Does New Siding Increase Home Value After Years of Wear and Tear?

Smack! Another baseball hits the side of the house, another dent in the siding, another gray hair on your head.

As you get ready to put your house on the market, the question is: Does new siding increase home value after years of wear and tear, or should you leave the warped or rotted boards as they are?

The truth is a siding upgrade can enhance curb appeal, increase your asking price, and attract more buyers—but it’s no small project in scope and expense.

With the help of siding industry experts and one of the country’s top-performing real estate agents, we’ve put together this guide to picking the right siding material for your home with tips for how to squeeze every penny out of this big investment.

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Two sides to siding: beauty and brawn

The siding of your home has two big jobs: look gorgeous, and act as a protective fortress.

Siding guards your home against pests, water, fire, and other damages caused by vulnerability to the great outdoors. Improper or damaged siding can lead to mold, deterioration of walls, high energy costs, and issues with your home’s structural integrity.

Aside from these core functions, siding contributes to the overall curb appeal of a home––which is crucial when it comes time to sell. In fact, 99% of Realtors believe curb appeal is important in attracting a buyer, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2018 Remodeling Impact Report.

When recent home buyers were asked what was most important to them, 29% chose windows, doors, and siding installation. If your siding has seen better days, fix it up to attract more buyers and increase your home’s value.

Here are some clear-cut signs that your siding needs to be replaced or repaired:

  • Cracked panels
  • Loose panels
  • Warped or rotted panels
  • Mold
  • Holes in the panels
  • Bubbles under siding
  • Multiple different repaint jobs within a few years
  • Signs of moisture inside the home
  • Increased energy costs

Replace or repair individual siding panels when you can

Before you upgrade to all new siding, see if you can replace or repair damaged panels or boards. Take a good look at your siding to see if the problems can be fixed with a quick trip to Home Depot and a little elbow grease.

Marie Collins, a top-selling St. Cloud, Florida real estate agent, has sold over 72% more than the average agent in her area. First, she recommends paying particular attention to your exterior paint to save time and money down the road.

“If the paint’s cracking or looks like it’s peeling, you’re going to want to paint the exterior,” she says.

“If you get a buyer and you have cracking, peeling paint, the appraiser is not going to approve the house to close and you’ll end up having to do that prior to the closing.”

Next, Collins recommends you pressure wash dirty or moldy siding so it looks fresh and clean.

If your siding has signs of damage beyond paint, dirt, or a little bit of mold, you’ll need to hire a professional to replace the panel. Depending on the scope of the damage, you could switch out a few panels or, if it’s really bad, an entire side of the house.

Kevin Busch, Vice President of Mr. Handyman, a Neighborly company that provides trusted handyman services nationwide, says that different types of siding require different repairs.

“There aren’t real repairs for aluminum or vinyl siding as the repair is to replace a single panel of damaged siding,” he says. “Wood can be repaired by filling a hole, though in nearly all cases, removing the damaged panel and replacing it is the ideal solution.

Need a total siding overhaul? Here’s what you can expect to spend

When it comes down to brass tacks, all new siding for your home comes at a steep cost.

The overall cost varies based on the type of material used, the size of the home, and type of existing siding on the house. The average cost of siding for homeowners is between about $5,000 and $14,500, according to data by various sources. See the chart below.

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Choose the right siding to maximize your recovered cost

The type of siding you choose mostly depends on the current siding on your home. There’s an added labor cost for removal of old siding, so if you’re going to strip your house and start fresh, plan to spend up to $5,000 more.

Here are the different types of siding and how each one differs when it comes to cost, benefits, and drawbacks.

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Vinyl

Vinyl siding is one of the most common exterior materials for homes. Over a quarter of the homes built in 2017 had vinyl siding, according to the US Census Bureau’s 2017 Characteristics of New Housing.

“The upside is the variety of choices in style, color, manufacturers, and price, which can be on lower-end if you install the typical 4” siding,” says Busch. “Even vinyl siding can become more expensive if you opt for higher end, shaker-style siding panels.”

The downside of vinyl siding includes color fading, possible damage from the impact of hail or baseballs, and the inability to repair damaged panels.

