So you’ve decided to take the big step and have your home’s siding replaced. Siding installation is a big project that often takes several days to complete. There are some ways that you can make it go more smoothly or at least set your expectations so that you know what’s ahead.
This article will take you through the process of getting siding installed on your home, from the initial estimate to the final cleanup. The information is based on hiring a contractor for the installation, not taking it on as a DIY project.
Siding Replacement Is a Major Home Improvement Project
Siding replacement is a major home improvement project that will reap many benefits. The right high-quality siding brands and materials, coupled with installation by a reputable and experienced contractor, will protect your home from the elements and improve its curb appeal.
Studies show that new siding has a high return on investment. The following represents the ROI based on the siding material you choose:
Vinyl – 80 percent
Wood – 77 percent (This can be lower for more expensive woods like cedar, and higher for engineered wood)
Stucco – 70-75 percent
Stone (veneer) – 97 percent
Natural stone – 60-70 percent
Aluminum – 77 percent
Brick – 65-75 percent
Fiber Cement – 77 percent
One additional factor to consider is how long you plan to stay in your home versus the lifespan of the siding. While fiber cement siding, for example, might have a higher price tag, it can also last at least 50 years with proper care. Vinyl, while more affordable in the short term, only has a lifespan of 20-30 years.
Steps to Getting Siding Replaced
1. Choose Your Siding
Before the siding project can begin, you’ll need to decide on the siding material. There are several to choose from, as indicated above. Each material has its pros and cons, so you’ll need to do some research and solicit advice from experts and homeowners.
To assist you in selecting the best materials for your needs, we at Banner Construction have done some research ourselves. Below are links to comparisons between fiber cement siding and four other popular siding materials.
It may seem obvious that Banner Construction prefers James Hardie Fiber Cement siding over other brands and materials. That is because we believe it to be superior in performance and aesthetics over anything else.
Banner does offer the installation of premium vinyl siding, which will meet or exceed the quality of other vinyl siding manufacturers, we believe you just can’t beat the value, low maintenance, and durability of Hardie Fiber Cement siding.
2. Solicit Estimates
Once you’re pretty sure about what siding materials you’re selecting, you need to look for the right contractor to install it. Ask friends, family, and neighbors for recommendations. Look at reviews on Google, Yelp, Home Advisor, etc.
Avoid “storm chasers”. A storm chaser in this context defines a company or group of people who take advantage of homeowners who have recently suffered significant weather damages. They are usually from out of town, sent to geographical areas that have experienced damages to offer “special” deals to homeowners. They’ll walk around the neighborhood knocking on doors and promising great prices and quick repairs.
It’s best to hire a local company that has been established and is in good standing. Ask for estimates from at least three different contractors. Most contractors provide free estimates and consultations but ask to make sure. Ask the company for references and contact them. If possible, drive by the customer’s home to check out the results.
Make sure all estimates compare apples to apples. For example, the estimates should be for the same type and brand of siding that will be installed and include the same details and specifications. Be sure to ask questions or request explanations if you don’t understand or it’s not clear.
Banner Construction prepares our siding installation estimates to include proposals with the following specifications on responsibilities, exceptions, and assumptions.
Assumptions. This covers responsibilities of both Banner and the homeowner. For example, preparing the area, cleanup, etc.
General Conditions. This is a description of the project and what will be done by Banner. For example, site supervision, project management, building materials storage, daily cleanup, etc.
Demolition and Haul Away. This includes what Banner will remove, salvage, install, reinstall, and any other related tasks. For example, if trim, fascia, and molding is to be replaced, this would cover the removal of the old materials.
Exterior Carpentry. This section covers the details on the siding to be installed on the home’s exterior. It could also include information about replacing rotted trim, garage doors, fascia boards, and other exterior items in addition to the siding.
Windows. This section is for window replacement projects. It includes the brand, style, color, and number of windows to be installed.
Doors. If doors are being installed, this section will include the same type of information as the Windows section.
Exterior Painting. Any painting necessary that accompanies either the siding or windows/doors replacement project is detailed in this section.
Interior Painting. This is strictly for window and door replacement projects and usually includes details (prep, color, etc.) on painting any window casings or the interior of the front door.
Miscellaneous. If there are any additional details agreed to on the project, they will be listed here. Examples are removal of items before siding and installing bottom door sweep.
After discussing your project with contractors, you may change your mind about the type of siding you want. This is perfectly acceptable and you should continue your search until you find the solution that’s right for you.
3. Hire the Contractor and Schedule the Project
Once you decide on which contractor you want to do the job, make sure you get a written contract from them. It should be signed by an official with the company and by you. Read the contract carefully, including the fine print. Before you sign, get all of your questions answered. If the contractor balks or is unwilling to answer any questions, move on to the next one.
The contract should include a payment schedule. Most contractors will require some of the money upfront before the project begins, but you should NEVER pay all of it until the project is completed.
Next, you’ll need to schedule the project. With spring upon us, it’s the prime time for outdoor home improvement projects and siding installation is no exception. Contractors’ schedules fill up quickly, so be prepared to wait if necessary. It’s better to have it done later than to have it rushed. Besides, there are a few things you need to do to prepare your home before the contractors begin the siding project.
4. Prep the Yard and House
Before the siding contractors start unloading the siding and their equipment, you should prepare the exterior of your home for the project. Clearing the area where they’ll be working will help keep the project on track and reduce obstacles.
Trim landscaping around the perimeter of the house. Shrubs and trees should be trimmed back so they’re not touching the house. Grass should be mowed right before the contractors get there. Shorter lawns make it easier for them to find and remove nails and other debris.
Remove any portable items that could impede movement, like lawn furniture, children’s toys or play equipment. Keep the area as clear as possible so that the contractors can move freely and avoid injuries and damages.
If possible, have your driveway cleared to allow the installers to place the new siding and park their bins that will hold the old siding that is removed. Keep your cars parked inside your garage or on the street away from the construction area to avoid damages.
Don’t forget about the interior walls. Siding removal and installation can cause a lot of vibrations that could make pictures and other items hanging on the walls or leaning against the walls to fall. It’s best to move these items away from the walls during the project.
Trust the Local Leader in Siding Installation
For the best siding installation results, turn to Banner Construction. We have the expertise and knowledge to make sure your siding job is completed with the utmost care and attention.
Banner Construction has been in business since 1993 beautifying homes in St. Louis and St. Charles counties and surrounding cities. We specialize in exterior restoration and replacement services like fiber cement and vinyl siding, premium replacement windows and doors, and installing low-maintenance PVC decks.
We only offer premium products because we care about our customers and only want the very best results for them. When you’re ready for siding replacement, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free, detailed estimate.