4 Things to Know About Getting New Vinyl Siding

At some point in time, you may decide that you are due for new siding. Perhaps you have aluminum siding that has faded and dented. Maybe you have older, first generation vinyl and the color and quality isn't what you had in mind. Maybe you are looking to add energy efficiency to your house. No matter your reason, when in the market for new siding, there are some things you should know. Here are 4 tips to keep in mind.

1. It shouldn't take forever. Some people may think that if a company installs a job in a shorter amount of time than another, that the faster company must be cutting corners. But, this typically is not the case. Companies that specialize in siding installations will likely use qualified siding mechanics. These mechanics are masters of their craft and consist of a crew of installers and laborers.

They work efficiently, effectively and properly until the job is completed. It is not that they are rushing to get the job done. They likely consist of a 4-6 man crew and they all know what they are doing. A company that takes longer isn't necessarily performing a better job. They may just be working less efficiently or have less people on their crew. Or, frankly, they may not know what they are doing. Having new siding installed can be a loud, messy process. The less time the installers are working, the better.

2. It's what's on the inside that counts. Most people will be excited about new siding because of the fresh, new look it can provide for a home- and rightfully so. But, what is installed underneath the siding is just as important. You have some options. Many will opt for a vapor barrier. The most well-known vapor barrier is Tyvek brand. A vapor barrier helps to keep moisture and wind out of your home. However, it is NOT an insulator.

You also have the option of a foam insulation board being installed behind your new siding. This will help with moisture and wind and more importantly, it will act as an insulator. This means it will keep the heat IN your house in the winter and will keep the heat OUT of your house in the summer. In other words, it will help with the energy efficiency of your house. Foam insulation usually costs slightly more than most vapor barriers.

Another popular option is to have insulation-backed siding installed. This is siding with a thick layer of foam pre-attached to the siding itself. This is the most energy efficient siding that you can have installed. However, there are some negatives. Firstly, it is costly. It can cost almost twice as much as standard premium siding. Also, because the foam is so thick, the siding will be "pushed out." This means that extra large J-channel and corner posts must be used for the installation and the current openings of the home like windows and doors will likely become recessed (resting inside the siding versus being flush to it or slightly beyond it).

When it comes to what you have installed under your new siding, you have some options. It will be up to you to decide what you want to have installed based on your particular needs and budget.

3. Be centered. People are often told to receive three estimates before selecting a contractor. This is probably good advice and if you were to receive three estimates, you may learn that the range of estimates for the exact same project can vary greatly. Many of the larger, national and well known companies tend to charge much more than others. For these companies, you may be paying for the name brand of that company, their advertising budget and a high profit margin mark-up.

Then there are companies that may give a price that seems impossibly low. You should be just as weary of these companies. If there is no profit in the job, the contractor will try to make his money by cutting corners or even worse- not paying the workers. You don't want to go down that road.

Selecting a company that offers a price somewhere in between likely makes sense. You shouldn't pay a huge mark-up simply for a large company brand, but you need to pay enough to ensure a job done correctly.

4. Go outside, take a drive. Throughout our years of installing siding, there is one thing we hear from customers over and over again. They often tell us that they thought their siding would be darker than it appears once installed on their home. Because of this, we warn our customers of this fact and so we can offer you this tip as well.

When selecting siding, you will likely be shown several color samples. These samples are usually rather small in size. They will be real samples- that is, they will be real pieces of siding of the actual colors. But, being so small can be deceiving. Smaller samples tend to seem darker than when in larger view. Also, the color will seem darker when in unnatural lighting (inside your home), than when outside in direct sunlight.

So, try to get a larger sample of the siding colors you are most interested in. Take the samples outside and see how they look in direct sunlight. Hold the sample against other exterior components of your house like your existing siding, your brick or your shutters, so you can compare and contrast. Lastly, the best thing you can do is see the color(s) you are interested in actually on a house. We have often given customers addresses of houses we have installed siding on for them to see how a color will actually look on their home and this has helped them tremendously.

If you prefer a darker color siding or a lighter tone, these tips will ensure that you get what you think you are getting.

If you live in PA or NJ within our work radius and are in the market for new siding, give us a call at (877) 846-9566. You can also schedule an estimate online or get an instant online quote.

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