Cost: Ranges from about $2-$7 per square foot. The total estimated cost for an entire home including installation fees is about $13,350.
Average ROI: About 75%
Pros: Cheap, a variety of color options, easy to install
Cons: Vulnerable to cracking or panels falling off;, can’t patch up panels, must replace

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Fiber cement

Fiber cement is a mix of sand, cement, and wood particles. It looks similar to wood but has more durability, which is appealing to buyers looking for a step-up from vinyl.

According to Andy Lindus, the COO of Lindus Construction, a Twin Cities-based residential construction company voted Remodeler of the Year by Professional Remodeler magazine, fiber-cement is also insect-proof if installed correctly. But, on the other hand, fiber cement can hold moisture and is difficult to install.

“It requires special tools to install and silica plumes are released when cut, requiring installers to wear respirators,” says Lindus. So, installation costs make fiber cement a pricey siding option.

Cost: $5-$10 per square foot, total estimate $18,000
Average ROI: About 83%.
Pros: Durable and long-lasting; comes in a variety of color options; wood texture offers desirable aesthetic resistant to fire and pests
Cons: Increased labor and installation costs; holds moisture

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Wood

Wood siding has the natural, rustic feel that many buyers love. But, the flaws outweigh the benefits. You’ll be tasked with high installation costs and buyers need to be willing to dedicate time and energy to maintain wood siding.

“The challenge with wood is the siding’s lifespan, which will require ongoing maintenance to protect from rot, termites, etc.,” says Busch.

“While simple, pine siding panels are relatively inexpensive; those coveted cedar shakes are expensive and also drastically increase labor costs as the installation is more custom than uniform pieces of vinyl or composite siding.”

Cost: About $7-$13 per square foot, total estimate $14,000-$25,000
ROI: Numbers not available
Pros: Warm-look, natural, historic
Cons: Vulnerable to insect and water damage, high-maintenance

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Engineered wood

This low cost, easy-to-install wood replica is more durable than natural wood. However, it does require consistent maintenance––a small price to pay for upgraded siding.

Lindus recommends LP Smartside for a durable, beautiful siding option that enhances curb appeal. While fiber cement boasts a wood-like look, this engineered wood can be cut with normal woodworking equipment.

It doesn’t release the toxins fiber cement does, so it requires fewer tools and installation costs are more affordable. .

Cost: $2.25 to $5.30 per square foot
ROI: Numbers not available
Pros: Less expensive than natural wood, easy to install and repair, eco-friendly
Cons: High maintenance, prone to moisture issues if not properly installed or maintained

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Aluminum

Aluminum was the most common siding option decades ago, and it can be painted, whereas vinyl cannot. Similarly to vinyl, it will dent when hit with hard objects so you’ll have to replace any damaged pieces as opposed to repairing them.

“This type has limited options available these days,” Busch says. “Due to supply and demand, it’s on the pricier side.”

In general, aluminum is stronger than vinyl but not as strong as steel. Aluminum is lighter than steel, making it easier and cheaper to install.

On the plus side, aluminum siding in good condition can be repainted for an upgraded look that enhances curb appeal. But, aluminum will fade and discoloration is common, so it’s best to repaint it at least every 10 years.

Cost: About $3-$6 per square foot
ROI: Numbers not available
Pros: Can be painted, durable material, easy to install, recyclable, long-lasting
Cons: Dents easily, prone to fading and discoloration

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Steel

An incredibly durable option, steel runs more expensive than most other siding materials. It doesn’t dent as easily as aluminum and is eco-friendly and low maintenance. But, it’s weight makes it harder to install, so you’ll spend more on material and labor costs than you would with a lighter material.

Another minor setback is that steel has poor insulation by itself.  Add insulation under the steel to save on energy costs.

Cost: $4-$8 per square foot
ROI: Numbers not available
Pros: Extremely durable, fire-resistant, recyclable, low-maintenance
Cons: Heavy, hard to install, special-order product, poor insulation

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Stucco

One of the most expensive siding options is also one of the most durable. Stucco can last up to 50 years or longer but doesn’t hold up well in rainy climates. Settlement cracks are common with stucco exteriors, but they are easy and cheap to fix.

