What does your home siding look like? If it’s more than 15 years old (or even more than ten years old, depending on your climate) then it’s time to replace it. This home covering has a limited lifespan. When it comes time to replacing or just repairing sections of your siding, you have two choices.
You can hire a professional residential siding contractors to do it for you, or you can go the DIY route and do it yourself. The latter option is completely feasible, and it’s something that many homeowners can do, as long as they know how. Here are the basic steps of the process.
Purchase Your Siding
Unless you’re lucky enough to have a lot of extra, leftover siding pieces in your garage, you’re going to need to purchase some before you can start the replacement or repair process. Start by measuring your house and choosing your siding. This is where repairing your home siding gets a little tricky. Even if you can find a color match to the original, it’s still going to stand out a little, because it won’t be as faded as what’s already on your house.
This is why many people choose to just replace all of their siding at once instead of just repairing it. No matter what, you’re going to need to determine how much siding you’ll need, so you need to head to the home improvement or specialty siding store with the measurements of your home – the length, width, and height. (If you’re just repairing your siding, you’ll need to measure just the damaged section, or width and height.)
The workers there will help you determine how much you’ll need. Make sure to purchase a bit more than necessary, just in case.
Gather Your Tools and Set Up Your Scaffolding
While you wait for your siding to be delivered, you need to gather your tools and set up your scaffolding. You’ll need a few basic tools, such as an electric saw to cut the siding with, as well as some sawhorses to balance a board on to use as a cutting surface. You’ll also need a prybar to remove the old siding, as well as a hammer and some nails.
You never want to use screws on your siding, since this material is designed to fasten to each other, with one section snapping into the one above it. You’ll just need some nails to anchor the ends and the top. The scaffolding is important because you need to reach the top of your home. Your siding needs to go all of the way to the roofline.
Of course, if you’re just replacing a small patch of siding that’s low to the ground, then you might not need the scaffolding or even a ladder. Use your best judgment.
Remove the Old or Damaged Siding
Begin removing the siding by starting at the top and working your way downwards, focusing on the corner pieces first. Work your way inwards from the outside of each wall. If you’re just removing a section of it, be careful and snap the damaged siding away off of the pieces that are still fine.
However, if you’re getting rid of all of it, remove the nails that anchor it to the top of your house and begin pulling it down in sections. This is one of the easiest parts of this process, as most forms of siding aren’t held on by many nails. Be careful when you remove the siding from around the windows since you might damage the frames. Don’t be overzealous here. This isn’t a race.
Repair Any Damage
As you peel the siding off of your home, you might notice some damage underneath. If any of the existing boards on the side of your home look like they’re rotting away, then they need to be repaired before you can put the new siding up.
Many people might be tempted to ignore this damage and just place the new siding over it (“out of sight, out of mind,” as the saying goes) but the chipped or rotting sections can weaken your home over time. Do all of your repairs before proceeding to the next step.
Hang Your Siding
Now that all of your tools and your scaffold are set up, you have the old siding down, and you’ve made the required repairs, it’s time to hang your new siding. Start at the top and work down – even if you’re just repairing a section – and begin putting the new siding in place.
Make sure to replace any of the corner pieces, and be careful around your windows. Also, remember that when you’re cutting your siding, go by the old adage of “measure twice, cut once.” This will ensure that everything ends up being the correct size and you won’t waste any pieces.