If you have owned your home for handfuls or decades of years, a refreshing your home’s siding has probably crossed your mind once or twice. A siding replacement project provides several benefits to your home. Aesthetically, it gives your home a new makeover and boosts its curb appeal. At the same time, replacing siding increases home value and makes it more appealing to prospective homebuyers, should you decide to sell.
Perhaps more importantly, new siding also protects your home’s structure from weather and the elements. Problems that can arise when neglecting siding over time include insect infestations, moisture, mold and mildew growth – all of which can have severe ramifications on your home’s underlying structure.
If you are considering refreshing your home’s siding, Modernize is here to help. This Siding Replacement Guide is designed to help homeowners understand different types of siding, the cost of each, the return on investment to expect from a siding replacement, and more. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know ahead of a home siding project.
Siding Replacement Return on Investment
One of the many reasons homeowners seek out siding replacement projects is due to the high return on investment. In fact, siding replacements yield one of the highest R.O.I rates of any home improvement project, which makes them an especially practical investment when homeowners plan to resell.
The 2021 Cost vs. Value report indicates that stone veneer siding replacements are one of the most valuable home improvement project in terms of costs recovered during resale. And this is not just for home siding projects – stone veneer siding installations trump every other home improvement project in terms of potential recovered costs, besides garage door replacements.
Take a look at what to expect in 2021 in terms of return on investment, based on the type of siding installed on your home:
Type of Siding
70% to 75%
60% to 70%
65% to 75%
When is it Time to Replace Siding?
Beyond improving the curb appeal of your home and adding home value, there are times when siding replacements are crucial. Critical siding issues can not only compromise the structural security of your home, but your health and safety as well. Here are 6 major signs that indicate your home requires a siding replacement:
If you have wood siding, look for brittle sections that have begun to crumble or are on the verge of crumbling. You will notice these sections typically look dull compared to siding in better condition. This is a sign that moisture has begun to penetrate your siding, breaking down the properties that give wood its strength. Lightly tap on the areas of your siding that you suspect of having dry rot. This will allow you to identify a dry rotted area as only the outer layer of siding will remain intact. Untreated, rot will lead to further decay.
Warped siding boards usually indicate a problem. Examine your home from multiple angles to check if there are portions of your siding that are no longer flat compared to adjacent panels. This is a sign that serious damage, including rot, may be present beneath the surface. Use a screwdriver or awe to poke the surface area and beneath the siding to determine the condition of the material and substrate. If the siding material or substrate feels soft or cracks easily, it is a sure sign that it is time to replace the siding.
Visible cracks on any siding material create an entry points for moisture and pests. You may want to consult a professional to inspect the depth and severity of your cracks to determine whether patchwork will suffice or if total siding replacement is necessary.
4. Holes from insects or birds
It can be difficult to spot small insect-caused holes in your siding, but if you encounter a series of carved patterns or see insects moving in and out of a small opening, you may have a more significant problem. Look for holes from birds much higher from the ground.
5. Unexpectedly High Energy Bills
A surge in your monthly utility bills may indicate that air is passing through your home. Check your windows and exterior door frames. If you don’t find leaks there, your siding is the most likely culprit. To resolve this issue moving forward, look into installing energy-efficient siding when doing your replacement.
6. Interior moisture
If you find traces of moisture, mold, or mildew inside of your house, be sure to investigate the condition in the same area on the exterior. Mold or mildew growth on interior walls adjacent to exterior walls could be an indication of excess moisture seeping in through compromised siding. In addition, peeling paint, sagging wallpaper, and soft or crumbling drywall could also point to a moisture problem resulting from compromised exterior siding. You may need to update your home’s insulation as well as the siding.
House Siding Options
These days, there are many types of siding materials to choose from for homes. Different types of siding vary in structure, appearance, cost, return on investment, and maintenance needs. Below you will discover the most common siding options used for residential homes, as well as their costs and benefits.
Vinyl sidingis by far the most popular siding material due to its low price, wide range of colors, and easy installation. This low-maintenance siding material does not require painting, does not warp or twist, and repels both insects and water.
Vinyl is very easy to clean which makes it a long-lasting siding material. However, be aware that it can sometimes crack, melt, and burn in extremely warm temperatures. Wood grain integrated into the material’s surface gives it the appearance of wood siding.
Cost to Install
Cost per square foot: $1 to $8
Average cost per 2,000 square feet: $2,000 to $16,000
Easy to maintain and clean
Versatile colors and textures
Before you choose vinyl siding for your home, you should consider the overall architecture of your neighborhood. For example, you could diminish your property value by installing vinyl siding in a neighborhood where wood or stone siding is dominate.
Fiber Cement Siding
Fiber cement sidingis another popular type of siding, made of a blend of concrete, sand, and cellulose fabricated with wood-like characteristics. This type of siding is resistant to insects, fire, and heat – making it a good siding choice for warmer climates.
This siding material is sold pre-primed with a pre-painted options available at a higher material cost. It costs between $5 and $12 per square foot on average, making it one of the more costly siding options next to wood and brick. However, this higher cost is worth it to many homeowners, as it provides top-notch durability, a long lifespan, and about 70% in recovered costs during resale.
Cost to Install
Cost per square foot: $5 to $12
Average cost per 2,000 square feet: $11,000 to $24,000
Fire and heat resistant
Long lifespan of 50+ years
Although its painted surface offers versatility in home décor, it also presents a problem should you allow the paint to fail. Fiber cement siding can succumb to water and moisture damage during freezes, thaws, and rainy seasons due to improperly sealed surfaces.
Wood siding perhaps carries the highest price tag out of all the types of siding, at $8 to $12 per square foot. Available in shingles, clapboard, as well as cedar sheathing, the beauty of wood siding is superior to most siding types. It can be painted or stained for versatile style options. Beyond aesthetic value, wood is impact-resistant and can last for decades. It is also known to award homeowners with a high resale value.
