If the work has to be done soon anyway, and you are in a position to be able to afford it, yes. One reason is, you get all the disruption out of the way at the same time. The second reason is, often when one part of a home is replaced it can make some of the rest of the house look a bit shabby. Since the siding is directly adjacent to your windows, that can look obvious.
In the last house I owned, I noticed that every time I got a room painted or renovated, it made the next room look shabby. And so, I painted the next one. Over the years, I came to the conclusion that the best way forward was to wait, and to paint the entire interior of my home at the same time. And to contract the job out entirely, going away on vacation while the work is being done.
I’ve never had to replace the entire siding of any home I lived in. At one point, when I was getting the windows on the front of my house replaced, I was advised to replace the siding, too, as it looked like it was past its natural life span. What I decided to do was, however, get my gutters and house exterior professionally cleaned instead. For a fraction of the cost of replacing my gutters, it came up looking like brand new.
In the Pacific Northwest, mold of one type or another will stick to almost any exterior surface. Homes, bridges, business and even motor cars, will all collect mold, moss and fungi if you leave them standing still for long enough. As I type this, it has been raining non-stop of about four days. Nothing outside gets a chance to dry out properly, so the mold is loving it!
If you absolutely know that your siding must be replaced, by all means, get it done. If your siding is compromised – and no longer protecting your home – them the time has come for it to go, so as to avoid a much bigger problem later.
New cleaning agents, good for the ecosystem and good for your home and family
A few decades ago, there were far fewer concerns about what cleaning products were doing to the planet, and to us, the people who live on the planet. Today, we have a far greater understanding of, among other things, how cancer is caused. We also know better now about the food chain. A little weedkiller on our lawn, we thought, can’t hurt anyone. But today, we know that weedkiller can drain into the water system, a local river, then into the ocean, and into the fish, which make their way back onto our dinner tables. We know this because research has found it to be true. Minute amounts of all manner of chemical are now known to the in the living creatures of the sea, chemicals and compounds that originated thousands of miles away. The ability of the ocean to remain – if it ever really was so – our toxic dump is coming to and end.
Cleaning products today are far safer than those of the old days. Many manufacturers are returning to the supply of non-toxic and eco-friendly agents for consumers to use cleaning everything inside and exterior to where the live. Manufacturers are not doing this out of the goodness of their hearts; they are responding to ever evolving consumer demand. Consumers are insisting on it.
We are also becoming more intelligent about what we throw away. Can we reuse it? Can I simply clean my siding instead of replacing it? It’s not just about the money, either. Some of us drive around in a Prius to save the earth. Others recycle and reuse what we have instead of replacing it.
Windows and siding go together, in a way
Having said all that, siding is not so expensive. If your home does need it, it is best not to delay.
If you are planning to sell your home soon, it might be more economical to simply get your siding professionally cleaned, buying perhaps a few more years before the bigger job demands to be done. If you are staying put for a long time, it might be better to invest in getting a long term solution in place.
Getting a proper house inspection while you are considering new windows and siding
Many windows installers, house painters and roofers, often have on staff or direct access to, a contractor or handyman who can address issues as they surface. If your window installer is also able to, for example, fix a bit of drywall on the fly (instead of outsourcing and managing the project) to someone outside the company, so much the better. In order to know exactly what your house needs in total, a good house inspection is often a great way to start. Many window installation professionals will simply throw in a few small repairs for free, if they get the window installation project. Some such contractors work closely with similar type businesses. Roofers and house painters, for example, are a natural fit. Window installers and door installers are another match. When you present a complete list of everything your house needs, you can often take advantage of such relationships.
Faulty siding is sometimes a sign of a different problem
In most houses which have siding, the walls are protected by a good sized roof overhang. For two and three-story buildings, it’s harder to get the roof to protect the lower floor walls, and siding often comes under more pressure there because of that. But for most homes, especially when the rain is falling straight down, the water doesn’t present a problem. The siding might get slight wet, but dries quickly and remains 100% effective. However, if there is, for example, a blocked down pipe, water may be overflowing from a roof gutter, and pouring like from a faucet near the wall of your house. This excessive amount of water where it should not be may overwhelm the capacity of the siding to protect your house, and damage the siding in the process.
More next week!