Anytime you make an investment in your home, you need to get it right the first time.
That’s especially true when replacing your siding. The cost in time, money, and headaches is too high if the project goes badly.
The best way to avoid problems is to educate yourself.
Here’s what Kansas City homeowners need to know about siding replacement in 2017.
First Things First… Is It Worth It To Replace Your Siding?
If you aren’t satisfied with the appearance of your home, new siding is the fastest way to totally transform the curb appeal of your home.
Nothing covers as much of the exterior of your home as siding and the impact of a makeover is immediate and total. Many homeowners find the results to be the most satisfying of any home improvement project they ever do.
Of course, siding is about more than looking good.
If you have loose, cracked, or damaged siding, moisture is likely penetrating. That could be causing structural problems to your home now and costly repairs later.
Siding is your defense against these elements. Choose tough and durable siding; that’s especially important in the Kansas City area, with temperature extremes and occasionally harsh storms.
If you’re unsatisfied with the appearance of your home or if your current siding is in disrepair, it’s time to replace it.
Make Sure Your Siding Gives You These Benefits
Once you’ve decided to move forward with the project, you’ll want to get the most for your money. Insist on the following benefits:
Easy Exterior Maintenance. Most siding today makes caring for your home’s exterior very easy. An occasional cleaning is all you will need. Fiber cement siding and vinyl siding are both great choices for keeping maintenance to an absolute minimum.
Improve Your Home’s Energy Efficiency. Many Kansas City homeowners focus only on windows, doors, and insulation to improve energy efficiency. Those are important, but siding also has a key role in energy savings.
Don’t miss the opportunity to make your home more efficient when replacing your siding. A good Kansas City area exterior company will clearly explain how different choices impact a home’s energy loss.
Increase Your Home’s Value. Siding dominates the impression your home makes from the outside and that has a big impact on its value. Pick a siding that is beautiful now and will also maintain its appearance for decades.
For example, fiber cement siding is a particularly good choice to increase a home’s value. Year-after-year, Remodeling Magazine has ranked re-siding with fiber cement the #1 return on investment when compared to other mid-size remodeling projects.
Get Something That YOU Love. This last benefit might be the least tangible but most important: you should get siding that you absolutely LOVE.
The way to get what you want is to choose a siding company with enough options to help you find something that suits your exact taste and budget. Too many Kansas City siding companies want to rush the process and push you into one particular brand or material.
Instead, select a siding installer that takes the time to educate you on your options and helps you find what you REALLY want. You want to be proud and happy with your choice every time you pull into the driveway.
What Material Is Best For Siding Replacement in Kansas City?
Once you’ve decided what benefits are most important to you, it’s time to think about materials.
Here are the 3 most common choices:
Vinyl is still the most popular siding material in the U.S. The reasons are many.
It doesn’t need painting. It also won’t warp, twist, peel, or fade (as long as you select a high-quality option). It never needs painting and insects can’t bore into it. It is also less expensive than other options.
Some potential drawbacks: it is not as attractive as fiber cement siding and some kinds of vinyl are low-quality and are more subject to cracking.
The key with vinyl is to select siding from a trusted manufacturer. One particularly good vinyl option is Mastic siding from PlyGem. (See the ‘Vinyl Example’ below for more information).
The bottom line: vinyl is a good option if you select a top-quality vinyl, have it installed by a proven company, and if the investment in fiber cement siding is more than you want to spend.
Fiber Cement Siding
Fiber cement siding is a blend of cement, sand, and cellulose. One of the many benefits of this choice is that it looks like real wood, but without the drawbacks.
Unlike wood, it does not require heavy maintenance. It gives your home an elegant look and the color selection is excellent. You can get it in a wide selection of colors.
One thing you want to be sure to check is the warranty on the finish. (James Hardie brand siding has a particularly strong overall warranty – see ‘Fiber Cement Example’ below).
In summary, fiber cement is very durable, requires much less maintenance than wood, and is more beautiful than vinyl.
Wood looks terrific and offers a traditional charm. That said, it’s not recommended. Wood is more expensive than vinyl or fiber cement and it’s subject to rot, insects and other critters.