Cost to Install
Cost per square foot: $8 to $12
Average cost per 2,000 square feet: $16,000 to $24,000
Considered a high-end siding material with high resale value
Various paints and stains available
Lasts for decades
Keep in mind, however, that wood can potentially warp, twist, and burn. In addition, it is vulnerable to insect infestation like termites, wood rot, and moisture when not maintained properly.
Brick is another high-end type of siding, comparable in price to fiber cement and wood. This type of siding is highly durable, comes in a variety of colors, and provides hefty insultation including sound resistance. Brick also creates a classic, timeless look for the home.
Brick siding also provides multiple weather-resistance benefits, including fire-resistance. It will not warp or require routine cleaning, unlike vinyl and wood siding.
Cost to Install
Cost per square foot: $5 to $15
Average cost per 2,000 square feet: $10,000 to $30,000
Superior strength and durability
Weather and fire resistant
Some potential downsides to consider are the price point, and the fact that the color choices are limited. While brick can be painted, it does not support as many different colors as other types of siding.
If you want to use brick for your siding but do not want to commit to the cost of thousands of square feet, you can opt to feature brick siding in one area of your home’s exterior, while using a more affordable material (such as vinyl) for the rest).
Homeowners who are interested in the appearance of stone siding can choose between either stone veneer siding or natural stone siding. Both types of siding will give the beautiful, modern appearance of stone. However, stone veneer is considered a faux manufactured stone, which means it will cost much less and yield a higher R.O.I. during a resale. Natural stone, on the other hand, is real stone and therefore has the highest price tag out of any type of siding.
Cost to Install
Stone veneer cost per square foot: $5 to $10
Natural stone cost per square foot: $28 to $50
Stone veneer average cost per 2,000 square feet: $16,000+
Natural stone average cost per 2,000 square feet: $76,000+
Highly visually pleasing appearance
Does not fade over time
Very durable and low maintenance
High resale value
Choosing Siding Colors
Once you know which type of siding you want to go with, you can begin to pick out a color. Choosing siding colors can be one of the most enjoyable aspects of a siding replacement. While you may be drawn to a siding color right away, it’s helpful to use the following tips and steps to navigate the process:
Determine your siding type. You may be limited on siding color options based on the type of siding. For instance, brick and wood allow for fewer color options, while vinyl color options are almost endless.
Consider your home’s style. Home style is often a helpful indicator in which siding colors will work best. For instance, colonial homes work best with white, gray, and subtle colors. Victorian style homes better support bold colors and textures.
Look at your front door, windows, and roof. It’s a good idea to choose a siding color that goes well with other exterior elements. For instance, you can contrast a dark front door or roof with a lighter colored siding, and vice versa. Keep in mind that you can always replace your door affordably to better suit your new siding replacement.
Explore other homes in your neighborhood. Walking around and taking a look at other homes in your area is a good way to get siding inspiration and color ideas. Perhaps there is a home that you admire and shares your home’s style and build. Even better – if there is a home for sale in your neighborhood, take a look at its value online. This information can potentially indicate whether a home’s siding is resulting in a higher resale value.
Determining the Cost to Replace Siding
Before diving into a siding replacement project, you probably want an estimate of what it will cost. Although your siding contractor will measure how much siding your home needs and provide you with quotes, you can also achieve a rough estimate yourself.
Here is a quick way to determine how many squares – one square represents 100 square feet- of siding you will need to purchase.
Measure and multiply the height times the width of all the rectangular sections of your home in feet to determine square footage. Do not subtract window and door openings to allow for waste.
Next, measure and multiply height and width of gable ends and any other triangular areas and divide the total by two.
Add all of the totals together and divide by 100.
The resulting sum will be the number of squares of siding you will need for your project.
Remember to thoughtfully consider quality and cost of each type of siding before finalizing your siding replacement plans. Your siding professional will also be able to guide you on the best type of siding for your budget, style preferences, geographical location and climate.
Be sure to consult Modernize’s handy Siding Cost Calculator to get an accurate estimate of what your siding replacement project will cost you, based on your specifications.
Hiring a Siding Replacement Contractor
Because a siding installation is labor intensive, you will likely require a licensed contractor to perform the job. It is to your advantage to select a reputable contractor who is highly experienced with siding installation. A licensed siding contractor will also have the necessary insurance to cover the installation, materials, and labor. Our siding contractor checklist can help you ensure you are hiring the right professional for the job. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the hiring process:
For any contractor you contact, request a written estimate that includes all costs involved. This includes removal and disposal of old siding, and other job-related debris. All estimates should be signed and dated. To eliminate confusion regarding contract details, clearly note the scope of the work, the contractor’s warranty, and how long the warranty is in effect.
Check with any local government office that has information about licensed contractors as well as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for contractors regarding past or present complaints. Be sure to hire a contractor with positive reviews and years of experience doing siding replacements
Evaluate quotes from three to four contractors. Consider both cost and quality in your assessment. Keep in mind that you can negotiate cost in some instances.
Looking for a place to start comparing contractors and project estimates? Modernize is your go-to resource. Our network of siding contractors are highly experienced and qualified to get the job done.
Maintaining Your New Siding
Proper care and maintenance of your new siding will help to extend its useful lifespan, as well as avoid additional damage to your home should it fail. Periodic cleaning and inspection will help you identify areas that may need attention. Remember that different types of siding require different maintenance and cleaning methods. Consult our siding cleaning and maintenance guide to learn how to best upkeep your home’s siding.
Simple caulking and painting, especially in high moisture climates, could save you hundreds of dollars in structural repairs.
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