adding to your home’s appearance, the material you choose for siding can contribute to its longevity and your home’s protection from the elements over the years, in addition to your home’s energy savings. All of this will add to your long-term savings.
New advancements in vinyl and veneer siding can help give a home an expensive look, mimicking stone, cedar and brick without the associated high price tag.
These days, there are dozens of siding materials on the market that range in price from about $3 per square foot to over $30 per square foot. For that reason, the desired siding material can make or break a budget.
Cost-saving options like vinyl siding is weatherproof, highly durable and considered the most affordable (between about $4.60-$6.30 per square foot). Another desirable element vinyl has is its ability to be applied over almost any existing surface, including brick and stucco.
This means homeowners can save money that otherwise would be spent on prepping the surface to be installation-ready. What’s more, vinyl siding is relatively low maintenance, only needing to be cleaned to prevent mold and remove dirt versus brick or stucco, which may need to be professionally cleaned.
Veneer is another cost-saving variety that can mimic natural stones, priced between $5 to $10 per square foot less than its counterpart. The tradeoff could be longevity, with faux stones being considerably less durable than actual stones and easier to break. \
Alternatives like brick cost more money up-front — between $6 and $15 per square foot — but can serve as a long-term saving option, with longevity, durability and the potential to lower your homeowner’s insurance rates. As noted by Modernize, brick siding could even potentially lower your monthly utility bills since brick siding can keep homes cool during long periods of heat.
If you’re installing a new type of siding or upgrading your existing material, it’s important to grasp what the material’s upfront and long term responsibilities will entail. Talk with your contractor about the initial price, installation process, upkeep and potential impact it can have on your home’s insulation and more.
Siding materials can improve a home’s energy efficiency and in turn, contribute to long-term savings via your electric bill.
As noted by Modernize, a siding material like insulated boards could cost more up-front, but may also return your investment through lower energy expenses. Vinyl also has high energy-efficiency, particularly the insulated kind, and can add points to a building’s LEED certification.
Additionally, your home’s siding can directly impact its curb appeal and your project’s return-on-investment. Research shows that new siding can amount to anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 in returns and 60 to 80 percent in value recovered.
When considering a siding project there are steps you can take immediately to determine what you — and your home — will get out of it. Siding remains one of the home renovation projects that could be significantly low-cost while yielding big rewards like a new look and energy efficiency.