There’s no better way to improve a home’s curb appeal than to remodel the exterior with brand new siding. But where to start? Now that you’ve decided to pursue such a project, it’s time to make a plan. Remodeling is a huge investment of both your time and money. You’ll want the outcome to be worth the investment, so plan carefully.
Follow the steps outlined below to get started on your exterior remodeling project.
1. Look for Inspiration
What styles are most appealing to you as a homeowner? If you’re not sure where to start, go for a drive around your neighborhood. When you see a house that speaks to your inner designer, snap a photo. When you get home, look at the images, and work out what you like most about the different styles. Are you a fan of classic clapboard, or do you prefer the look of plank siding? Which colors do you love?
Check out different styles of homes on websites like Houzz, or in home design magazines. Don’t forget to consider how your home will fit into the overall style of the neighborhood. Do you want to stick out like a sore thumb, or fade gently into the background? Most homeowners opt for a happy medium between these two options.
2. Write Up a Budget
Step one is about expanding your horizons. This step is about figuring out what you can feasibly afford, what warrants a splurge, and what you’ll need to forgo, at least for now. A great way to start is to cast a wide net. What features figure into the home exterior of your dreams? Once you’ve identified the project itself, ask yourself if you have the money.
How much money do you have to spend? If you’re paying upfront, you already know how much money you have on hand. But if you plan to borrow funds to finance your exterior remodel, consider how much a loan will add to your monthly expenses. You’ll also need to choose the type of loan that makes the most sense for your project, whether it’s a home equity loan, a home equity line of credit, or a cash-out refinance.
Once you figure out the difference between what you want and what you can feasibly afford, you can begin to set priorities and write a budget. Later, you can consult with your contractor to figure out how to cut costs. If you’re dead-set on a particular siding material, for example, you may be able to compromise on your choice of roofing material.
3. Choose a Siding Material
An exterior remodeling project really depends on choosing the right material for your remodel. You have a wide variety of choices, from natural materials like wood to synthetic materials like vinyl and fiber cement. As you weigh the pros and cons of each, consider more than just the price. Other considerations might include durability, ease of maintenance, toll on the environment, and appearance.
Wood used to be the industry standard. Its rustic, textured look is timeless and attractive. However, the maintenance required for wood can make it extremely expensive in the long run. You’ll need to devote significant time to repainting and re-staining, as well as treating the material to prevent damages from insect infestations and inclement weather.
Vinyl is often the material of choice for remodelers on a budget. It’s affordable and decently durable, requiring little maintenance. You’ll need to choose a high quality vinyl in order to enjoy full protection for your home. Vinyl can often be manufactured to look like natural materials like wood, though some homeowners feel this material isn’t as attractive as the real thing.
Fiber cement is a high-end siding material that has recently become available. It’s been engineered to resist environmental damage, insect infestations, mold growth, and even fires. It requires little maintenance and, unlike vinyl, can be painted over if you decide you want a new color a few years from now.
4. Find a Contractor
Choosing a contractor depends on the kind of project you’re planning. For your exterior remodel, choose a contractor that specializes in the kind of material you hope to work with. For example, if your siding of choice is fiber cement, hire a contractor that knows the material inside and out.
When you talk to potential contractors, it’s always a good idea to take a look at their portfolios. Do their previous projects look professional, attractive, and stylish? Talk to your prospective contractor not just about project specs, like blueprints and material information, but also about your interests in terms of style.
5. Get Ready for Construction
Once you have the project plan in place, it’s time to prepare your home and family for the completion of the remodel. An exterior remodel is much less time-intensive than an interior renovation or home addition, but you’ll still need to anticipate that your day-to-day routine may be temporarily disrupted.
The remodeling process can be dusty and loud. Additionally, you’ll have to contend with people you don’t know that well spending a lot of time at your house. Staying with family or friends – or at a local hotel – can provide the privacy and peace of mind you need throughout the remodel.
Keep lines of communication open with your contractors to make sure the project stays on track. There’s always the chance for hiccups to occur. If, for example, removing the old siding reveals a problem like mold underneath, expect it to take a little longer as you decide what to do next.
Lakeside Renovation & Design: Siding Experts to Count On
Lakeside Renovation & Design is the premier siding and exterior remodeling contractor in the St. Louis area. We’ve partnered with James Hardie to bring you the highest quality siding material on the market – and as a James Hardie VIP Preferred Remodeler, our team members are particularly qualified to design and install the exterior of your dreams.
For more information about how we can help you create the home of your dreams, contact us today. We’d love to hear from you!