Angie's List Report: Choosing Home Siding

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Updated: 10/24/2013 10:51 pm

In this Angie's List report, whether you’re trying to sell your home – or you’re planning to stay put – replacing old or damaged siding is a good investment.

Judy Hartley was unhappy with the former siding on her home. So after 20 years, she decided it was time for a makeover and chose a vinyl insulated product.

“We really love it. Our neighbors, of course, are all glad that we did it. There was a total stranger riding by on a bike one day and he said you have the most beautiful house in the neighborhood, so that made us feel good,” Hartley said.

“While many people think about the exterior of their home as an asset as far as beauty of their home, it’s really a big protector of the inside. If you think about it, your siding, the exterior of home is what is protecting you from the elements so you want to be sure it’s in good condition and taken care of every year,” said the founder of the consumer website Angie's List, Angie Hicks.

Homeowners have several siding options available today. Wood, vinyl and fiber-cement are the most popular choices. Aluminum and composite are also available.

“If we don’t have covenants, more people will tend to do the vinyl-insulated siding once they learn about all the sidings because the first question I ask them is do you want more of a maintenance-free product that is going to save you on energy? Sure," said siding contractor Steven Smalley.

Each siding material has its own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to installation, maintenance and cost, so you need to do your research to find the perfect product for your home.

“Cedar is a maintenance product. If you are installing cedar, you want to get everything oil-based all the way around, not just normal primer, oil-based primer because that absorbs into the cedar and will help you go longer periods of time of maintenance,” Smalley said.

Regularly walk around your house and look for any signs of wood rot, buckling, or peeling paint.

“Weather can be one of the biggest enemies to your siding so you need to keep in mind that you can get hail and wind damage. You may consider when residing your house to get some additional pieces of siding to keep so that you have some that matches your house if you need to do some repair work,” Hicks said.

Painting your home’s exterior is also an option. Painting the entire house or just the trim can give your home a whole new look.

Siding manufacturers are often very specific on how the product should be installed. If installed incorrectly, you could void your warranty. Check first before you paint any product, some manufacturers will void your warranty if the siding has been altered.

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