It also requires regular painting, staining, or refinishing.
Kansas City area homeowners who want something as beautiful and charming as wood can choose fiber cement siding and avoid all these drawbacks.
Selecting A Kansas City Siding Installer
Here is the single most important decision you can make when getting new siding installed: what exterior company will you choose?
Quality in this industry is extremely variable. You’ll find anything from a ‘guy and his truck’ all the way up to huge companies that are essentially big sales and marketing machines with very high prices.
Let’s look in more detail at these options.
Be very cautious with companies that only talk about low prices. That’s often a sign they don’t have much else to recommend them.
‘Bargain-basement’ pricing often means the project will be plagued by headaches and stress. These ‘guy and his truck’ installers go out of business quickly, too. You’ll have no one to call if there’s a problem down the road.
High-Quality, Outrageous Prices?
You also want to avoid siding companies that charge outrageous prices. High-quality is not a reason to pay exorbitant prices. Many times these companies charge way too much to justify large advertising budgets and big sales teams.
Here Is What To Look For Instead…
The sweet spot is to find a proven company that charges reasonable and fair prices for top-quality siding and installation.
Here is a handy 6-point checklist for qualifying any Kansas City siding company:
- Have they been in business a long time? (We recommend a MINIMUM of at least a decade in business).
- What does their website look like? Is it filled with quality content and professionally designed? This can be a big clue to a company’s competence.
- Do they have any awards? Are they A+ rated with the Better Business Bureau? Do they belong to quality professional associations like the National Association of Remodeling Industry (NARI)? These are all signs of a company that cares about the details.
- Check out their online reputation. Do they have a lot of reviews? Are they almost all positive? Lots of quality reviews is the single best proof you’ve found a quality Kansas City siding installer. Look for quality and quantity of reviews across multiple review sites.
- Ask questions about their installers. Do they bid out the work and choose the lowest-bidding sub-contractor? Do they use temporary labor? Many companies are essentially a sales company that farms out the actual work to others. You want a company that has fully certified installers that have proven experience.
- Once last thing to think about. The consultation and quote process can tell you a lot about the company. Are they friendly and professional? Do they avoid sales pressure and work collaboratively with you to give you the information you need to make your own decision?
Don’t settle for a company that rushes you or pressures you. You’re investing your hard-earned money and deserve better than a stressful experience.
Remember, nothing will be more important in this process than the siding company you select. The chosen company will determine the durability of your installation, the quality of the products, and your actual remodeling experience.
Examples of Excellent Replacement Siding
Although it can be hard to sort through all the choices and find the best siding brands, there are quality options available. The last part of this guide provides two examples of superb-quality siding.
This is not to say that these two brands are the only quality options available, but it will give you an idea of what you should look for when replacing your siding. Use it as a point of comparison with any other siding you are considering.
Vinyl Siding Example: Mastic Siding By PlyGem
The quality of vinyl siding can vary widely. Look for a rich textured appearance, thicker gauge, and a warranty.
Here are the advantages of Mastic Vinyl Siding from PlyGem:
- Manufacture is proven, been in business for 70+ years.
- Virtually maintenance-free; just needs occasional washing.
- Doesn’t rot, warp, crack, or split.
- Multiple style options, like combining horizontal & vertical siding plus shakes & shingles.
- A terrific warranty, in writing.
Fiber Cement Siding Example: James Hardie
James Hardie invented fiber cement siding more than 30 years ago and has stayed ahead of generic fiber cement options.
Here are some facts to use when comparing it to other choices:
- It’s not a risky choice; it’s been installed on over 5.5 million homes in the U.S.
- Engineered precisely for the specific climate where it will be installed.
- HardiePlank Lap Siding is backed by The Good Housekeeping Seal.
- James Hardie® invented fiber cement siding more than 30 years ago and has stayed miles ahead of generic fiber cement options.
- It’s 5 times thicker than vinyl, is non-combustible, and is known for its return on investment.
While there are other quality replacement siding options in Kansas City, we recommend doing a point-by-point comparison with Mastic Siding or James Hardie before making a final decision.
If you still have questions, the team at JOCO Siding & Window Co. would love to answer them! Contact us here.