Siding Installation: DIY vs. Professional
In today’s world of DIY enthusiasts and homeowners looking to save a few bucks, the question of whether to tackle a siding installation project on your own or hire a professional often arises. Siding not only enhances the curb appeal of your home, but also provides essential protection against the elements.
This blog post explores the pros and cons of installing siding as a DIY project versus hiring a professional. We’ll explore the tools and skills required, safety considerations and the potential cost savings or risks associated with each approach.
Siding installation is a critical decision for homeowners. It not only affects the visual appeal of a home, but also plays a vital role in providing safety and shelter for you and your family. The choice between a DIY project and hiring a professional comes with a full set of considerations.
And it’s crucial to understand the significance of making the right choice for you when it comes to siding installation. Your decision can affect the longevity and quality of your home’s siding.
Pros of Hiring a Professional
Accumulated Knowledge and Experience
Accumulated knowledge and experience are the primary advantages of hiring a professional for siding installation. Professionals bring insights from past installations, ensuring that your project benefits from their expertise and long-game knowledge.
Professionals have likely encountered various challenges during previous installations, equipping them with problem-solving skills that can prove invaluable during your project.
According to Porch, an online company that allows users to connect with and review local home service contractors, siding installation may look relatively easy, but it is not a beginner’s game.
“Working around corners, eaves, soffits and fascia, along with trimming openings like windows and doors, are all technical aspects of the project that can be easy to get wrong. If you choose to replace the siding yourself, you need knowledge about whether to repair or remove old siding. You need to know how to repair or replace the exterior of your house where mold, water or vermin have damaged it. Do you know how to attach frieze board and sheathing for putting up the siding? You also must know which method lends itself to the type of siding you selected. You must have the skill and tools to cut the siding planks to fit and then attach them.”
Professionals are also well-versed in the different siding materials available and can guide you in selecting the right one for your home, taking into account factors such as climate and aesthetics.
(If you just want siding repaired, consider these DIY vs. professional factors from This Old House.)
Specialized Tools and Equipment
Siding installation is a meticulous process that demands a range of specialized tools to achieve a professional and durable finish. Specialized tools collectively streamline the siding installation process, ensuring efficiency, precision and a high-quality final product. If you’re a regular DIYer, you may have many of the tools needed, but if you don’t have them already, you need to evaluate whether it’s worth a one-time-use cost—even renting them.
If, as a homeowner, you’re game, read more here.
Professionals, on the other hand, have the tools they need at the ready.
Benefits of DIY Siding Installation
DIY siding installation offers numerous benefits for homeowners willing to take on the task themselves. It can lead to substantial cost savings. By eliminating labor costs, homeowners can invest more in high-quality siding materials, which may ensure long-term durability and improve aesthetics.
While DIY siding installation offers numerous advantages, it’s essential to consider potential challenges and the learning curve involved. Adequate preparation, research and the use of the right tools are crucial to ensure a successful project.
Sense of Pride
DIY siding projects also provide a sense of accomplishment and empowerment. Successfully completing such a significant home improvement task can boost confidence and pride in a homeowner’s abilities, fostering a deeper connection to the home.
Cons of DIY Siding Installation
Lack of Experience
While the idea of tackling a home improvement project on your own can be appealing, the lack of experience can pose challenges, especially for first-time or second-time attempts.
Inexperienced DIYers may struggle with the complexities of siding installation, potentially leading to errors and the challenge of a major home project can be overwhelming.Siding installation is a significant home project that requires careful planning and execution. Lack of experience can lead to costly mistakes.
While DIY siding installation can save money upfront, it often carries hidden costs. Inexperience can lead to errors, requiring costly fixes. Siding mishaps, including improper cuts or misalignments, might necessitate replacement or professional correction. Hidden structural issues might surface during installation, demanding additional repairs. Also, the time and effort involved can be significant, impacting work, family and personal life.
As mentioned, DIYers often need to purchase or rent specialized tools, adding to the expense. DIY projects may also lack warranties and insurance coverage, leaving homeowners responsible for any future problems. In some cases, DIY work might not meet local building codes, resulting in fines or the need for redoing the work. Even as DIY can save money, it’s vital to consider the potential hidden costs and challenges.
Professional Expertise in Remodeling
Proper Removal of Old Siding
Professionals excel at the safe and efficient removal of old siding, a crucial step in the installation process. For DIYers, the proper removal of old siding and preparing the wall for new siding are critical steps in ensuring a successful and long-lasting siding installation.
When the old siding is removed, inspect the underlying wall for any signs of damage, rot or decay. Replace any damaged sheathing or studs and ensure the wall is structurally sound. Address any issues related to insulation and moisture barriers to prevent future problems.
Once you’ve followed the removal steps, prep the wall for new siding. If available, consult the instructions provided by the manufacturer, like these from RISE. Clean the wall thoroughly to remove any debris, old caulk or adhesive. If there’s residue or loose paint, consider scraping or sanding the surface to create a smooth base for the new siding. Make sure the wall is clean and dry.
Properly removing old siding and preparing the wall for new siding is a meticulous process that sets the stage for a successful installation. Follow these steps carefully and adhere to manufacturer guidelines to ensure a professional and long-lasting finish.
Accountability and Budget Management
Pros’ Responsibility to Homeowners
When you hire professionals, they are accountable for completing the project on time and staying within the agreed-upon budget. Professionals understand the importance of meeting project deadlines, ensuring minimal disruption to your daily life. Professional contractors also provide detailed estimates and strive to adhere to a budget, preventing unexpected expenses.
For tips on what questions to ask a professional installer, go to Home Advisor.
While DIY projects offer flexibility, they also come with a lack of professional accountability. DIYers have the freedom to make decisions as they go, but may not have the guidance and accountability that professionals provide.
Safety should always be a top priority during any home improvement project, including siding installation.
Professional and DIY Safety Standards
Siding installation safety and compliance are crucial for both the well-being of the installation team and the long-term integrity of the building. Contractors and DIYers alike should prioritize these considerations to ensure a successful and secure siding project.
Comply with local codes. Adhere to local building codes and regulations regarding siding installation, which may include specific requirements for insulation, flashing and fastening. Seek necessary permits and inspections as required by local authorities.
Always follow manufacturer’s installation guidelines for the specific type of siding material being used, as failing to do so can lead to safety issues and void warranties.
Even if you’re a DIY siding installer, it will benefit you to look through the Siding Contractor Safety Program toolkit provided for small-scale siding contractors.
In the end, the choice between DIY siding installation and hiring a professional is about your level of expertise, budget and personal preferences. Each approach has its merits and drawbacks. While DIY projects offer cost savings and a sense of accomplishment, professional installations provide expertise, accountability and peace of mind.
It depends on your experience and preferences. Professionals offer expertise and accountability, while DIY can save money but may lack experience.
Professionals bring accumulated knowledge, experience, and specialized tools, ensuring a high-quality finish.
DIY can lead to cost savings and a sense of pride in completing a significant home improvement project.
Lack of experience can lead to errors and hidden costs, such as the need for specialized tools or redoing work to meet local codes.
Proper removal and wall preparation are critical for a successful and long-lasting siding installation.
Professionals are accountable for staying within the budget and meeting project deadlines, minimizing disruption to your life.