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Siding vs. Painting: Which Exterior Protection Is Best for Your Home?

Refinishing a house can add to its curb appeal – and its owner’s sense of pride! Owners of older homes typically choose between two popular options: getting the house repainted by a professional exterior painter or going with a popular choice and installing vinyl siding. Which should you choose?


When your home’s exterior starts to look worn down and old, it’s sure negatively to impact on your home’s aesthetic appeal. If things come to this, what should you, as a homeowner, do? We already established earlier that when it comes to durability, vinyl is the preferred choice. While paint can be expected to begin to peel and fade within five to eight years, vinyl siding, on the other hand, has a lifespan of 20 years or more – it also comes with integral insulation that can boost your home’s energy efficiency.

Depending on where you live, however, vinyl siding may not be the most viable option. For one thing, vinyl siding is flexible, and can bend, dent or warp. Maintaining siding can thus be a huge challenge if the weather in your area is typically stormy or windy. If you need a little help deciding on what option might work for your, here are a few useful questions that you should definitely take into consideration:

1. What Is Your Siding’s Overall Condition? 

Does your siding look bad because the exterior has faded into a dull version of its former self? Or, has the siding itself worn down and now has very apparent signs of damage?. Damage enough to require, perhaps, extensive repairs?

If your siding is essentially suffering from a bit of fading that can benefit from just a lick of paint, then that might be the better route to take. Paint is bound to cost only a fraction of the cost of installing brand new siding. Painting perfectly good siding could cost you only half what you might spend buying new siding to replace the old. Why spend say, $10,000, when you can extend your siding’s serviceable life for, say, $5,000 in paint?

2. Paint Won’t Last as Long. 

Painting should never be considered a long-term solution. Paint will fade again in just a few years – a paint job is something that you’ll need to shell more money out for every few years. A paint job will realistically last you between five to seven years before it needs a retouch to ensure your home will look as good as it ever did. Of course, you’ll also have to decide at that point whether to paint again or to spring for new siding.

3. Do-It-Yourself Painting Has Several Caveats.

At lot of homeowners think that a good way to save is to do the repainting themselves. Maybe not such as good idea: you might realize it yourself when you find yourself searching for a scaffolding system that’ll allow you easy access to the areas that need to be repainted. Keep in mind that painting your home’s exterior is bound to be a big job, so be prepared for some really hard work. Moreover, you’re going to need a few extra materials to make your job easier, such as a professional paint sprayer, a pressure washer and an assortment of other tools to paint your siding.

Take stock of everything you need before coming to a decision to DIY. Should you go through all that trouble and face possible injury? Are you willing to dedicate all that time and effort to save a few extra dollars? Think smart, and admit that you really wouldn’t want to bite off more than you can chew!

4. Your Best Long-Term Choice Is to Invest in New Siding.

Over the long haul, even though painting should cost less than getting your siding replaced, it may prove to be less expensive to have your siding replaced. How does that figure? Having your siding repainted once every 5 years at a cost of $5,000 comes out to be $20,000 in 20 years. New siding replacement, on the other hand, would only amount to $10,000 for a 20-year lifespan. Over the long-term, the latter is obviously the more viable option.

Tip: Are you planning on moving in the near future? If so, it makes more sense to paint rather than shell out the money for siding replacement. This will give your home the benefit of a facelift without needing to spend as much. If you plan to stay in your home for a lengthier period, you’ll certainly benefit from more durable siding that’ll last you for many years into the future.

5. Hire the Best Contractor for the Project.

Don’t skimp on things; always choose the most qualified contractor for your project. Don’t hurriedly sign a contract just to get things over with – you could be regretting your haste for a very long time to come in the future. Find several qualified and competent companies that specialize in the kind of work you need to have done. Compare your options carefully so that you end up with the best possible choice for the job at hand. How do you find the most qualified for the project? Here are a few ways:

  • Get word-of-mouth references. Listen to the recommendations of friends, relatives, coworkers and neighbors, especially if they’ve recently had a similar project done. Their opinions will likely be unbiased, and you can even check on the work to see if the quality does, indeed, meet your expectations.

  • The Better Business Bureau website will show complaints lodged against your contractor. Was the complaint resolved? Feedback of this kind can matter.

  • The Construction Contractors Board website for your state will allow you to verify that the contractor’s license is up to date.

  • Use the internet to learn more about your contractor. Try sites like Experian® ContractorCheck℠ and Angie’s List for reviews of contractors. Google your contractor as part of your due process.

Do request multiple quotes, but don’t base decisions on price alone.  Compare material specs and processes, and all other considerations before finalizing your choice of construction team.

Final Thoughts

Deciding whether to paint or to install new siding can depend on numerous factors. The bottom line is, before you decide on one or the other, think things over carefully and weigh the costs of the solution you choose, so that you don’t end up regretting whatever decision you make.

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