Whether you’ve recently noticed some damage on your home siding or know it’s been a long time coming, you want to make sure you do it right.
A siding replacement is one of the most significant investments you can make in your home’s exterior. It takes much time, effort, and money to get it done.
So, as you’re thinking about your goals and evaluating your options for your siding replacement contractor, you may be thinking, “Do I need to hire a professional contractor, or can I potentially do this myself?”
Maybe you love to fix things yourself because you’re the only person you’d trust with your home. Or maybe you have a close neighbor you know has patched up their own siding.
Now, you’re really starting to think if you should try to get this project done yourself.
But, before deciding to either go the DIY or professional route for your siding project, you want to know more about some of the pros and cons of each of them. Then, you’ll be able to choose which option is right for you.
At Southwest Exteriors, we offer James Hardie siding replacement services and have been an exterior remodeling contractor in San Antonio since 1989. Our professionally trained installers take extra precautions and pay close attention to the details of your siding replacement because we know the difference it makes.
While we would not recommend anyone attempts to replace their siding, we know that hiring a contractor may not be right for every homeowner. So, we want to provide you with an unbiased comparison of a DIY and professional siding replacement so you can have the right information you need to make the best decision.
This article will outline the pros and cons of a DIY and professional siding replacement.
After reading, you will better understand some of the benefits and drawbacks of each of these options and can choose the right option for you.
What are some of the benefits and drawbacks of a DIY siding replacement?
Because you found this article, you’re most likely considering a DIY siding replacement. So, you first want to know some of the pros and cons of a DIY project before looking at the option of working with a contractor.
Most professionals would not recommend a DIY siding replacement or hiring a neighborhood handyperson. But, depending on your goals for your project, this may be the option you are looking for.
Let’s look more into some of the pros and cons of a DIY siding replacement.
Benefits of a DIY siding replacement
The benefits of a DIY siding replacement all have to do with your ability to be in control of your project. So, if you like to do things on your own time, your way, this may be what you are looking for.
1. The cost of a DIY siding replacement is less
The first major benefit of a DIY siding replacement is the cost. When working with a professional contractor, the cost is an accumulation of material costs, labor, installation, services, and warranty.
When you replace your siding yourself, all you have to worry about is the cost of materials (unless you hire a friend or neighbor to do the job).
You can purchase various siding types at your local chain hardware store. These prices are around $40-$50 for 32 square feet of siding. These materials are also easily accessible to you, and you can look at a variety of siding types in person to choose the one you like best.
If you’re looking for one of the least expensive options to replace your siding, then DIY may be the route you want to take.
2. You can replace your siding on your timeline
The second benefit of a DIY siding replacement is that you can follow your own timeline. When you work with a contractor, you have to go through multiple steps, consultations, phone calls, and appointments before replacing your siding.
With manufacturing delays today, it could be months from your initial inquiry before any construction begins.
When you decide to replace your own siding, you are your own boss. You can decide when you want to shop for materials, remove, and replace your siding. You can create and work on your own timeline.
If you have a busy schedule to work around, then being able to plan your own construction may be a huge benefit for you.
3. You don’t have to worry about finding a trustworthy contractor
The third benefit of replacing your own siding is that you won’t have to stress finding the right contractor.
Finding a trustworthy contractor in any construction area is difficult. You have to research different companies, look at their social media, and prepare to ask the right questions to find one you can trust.
When you are your own boss, the only person you have to trust is yourself. You can create your own timeline, and you don’t have to worry about hiring the wrong contractor or possibly being taken advantage of.
Drawbacks of a DIY siding replacement
Now that you know some of the benefits of replacing your own siding, let’s look at some of the potential downsides that come with this project.
1. You may not have all the materials you need
One of the first drawbacks you need to consider for a DIY siding replacement is you may not have all the materials and tools you need.
For a proper siding replacement, you must consider other materials than just the siding, like a substrate, weather barrier, flashing, and possibly trim. You also need the right tools to install the siding properly, like a nail gun.
Thinking of all the additional materials and tools you will need will add to the cost and may deter you from installing your own siding.
2. You may not have the expertise necessary to properly replace siding
Although you can watch plenty of DIY YouTube videos and read every step-by-step guide on the internet, you may not have the full expertise required to remove and replace siding properly.
If the siding is not installed correctly, it will not last, and it will not protect your home as it should. You may risk exposing your home to potentially rotting and critter infestation in the future.
3. Replacing siding can be dangerous
The third drawback of replacing your own siding is that it can be dangerous. Professional siding installers often must build and work on scaffolding or a ladder.
Even if you have a single-story home, this can be a danger to work above ground. Imagine how difficult it would be to remove and replace your siding correctly while you’re up multiple feet in the air if you have a multi-story home.
This drawback ties into the lack of expertise in replacing siding. If you don’t know what you’re doing, your safety is at risk if you don’t do it right.
The benefits and drawbacks of a DIY siding replacement: Is it right for you?
