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Living Smart: Siding

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By Angie Hicks

siding_yellow_house(MCT)—Replacing old or damaged siding on your house with new siding can add curb appeal to your home, make it more energy efficient and improves your chances of selling it fast and at a higher price.

Dave Loewen, with Hawkins Exteriors in Yuba City, Calif., says homeowners often don’t notice their old, worn out siding.

“Most people know they need a new roof because they can see or feel water coming through the roof,” Loewen says. “What I find is most people don’t realize how bad their siding is. I go to a lot of jobs where they want you to inspect their siding and they have old paneling that’s been on there for 30-plus years. I usually recommend a customer have us come out and do an inspection and show them how we can make a lifetime, long-term, low-maintenance, energy efficient finish on their exterior. Think of it as replacing a roof. It’s a long-term investment, but it’s going to be there the next 30 years and will improve the value of your home.”

The most popular siding choices these days are insulated vinyl board and fiber cement, which have largely replaced aluminum and wood siding.

Fiber cement is the siding type preferred by homeowners “looking to get a wood look,” Loewen says, but doesn’t rot or attract insects like wood. Fiber cement is also fire resistant and won’t incur damage from hail like vinyl or aluminum. Fiber cement does require a certain level of expertise to install, so it’s important to check that the installer is certified by the product manufacturer.

“Labor wise, (fiber cement) is a little bit more expensive,” Loewen says. “It’s a custom product. It looks very professional when it’s all said and done.”

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