The Replacement of the exterior Cladding and Why Now Is the Best Time to start

  • (Vinyl Siding Institute/Houzz)

  • (Vinyl Siding Institute/Houzz)

  • (Opal Enterprises Inc/Houzz)


We are always taught that it is what in those cases. But when it comes to your home, that is not always true. The outside of your home is perhaps just as important as the interior when it comes to the appearance. After all, it is the first thing you see when you come home, and it brings a lot about you and your family to your guests, friends, and neighbors. And the look of your exterior all starts with your siding.

If you’re thinking of giving your house a face-lift, here is a guide to the pros and cons of the common cleaning materials, how much they cost, and why now is the best time of year to get started.

Project: Replacing or updating siding

Reasons for the Change of Cladding

There are two important reasons for updating your exterior cladding: damage to or deterioration of the existing cladding, or simply the desire to change the appearance of your home.

Tara Dawn of Opal Enterprises says the majority of its customers fall into the first category. They may have owned or bought a house that is 30 years old and the siding is so deteriorated that they are now concerned about the water infiltration.

Exterior cladding is exposed to the elements, so it will not last forever. The fading of the sun, damage by storm or the aftermath of your lead-footed teenager ramming into the side of your house — there are many things that can have a negative impact on the siding.

If You Have This Patch?

If your siding is damaged in only one spot, for instance on the side of the house from a car bump or a small fire, you may wish to consider replacing the siding on that area. But it is not as easy as it sounds.

Many companies don’t do patchwork, because it is an obligation for the contractor, Dawn says. Plus, it is very difficult to match an existing siding due to fading and the availability of the exact product, assuming that you know what the product is and where to find it. Some contractors leave details on the siding of the product name and model number in the hands of homeowners to pass.

Most times it is just not cost effective for the cladding of companies to spend time to determine your current exterior cladding product, the detection of the exact same profile and try to get the color to match. “It can be done, it’s just hard,” Dawn says. “None of us want mixed-race houses.”

Many at home professionals advise that if you have damage to your siding and it is not caused by leakage or water damage, you should wait until you can replace the siding on your house.

Common Materials

Most products are designed to mimic real cedar siding. Each product has its advantages and disadvantages, and it is important that you do your own research before you reach out to the exterior cladding professionals or a local contractor.

Often, siding pros deal in one material and want to sell you on that product. Contractors may be familiar with the installation of only a particular material, and will try to convince you to go with a different product. So study up and make the right choice for yourself.

Vinyl. This is a plastic that comes in various thicknesses and qualities.

Pros: Vinyl is available in many colors and textures. It is affordable and provides most of the insulation behind the back. The product comes with a lifetime warranty. (Dawn note: It is not your life, but the life of the product, which is a bit ambiguous.) It is also chemically treated with insect repellent and rot resistance. Plus, the installation is fast.

Cons: Dawn says she always tells homeowners that “plastic will do what plastic do warp, bend, crack, fade.” This product usually takes 10 to 15 years. It is not fireproof. “If you like your barbecue, you could have melted clean up,” she says.

Time to install: Two to three days

Cost: $9 per square foot, including labor

Composite board. This product is made from recycled wood pulp pressed together with glues and adhesives.

Pros: Composite comes in any color you want. Choose a color from a paint shop, and the material is processed in your color choice. It is also paintable, and relatively eco-friendly due to its recycled nature. Installation is easy, so that contractors such as it is. It is also chemically treated with insect repellent and rot resistance.

Cons: You have to paint composite every three to five years. It is not fireproof, but very flammable. Composite products can have delamination problems, which means that the absorption of water can swell and split, and the pressed wood-chip layers. Sometimes the material can come sloppy workmanship, such as paint missing on the edges. “If there is something not painted, which means that it’s not protected,” Dawn says.

Time to install: Five to seven days

Cost: $10 to $11 per square foot, including labor

Fiber cement. This is a composite, usually made of silicon, Portland cement and recycled cardboard.

Pros: It is durable, fire-resistant and hail resistant. Insurers would be able to give you a small discount for installation. It is also chemically treated with an insect repellent and rot resistance. It is paintable and comes prefinished from the factory with a lot of bold colors.

Cons: It is very heavy and takes a long time to install, which means labor is expensive. Some contractors do not want to work.

Time to install: 10 to 12 days

Cost: $12 to $13 per square foot, including labor

Cedar. Real wood

Pros: This is the real deal. Cedar looks beautiful. It is also fairly easy to replace, if you can go down to your local lumberyard and have it installed, then painted.

Cons: Cedar is quite expensive and lot of maintenance. It has the tendency to absorb moisture, rot, insects, rodents, and woodpecker problems. (Yes, woodpeckers.)

Cost: $15 to $16 per square foot, including installation

Decorative Elements

Be prepared to consider a number of decorative elements for your exterior cladding. Siding companies will go over it with you, but it helps if you — for example, by creating a Houzz ideabook with cladding styles that you like.

All materials come with decorative elements intended to mimic wood. Maybe you find it fun shake-style shingles, fake stone, decorative pillars, scallops, belly-bands (such as a belt for your home, that separates paint colors from different parts of the cladding), and more.

You can also search decorative accessories for electrical boxes, water connectors and lighting. Of course, the more decorative you get, the more you will pay. “Most houses get reduced to what is affordable,” Dawn says.

RELATED: Shed some Light on the New Siding With These outdoor lighting Options

If it sounds a little overwhelming, don’t worry. Your siding professional can help you with your selections. He or she will come to your house and take photos to upload in the design of software that will show you how your house will look like with your new siding, colour, and decorative accessories.


This is not a normal DIY project. Dawn says that it is comparable with that of roofing. “Only 1 to 2 percent of the people can DIY clean up,” she says. And many of those are people who previously worked in the siding business.

Plus, the installation of certain products incorrectly may void the warranty, says Jordan Heller of Erdmann Exterior Designs.


Be sure to check with your homeowners association, if you have one, make sure that it is not to prohibit certain materials and colors.

Insurance and payment plans. If your home is insured for damage by a storm or accident, you may get money to cover the costs of siding repair. But the insurance companies will probably be only the cost of the damaged part of the house, not the entire cleanup, so be prepared to foot the extra bill to re-side your entire home or live with a slightly wrong environment of your home.

Heller represents clients get the insurance money first before you start the project to avoid holdups.

Budget. Many suppliers offer a 12 – or 24-month payments for the cladding, so you don’t have to pay everything upfront.

It allows

Permits are in every city, town or village. Most of the pro’s pull the permit for you, but you must pay for the cost of the permit.

Best Time to Start

For many siding pros, the slow season is December and January, but now is the best time for a company to get the plans for the spring which is the busy season. “As soon as the first sunny day hits in March, if you want to be on that list,” Heller says.

The long lead-time ensures that your product can get ordered and delivered on time.

Original article on Houzz

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