Get the Best-Dressed House on the Block

Get the Best-Dressed House on the Block
What’s the first thing you look at when you drive past a home? Sure, landscaping and décor may catch your eye, but they aren’t enough to mask a house that’s in disrepair. If the home’s exterior is in poor condition, it won’t make a good first impression.

Updating the exterior of your home can significantly improve its market value and sale price. Additionally, up-to-date exterior finishes add an extra layer of protection and insulation, so they can reduce your energy costs.

But which treatment makes the most difference: paint or siding? Homeowners are quick to consider a fresh coat of paint, but siding is another option that’s often overlooked. It’s available in a variety of materials including vinyl, metal, shingles, aluminum, brick, stone, and veneer and can be a great alternative to paint. You should consider several factors before making your decision:

Condition — Is there extensive damage to your current siding? If wood is rotted or panels are missing, completely replacing the exterior with siding could save you time and money in the long run.

Permanence — Siding is expected to last for 25 years or more. While some paints do carry a 20-year warranty, paint doesn’t have the permanence that new exterior siding does.

Efficiency — If you’re losing heat and cold air from furnaces and air conditioning, your exterior could be part of the problem. Holes and broken seals can cost you hundreds of dollars annually. Adding insulation when replacing old siding will make a home airtight. Although the change won’t be as dramatic, painting can help with efficiency, too. Just be sure to fill holes and gaps, replace seals, repair panels, and add new insulation wherever possible.

Aesthetics — Paint comes in an unlimited variety of colors and finishes. If aesthetic appeal is your primary concern, siding may limit your choices.

Weatherization — Your home’s siding protects it from the elements. If you’re thinking of replacing siding, consider whether your home is subject to blazing sun, fierce winds, hail storms, or frigid temperatures. Select materials that can withstand the conditions your home will be exposed to. New high-tech, sophisticated products such as UV-resistant sealants, weather resistant paint, and heat-reflective materials are being developed every year.

Labor — Many homeowners feel confident about their ability to apply a coat of primer and repaint their home, but painting does require extensive preparation. Some homeowners may also be able to hang siding themselves. However, both are time-consuming and laborious to do correctly. That’s why most homeowners choose to hire a contractor whether they’re painting or installing siding.

Cost — Of course, budget may be the final determining factor in your decision. New siding should be considered an investment in your property and can be expected to carry a significant cost. If you intend to stay in the home, you’ll enjoy the benefits of lower energy bills and easy maintenance that siding offers long into the future.

If your home’s existing siding is in good condition and you don’t intend to stay in the home long-term, you may not want to invest in new siding. Paint is typically the more affordable option. If you’re selling your home, an attractive layer of paint can make all the difference to prospective buyers.

No matter which one you choose, your home will benefit greatly from an update. A fresh look not only improves the appearance of your house, but it also reflects well on the entire neighborhood. So take a closer look at your home’s exterior today — you’ll be glad you did.

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