Siding 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 ServiceMagic.com, 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
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
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
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
Expect the energy savings and added resale value to offset the
expense of the new siding.