Thinking About An Exterior Renovation?
Maintaining your exterior siding is critical to help protect your home and avoid costly expenses in the future. If you have been wondering things such as; how long does siding last, Does my home need an exterior renovation, should I upgrade my windows and siding, then read on to learn how to avoid costly mistakes that can cost you money and damage your home.
When Is It Time To Renovate Your Home’s Exterior?
Your home’s exterior should be renovated every 20 to 40 years depending on the type of cladding material used. Siding materials such as vinyl, aluminum, and wood all have a limited lifespan and will deteriorate over time.
Almost everything requires maintenance and the exterior of your home is no different. Our cars, our bodies, and our homes all require different maintenance at different times. Ignoring maintenance can be quite costly.
For most things, there are telltale signs. for our vehicles, we may get a check engine light, for our bodies we may get pain or fatigue. But how do we know when our home’s exterior needs some maintenance?
Signs A Renovation May Be Due
There are many signs that you might need an exterior renovation, some are obvious and a few are more subtle.
Obvious Signs A Renovation Is Due
- Wood Window Trim Is Cupping, And Paint Is Peeling. When your trim starts doing this it means the caulking and paint have failed and your wood has soaked up a lot of moisture. This moisture will lead to rot and may compromise your window to the point that it can start allowing water into your home.
- Cracked Or Loose Unclipped Siding. Holes in your siding are never good. Not only does it look run down it allows water behind your siding. This also allows pesky insects to nest in behind your cladding.
- Faded And Weathered Siding. If your siding looks haggard. Its probably because it is. Like most things, the sun can wear at your siding. Whether it is painted wood or vinyl, things break down over time. Especially any visible caulking. It may still look ok, but chances are its waterproofing ability has been compromised.
- Old Single-Paned Windows. Windows and doors are crucial. They are the openings in your home and where most energy loss happens. Drafty? Heat bills through the roof? Seal your home properly and avoid years of massive energy bills.
Subtle Signs A Renovation Is Due
- Your Home Is Over 30 Years Old. Your roof has a life expectancy. So does your vinyl siding. Did you know that after 5 years your warranty begins to drop by 10% every year? After 15 years there is no warranty left. Caulking deteriorates and eventually, the siding colours fade. Typically, your vinyl siding should be replaced every 25-30 years.
- Old Cedar Lap Siding. Cedar is a great product. It is rot and insect resistant. However, it still requires maintenance. More often than not, I find the most rot repair on homes with cedar siding. Why? 30-40 years ago, we did not seal up our homes the way we do now. Wood expands and contracts. Cedar siding rarely was caulked, and gaps are formed as the wood ages. In these gaps, water gets in and worse…carpenter ants. Cedar siding can have a long lifespan, however, it requires periodic maintenance to keep it functioning at it’s best.
- Old Stucco. Stucco like everything requires maintenance (sensing a pattern here….). Houses shift and settle. Over time, cracks form in the stucco, and moisture is allowed in. Many times these small cracks are hard to notice at higher levels. One tell-tale sign of leaky stucco is staining or darkening of the stucco, especially under windows, or lower areas where the moisture runs down and collects.
What Are The Benefits Of Renovating Your Homes Exterior?
- *Increased Energy Efficiency. When you update your building envelope, it allows the R rating of your insulation in your walls to function at its true potential. When moisture gets into your home’s insulation it can drastically reduce its efficiency. By upgrading your siding, drafts are eliminated. Getting some low E argon filled energy-efficient windows is another great way to help cut your heating bills. Often, there can be significant cost savings by replacing your windows at the same time as your siding.
- *Waterproofing Your Home Correctly. Preventing wind and rain from entering your home is the main focus of your exterior siding. Making sure your home is sealed is paramount to protecting your home’s vital structure. This can help avoid costly repairs in the future.
- * Increased Curb Appeal. Putting your home on the market? The first thing a potential buyer will see is the outside of your house. Not only does it draw in potential buyers it can also raise the price of your real estate.
What Are The Costs Involved In An Exterior Renovation?
You literally can invest as little or as much as you want into an exterior renovation. It is important to view it as an investment and not just a bill to pay.
More often than not you can recoup a larger part of that investment in future energy savings and increase in property value. That being said prices typically are in between5000$-50000$ depending on the scale of the project.
On average a 2000sq/ft home for a full vinyl siding renovation including windows can be in-between 25000$-35000$. Fiber-cement (Hardie-plank or Allura) can go from 30000-50000. Permits are not typically required to renovate your exterior.
With that said, When you look at the life span of your home’s exterior and average the costs out over the years. The total cost is a small amount to invest to ensure your home is protected for many years to come.
What Do I Need To Know Before I Renovate My Homes Exterior?
- *Look At New Construction Builds. See what’s trending. Colour schemes, building products, overall styles, and features. Get an idea of what appeals to you and how you could apply it to your home. Everybody has different tastes and styles and your contractor will do a much better job of creating the perfect exterior look if you have a good idea of what you are looking for.
- *Research Materials. there is a plethora of new and exiting cladding material available to choose from. Educate yourself on the pros and cons of each. Ask a few siding contractors what they recommend. Have a look at our services page to get an overview of some of the more popular siding materials available today.
- *Plan Your Budget. Figure out your budget and plan to work within it. If you have left your exterior renovation too long and see obvious signs of water damage then assume potential added costs for things like rot repair, insect damage, etc.
- *Grants And Tax Rebates. Find out if you are eligible for any government grants or tax rebates. Check your local energy and utility companies for rebate programs. For example, in British Columbia, Fortis B.C. has a great rebate program for window replacement which can help cut costs. Every little bit helps.
- *GET MORE THAN ONE QUOTE! I cannot stress this enough. Replacing the siding on your home can be a substantial investment. Make sure you hire the right contractor for you. A good rule of thumb is to get at least 3 quotes. Then, pick between the two are closest together in price. This helps you avoid getting gouged and gives you the right idea of what the genuine competitive price is out there. Be wary if one of the quotes comes in way lower than the others, this can be a sign of a poor quality contractor who may be getting in over their head. Make sure your contractor is insured, covered by WCB, and has a valid business license for your jurisdiction, otherwise you may be liable if there are any issues. You can request cover letters to see that the contractor’s accounts are in good standing.
Exterior Maintenance Is Necessary
Maintaining the exterior of your home is necessary and can help cut down on the long term expenses. Avoiding maintenance or passing the buck on to the next guy can have costly consequences in the future. By taking action now before the problem reproduces into more problems you can save money in the long run.
If your home is ready for an exterior renovation then we would love to hear from you. Contact us to discuss your options and see how we can make you home more beautiful while protecting it and adding many years to its life.