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All About Siding - A Homeowners' Guide

home siding installed by a home contractorSiding is the face your house presents to the world, and your home's first line of defense against the elements. Get to know your siding and you may learn there is a lot to love about it. But if the romance has soured, and it's time for the old siding to go, you can ensure you get the best possible replacement - at the best possible cost - by educating yourself with some basic information.

"Seeing your house stripped down for new siding can be traumatizing," says Craig Smith of, a Web site that helps connect homeowners with prescreened contractors in their area.

Here are some things you should know about siding installation:

  • In most cases, the old siding will have to be totally removed before the new siding can be installed. (In some cases, metal siding can be applied over the existing siding.)

    Workers will either remove all the old siding, and then return later to install the new. Or, as one worker finishes removing the siding from one wall, another will begin applying the new siding.

    This second method is most common during cold weather months to limit the house's exposure to the elements. Neither option is better or worse, but with large homes, removal of the old siding can require a full day's work.

  • Expect the energy savings and added resale value to offset the expense of the new siding...

    The old siding is usually hauled away in a dump truck. Occasionally, a contractor may leave it in a pile for a few days until the job is completed. Rest assured, once the work is done, the pile will be gone.

  • If the sheathing behind the old siding is damaged or unusable for any reason, it will need to be replaced. The sheathing is very inexpensive, so the added cost here will basically be labor.

    If you are unsure about why something needs to be fixed, have your contractor show you the damage and also show you what sheathing looks like that is in good condition so you can compare. Also, have him check and/or replace the wood trim.

  • The new siding will typically be stacked in your yard. Most siding installers will be done with the job in a few days, so it's unlikely this will damage your lawn. If your yard is small or cluttered, it would be a good idea to clear a space for the material and for the siding contractors.

    If you leave the house during the day, you will be surprised at the change that has occurred once you return home. You might even drive right by your own house, so be prepared for a few things after the installation:

  • Expect to have lower energy bills.

  • Expect people to compliment you on the new look of your home (this point can be particularly difficult for those people who can't take a compliment).

  • Expect the energy savings and added resale value to offset the expense of the new siding.

  • Expect the siding to last a long time.

To learn more about working with siding contractors, or to find a contractor in your area, visit
Copyright © ARA Content

also see -> Improving your home's exterior | How to work with a home contractor

More about home siding around the Web:

Siding - A Guide to the Options

How to Easily Repair Vinyl Siding Panels

The Dollar Stretcher- Replacing Siding

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