This guide will teach you how to plan for an exterior renovation project with new siding installation. The guide will provide cost estimations, contractor tips, and ways to pay for your exterior renovation.

You only get one chance to make a good first impression — and the same goes for your home. We call it ‘curb appeal. A property’s exterior is one of the most important parts of a home, not only to you but in the eyes of neighbors and guests, appraisers, and potential buyers.

And that’s because something like your home’s siding is not only about aesthetics. It has a major impact on its durability and value as well. So if you’re considering an exterior renovation, we’ll tell you why replacing your siding should be one of the items on your list.

Exterior Renovation Planning: Siding Replacement Costs

When it comes to a siding replacement, no two projects are the same. But there are some general rules of thumbs to keep in mind that will impact your overall costs. Higher quality, long lasting materials will obviously cost you more upfront, but will protect the longevity of your home’s exterior and be lower maintenance in the long run. Other materials will be more beneficial to your home’s insulation and increase your home’s energy efficiency.

The more you know, the better you can make the right decision for your home. So in this guide, we’ll answer all the top questions homeowners have about siding — from how much is siding for a house? How much is it to reside a house? Is it worth it? And what to consider when making the right decision for you.

Why is Siding So Important in Exterior Renovations

Depending on the length of your renovation wish list, you may be wondering if the cost to replace siding is worth being one of them. Well if your siding has seen better days, and you’re looking to really make a noticeable upgrade to your home’s exterior, there’s the obvious aesthetic benefits of replacing your siding. But there are some major functional benefits as well.

Dramatically improve your home’s aesthetic. New siding can be transformative. It truly gives your home’s exterior a full makeover, and in many cases, can make it look brand new.

Increase your home’s value. New siding is an investment that pays you back. On average, a replacement can increase your home’s ROI by 80%. So not only do you get to enjoy the new look, but you’ll also enjoy cash back in your pocket.

Boost your home’s energy efficiency. Similar to the impact of replacement windows, new siding can make a noticeable difference on your monthly energy bills. A new wrap will cover any existing leaks or problem areas, while certain materials offer next-level insulation that will protect your home from the harshest of elements.

Identify problems before they get worse. Some homes are simply more prone to rotting, leaking, and molding due to certain materials and structure. If you’re not checking your exterior regularly for these issues, new siding helps you identify and address all of them — hopefully, for good!

If you’re still on the fence, it’s important to note how siding materials can play a big factor in the siding cost per square foot, as well as the longevity of your investment. So while choosing a more affordable material could be a good way to get a new look at a better price, make sure you’re not sacrificing the quality and setting yourself up for more involuntary expenses later.

Types of Siding Materials and a Cost Breakdown

So how much does siding cost? Well, one of the biggest decisions you’ll make during your siding replacement project is your materials. The average cost of siding a house by square foot is about $10. More budget-friendly materials include vinyl and fiber cement, while stone and brick will come at a premium.

Here’s a general breakdown:

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl is one of the most affordable options on the market, and can be molded into a variety of patterns and shapes to mimic other higher-end materials (e.g., brick, wood, stone). It’s also easy to install, but can crack, fade, or split with temperature changes.

Vinyl Siding cost: $5 to $11 per square foot.

Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement is a product of sand and cardboard that offers durability and versatility. It looks like natural wood but resists moisture, warping, weathering, and more much more effectively. It’s easy to customize, but will take longer to install due to its weight.

Fiber Cement Siding cost: $5 to $10 per square foot.

Wood Siding:

Wood siding offers a natural beauty and warm aesthetic, and Various types of wood will have different qualities; long-lasting, rot resistant species will fall at the higher end of the cost spectrum. And you will need to seal, paint, and treat wood periodically to prevent damage from wear and insects.

Wood Siding cost: $4 to $15 per square foot.

Composite Siding

Composite siding is made up of fibrous wood pieces bonded together with additional materials. This type of siding is durable, low-maintenance, and resistant to harsh environmental conditions, rot, pests, fungus and more.

Composite Siding cost: $10.50 - $16.50 per square foot

Key Factors that Affect Siding Replacement Cost

Knowing how much the siding for a house costs is only the beginning. There are a handful of other factors that will determine your overall cost.

In 2023, the average cost of residing a house is $14,910, with highest costs at $52,250 and lowest at $8,420. But it’s not uncommon for high-end materials like brick and stone to land your project outside of that range and upwards of $70,000 depending on the size of your home.

As you start budgeting, consider all the factors that will impact your overall cost:

**Siding Installation:**The actual installation of your siding can cost anywhere from $1.50 to $4.50 per square foot — in addition to material costs. This amount will vary based on the location of your home and how large or complex your job is (i.e., height, accessibility, etc). Because of this, some contractors may charge an hourly rate instead, typically between $40 and $90 per hour.

Size and scope of the project: With pricing based on square footage and total hours of install, the size of your home will undoubtedly determine the outcome of your overall cost.

Home design and customizations: Is your home one story or two? Do you have a turret, eaves, or gables? Different features and decorative elements will add different levels of complexity and require more specialized skill sets, which can add to the total cost.

