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How to Choose the Right Siding For Your Home


Siding plays a key role in the maintenance of your home.  It protects you against the harshest of elements and is a key player in your home’s aesthetic appeal and market value.  Choosing the right siding for your home is a major decision, and there are many factors at play.  Here are some tips:


Vinyl is your best option - Vinyl is a low-cost, low-maintenance type of siding that is easy to install.  Although it can crack during cold weather, there are few repairs to be done.  Since the color is in the vinyl, there will be never be a need to repaint.  Wood siding, although it adds character to your home, requires a great deal more work and costs a lot more.  Repainting needs to be done every three to five years, and caulking and keeping insects away are never ending tasks. 


Longer strips add to the appearance - Traditional siding strips are usually 12’ to 12-1/2’ long.  With these standard lengths of siding panel, seams appear every two to three feet, where one strip overlaps another.  If you’re ultimately looking for a seamless, smooth look to your siding, you may want to go with a longer strip.  Some manufacturers make siding strips at 25 to 40 feet in length, which will reduce the seams that appear when the strips overlap, and ultimately will make the siding appear a lot smoother.  It can cost more and require more labor than the traditional siding, but it will give your house a better look and increase its marketability should you ever decide to sell. 


Tear off the existing siding – If you’re looking to replace your siding, tearing off the existing siding will reveal any defects or problems in the old siding, and it will help to guide your contractor so as to offer you suggestions about what types of siding will work best for your new home, as well as how to go about installing.  Keep in mind that if there are problems with the workmanship of the old siding, residing over it won’t solve your issue, which is why you’re looking to replace to begin with! 


Insulation (and not the siding) qualifies for a tax credit – The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 allows you to claim 30% of the cost up to $1,500 for the insulation.  But there are a few conditions: 1) This credit does not apply to the labor costs or the costs of the siding; 2) the insulation must have been purchased between December 31, 2008 and December 31, 2010; 3) the purchase must have been made during the tax year in which the credit is claimed.  Remember, it only applies to the insulation, so make sure you keep accurate records of the costs incurred in this area, as you stand to save money. 


Keep in mind that these are general rules that will apply to most homeowners.  You may have different needs, but keep them in mind as you talk to your siding contractors.  A good one will steer you in the right direction.  Good luck with your project!

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