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Renovation8 min

How to Approach Your Siding Project Like a Pro

Re-siding your home can completely transform its look and increase curb appeal exponentially, but completing a re-side is a big job and a significant investment. If you’ve never done it, it’s hard to know what to expect and how to prepare for a siding replacement. 

Homeowner’s Guide to Siding Projects

Here you’ll find a guide to siding like a pro and advice from building professional Erik Perkins on how to prepare for siding replacement.

Before we dive in, you’ll want to make sure you have a contractor you trust. If you’re not sure where to find one, start here with a list of LP® SmartSide® Preferred Contractors.

As you’re looking, don’t hesitate to ask what kind of experience your contractor has with different types of siding over the years. This gives the contractor an open door to be perfectly honest about their experiences and opinions so that you can feel confident moving forward.

What You Need to Know About Siding

You are probably replacing your siding because your existing siding is worn or damaged and ready for a refresh. As you prepare for your home update, you may find yourself asking what do I need to know about siding? Before you begin the siding replacement process, it’s important to be educated on the basics of a re-side. Below are some tips to get you started. 

Keep in mind that every house is different, therefore the cost to put new siding on a house and length of the project will vary. Your contractor will be able to give you an accurate estimate, so be sure to communicate with them early and often. Generally, siding projects take 1–2 weeks, depending on the size and specifics of your structure. 

“I always remind clients that the total cost of a siding job is a combination of the labor and material,” says Erik Perkins of the Perkins Builder Brothers. “There are quite a few products comparable in price to LP® SmartSide® products, but I have found that the labor is much less  when using LP SmartSide Trim & Siding since it is very easy to work with and install.”

Perkins, who has been building homes with LP SmartSide Trim & Siding in the mountains of North Carolina for over a decade, urges homeowners to weigh their house siding options and costs and look for durable, low-maintenance products. 

“Many people in our area want rough sawn wood siding or log siding, but it comes with a lot of maintenance and repair issues in a very short period of time,” Perkins notes. For this reason, LP SmartSide siding, which is one of the most durable siding products on the market, has become his go-to siding recommendation.

lp smartside lap and shakes

Before you begin your re-side, you will also need to choose between primed trim and siding such as LP SmartSide products, which can be painted any color of your choosing, or prefinished trim and siding like LP® SmartSide® ExpertFinish® products, which are delivered to the jobsite with factory-finished paint pre-applied. There are benefits to using both prefinished and primed trim and siding, but if time is a top concern for you consider opting for prefinished siding to avoid additional painting and drying time on the jobsite.

How to Prepare for a Siding Replacement

While siding replacement is a relatively convenient project as far as major house updates go (as it’s on the exterior of the home), there are a few things you can do ahead of your re-side to help ensure you have a smooth experience.

One of the best things you can do to help the crew in advance is to clear your yard and house exterior of any décor or furniture. If you want to take extra measures, cover landscaping you wish to preserve with landscaping canvas to help protect it from potential debris throughout the siding installation process

Even though the construction will be entirely exterior, you may experience some mild interior impacts. Between tearing off siding and nailing new siding, it’s not uncommon for your walls to shake a little bit. Before installation remove picture frames that hang against the wall, items on shelves, or any other fragile objects that could fall. With this done, you’re ready for your re-side to begin!

Siding Replacement Process

Once you’ve chosen your trim and siding and created a plan with your contractor, the replacement process is pretty straightforward. Here’s what you can expect:

1. Get Rid of Existing Trim and Siding Out with the old, in with the new! The first thing your builders will do is tear off and discard your old siding and trim. This may mean a dumpster is parked in front of your house for some or all of the project, but don’t worry—it will be hauled away soon to reveal your new exterior siding.

2. Inspect Walls and Sheathing With the old siding gone builders will inspect your walls for any watchouts, including rot and any structural damage. They will also decide if you need to replace your weather resistive barrier (WRB) for a tighter building envelope. 

3. Install Trim and Siding Now it’s time for your new siding! Once your team of builders have determined that they’re set to move forward, they will officially begin the trim and siding installation process and you can watch your vision come to life.

kyle stumpenhorst installing lp smartside siding

Looking for some extra peace of mind before making a big exterior change? Check out the LP SmartSide Home Visualizer to visualize materials and colors on your home. Choose from siding, stone, roofing and more!

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