Installing siding is one of the best ways to protect what for many of us is the biggest asset we own: our homes. Having siding professionally installed is a surefire way to increase your home’s value should you choose to place it on the local real estate market. After all, it not only improves curb appeal; it also protects your home from weather-related damage and deterioration.
As our friends over at BobVila.com write, “The exterior of your home faces a ceaseless barrage of threats from the hot sun, strong winds, precipitation in all its forms, and the bitter winter cold. As such, your house siding must be strong and durable. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful even decades into its life. Advancements in the manufacture of siding materials and their installation have improved both the look and longevity of products for the exterior of today’s home.”
Makes sense, right? So we can all agree that a new siding installation or replacement siding has numerous benefits for us as homeowners.
But how do we go about choosing what’s right for us? There are many different styles and materials to choose from — not to mention that contractors will offer other enticements in order to secure the gig.
Hiring a siding contractor: Critical business
Home improvement jobs are big jobs, especially those that apply to a home’s exterior. Be sure to hire a contractor you trust. Look for a good contractor who has excellent customer service reviews — and be sure to get a written estimate. Also: Confirm that your siding contractor is an elite preferred siding contractor for whichever siding product (vinyl siding, fiber cement, etc.) and manufacturer you prefer.
You may also want to consider looking into the Better Business Bureau for information on a particular contractor. There’s much they need to do in order to be in compliance with building codes, workers compensation, and other critical aspects of the construction business including proof of insurance.
We need to go into this process with some information on our side. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some important questions to ask when hiring a siding contractor. We’ll follow those up with some answers based on our own long experience performing siding installations throughout the Portland, Oregon, metro area.
Hiring A Siding Contractor: Questions To Ask
- Will siding increase my home’s value?
Almost certainly! There are a lot of ways to increase a home’s value but few are as effective as replacing your old siding with new, or installing new siding where none existed before.
First things first: Siding can make an old home look new. And new siding instantly improves your home’s curb appeal. Buyers in the market for a new house will notice the high-quality look of your home as they research potential buying opportunities.
Research shows that home buyers are often most interested in three details of potential homes: siding, windows, and doors. Great thing is, new siding opens up the opportunity to also replace doors and windows at the same time!
Whether buyers are searching online or driving by available properties in your neighborhood, a home with newly installed siding will stand out from the crowd. Buyers want to know they can rely on their home’s siding for decades to come. New siding gives them that peace of mind.
- What siding material is right for me?
One of the questions to ask when hiring a siding contractor is: What kind of siding material should I choose? The answer to this question may require a more in-depth discussion with your professional siding installer. It depends on your home’s location, your budget, and, of course, your own personal sense of style.
Modern siding comes in a variety of forms, feels, and looks. Here are just a few of the options you will find:
- Fiber cement
- Stone veneer
It’s helpful to get some insight from your siding contractor as to the various pros and cons of each siding option. It’s also important to keep in mind that many of these different types of siding can mimic the look and feel of other materials!
- Is it difficult to keep siding clean?
No! In fact, modern siding won’t require much in the way of maintenance or cleaning. In most cases, a good splashing from a garden hose every few months is enough to wash away any muck or dirt that may have accumulated there. For areas in which there is more accumulation than can be handled by a hose, you may want to use a soft cloth or soft brush.
Notice that the above method doesn’t require any cleaners. If you find mold on your siding, or if you notice grease or oily grime, you may need more than just water and a brush.
Thus, another question to ask your siding contractor is how to keep your particular siding clean. Whether it’s mold or mildew, grease or oil, or some other conglomeration of gunk, you’ll need to know precisely what to do to keep your siding — and thus your home! — looking as fresh as the day it was installed.
- Should I also install new windows?
This may seem at first glance to be an odd question to ask a siding contractor. But the truth is, many siding contractors also perform remodels. And since you’re getting new siding, it’s the perfect time to also consider getting new windows.
Modern windows are energy-efficient, and they also provide better security than the original ones you probably have on your house right now. How? By incorporating stress-resistance (or forced-entry resistance) into their manufacture and by including additional locking mechanisms.
The energy-efficiency comes in the form of reduced heating and cooling costs, especially if they are installed with high-quality window films or tints. In addition, newly installed windows to go with new siding means your home is more perfectly sealed from the elements than ever before.
- How long will the siding installation take, and how much will it cost?
Two questions for the price of one! A siding installation on a medium-sized property will likely take about two weeks. Of course, there are a number of variables at play, so you’ll need to talk to your contractor about specific time frames and expectations.
One thing you can do to prepare for your siding job is research the company online. Try to get a sense for how long the job takes and, perhaps more importantly, how close the time estimate was to the actual time it took to perform the work to your satisfaction.
As for costs, those will vary depending on a number of factors that you will discuss with your siding contractor. Generally speaking, however, the average cost of siding a home can be anywhere from $3 per square foot installed to $30 or more per square foot installed. Material (type of siding) is typically the biggest factor in determining cost per square foot.
It all depends on materials, labor costs, how big your home is, and what style of home it is. It also depends on if your contractor will need to tear out your old siding or if this will be the first time the home has had siding installed.
What other questions have you thought about as you consider your own siding installation projects?