The process of buying a house can seem daunting, especially for first-time homeowners. Even if you’ve been through it before, navigating the many steps and stakeholders can be challenging. But knowing what to expect during a home inspection and how to approach repairs can make a big difference.
Catching the Issues Before You Move In
During an exterior home inspection, a professional will assess the home’s structure. This covers common exterior problems such as the roof, siding, drainage and more. When your offer is accepted on a home but the purchase is not yet complete, the home inspection’s role is to identify issues and make a plan to fix them so you can go into the buying process with complete peace of mind about the home you are investing in.
Derek Anderson, remodeler and owner of Amber Valley Construction, explains that an inspection helps homeowners get answers to the question: “Are there any things that I, as a non-professional, can’t ascertain from a cursory view that I would need to be concerned about long term?”
Hiring a home inspector who is qualified to identify many common exterior problems is key. Make sure the home inspector you choose has the skills, training and certification necessary to provide an objective assessment of the home’s condition.
Exterior Issues to Watch Out For
The home’s exterior is its first line of defense, and it keeps you and your family safe and comfortable. During an exterior home inspection, make sure the inspector adequately evaluates the home’s roof and chimneys as well as its siding and other parts of the home that contribute to a good building envelope like soffit, fascia, vents, flashing, gutters, windows and doors, to name a few. If you’re unsure what some of those terms mean, we break down common siding terminology in an easy-to-follow guide here.
Anderson specifies that “flashing is where things go wrong the most.” Having seen many exterior issues in his work with his company’s exteriors division, Shield Home Exteriors, Anderson explains that “a lot of installers resort to using caulk or sealant instead of flashing things properly.” He warns that “if you see caulking on an exterior, except for in a couple of specific applications where it’s required, it’s a sign of a band-aid where something is more systemically wrong.” A certified inspector can help you identify this issue and move toward repairing them properly.
Getting It Fixed—and Preventing More Damage
Issues like rotting or more than a few cracked or loose boards mean that it’s likely time for a complete re-side. The presence of mold and mildew or bubbling, warping or bulging siding can also mean that moisture is getting in, and new siding on the home can help prevent damage that comes from increased moisture. Remember, though repairs might be costly they do increase the home’s resale value—and will give you peace of mind during your time in the home. In fact, Remodeling magazine reports that a siding replacement can recoup an average of 75.6% of the cost.
Anderson notes that, after an exterior home inspection, “it’s important that contractors work together to make sure repairs are done in conjunction with one another.” For example, if you are replacing windows and siding, “we recommend either the contractors work together or that you have one contractor do both.” According to Anderson, this helps ensure the whole system works together on your home.
Choose LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding for a Durable Exterior Siding
To prevent further damage and achieve a great new look on your home, LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding represents a top engineered wood siding option. Anderson explains that “it comes down to the aesthetics you’re trying to accomplish with your home. If you want something that looks sharp and stands out, LP SmartSide products offer protection against the elements with flexibility to achieve a wide variety of aesthetics.”
Looking toward the future, Anderson confirms that “a properly installed product will perform” and that’s true of LP SmartSide engineered wood siding. The industry-leading LP SmartSide warranty includes a five-year, 100% labor and material replacement feature and a 50-year prorated limited warranty.
If you’re looking to replace siding with a new cladding that will last and look great, check out LP SmartSide Trim & Siding and gain the peace of mind you need as you move into a new home.