So Many Choices, So Little House: How To Narrow Down Your Search For The Perfect Home Siding

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If you've decided to update the exterior of your home, you're a pretty savvy judge of worthwhile home improvement projects. Replacing worn or ugly siding is a great investment. The only problem with installing siding today is choosing from among all the beautiful siding designs.

There are wood, vinyl and fiber cement choices in many colors. Some wood and vinyl siding options mimic the chinked look of log cabin walls, while polymer components can be made to look exactly like cedar shakes. There are siding panels that look like stacked fieldstone, tuckpointed rock or antique brickwork.

So how do you make a choice when they're all amazing?

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

It seems like a no-brainer, but stand across the street from your home (if you can safely do so) and stare at it. Take pictures of your house and the homes on either side.

Study the architecture of your home and your neighbors' and of all the homes in your neighborhood. Which colors and siding styles are prevalent? Who is experimenting and how do you like what they've done?

When you go over color choices, compare each shade to the color of both your nearest neighbors. Do the colors complement each other or clash? Have you chosen a color that's too similar to your neighbors' so that all of your homes seem to fade away into boring sameness?

Also remember that you can add more expensive accents to a small portion of your home if only one or two walls are visible from the street. This gives you the custom effect you want without going over budget just to have those few extras.

MIX AND MATCH SAFELY

It's fine to mix and match materials and colors as long as you remember that each type of material may age at a different rate. Vinyl might last 25 years while fiber cement products can last 25 years beyond that. Choose exterior materials that will age out at the same time.

To save money on installation, choose siding types that can be fastened to the same wall surface. Also take into account the seams and joints between dissimilar materials. You'll want to make sure your contractor uses sealers and fasteners that will create leak-proof bonds between siding types.

Be sure to ask your siding professional about extra insulation that may be needed for each type of exterior material you plan to use.

LOOK AHEAD 20 YEARS

Will the siding choice you make today still look good in two decades? Bold colors go out of style earlier, so if you do select a trendy hue, install siding that can be painted a different color later.

Certain types of stone siding may look outdated in ten years while brick siding is often a timeless look.

Remember that shutters, windows and doors can be changed to update the look of a house without altering the siding. The key is choosing more neutral siding materials that look good with many architectural styles.

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23 December 2014

Swim into Summer

If you’re looking for a fun way to improve your home and boost your property values, you may want to consider adding a pool to your backyard this summer. You’d be surprised how big a difference this simple addition can make to your home and for your property values. A new pool is a big project however, so you’ll have to do some research before putting one in. I created this blog to help you with that research. Check out different pool construction options, as well as maintenance tips and the accessories that you have to have this summer.