Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Siding

If you walk to the edge of your property and take an honest, objective look at your home, the first and biggest impression you will get will be made by your home’s siding. Siding that is old and faded, poorly maintained, or simply tired and sagging can make your home look its worst. But wrapping your home in crisp vinyl siding or rugged James Hardie fiber cement siding can completely transform its look and feel – all while releasing you from the drudgery of painting and other maintenance chores.

Homeowners throughout New England have discovered that new siding is the secret to making a home more beautiful and valuable, while also significantly improving its “energy envelope.” Hi Tech Windows & Siding customers from Maine to Massachusetts have who had us install quality vinyl siding or fiber cement siding know they will enjoy many years of comfort, performance and value.

What are My Siding Choices?

There is a wide variety of materials being used on homes today. There are traditional materials like wood clapboard, cedar shingles, or stucco. There is the once extremely popular aluminum siding. And there are more updated home siding materials like vinyl and fiber cement siding. Each has its advantages, but some clearly outshine the others.

· Fiber cement siding was developed by James Hardie as a more durable, worry-free alternative. It is a rigid, rugged material that is factory-made to mimic the look and feel of wood, but with superior performance. Fiber cement panels can be applied horizontally or vertically and are available in a wide range of colors. Because fiber cement is a composite material it can be formulated to stand up to the climate conditions of the region where it is being installed. One of the most durable siding materials, James Hardie fiber cement siding is fire resistant, wind resistant, insect-proof, and comes with a 30-year warranty, one of the longest in the industry.

· Vinyl siding was created as an alternative to aluminum siding when that material fell out of favor. Modern vinyl siding is attractive, available in a range of finishes (from smooth to woodgrain) and a variety of colors. With proper insulation vinyl siding can help protect your home from all types of weather and temperature fluctuations. Most people prefer vinyl siding because it is virtually maintenance-free, never needs to be painted, and can be cleaned with a garden hose.

· Aluminum siding was all the rage in the 1950s as a replacement for maintenance-heavy wood siding, but lost its place when vinyl siding came along. While aluminum is easy to care for, it can tend to fade and “chalk” after exposure to the sun, and is susceptible to dents and dings.

· Stucco siding is more frequently found in warmer climates, as the stucco material does not stand up well to cold and icy conditions. Stucco is a cement-like coating that is applied to an underlying structure. It tends to crack and chip over time.

· Wood clapboard siding and cedar shingles give a very natural look to a home. But they require frequent maintenance, including scraping and painting or staining every few years. Wood is also susceptible to damage from insects, offers little insulation value, and can warp.

Why is Fiber Cement Siding America’s Fastest Growing Siding Choice?

Over 8 million American homes have been siding with James Hardie fiber cement siding, making it the fastest growing siding choice nationwide. Some of the reasons are obvious:

  • · Fiber cement is beautifully finished and available in a wide variety of colors that last without fading
  • · You can choose from a smooth finish or Hardie Plank that looks and feels just like wood (without the high maintenance requirements)
  • · Fiber cement siding can be applied horizontally or vertically – or you can mix ‘n match for a unique look
  • · James Hardie offers a full trim package to complete the great new look around windows, doors, eaves and soffits
  • Some of the reasons are not easy to see, but deliver superior performance:
  • · Material is specially formulated for the climate in which it will be installed
  • · Fiber cement is fire resistant, stands up to high winds, and does not attract insects like wood
  • · Fiber cement is rigid and strong to deliver years of service and value
  • · James Hardie fiber cement siding comes with a 30-year warranty

What Advantages Does Vinyl Siding Have Over Other Home Siding Materials?
Vinyl siding remains an incredibly popular material thanks to its beautiful looks, easy maintenance, and affordable cost. You can choose from several grades of vinyl depending on your home’s design and your siding budget. Vinyl siding is available in several finishes, including smooth and woodgrain, to increase its appeal. Because the color is “through and through” the vinyl you will never have to paint, and the vinyl will not chip or flake. Adding a layer of insulation or choosing vinyl siding with integral insulation provides additional protection from the wind and cold, helping you to reduce home heating and cooling costs.

Why Vinyl Siding and Fiber Cement Siding are Better Than Wood

If your home is currently sided with wood shingles or clapboards you know what awaits you every few years – the drudgery of scraping and painting your siding. Or paying someone thousands of dollars to do the work for you. Experts agree that a wood-sided home should be painted at least every seven years.

Here’s what you can expect to pay.

 

COST OF PAINTING A HOME’S EXTERIOR

 

# of Years         3-Bedroom Home         4-Bedroom Home         4-Bedroom Home w/Deck

 

Now                 $9,800-$12,600             $11,500-$14,800            $12,500-$15,800

7                      $12,000-$15,050            $13,730-$17,675            $14,925-$18,865

14                    $14,325-$17,970            $16,395-$21,100            $17,825-$22,525

21                    $17,100-$21,450            $19,575-$25,195            $21,285-$26,895

 

Total                 $53,225-$67,070            $61,200-$78,770            $66,535-$84,085

 

*Assuming a 3% inflation rate.

Is this how you want to spend your weekends? Or your hard-earned money? Replacing your home’s siding with high quality vinyl siding or James Hardie siding is the best way to avoid wasting all that time and money. Plus, you gain many more advantages when you choose vinyl siding or fiber cement siding, including:

  • ·       A longer service life, up to 30 years for premium siding or fiber cement.
  • ·       Vibrant colors that won’t fade, chip or peel.
  • ·       Almost no maintenance required – just an occasional cleaning with a garden hose usually suffices.
  • ·       Solid protection from the elements, including wind, rain, snow, and freezing temperatures.
  • ·       With proper insulation, vinyl siding or fibre cement siding can even help reduce energy loss and lower your home heating and cooling costs.
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How Do I Know My Siding Needs to Be Replaced?

There are seven signs to look for that may indicate that your home’s windows have reached the end of their useful service life and need to be replaced.

1.     It is still the original siding. No siding is made to last forever. If your home is more than 15 years old and still has its original siding you should consider replacing it with vinyl or fiber cement. Especially if the siding is wood, stucco or aluminum. Failure and problems are likely just a few years away.

2.     Your siding has faded, chipped, peeled or cracked. Wood siding that is not professionally repainted every 7 years is likely to look bad and perform poorly. As your home ages the frequency with which you have to scrape and paint may increase, adding to your home maintenance costs.

3.     You are experiencing leaks and drafts. Older siding can shrink or be displaced, which can result in gaps that allow in wind and water. Breezes can make you feel chilly and make your home’s heating system work harder than necessary. And water seepage can cause extensive (and expensive) damage to your home’s structure, including framing, walls and ceilings.

4.     You are tired of scraping and painting. You’ll be staggered when you add up the costs of regular siding maintenance, including painting your home every few years. Low maintenance vinyl siding or fiber cement siding are an easy alternative.

5.     You are just tired of the way your home looks. You can put your home on the market and try to sell it. Or you can invest in new siding and learn to love it all over again.

Get the True Story About Siding Replacement

Ready to learn the facts about replacing your home’s siding with high quality vinyl siding or James Hardie fiber cement siding? Our siding experts are ready to answer your questions. Give us a call at 800-851-0900 to chat or schedule an evaluation of your home’s siding. Or use our convenient online form to get in touch. We’re on your side and at your side!

 

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