When it comes to replacing your siding, you may be thinking, “That seems easy enough, I wonder if I could do it myself.”
The idea that you could save some money with a DIY siding approach may sound like a good idea, but for the inexperienced DIY homeowner, it can take a lot longer, and you’ll risk paying more for mistakes down the road.
What Are the Benefits of Installing New Siding?
Installing new siding on your home is one of the best investments you can make for several reasons.
Immediately Boost Curb Appeal
Installing new siding on the house immediately modernizes its look and boosts your curb appeal. New siding can make your home look brand new—more than any new roof or landscaping can. Curb appeal is your home’s first impression and makes it more attractive to yourself, but also prospective buyers in the future.
Increase the Resale Value of Your Home
The cost of new siding upfront can be relatively high, but if you are ever to sell your home, you will easily make up the majority of your project cost. The value of getting new siding for the house not only makes it look nice, but prospective buyers will know that any underlying issues below the siding have also been taken care of making your home even more attractive to potential buyers.
This fun tool on remodeling.hw.net shows national and regional averages per year for remodeling costs, resale value, and the percentage of ROI. It’s super useful, and in the East North Central region where Wisconsin lies, we can see that siding replacement offers a recoup of costs of at least 70%, depending on the siding material. That’s a pretty good return on investment!
Improve Energy Efficiency
When old siding is ripped off, and new siding put on, special care goes into making sure the underneath is insulated and wrapped correctly. New installation techniques ensure homes run as efficiently as possible while limiting energy waste and making sure you can stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
During installation, there will also be work to seal any air leaks between panels and in window and door frames. Air leaks around old windows can be one of the most significant losses of heat or air conditioning in your home. Taking off the siding will be the best way to see any gaps there and repair as needed.
Prevent Future Issues and Repairs
As well as resealing any air leaks, removing the siding can also show underlying problems that may not have been discovered until the issue became worse. Damage to your home’s structure can be caused by rainwater leaking between your siding and into the exterior walls. That water seepage can lead to several issues like mold growth, cracked drywall, and overtime can deteriorate your studs or siding panels.
The primary benefit of finding these things during the installation process is that they can be remedied before anything gets worse, and also be repaired in a way that helps prevent any future problems or repairs.
Pros and Cons of DIY Siding
There are pros and cons to everything, but when it comes to siding a house, doing it yourself may have more cons than you want to deal with. Let’s get into it.
The main pro of DIY siding is saving a lot of money upfront. You can purchase your own materials, take your time, and save a lot of money on labor.
You may feel more comfortable doing it yourself rather than strangers, depending on how trustworthy you find contractors. This is why it’s essential to build a relationship with your contractors beforehand so you can rest easy when they work on your home.
The cons of handling your own siding project include:
- The chance of making a crucial mistake that may cost you more money in the long run.
- You risk injury to yourself or others.
- Inexperience can lead to poor installation.
- You risk damaging your home during the removal of the old siding.
- You may find yourself taking way too many trips to the hardware store if you purchase the wrong materials or tools.
- It will likely take much, much longer.
- If you assemble a team of friends and family, you risk poor quality and inconsistent installation.
- You have to haul and dump your own waste, costing you more time and money.
As you can see, the cons heavily outweigh the pros of DIY siding. If you are a contractor yourself, you may have a better chance at DIY, but why not sit back and have a contracting crew come and take care of it.
Pros and Cons of Hiring a Professional Contractor to Install Your Siding
When you hire a professional contractor, you’ll find they will be faster, more efficient, better at installing, and know the proper tools and techniques to ensure your new siding looks perfect. Let’s look at the pros and cons and see how they compare to those of doing it yourself.
The pros of hiring a professional contractor include:
- They have the expertise to do the job right.
- They have a speedy turnaround time, so you have little disruption to your life.
- They may find issues you would not have noticed.
- You protect yourself from injury by letting the pros handle it safely and professionally.
- It’s more cost-effective.
- Don’t want vinyl siding? They can install more premium materials like cedar shake and metal.
- They will collect all waste and dump it for you, plus clean up the property—you’ll never know they were there.