Regional variations: Your property’s location will impact shipping costs and material availability. Labor costs also tend to be higher in metro areas, and you can likely expect to pay more in certain climates with harsher weather conditions or risk of wildfires. There are a number of siding cost estimator options online that you can play around with to have a better idea of the costs in your area.

Budgeting and Planning for Siding During an Exterior Renovation

Now that you know how much siding typically does cost most homeowners renovating in 2023, it’s time to start budgeting for your project — and it pays to plan ahead.

When it comes to knowing exactly what you can expect your siding replacement to cost, as well as any other exterior renovations you plan to tackle, getting an accurate estimate from your contractor is key.

Make sure to get quotes from multiple contractors (at least 3-4) to do cost comparisons and help with negotiations. Their estimate should break down siding cost per square foot, as well as their costs for installation and labor, permits, materials, and removal of your existing siding. Play around with a siding cost estimator online to compare these rates with those from your contractors.

You’ll also need to know the contractor’s project milestones and overall timeline to better plan for seasonal changes, as well as loan requirements/repayments. And don’t forget to factor in contingencies in the case of unforeseen issues or changes along the way. We recommend putting aside between 5% and 10% of your exterior renovation’s overall budget.

If you can control the timing of your project, look at times of year when contractor rates tend to be lower and suppliers are more available. Avoid the holidays, back to school time, or the height of summer. Another cost saving tip is to see what (if any) prep work you can do before the project starts, such as picking up materials, cleaning up the yard, etc. This will save you billable hours from your contractor.

Hiring Professionals or DIY For Siding Installation During an Exterior Renovation Project

Pros of DIY

  • You’ll have total control of your project; the timeline, where you purchase materials, process, etc.
  • Without labor and installation costs, a DIY siding replacement cost is typically lower than a professional (but keep in mind, you are investing your time!)
  • You don’t have to worry about finding a trustworthy contractor, or share their time with another homeowner’s project.

Cons of DIY

  • You may not have all the necessary materials or tools. A project like this is more than just siding; you need substrate, weather barrier, flashing, and potentially trim.
  • You may lack the proper expertise, regardless of how many YouTube videos you’ve watched. If you don’t install your siding correctly, it won’t last.
  • Since you likely have to work on scaffolding or a ladder, a project like this can be dangerous! Think of the safety risks if you’re not too experienced in home improvements.

Pros of Hiring a Professional

  • You don’t have to stress about handling construction yourself. Hiring an expert allows you to leave all the skills, effort, and time to someone who knows what they’re doing.
  • Speaking of knowing what they’re doing, having a skilled professional install your siding means you can be confident that it’s installed properly.
  • When you replace your own siding, you don’t have an installation warranty to cover the costs if something is done incorrectly. A professional comes with a warranty that will cover all damages and issues.

Cons of Hiring a Professional

  • Like previously mentioned, investing in a professional will almost always cost you more.
  • Finding a trustworthy siding contractor isn’t always easy; there’s a lot of options out there and choosing the right one can be overwhelming.

Learn More: How to legally dispute with contractors

Best Types of Exterior Renovations to Complement Your New Siding

If you’re considering a siding replacement, it may be a good time to consider some other exterior upgrades as well, especially if you’re already going through the process of taking out a loan to cover the cost to replace your siding. To maximize your investment, consider these value-boosting improvements to make your new siding really shine:

Window and door replacements: Your windows and doors face a lot of wear and tear due to harsh environmental elements, as well as simply being open and shut regularly. As a result, leaks and cracks can let the outside air in and force your HVAC to work harder than it should to achieve the temperature you want. Replacing them can help you enhance energy efficiency, and functionality, while adding a fresh look to complement your new siding.

Exterior painting: A fresh paint job can not only make a big impact on your home’s curb appeal, but it can also have a big payoff. A fresh coat has an average ROI of 43%, as long as you stick to cohesive or timeless color schemes.

Landscape improvements: A landscaping makeover can net you up to 83% return on your investment. Adding plants, trees, or outdoor features, such as retaining walls, can add privacy to your yard, while improving your overall curb appeal.

Outdoor living spaces: Entertaining at home has become increasingly popular over the last few years, and homeowners are looking outside to do that. Patios, decks, and porches help create spaces to relax outside, while fire-pits, gazebos, and outdoor kitchens, make hosting more complete, in any season. Revamping your outdoor area is a win for you, and a big selling point for potential buyers.

Lighting and fixtures: As many homeowners like to update their walkways as part of a larger exterior renovation, more and more unique and trendy ways to light them is also a popular way to add visual appeal (not to mention, safety) for you and your guests. Updating house numbers, window boxes, and other outdoor fixtures are also a less expensive way to update your look.

How RenoFi Can Help

The good news is that RenoFi is here to help with your exterior home renovations. Not only can we connect you with our network of trusted contractors in your area to narrow down your search, but we can help you understand what you need from your contractor to know exactly how much it is to reside a house based on your specific project.

We can also help you find the right lender for your project. We partner with credit unions which allows us to offer homeowners some of the best rates with more flexibility based on your financial situation.

And if you’re looking to borrow the most money possible to cover everything on that exterior renovation wish list by basing your loan amount on the after renovation value of your home, instead of the current value. If you want to learn more about the smartest way to finance your exterior home renovation project, contact our Renovation Advisors today.

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