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Is Siding A Wise Home Improvement Investment?

Home design magazines are full of amazing houses, and just a quick flip through their pages proves just what siding can do for appearance. Not only can it make a home more beautiful, but it also adds value and protects the house from weather damage. Remodeling Magazine ranks siding as the number one home improvement that does the most for resale value.

What Is Siding?

Siding is an outer covering on a house that is made materials like wood, vinyl, metal, or insulated material.

Remodeling Magazine ranks fiber-cement board siding as the best bet. Fiber-cement board siding is a low cost and durable option that is fire resistant, insect resistant, wind resistant, and keeps moisture from seeping inside. Investors can expect to get an 86% return on their fiber-cement board siding investment if they sell their home.

Wood siding is a very beautiful and versatile option. However, it requires more maintenance than other materials and must be stained or pained. It can become worn and faded quickly, and is a prime target for termites and ants.

Vinyl siding is inexpensive, durable, and can be designed to look just like wood siding if that’s what a homeowner wants. Older vinyl siding had a problem buckling and cracking, but newer versions have largely alleviated these problems. Vinyl siding is available in an unlimited array of colors, so there is something for every personality type. A downside to vinyl siding is that it is difficult to dispose of and often is not biodegradable.

Insulated siding increases a home’s energy efficiency by about 20%, is Energy Star qualified, is very durable, and is very attractive. It also improves indoor air quality because it is breathable and prevents mold and rot from growing on the wooden walls underneath.

Metal siding is rarely used on homes, but is common in industrial complexes and barns. Metal siding is heavy and doesn’t provide insulation, but it is a cost effective option that resists bugs and rot.

How Does One Install Siding?

A homeowner can hire a profession siding contractor to install their siding, or they can do it themselves.

Many siding manufacturers have installation manuals on their websites. This will teach a homeowner how to put the siding up, how to treat inside and outside corners, and how to use trim pieces.

When installing siding, keep in mind that it expands and contracts, and that if cut too short or nailed too tightly it can crack.

A professional siding installer uses an array of specialized tools to get the job done. Theses include tools to punch notches in the siding, special saws, scaffolding, laser levels, and ladders.

If someone doesn’t have many tools or experience working on homes, it may be a better bet to hire a siding specialist. Contractors can be found in the phone book, on the Internet, and through word of mouth from friends and home improvement store professionals.

A contractor can visit the home site and make an estimate of how much it will cost to complete the job, based on dimensions and siding type. More than one contractor can come out, and a homeowner can have them bid on the project.

A contractor should be chosen based on experience, price, warranty, references, as well as a buyer’s personal impression. It is important to talk to several of their past customers to learn the quality and timeliness of his work.

Adding siding to a new home or replacing existing siding on an older home is a great way to add instant curb appeal and value. It also protects a home from the elements and makes it more energy efficient.

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