Now that you know some of the major benefits and drawbacks of a DIY siding replacement, you can better know if this option is right for you.
Overall, if you are looking for a less expensive siding option and want to do your project on your own time, then looking at the DIY route may be right for you.
But, you must understand the level of expertise and knowledge needed to do it right. Otherwise, you put the safety and health of yourself and your home at risk for future problems.
Where to buy DIY siding material
You can buy vinyl of fiber cement siding for a DIY replacement project from several home improvement stores, both in-store and online, including Home Depot, Lowe's, Menards, and ABC Supply. Some stores also offer free in-store pickup or delivery options, making it easy for homeowners to get the materials they need. Additionally, vinyl siding can be purchased from vinyl siding manufacturers such as CertainTeed, Alside, or Ply Gem, through their authorized dealers or online. Homeowners should ensure they have accurate measurements before purchasing siding siding to ensure they buy the right amount and avoid any costly mistakes.
What are some of the benefits and drawbacks of a professional siding replacement?
If you’re thinking about hiring a professional siding replacement contractor for your project, it’s important to consider the pros and cons to know if it is right.
Like with a DIY siding replacement, a professional one has some major benefits and drawbacks. You want to consider both options' good and bad to better understand what you get yourself into.
Benefits of a professional siding replacement
First, let’s look at some of the major benefits of hiring a professional siding replacement contractor for your project.
1. You don’t have to stress about the construction of your own project
The first major benefit of a professional siding replacement is that you don’t have to do it yourself. A siding replacement is a large project, and as you saw in the drawbacks of a DIY siding replacement, it takes a lot of skill, time, and effort.
Hiring an expert contractor allows you to choose the products you like and sit back and relax while your new siding is installed.
2. You have the assurance your siding is installed properly
When you hire a trustworthy, professional contractor, you don’t have to worry about what type of nail you should use or whether all seams have been sealed.
Working with an experienced contractor with a track record of success guarantees that your siding is installed correctly and will protect your home. But, with this, you must choose the right contractor that you know will meet your needs for your project.
3. You have a warranty on installation
The third benefit of hiring a contractor to replace your siding is the warranty. When you replace your own siding, you do not have any installation warranty covering costs if you do not install something properly.
A siding manufacturer has a warranty that assures if damages occur to the product, they will cover it under warranty. A siding contractor also has a warranty protecting the installation. So, if something is not installed properly by the contractor and you experience problems, it will most likely be covered under warranty to get fixed at no extra cost to you.
Drawbacks of a professional siding replacement
While there are many benefits to a professional siding replacement, there are a few drawbacks you may not have thought of before deciding against a DIY project.
1. It’s more expensive than a DIY siding replacement
The first major drawback of a professional siding replacement is the cost. A siding replacement project is a large investment, whether you DIY it or not.
When you hire a professional contractor, many factors influence the cost, like labor and installation and even shipping and handling costs, which you may not see but the contractor must cover.
You’re paying for more than just the siding materials when working with a siding company. So, it’s important you have realistic expectations for the cost of your project. The higher quality siding and installation you choose, the more expensive it will be.
2. It can be hard to find a trustworthy siding contractor
Finding a contractor for your project is hard enough. Finding one you know you can trust? Even harder.
You must put a lot of time and effort into researching contractors in your area before finding the right one. Sometimes, you can get overwhelmed by the number of options out there. On top of finding a trustworthy contractor, you also need to find a contractor that offers the type of siding you want.
While finding a contractor you can trust with your home is important, finding the right one can be a major drawback.
Is a professional siding replacement right for me?
After looking at some of the benefits and drawbacks of a professional siding replacement, you’re now thinking, “Is this the right option for me?”
Overall, if you are a long-term homeowner looking for a long-term siding solution, a professional siding replacement will be the best option for you. You want your siding to last and to be installed right, so you will want to choose to work with a professional rather than a DIY.
DIY vs. Professional Siding Replacement: Which is better for me?
Now you know some of the major benefits and drawbacks of both a DIY and professional siding replacement. So, which is better for you?
A DIY siding replacement may be the right option for you if you are looking for a less expensive alternative to replacing your siding. A DIY project may also be the best choice if you aren’t too concerned about the longevity of your siding and are looking for the quickest fix.
On the other hand, if you are a long-term homeowner and want a siding solution that you won’t have to worry about in the future, you will want to hire a professional contractor for the project. Although it can be difficult to find the right, trustworthy contractor, it will be the best option for a long-term siding solution.
So, if you are deciding on hiring a professional contractor for your project, you need to know what to look for to find the best one for you. This includes knowing what questions to ask to ensure you choose a contractor you can trust.
Looking for a trustworthy contractor for your siding project?
If you’re ready to start your San Antonio siding replacement, Southwest Exteriors is here to help.
We offer James Hardie fiber cement siding products because of their high quality. Our expert installers follow Hardie’s best practices for installation to ensure your new siding is installed correctly and will last.
On top of a high-quality installation, our lifetime warranty will guarantee we have your back as long as you live in your home.