What Every Homeowner Needs to Know
One Upgrade at a Time
Perhaps your home could benefit from some exterior work to better insulate against the winter chill, enhance its curb appeal or make some necessary repairs. The end result can seem far when you’re in the initial stages of preparation. Planning for exterior home repairs and improvements can be a time-consuming, confusing and costly process if you don’t do your research. Whether you’re hiring a contractor to help or not, consider the following tips to help prepare you for any exterior home repair project.
If You're Planning To
Switch Up Your Siding
The costs associated with replacing your home’s siding will vary depending on your home’s size and shape, the number of windows and doors, the quality of the siding and labor costs. The national average for siding ranges from about $7 to $13 per square foot, depending on the material.
Vinyl siding averages $3 to $7 per square foot, wood typically ranges from $5 to $14 per square foot, and brick or stone generally costs approximately $6 to $30 per square foot. While fiber cement is around $7 to $12, its actual cost is usually less since some insurance companies offer discounts on homeowner’s insurance because the material is class A fire-rated and requires less maintenance.
You have many choices when it comes to the material for your siding, from the traditional wood or brick options to the more modern vinyl or fiber cement. Vinyl is the most affordable option as well as the most versatile and easy to clean. Wood is more energy efficient and easily replaced, but it requires the highest maintenance and is prone to insect damage, water damage and fire. Brick can last a lifetime but is much more labor-intensive and expensive to install. Fiber cement, such as Hardie board siding, mimics the look of wood without the same level of maintenance or susceptibility to rot or insects.
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If You're Planning To
Give Your Home’s Exterior a “Paint Lift”
The cost to paint your house’s exterior will depend on the size and layout of the building as well as the type of siding to be painted and the quality of the paint. The average cost to paint a one-story home between 500 and 1,500 square feet typically ranges from $1,000 to $3,000. Metal siding is often the least expensive, while painting a stucco exterior tends to be the most expensive.
In most parts of the country, late spring and summer are classic exterior painting months, though in many places early fall might be preferred. The ideal time to paint is based on temperature and moisture levels. Most paint manufacturers recommend a minimum outdoor temperature of 40 degrees, though some premium paints can handle temperatures as low as 35 degrees. All paint requires a dry surface, so avoid painting your house during your location’s rainy seasons.
Exterior paint is available as either water based or solvent based. The majority of newly painted homes now use a water-based paint, though you might choose solvent- or oil-based in certain circumstances.
- Water-based: Top-of-the-line 100-percent acrylic latex paint is suitable for most exterior paint jobs, providing longer crack resistance, better color retention, better resistance to mildew, faster drying times and easier cleanup.
- Solvent-based: Also known as oil-based, these paints can penetrate some surfaces with better adhesion and are recommended when painting over existing oil-based paint. Oil-based paints take much longer to dry and emit a stronger odor as well as potentially harmful chemicals.
If You're Planning To
Keep the Draft Out With a Window Replacement
The costs associated with replacing your windows depend on several factors, including the type of windows and window frames, the number of windows you’re looking to replace, and the condition of the existing windows. The national average cost to replace between five and 10 windows is $4,917, but your costs could vary significantly. Expect $300 to $700 per first-floor window to be the lowest price; double- or triple-glazed windows could cost closer to $1,000 each. If the window frames have dry rot or are otherwise damaged, they will need to be rebuilt, which adds 50 to 100 percent to the price.
The most common replacement windows are made with frames and sashes of vinyl, but there are several other options for the casing and trim. Vinyl requires little maintenance and is an excellent heat and sound insulator. Wood is versatile and generally durable if maintained. Aluminum can maximize light but is prone to condensation and is not a good insulator.
Two glass panes are spaced apart, leaving an insulating airspace. These types of windows can increase energy efficiency and thus save money, as well as reduce the amount of noise heard inside.
Three glass panes are spaced apart, improving energy efficiency ratings by at least 25 to 30 percent. A sturdy frame is required to support the weight.
A unique film sealed between layers of glass offers superior thermal insulation, helping to protect you and belongings in your home from harmful UV rays.
If You're Planning To
Top It Off by Replacing Your Roof
Roof size, material, and design play significant roles in cost. Nationally, the average homeowner spends an average of $6,600 on a new roof.
Unit cost is typically dependent on durability and aesthetic of the material then varies based on the size and style of your home. For example, metal roofs are lightweight, durable, and fire-resistant. A professionally installed steel roof can range from $5,100 to $22,000 on a simple one-story ranch-style house while choosing copper for the same home can run closer to $30,000.
As a homeowner, your best bet is to have a general idea of your budget and what kind of durability and aesthetic features you’re looking for, then get a professional quote based on that information.
With choices such as asphalt, sheet metal, and plastic polymers, there are more types and styles of roofing than ever before. The choice of material largely depends on the design of the home and your budget.
- Asphalt: Asphalt shingles are the most popular choice. They are generally inexpensive but not very durable, though they resist wind and fire well.
- Clay: Clay tiles are excellent fire resistors, long-lasting and low-maintenance. However, they are expensive and brittle.
- Slate: This material is good for very steep-sloped roofs, is durable, and resists wind and fire well. However, slate is brittle and very expensive.
- Metal: Moderate to expensive, metal roofing usually lasts longer than asphalt.
- Stone Coated Steel: Also known as granular steel, stone coated steel has the durability of steel roofing but like the look of asphalt shingle.
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