Its more than just siding –
As a homeowner, we’re constantly looking for ways to increase property value. Even if its not now, there are always thoughts of selling in the future. Similarly, We want our home to not only look great but be safe for our family to live and grow in.
Siding is a huge part of not only the aesthetic value of your home, but can also make a huge impact on home sale price. Not only can it impact your houses value, but choosing the right siding is crucial for your family's well being and overall home efficiency.
When discussing home siding the two most commonly found options on American Homes are Vinyl and Aluminum.
Aluminum was first introduced in the 1940’s, right after WWII. The reason for using aluminum was because it was cheaper than wood, more durable, and required considerably less maintenance. The average lifespan of Aluminum siding is around 30 years. The upside is, aluminum can be painted so you can extend the 30 years a little while longer if necessary. Over time though, the color will fade, and can be damaged easily by wind and storms. Replacing the damaged side(s) and matching the colors will prove almost impossible. So, if your home has any siding damage and has aluminum siding the only option would be to replace it.
As of the 19070’s aluminum siding was discontinued and replaced with a better alternative: Vinyl. Vinyl’s approximate lifespan is around 50 years and its baked-in tint does not fade over time so the color will stay as beautiful as the day you have it installed! The only real maintenance that you can do for vinyl is power washing away any dirt or buildup. Vinyl offers great insulation and today's higher end materials have insulation embedded within the siding. There is also a wide variety of options to choose from other than the standard. You can have vertical siding, scalloped, shake style, vinyl that imitates wood, and so many more design choices.
Once a consumer is aware of the difference between Vinyl and Aluminum siding the most obvious choice would be to replace it. However, as with most home projects what it really comes down to is the price and the overall value it provides for you and your family.
If you do have aluminum siding the cheapest option would be to paint it if there is no damage. However, that requires an inspection and if there is damage from wind, hail and storms the only real option would be to replace it. But, if you can verify that the siding is in good enough condition to paint then you may proceed. Including Labor and paint costs it would be about $2.50-$3.00 per sq. Ft to paint the siding. It is not covered by insurance, so it would be an out of pocket cost for the homeowner. Paint on aluminum siding will last around 5-10 years and the surface cannot be repainted afterwords. So in essence the siding will need to be replaced one day, but you can prolong it slightly.
Should you decide to replace your siding with Vinyl, the average cost is $5.00 per sq ft, depending on the grade of vinyl and including the labor. It is also covered by homeowners insurance if the property has sustained and damage from wind or hail. In order to ensure the maximum pay out for insurance it is recommended you get an estimate from a Public Adjuster to ensure that you do in fact have storm damage and can get the money you deserve. If a homeowner is to contact their insurance agent alone, they will provide only the bare minimum for repairs, and may even deny your claim altogether. Therefore it is important to hire representation to ensure you get all repairs covered by insurance. The Public Adjuster will schedule and inspection to assess the damage and inform you of further steps you need to follow. If it is covered, there is no increase in premium, and it’s like getting a brand new home for free!
It is also worth mentioning that if your siding was installed before 1978, which is very likely, that there is a 90% chance there is lead paint behind the aluminum siding. The exterior will need to get tested for lead, and removed as quickly as possible if found. This is very important for protecting you and your family from lead-related health issues. According to the World Health Organization lead poisoning in children can lead to many health complications including damage to the brain and nervous system.
Keep in mind that Vinyl may be the most efficient and safest option for you and your family's home. Your property value will also increase substantially since you are not just simply covering up old siding but giving your home a brand new face-lift all the way down to the core. Not only will this increase your home value if you do choose to sell, but will also make your home much safer and more efficient for you and your family.