Top Seven Siding Mistakes and How To Avoid Them
Home Siding Mistakes: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Strap on your seatbelts because here we go! Let’s say you are a homeowner in the Houston Texas metro area and have decided to replace the siding on your home. For some this might be a time which is dreaded becuase the time-consuming and laborious task of having to do the job yourself. Or maybe you’re thinking of which contractors to call to provide an estimate then deciding which one to choose.
Our goal here is to provide you some tips and pointers to help save you some time. Not to mention the hassle of it all by sharing some common pitfalls that could be encountered when replacing your homes siding. In this post, we have put together a comprehensive list of the “Top Seven Siding Mistakes and How To Avoid them. So, get a pen and a pad for any notes you might want to make and let’s get to it! Note: you can click on the images to enlarge them for better detail.
The Top Seven Siding Mistakes:
1. Not choosing a qualified siding contractor
Many advertise and claim they can install siding these days. With a company name, a business card, a truck, estimate forms and tools, they may seem to be a viable option to a homeowner. But be careful if you want your siding done right and by a qualified installer. Be sure to ask the siding contractor for past work references and proof of current insurance. Look for and read their online reviews and ask questions to ensure they have the necessary experience to install your homes new siding correctly.
Sadly, this is one of the top siding mistakes any homeowner can make. It is not selecting their installer company carefully. This is one of the most important mistakes not to make, you don’t want to have the experience of an incorrect or bad installation. The money you might save by hiring the low-bid-estimate contractor, you will lose very quickly and will cost you much more in the long run if the job needs to be redone or corrected by another contractor. As tempting as it might be, going cheap and with the lower estimates could certainly bite! Remind yourself, you very often get what you pay for, as we have all found to be true with nearly everything one can purchase.
While it can be tempting and some contractors may say it is ok and will save you money to leave the existing siding on your home, it is highly recommended to remove that old siding. It is impossible to see every area, where rotted siding and or might exist. This is often under the old existing siding which can later cause you a multitude of problems. This is why removing the old siding is the best solution, this certainly the best long term choice.
Some other things to consider is by installing your new siding over the old siding is that it has a tendency to make the new siding more wavy. It will have more deflection (in and out) which looks bad when looking at any sidewall where the old siding is still underneath. There is also a good chance there could be trapped moisture in between the new and the old siding which can cause rot, mold and mildew down the road, not good! Thi is often the case with vinyl siding, old siding still underneath causing issues. Not removing the old siding is one of the top siding mistakes homeowners and siding contractors alike often make.
When the old siding is removed, it allows access to the studs and framing residing underneath. This is a great opportunity to inspect the studs to find if there might be any rotting issues which need to be addressed, this is the perfect time to take care of any problems like this. The rotted studs or framing can be removed or cut out and replaced with new ones.
Good studs without rot ensures your new siding is securely mounted and so there are no structural issues that could cause problems in the future. In our experience, as we remove old siding, we have found there to be rotted or rotting studs related to framing on approximately 20% of the homes. Finding this rot is a very important step during to ensure a good installing with the new siding securely mounted to a strong, rot-free frame.
Most siding contractors these days use air-powered pneumatic nail guns. These nail guns run on air pressure and require proper adjustment. If the pressure too high, the nails will be overdriven (pushed in too far). This can cause issues down the road as water collects in the cavity created by the nail being pushed in too far. If the nails are underdriven (not pushed in far enough), the nails will stick out and not fully securing (pushing) the siding family to the studs (see image to the right). Under-driven nails can also allow for the possibility of water entering into the sidings core as water can enter along the nail shaft that is protruding out.
It is very important to ensure the pressure of the nail gun is set properly so the nails are set into the newly installed siding snug or flush with the panel. This important step is often overlooked by siding contractors and/or the hired crews. Regardless if you are installing LP SmartSide siding or Hardie Siding, proper nail gun pressure is critical.
Installing siding is an art. Doing it correctly takes more effort that one might think. When installing siding on a home, it is important to use a level to take into consideration how level the structure sits.
For instance, in the case of when there is a gable end with brick on the first story, it is important to inspect how the siding overlaps the brick. In this case, the siding needs to overlap the edge of the brick by at least 1/2″ or more so it is important to take into consideration, how level the existing brick is to ensure this minimum overlap. If you install the siding level, and the existing brick is unlevel, you will have not enough overlap over the brick.
It is also important to use a reveal gauge to measure the overlap of the siding. This way, with the siding which starts out level at the bottom, is still level once it meets the top of the structure. The reveal gauge should be placed on every piece of siding to ensure that the siding overlapping does not begin to fall out of line. Checking for consistency as this affects all the pieces which follow as the installer moves up the wall being re-sided.
Big siding mistake! Paint is often one of the most overlooked parts of siding replacement which can cause issues. There is a common misconception that paint is paint. This certainly is not true, keep in mind that the paint used on your new siding is the finishing top coat on your siding.
Exterior paint plays more of a role than just adding color and personality to the home. The paint is also a protectant for your siding and home. For instance, with the intense sun, precipitation and humidity found in the Houston Texas metro area and areas with similar climates, it is important that homeowners select a top-quality paint for your new sidings surface.
It is a big mistake to use the wrong, cheap or low grade paint which will often flake and start to peel after some time, sometimes a short time! Once the integrity of this top coat is compromised in this way, the surface underneath the siding is exposed to the intrusion of the elements (and who knows what else). One of the high quality paints we recommend and use is Sherwin-Williams Super paint or the Resilience line which also comes with a lifetime warranty.
Make sure the siding company you choose uses crews specifically trained and experienced in siding installation. The crews should be equipped with latest tools, training and be using high quality paint products. By hiring a company with a good reputation, who takes pride in their workmanship, quality of their jobs and has integrity will ensure the siding job will look and perform to specifications for many years to come.
Siding Mistakes Links
Conclusion On Siding Mistakes
Choosing an experienced contractor and crews will help ensure your siding installation is done correctly. We hope that you have found this post helpful as you move forward with your project. Nobody wants to have the bad experience which could cost more time, money and headaches from an unwanted siding mistake. You as the homeowner will avoid the mistake of having siding issues down the road. Texas Home Exteriors home of the Texas EZ Pay is here you help you with your needs. Thank you from all of at Texas Home Exteriors.