There are many reasons to replace old, worn-out siding: Homeowners can give its resale value a boost by simultaneously enhancing curb appeal and improving energy efficiency. But what all is involved in replacing your siding? Is it something you can do yourself, or should you seek the assistance of a professional siding contractor? Learn more about vinyl shake siding installation.
Do You Need New Vinyl Siding?
First, determine if your siding needs to be replaced. If it’s traditional vinyl siding, look for holes, cracks, or sagging sections of siding. Is it more than 20 years old? If so, you’re probably due for new siding. If you have wood siding, such as cedar shake siding, check for any rotten parts or areas of insect intrusion. Those with vinyl shake siding should check for loose pieces or areas where normal expansion has caused the vinyl shakes to buckle against each other.
Vinyl Siding Replacement: DIY Friendly?
If your siding needs to be replaced, how do you decide if this is a task worth tackling yourself? Vinyl siding installation isn’t the best project to undertake without previous siding experience, especially if replacing the siding of your entire house. The complexity, combined with the fact that it’s not an easy one-person job, makes it a good idea to consult a professional.
Vinyl Siding Installation Tools
If you’re installing new vinyl siding yourself, here are some commonly used tools that you’ll probably need:
- A hammer
- Measuring square
- Chalk line
- Circular saw
- Tin snips
- Utility knife
- A ladder
Some specialty tools will make the job much easier:
- A snap-lock punch (for punching holes in the vinyl siding)
- A nail hole slot punch (to elongate nail holes)
- An unlocking tool (for removing siding panels)
- A brake to shape and bend the siding as needed
The benefits of a DIY vinyl siding installation are pretty clear. If you have experience with vinyl siding, and the area is small, you can get the project done quickly and save a lot of money in the process. You can work on your own time, don’t have to deal with a crew on your property, or materials being dropped off.
Cons, however, are numerous: if you don’t have vinyl siding experience, you could end up causing damage to your house that you can’t fix yourself. You may not have any of the specialized tools required for the installation (or would have to buy them just for one project). Doing it yourself means you won’t receive any suppliers’ discount when buying the materials and have to arrange your own cleanup and proper disposal of old siding and other waste material.
Vinyl Siding Replacement: Contacting a Professional
If you decide to contact a professional for vinyl siding installation, the first step is to do your research. Use all of the online tools at your disposal, such as Google reviews, Yelp, and Houzz. Study the reviews and contact at least three companies, preferably ones that provide free estimates.
There are many benefits of hiring a professional. First, you don’t have to worry about buying any special tools or equipment. The installers will be licensed, bonded, and insured in case of any accidents on your property. If they aren’t, don’t use them! The company you choose will purchase all of the materials necessary and will clean up and dispose of everything in accordance with local laws once the job is complete. Plus, most installers offer some kind of warranty on the work they perform.
However, there are a few cons to hiring a professional. First, they will be more expensive than doing the job yourself. Unexpected expenses can crop up if the installer discovers damage to your home underneath the siding. You may also have to wait for an appointment, depending on the local demand for installation. And, despite all of your homework, you may have to go through the trouble of firing the contractor if they turn out to be unprofessional.
Regardless of your choice for installation, vinyl is a great option for home siding. One of the most attractive options is vinyl shake siding, which mimics the look and feel of old-fashioned cedar shake siding. It’s weather-resistant with a life expectancy of over two decades. It’s also low maintenance, only requiring a spray with a hose every once in a while to remove any dirt or grime.
How is Vinyl Shake Siding Installed?
Installation of vinyl shake siding differs from traditional vinyl siding installation. The individual pieces of vinyl shake siding have to be installed similarly to roofing shingles to ensure that water doesn’t enter the house and flow down the home exterior. That’s why shake siding is also known as “shingle siding”.
A flat, plumb wall surface is the first requirement. The walls must be structurally sound and the sheathing in good condition. The wall should have plastic or woven house wrap, in accordance with local building codes. J-channel trim strips are then attached around the doors, windows, and along the eaves. Now it’s time for the first course of siding. The process begins with a starter strip to establish level reference for the wall. After that, it’s just a matter of keeping the courses straight, working from the bottom to the top trim piece. Since all types of vinyl siding expand and contract as the weather changes, installers should not drive the fasteners in all the way.
Vinyl Shake Siding: The Old Fashioned New Look
Installing new vinyl siding isn’t just about a new exterior on your house; it’s about protecting your investment. Thinking about selling your home? New vinyl siding is one of the most appealing exterior projects to home buyers, with up to sixty-three percent of the cost of new vinyl siding recouped after the sale.
Whether you decide to install new vinyl siding yourself or call a professional, consider vinyl shake siding installation for your home. You can achieve a rustic, old-fashioned look without any of the headaches that come with taking care of cedar siding. Factory Direct Siding has vinyl shake siding that looks exactly like wood but with options in over thirty-five colors! Contact us today to find that new look for your home!