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Your Home Environment Resource - University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension in Lancaster County

Household Hints & HELP!

Choosing New Siding

submitted by Lorene Bartos, Extension Educator
This article appeared in the July 14, 2003 Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper.

Does your house need a facelift? New siding on a home can reduce maintenance, improve appearance and insulation, protect from weathering, blend additions and increase value. It also can reduce the value of a home if it doesn't preserve the architectural integrity or historic value of the house.

New siding is a major investment. A reputable dealer is an important part of the selection process. Be sure to evaluate all options such as why it's needed, affordability and whether to hire a professional to install it. Selecting siding for your house is like choosing any item with many choices. There are many lines of siding to choose between. Siding must be durably attractive and affordable. At first it may seem color is the most important choice to make. Other important aspects to consider include style, performance, value, gauge, grain and profile.

Evaluate the different types of siding available. Five common types are aluminum, steel, vinyl, wood and hardboard. The choice will depend on cost, the amount of maintenance desired, style, design and condition of the house, what is available in the area and personal preference.

Gather competitive estimates from contractors who will do quality work. Ask whether the cost includes preparation, such as removing old siding and cleanup. Ask for names of former customers to see past work and interview them about their experience with the contractor. Choose a contractor with experience, and call the Better Business Bureau to make sure there are no unresolved problems with past clients.

Compare the warranty on the siding and on the surface paint or coating. They may be different. Make sure the contract for the work includes a guarantee on the work, a lien agreement, a completion date and a payment schedule. Do not attempt to install the siding yourself unless you have the skills, tools and time. If not installed correctly, maintenance problems may develop.

 

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