“If they had any [cracks] they should go to Home Depot and get the proper sealant. You have to see all those cracks so the water doesn’t get behind it,” says Collins. If water gets behind the stucco, the wood frame will rot and mold will grow, costing an arm and a leg to fix.

Cost: $6-$14 per square foot
ROI: Numbers not available
Pros: low maintenance, resistance to pests and fires, excellent insulation
Cons: doesn’t hold up in rainy climates, expensive, timely to re-stucco

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Natural stone

Stone is one of the oldest building materials. When used as siding, stone material  is durable and stays cool in hot weather.

However, stones are heavy, expensive, and hard to replace if damaged. Due to stone’s unique characteristics, you’ll need to hire a  professional mason to get it installed properly.

Cost: About $35-$50 per square foot for natural stone
ROI: Numbers not available
Pros: Durable, beautiful, maintains cool temperature in hot climate
Cons: Heavy, expensive, hard to replace

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Faux, veneer, or manufactured stone

Stone imitations achieve the desired look of stone without breaking the bank.

With faux and veneered stone, you sacrifice durability for the lower cost. Manufactured stone is the best option. Although it isn’t as environmentally resistant as other imitation stones, it’s made from concrete, so it’s affordable and durable. Plus, it yields a high ROI.

Cost: About $5-$11 per square foot
ROI: 97.1%
Pros: Less expensive, visually appealing, light weight
Cons: Not as durable, susceptible to erosion and cracking

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Brick

Classic brick siding has been around for centuries. It can last for decades and withstands fire and weather.

The downside is that bricks are heavy so brick siding puts your home’s foundation in harm’s way. Like stone, if a brick gets damaged, it’s difficult to replace it.

Cost: Around $6-$10 per square foot
ROI: Numbers not available
Pros: Resistant, attractive, long-lasting
Cons: Heavy, hard to replace or repair, requires long installation process

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5 tips to choose the perfect siding for your home

The perfect siding for your home is relative to some important factors that are outside of your control. The siding you choose needs to attract buyers and recoup the cost in the final sale price. Here’s how to choose the best siding for each of those needs.

1. Look at the current siding on your house

If you don’t need a full siding replacement, don’t take on the cost. First, see if a power wash or individual panel repair is possible. You most likely will need to replace your siding if it’s older than 30 years old or damaged beyond repair. When you pick a new siding, stay with a similar material to avoid extra costs. For example, a switch from vinyl siding to stucco siding is drastic and therefore poses extra costs and issues with installation.

2. Consider the climate in your area

The durability of most siding materials is dependent on the weather. If you get a lot of rain, don’t choose stucco or wood siding. In climates with extreme weather, choose a siding that can withstand impact, like steel or engineered wood.

3. Tap into your local real estate market to find regional trends

A top real estate agent can tell you which types of  siding materials buyers in your area prefer. Before you take on a home investment project of this caliber, talk to a professional real estate agent to increase your likelihood of recouping your spend.

4. Take a look around your neighborhood

If the houses in your neighborhood each have the same type of siding, don’t choose a different one. Houses that stick out and look like they don’t belong don’t appeal to buyers. Choose a siding that blends with the other houses in the neighborhood to help your house sell faster and for more money.

5. Choose a color that complements the rest of your home

Once the siding is installed, there’s no going back. Choose a neutral color that matches your roof, trim, front door, and landscaping. Don’t get fancy with bright colors––stay inside the lines with grays, blues, whites, and light yellows.

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It’s true: siding does increase home value

Brand new or damaged siding can drastically affect your home’s value. Worn, cracked, discolored siding will turn buyers away and could lower your home’s value in an appraisal. With upgraded siding, you enhance your curb appeal, which will bring more buyers through the door.

Modern siding can help decrease energy costs and protect your home from natural disasters and damaging weather.

We recommend the following options for new siding:

  • For a wood-like siding: engineered wood
  • For a colored siding: seamless steel
  • For a stone siding/feature: manufactured stone

As always, work with top professionals throughout your entire home sale process to save yourself time and money.

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