You only get one chance to make a first impression. By now, it's a pretty tired saying, but that doesn't make it any less true. Curb appeal is your home's first impression. It's that first glimpse of your home from the curb that sets the context for everything else a passerby, guest, or potential buyer will learn about your home. And if you ever questioned the value of curb appeal, a joint study by researchers at Michigan State University and University of Delaware found that something as simple as updated landscaping adds 5 to 11% to the perceived value of a home. In short, the better your home looks from the outside, the more people will value it inside and out. When you consider that siding makes up the largest portion of your home's image from the street, its importance to curb appeal cannot be understated. So if you are considering selling or just want to increase your home's value, you can boost your home's curb appeal with new siding.
The Importance of Siding
Unlike many curb-appeal-boosting renovations, siding is much more than just an aesthetic bonus. Siding is one of the most important parts of your home. Since it covers your home from the foundation to the roof, the condition of your siding makes a huge impression. The color, type, and condition of your siding say a lot about you, the homeowner. It may not seem fair, but your home reflects on you. But if your siding is aging, it may be doing more than affecting your home's appearance.
Siding is the most significant part of your home's envelope. It is the outermost layer of your home, and it takes a beating from the wind, rain, and sun. Your siding protects the walls beneath it, so if your siding is damaged, it can allow driving rain to penetrate to the inner part of your walls. Moisture that gets past your siding can warp and rot the wooden components of your walls and frame.
Holes in your siding are also an open invitation to pests, large and small. Every type of pest, from roaches to rodents, is looking for a warm place to find shelter. If your siding is cracked or broken, pests can make themselves at home in your walls, where they can do real damage. Some pests, like mice and rats, will eat away at your walls and leave a mess that is expensive and dangerous to clean up.
Siding that is damaged can be repaired. But if the damage covers more than just a small area, it may not be cost-effective to repair. If your siding shows signs of damage all around your home, it is time for a replacement. Many homeowners think the best they can do is to replace what was there. But siding replacement is an opportunity for some serious upgrades. You can select new siding that reflects your unique style, and the right siding can also improve your home's structural integrity.
Siding Affects Energy Efficiency
One of the most expensive parts of homeownership is the ongoing cost of heating and cooling your home. In an average home, climate control can use as much energy as all of your other appliances combined. With that much energy dedicated to heating and cooling, anything you can do to make your home more energy-efficient can have a significant effect on your utility costs.
Trying to heat a home with cracked or damaged siding is like running your air conditioner with the window open. Many homeowners are surprised by the effect that new siding has on their utility bills. To increase the energy savings, consider installing insulated siding. Many new types of siding are produced specially for energy efficiency. Some siding is even Energy Star Rated.
The first and most significant decision you will have to make about your new siding is what material to use. Traditionally, most siding was made of wood. Even today, wood many homeowners prefer the classic look of wood siding. But using wood comes with some pretty significant maintenance responsibilities. Wood needs to be finished to withstand the elements. Every few years, you will need to refinish or repaint your wooden siding to keep it protected. Wood siding also requires seasonal inspection. With each change of the seasons, you should inspect your wood siding for signs of wear or damage. It's a big job and can require ladders to inspect the siding high up near your roof. But if you neglect regular inspections, small problems can quickly become extensive and costly damage.
For a long time, the primary alternative to wood was aluminum siding. Aluminum is not subject to the same organic weathering as wood. Unlike wood, it doesn't rot or warp or peel. But aluminum poses its own maintenance problems. The aluminum itself is hardly affected by weather, but its enamel coating is less hardy. As the enamel chips and fades, aluminum needs to be repainted. Since aluminum is metal, it is susceptible to pitting, dents, and scratches that are hard, if not impossible, to repair. When aluminum siding becomes damaged, replacement may be the only solution.
Today, the most popular siding material is vinyl. Vinyl siding can mimic the natural look of wood, but with far less maintenance. Vinyl siding is nearly impervious to weather. The most common maintenance required for vinyl siding is an annual cleaning. At least once a year, vinyl siding should be washed to prevent staining and remove accumulated dirt and grime. In most cases, vinyl siding can be cleaned with nothing more than a garden hose. If the dirt is really stuck on, a power washer will do the trick.
Installing New Siding
Given the importance of siding, it's vital to get your new siding installed by a qualified expert. If you run a quick online search, you will find dozens of contractors who say they can install siding. But just any contractor is not who you want to install your siding. Your siding is your home's first line of defense against the elements and should last for decades. It is also the most visible part of your home's exterior. With stakes like that, you should be looking for a siding installation specialist.
When you search for a siding installation expert or any other home improvement service, your first stop should always be TrustDALE.com. When you find a siding expert on TrustDALE.com, you are assured that the company you hire is reliable and trustworthy. TrustDALE only certifies companies that have passed Dale's rigorous 7-point investigative review. TrsutDALE certified companies offer the best combination of value, quality, and customer service. And if you have a disagreement that you can't work out with the business, you are protected by Dale's trademark $10,000 Make-It-Right™ Guarantee.