Everything You Need to Know About Siding Replacement
September 5, 2023
In Pittsburgh, where every season brings its own set of challenges, the importance of siding cannot be overstated. It protects your home from the elements and improves your home’s curb appeal. But deciding you need to replace the siding is easy enough; where do we go from there?
Well, there are a lot of factors to consider, such as budget planning, choosing a contractor, and material selection. For example, most Pittsburgh homeowners opt for fiber cement siding, which costs $3.39 per sqft to install. If these factors seem new to you, you’re at the right place.
We’re here to tell you everything you need to know about siding replacement, from finding a contractor to staying compliant with permits and regulations.
1. Signs of Wear and Tear
Before you replace your home’s siding, it’s worth checking for some signs of wear and tear to ensure it’s the right time for this project. Most commonly, you may notice cracks in your siding, which allow moisture to seep in and cause water damage. Wood siding is often vulnerable to rot caused by prolonged moisture exposure, compromising the material’s durability. If you have vinyl or aluminum siding, you may also notice warping or buckling, which affects your home’s insulation. Look out for these signs as they indicate that your siding needs to be replaced.
2. Material Selection
Undoubtedly, the most complicated part of a siding replacement project is material selection. There are tons of options out there, but if you live in Pittsburgh, any Pittsburgh siding company will tell you to go for fiber cement siding. It’s durable, versatile, and resistant to moisture and pests, which is a must-have factor for the climate in Pittsburgh. It can mimic the natural appearance of wood or stucco, offering diverse aesthetic options. Many Pittsburgh homeowners also opt for vinyl siding due to its affordability, but it cannot handle the extreme temperature fluctuations of this city.
3. Budget Planning
Of course, budget planning is a crucial part of any home improvement project. It’ll help you assess all associated costs and potential cost-saving strategies to keep your project within budget. First, you need to consider the cost of siding materials. If your contractor is responsible for acquiring the materials, you can ask them for a complete breakdown of costs. That’ll also include their labor fees and the cost of acquiring certain permits within your area. Lastly, consider any additional expenses, such as disposal fees for old siding, scaffolding, or equipment rentals, and the cost of any necessary repairs before installation.
4. Choosing a Contractor
Choosing the right contractor is absolutely crucial if you want your siding replacement to look exactly as you’d dreamed. By considering a few factors, you can make the right choice. First, research local siding contractors in Pittsburgh by using online directories and asking local home improvement associations. It’s vital to verify their credentials, ensuring they are licensed, bonded, and insured. It just keeps you on the legal side of things. Of course, you should aim for someone experienced, which you’ll learn a lot about through customer reviews about the contractor’s work.
5. Siding Replacement Process
Once you’ve picked your contractor, you can get started on the siding replacement process. What does it look like, and what should you expect? It begins with an inspection to ensure there are no repairs to be made before the installation starts. If you’ve already picked the materials, the contractor will move on to preparing the work area. They’ll remove the old siding, repair any underlying issues, and begin installing the new siding. Once the main step is done, they’ll install trim pieces, corner posts, and any additional accessories required for a polished look. Finally, they’ll run some quality checks and clean up the place.
6. Energy Efficiency
The siding you choose to install can greatly impact the energy efficiency of your home since different siding materials offer varying levels of insulation. For example, vinyl siding can enhance thermal performance and reduce heat transfer, protecting you from Pittsburgh’s unpredictable weather conditions. The right siding will also prevent energy loss by properly sealing, preventing drafts, and maintaining a normal temperature. Siding works best alongside high-quality insulation materials, and you can even find insulated siding to improve energy efficiency. Lastly, consider your area’s climate when choosing siding options if you want to stay energy efficient.
7. Maintenance Requirements
All siding materials need to be maintained in one way or another, some more than others. The way you maintain your home’s siding can influence its durability and save you replacement costs in the future. Vinyl siding can be cleaned with mild detergent and doesn’t require painting. However, wood siding does require periodic painting or staining to protect it from moisture and UV rays. Meanwhile, fiber cement is incredibly easy to clean and only needs repainting every 10-15 years. It’s safe to say that fiber cement is one of the most durable and low-maintenance options.
8. Warranty and Guarantees
You can’t forget to take a look at the warranties offered by your siding manufacturers and contractors. It’s essential to safeguard your investment and ensure peace of mind. The material itself will come with a warranty lasting 10-30 years, depending on the type of siding. Make sure to check the warranty’s coverage, transferability, and whether it’s prorated or full replacement. If your contractor offers any warranties or guarantees, understand its duration and coverage as well. In this case, coverage can include installation defects, water penetration issues, and more.
9. Permits and Regulations
As odious as it sounds, you need to acquire certain permits and regulations before getting started on your siding replacement project. Check with the City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections to determine if you need a building permit for this project. You’ll also need to follow certain zoning codes. Luckily, most contractors take responsibility for such compliance, so you won’t have to worry about it.
Now that you know everything there is to know about siding replacement, you can make a confident and informed decision about the choice of materials, contractor, and other factors. Siding is absolutely crucial for the structural integrity and curb appeal of your home, so take your time to make the right decision!