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Looking for a home improvement project that will add value to your home? Maybe your home’s looking a little rundown, but you can’t quite put your finger on it? Or maybe you’re just thinking you need a change, is all. All of these are great reasons to consider upgrading (or updating) the siding on your home. With several great options to choose from, as well as the multiple benefits that come with new siding, it might just be the exterior home remodeling project you’re looking for.


PART I: THE UPSIDES OF NEW SIDING

It’s easy to overlook the value of good siding. Seeing the same thing day in and day out, we can become so accustomed to the specific look of our home that we no longer quite see the little details that make up the whole. As well, if your siding is working properly, you’ll never see signs of what it’s doing, precisely because it’s preventing stuff from happening.

At its most basic, siding provides protection from water penetration and the elements. Unless your home’s siding has been damaged, you’re unlikely to see the need to replace your siding. Even with the minor damage that comes with age, your siding could still be working perfectly to keep the weather out. However, those little signs of aging – cracked or pitted siding, rotting material, maybe even a missing board or two – can have a tremendous effect on your home’s aesthetic appeal. You might not notice it much, especially if you’ve gotten used to it, but for others it’s the kind of thing that will stick out like a sore thumb.


PART I: THE UPSIDES OF NEW SIDING

While upgrading your siding is a great way to give your home a facelift, the effect isn’t just aesthetic. Did you know that replacing your home’s old siding for new is one of the best investments you can make? With as high as an 86% return on the investment, giving your home a siding makeover is a great way to get it noticed, whether or not you’re thinking of putting the house up for sale. With great looks and great value as benefits, do you really need better reasons to replace your home’s old siding?

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Siding is a catch-all term for the different ways, and materials, that can be used to cover your home. More on this in part II.


PART II: OPTIONS FOR SIDING MATERIALS

VINYL SIDING

Vinyl siding is, for many, the low-cost alternative to other siding materials, but that doesn’t mean that vinyl is a bad, cheap choice. Vinyl siding has been around for a long time, and has many good things going for it, which is one of the reasons that it’s still around. In addition to being the siding material requiring the least in terms of monetary outlay, it’s also virtually indestructible under normal circumstances. Available in a wide variety of colors and designs, and with the ability to closely mimic the look of wood grain, vinyl resists fading very well, holds up against the weather, and requires little in the way of regular care and maintenance. FIBER-CEMENT SIDING

Fiber-cement siding is made from a variety of different composite materials; each company that manufactures fiber-cement siding will typically have its own, proprietary composite material. Despite the different recipes for composites, they share some traits in common. With a durability comparable to that of cement or concrete, fibercement siding features a high degree of resistance to impact, and is fireproof, as well as invulnerable to rot and insect damage. It will not deteriorate due to exposure to salt air, which makes it great for beachside properties. It also resists ultraviolet damage well.


PART II: OPTIONS FOR SIDING MATERIALS

STEEL SIDING

Steel siding generally requires a higher initial monetary outlay than most other siding types, but this is offset by steel’s sheer durability; in the long run, you actually end up spending less on siding by paying more at the start for steel. Steel is capable of withstanding environmental effects, such as hailstorms, and emerging intact where other siding types will sustain significant, often extensive, damage. With a high resistance to both fire and water, and the fact that it won’t chip, rot, or rust, steel’s many benefits are rounded out by the fact that it requires little more than an occasional washing down with a garden hose to keep it looking as good as new.

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For best effect, siding needs to be installed properly. How do you guarantee that? More on this in part III.


PART III: PICKING THE RIGHT SIDING CONTRACTOR

It’s a truism that the best way to get the most out of your new siding is to have a professional install it. Nevertheless, many people end up overlooking this. One of the reasons often cited is the difficulty in finding the right contractor to do the job. Here are some things to keep in mind when looking for a contractor to install your home’s new siding: CREDENTIALS

Experience and time on the job are invaluable pluses when it comes to evaluating the suitability of a siding contractor. Don’t take just anyone’s word for how good and qualified they are, however. A company will typically list their credentials, such as their insurance information, references, and manufacturer qualifications, on their website. Check out those credentials, and make sure they’re on the level. Take the time to visit past and current job sites to see how they operate, and what their workmanship looks like in person. And if your home dates back to before 1978, make sure they’re using lead-safe work practices.


PART III: PICKING THE RIGHT SIDING CONTRACTOR

ONLINE REVIEWS

Another great way to evaluate a company is to check what other people are saying about them. Don’t just go with the reviews posted on the company website, however; rather, look for independent reviews on unaffiliated sites. Bear in mind, however, that people are more likely to post a positive review than a negative one. A negative comment can be as informative as a positive one, and often more valuable.

WARRANTIES

At their most basic, a warranty is a pledge from a company that they’re willing to stand behind the quality of their work. If a company isn’t willing to give you good terms on the warranty, whether for the product or the workmanship, then that should tell you all you need to know about them. Look for a company that’s confident about its ability to get the job done, and done right. The terms of the warranty will tell you all you need to know.


1625 East Central Ave. Wichita, KS 67214 (316) 265-5444 (316) 448-1888 midamericaexteriors.com


Why new siding is always a plus