Wondering if siding is something you can DIY? If so, you’ve come to the right place! In an age in which DIY blogs and television shows abound, you’ve probably considered whether you can DIY siding if, in fact, the time has come for your house to receive a facelift. (Not sure whether you need to replace your siding? Check out this post!) After all, it seems people DIY just about everything these days, so why not DIY siding yourself?
Plus, statistics show that replacing the siding on your home is one of the best ways to boost equity in your home. So, if siding is something you can DIY, you reason, you might be able to save some dough while infusing your home with more value. It’s a win-win, right?
To replace the siding on your home, however, you’ll need to know a lot more than just how to rip the old siding off and replace it with new stuff. We’ll explore what’s involved in DIY siding and help you determine whether this a job you can do on your own.
Let’s review the steps involved to help you decide if you should DIY siding. First up, you should have plenty of DIY experience under your belt. And not just any experience—you need to have experience in fairly large-scale construction and carpentry projects, such as building a deck, finishing a basement, or remodeling your kitchen. You’ll need to know how to work with a variety of power and hand tools, be able to assess your home’s exterior at every step to weed out any problem areas, and understand how to work with the type of siding you’re installing.
Speaking of siding types, whether you can and should DIY siding depends greatly on the type of siding you want to put on your home. If you have a good deal of experience, it’s possible you could DIY siding that’s constructed of vinyl. It’s easier to install than other types and requires few special skills. However, brick, stone, and fiber-cement board products like James Hardie’s HardiePlank®, require specific expertise that can usually only be gained by becoming formally trained in their installation. Wood siding, such as cedar, may be manageable for serious DIYers with extensive carpentry experience.
DIY Vinyl Siding
Let’s say you are indeed hoping to DIY vinyl siding. Though it’s easier to work with than other siding types, it still requires knowledge of, and access to, specific tools as well as an in-depth understanding of how a siding system (comprised of wood sheathing, house wrap, siding, soffits, fascia, flashing, and more) works to protect your home and your family.
First, you’ll need to carefully remove the old siding. Be sure you have access to all the tools you’ll need, including a zip tool (which you’ll need for the siding removal). Once the siding and house wrap or building paper are removed, you’ll need to carefully assess whether there are problems with the wood sheathing from water, mold, pests, or age.
Then, you’ll need to put up the new siding, working around corners, soffits, and fascia. You’ll also need to pay extra attention to the siding you replace around windows, since this is where water commonly gets in of siding has been improperly installed.
DIY or Pro?
So, is siding something you can DIY? Well, you’ll want to ask yourself whether it’s worth spending money on the tools required for the job. You’ll also need to be prepared for the job to take considerably longer than the couple of days it would take for pros to tackle the project. Plus, you should be prepared to deal with any problems that arise during the course of the DIY siding replacement, including finding damage to the sheathing or making mistakes as you install the siding.
If this is your first time attempting to DIY siding, you’ll be learning as you go, and may waste time and materials trying to redo siding that you incorrectly installed the first time around. In addition, you’ll need to be very confident that you can the job properly, or you may end up seriously damaging the sheathing—or even the interior walls and windows of your home—in the event your install isn’t 100% watertight.
If you’ve asked yourself, “Should I DIY siding?”, we hope this post has helped you determine whether siding is something you can DIY or whether you should hire a pro. If you don’t have extensive construction experience, don’t worry—we do! George J Keller and Sons has been in the business for 37 years, so we have decades of experience installing all types of siding, including HardiePlank and HardieShingle. To learn more about the difference a pro can make in replacing your siding, give us a call today at 973-927-0963! We’ll be happy to meet with you and provide you with a free estimate.