How to Prepare for Siding Replacement in Annapolis: A Homeowner’s Checklist
So, you’ve finally decided to bite the bullet and tackle that siding replacement project. Whether your siding is damaged, in need of an aesthetic upgrade, or simply overdue for replacement, a siding project is an ideal way to enhance your house.
Regular siding maintenance is a vital part of a house’s upkeep, but a siding project doesn’t need to be a chore. Rather, we see it as an opportunity to upgrade an outdated exterior and express yourself through carefully chosen materials, colors, and designs. And aside from curb appeal, modern siding materials can improve energy efficiency, particularly during Annapolis’s cold winters and humid summers.
It’s time to get excited about your siding replacement! This checklist will give you a great place to start.
1. Check for Issues
While you might already know that a siding replacement is in the stars, it’s worthwhile to take stock of your siding to see if there are any problem areas. It’s easy to do—just walk around the house and look for cracks, breaks, warping, or wobbling.
Pay particular attention to the joints and seams near rooflines as these areas are at greater risk for water damage. Keep track of what you see, particularly if you notice off colors, staining, or patchy discolorations becasue these may be signs of mold and mildew.
2. Consider Your Siding Replacement Goals
Based on what you learned in step one, ask yourself what you want to get out of your siding replacement. Some homeowners prefer to stick to the original materials during replacement while others see an opportunity to upgrade. Similarly, those who plan to live in their homes for a long time will have very different redesign goals than those prepping it to sell.
Prepare for the project. Take inventory of these goals alongside your budget and see how much room you have to work with. You might find that this is the perfect time to give your home a facelift.
For example, certain improvements, such as energy efficient siding, can boost insulation and decrease your annual energy bill. Your contractor can work with you to create a realistic action plan that fits your timeline and budget.
3. Material Choice
One of the most important decisions homeowners will make is which siding material to purchase. Siding comes in many different materials, and each features unique pros and cons. Some of the most common ones are:
- Vinyl: Low maintenance, affordable, and available in a range of styles
- Fiber Cement: Durable, pest-resistant, and mimics wood appearance
- Wood: Natural aesthetics and customizable through painting or staining
- Metal: Durable and weather-resistant with minimal maintenance
- Brick Veneer: Classic appearance, low maintenance, and fire-resistant
Each has its applications, but consider options carefully with your contractor. Brick veneer looks great but comes with a high up-front cost. Vinyl is affordable, but it’s prone to fading over time. Take stock of your options and see which will best achieve your siding replacement goals.
- Durability and Longevity
All homeowners want their siding to last forever, but siding is your home’s shield against the elements—and like any shield, it wears down over time. This is another area where material selection comes into play.
For example, vinyl siding is both affordable and resilient, with typical lifespans of 20 to 40 years with minimal maintenance. Compare this with natural wood siding, which is certainly attractive but lasts only 15-30 years on average, and substantial maintenance work is required. Consider these factors as you plan your project.
Also note how local weather affects siding durability. Annapolis residents should prioritize materials known for their resilience against our region’s weather patterns, which means it must withstand humidity, temperature fluctuations, and windy, cold winters. Given that weather-related damage is one of the biggest drivers of siding replacement in Annapolis, durability is a must.
- Energy Efficiency
Considering the wide range of temperatures we experience in Annapolis, we advise homeowners to think about how replacement projects can work toward better energy efficiency.
Homeowners might already know that the thermal resistance of insulation is measured with an R-value, which indicates a material’s ability to retain heat. Every siding choice has a different R-value and ability to protect your home from heat loss.
In most cases, insulated vinyl siding will give you the most bang for your buck in terms of energy efficiency because it features a better R-value than wood, brick, stone, or non-insulated metal. This is great news since vinyl siding tends to be affordable and accessible to homeowners with all budgets. However, not all vinyl siding is built with the same type of foam insulation, so tell your contractor that energy efficiency is one of your siding replacement goals.
- Know Annapolis Regulations
Compliance with residential regulations is one of the most important aspects of any renovation project. Home renovation must align with residential code requirements for Anne Arundel County (which can be viewed here).
Of course, if you’re working with a qualified contractor, he or she will know the ins and outs of these codes and make sure all work passes muster. But homeowners attempting DIY siding work will need to make sure they don’t make potentially dangerous adjustments to the home’s structure or ignore building codes.
- Prepare Your Home
Whether you take the professional approach or a DIY one, you can streamline the siding work if you prepare your workspace in advance. The good news is that most siding projects take only a few weeks to complete and don’t require you to make alternate living arrangements (compared to, say, plumbing, renovation, or electrical work).
You can further expedite the process with a little planning. Before your contractor arrives, we recommend that you:
- Clear the exterior of your home of debris, equipment, vehicles, and other objects
- Trim your shrubs and bushes so siding panels are accessible
- Turn off electricity to exterior lights to reduce the risk of electric shock to workers
- Create a Budget
Costs are often at the forefront of homeowners’ minds during home renovation. Here, knowledge is power. Get an idea of what to expect by doing some research ahead of time. Review the average cost of different siding materials, the square footage of your exterior walls, and of course, quotes from different Annapolis contractors.
Have a game plan here since some less reputable contractors try to upsell homeowners on services that aren’t necessary. Get a feel for how much you can invest and make sure your contractor can meet your needs. For example, Valor Home offers siding replacement for as low as $199/month with no-interest financing through 2025.
- Choose a Qualified Contractor
A reputable contractor may be the most important item of all. There are plenty of contractors capable of doing siding replacement in Annapolis, but not all of them will do the job well. Before you commit, research each siding company near you, its track record, experience, and values. This is the best way to make sure your contractor has the expertise to handle your job with care.
At Valor Home, we have decades of experience in residential construction backed by core values of honor, respect, and service instilled by our Vietnam-veteran founder. We see every project as an opportunity to go above and beyond our clients’ expectations to earn their business.
- Post-Installation Care
Once the siding replacement is done, make sure you know what type of maintenance is required. You should have a good idea of this already, having selected your material with your contractor, but make sure you don’t neglect any care details that could decrease the life of your siding.
For example, vinyl siding should be routinely washed with water to prevent accumulation of dust, mold, or mildew that can stain the surface. Wood siding, on the other hand, may require regular painting or staining to preserve the surface as well as applications of insect repellent to deter termites (a common problem throughout Maryland!) The exact maintenance steps required will depend on the siding material, so make sure your contractor provides a full rundown of what you can do to get the most out of your investment.
Ready to get your project moving? Get a free estimate here and let’s get started!