Paying for the professionals means you can sit back, relax, and have new siding within a matter of days. Licensed contractors will know how to remove old siding, check for any damage or needed repairs before installing the new stuff. They have special tools and techniques that get the job done quickly and safely. They will also cover any landscaping you want to be protected and clean up every nail from your yard.
Depending on the job and what you are expecting as a homeowner, there may be a few cons to consider before hiring a professional. Though few and far between, cons to hiring a professional include:
- For a smaller task, it may not be as cost-effective to hire a professional. Small repairs that you believe you can handle yourself will cost far less than hiring a contractor and paying for labor.
- You may have to work on their time and availability.
- You will pay more upfront costs, but with DIY, you can stretch it out if you want to.
Some Questions to Ask Yourself Before Choosing the DIY Route
Before you dive too deep into beginning your DIY siding process, you must ask yourself a few key questions to determine if this is the best route. As fun as handling your own projects around the house can be, your siding and roof can be a testy process best left for the pros. But, highly experienced homeowners might be able to manage.
Have You Ever Done This Before?
It’s one thing to say you’ve remodeled your bathroom and kitchen on your home’s interior, but quite another to do your own siding. Your home’s exterior is a delicate part of your home, and if you’ve never done it before, it’s maybe not the best place to be learning as you go. Whereas you can trial and error installing a bathroom sink, but that isn’t going to be detrimental to your home’s overall performance. However, if you’ve helped a few friends do their own siding, you have a good base of this kind of work and might be able to start off on the right foot.
How Experienced Are You? (be honest)
DIYers can watch Youtube videos to help manage small projects around the house, for sure. But without extensive knowledge and experience about siding and home exterior projects, it can be difficult to accomplish such a task. To do your own siding, you must have impeccable attention to detail, know how to cut straight lines on your table saw, be aware of proper installation techniques based on the brand of siding you have, and more.
These details are vital to ensuring a proper siding job, and sometimes being an experienced DIYer will only get you so far. So be honest with yourself about your skill level and how fast you think you might be able to finish this kind of project.
Do You Have a Team to Help?
If you have a team of experienced friends or family members who have done this before or have done this professionally, that can change everything. Having a solid team to help get the job done right and fast can be the difference between a failed DIY siding job and something you can be proud of.
However, one crucial thing to note is that by “hiring” friends and family to help do your siding job, you are also responsible for any injuries or damage that accrue during this time. Make sure you have the proper insurance to take care of anyone should anything happen.
Do You Have the Proper Tools?
You don’t want to cut corners on the tools and materials you use for your DIY siding job. And you also don’t want to be mid-job and find out you need to drop what you’re doing and run to the store.
Required Tools & Materials:
- Utility Knife
- Tin Snips
- Snap Lock Punch
- Nail Hole Slot Punch
- Unlocking Tool
- Corner Posts
- Trim and Molding
- Your Vinyl Siding (Or other material)
Can You Afford a Professional?
Does hiring a professional siding team fit into your budget? Or are you just choosing to DIY because you think it will save you money? If you have the funds to hire a professional team, we say go for it. By the time you purchase all of your materials, tools and handle any snags along the way, you might be facing more charges than you anticipated. Professionals can get much better deals on materials, and that is included in the price they’ll charge you. Is your time and energy worth saving a few hundred (or thousand) bucks? Or would you rather pay to ensure it’s done right, on time, and with better quality materials.
Whether you are repairing siding or replacing it entirely, you’re going to want it done right the first time. DIY homeowners are commendable in that they can renovate their own homes on a budget, and there’s pride in doing some projects on your own. However, when it comes to your home’s exterior, lack of experience can mean damage and repairs down the road that wouldn’t occur with a professional installation.
We fully believe that hiring a professional contractor to remove and install your new siding is your best option and will offer the best ROI, the fastest turnaround time, and the best-looking final product.
The certified installers at First American Roofing and Siding will take a whole-home approach to your new siding project. We will work with you every step of the way to ensure a seamless process that gives you siding that boosts your curb appeal and improves your home’s overall efficiency.
For more information and to get a FREE estimate, visit our website and fill out our form here. We look forward to working with you!