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Repairing Your Home’s Siding: 5 Common Mistakes

Are you one of the millions of Americans who will need new siding in 2018? If so, you’ll want to know about some of the common mistakes people make, costing them time and money. If you want to keep your siding installation on the up-and-up, take care to avoid these common pitfalls!

1. Choosing cheap materials

Everybody likes to save a buck, and if you can do that by going with siding “B” over siding “A,” why not go for it? The answer is simple: long term value. Spending less in the short term might make you feel like you got a better deal — but you’ll be dealing with repair and replacement issues sooner than your neighbor, who chose to install a higher grade of siding. When choosing materials, always compare the “short-term” picture with the bigger picture of what’s going to give you the better value over the course of years.

2. Nailing the siding too tightly

It’s important to remember that siding (especially vinyl siding) will expand and contract with the changing of the seasons and temperatures. Specifically, if you’re installing siding during cooler weather, such as during autumn or spring, it’s good practice to leave a little “expansion room” for the siding to expand when the weather gets hot. Professionals will often leave around a quarter inch of extra space when installing siding during cooler weather.

3. Not using enough nails

Vinyl siding has become increasingly user-friendly to install, and many homeowners are taking a crack at it themselves instead of calling a professional. One of the many amateur mistakes that’s often made is simply not putting a sufficient number of nails into the siding. The ease with which siding can be installed often leads people to skip steps, leading to a poor quality installation.

4. Poor planning

There are many things you can do up front to set your siding installation project up for success. For example, it’s good to know ahead of time where and when you will need smaller pieces of siding to cover those tricky, smaller areas. Instead of purchases smaller pieces for this purpose, which people often do, you can order bigger pieces and cut them down to the size you need. This can save you significant cash.

5. Not calling a professional

When it comes to siding installation, the list of common mistakes is very long indeed. You might think that the prevalence of DIY siding — and the free availability of instructional content on sites like YouTube — makes it a slam dunk to install your own siding.

But people who have been down that road might give you a different perspective. To do the job right and meet your budget goals, you have to plan very carefully and avoid a whole litany of common mistakes. Your own time and stress level will also determine how successful the project really is.

That’s not to say that DIY siding installation can’t be done in a way that’s productive and not stressful. If you’re methodical enough, you might even get a result that looks somewhat professional. But to get that undeniably professional look, not to mention a structural integrity that gives you years of performance throughout the seasons, a skilled professional can deliver a higher standard of finished siding. That’s because they’ve been through so many different projects, and they’ve internalized the many things that can go wrong. But remember — these contractors are not all the same. If you decide to hire a pro, make sure you find one that has a good reputation and a solid written guarantee.