How Much Does It Cost To Replace Siding?
The cost to replace siding depends on several factors. The main ones are the siding material, your home's design and local labor rates.
Old siding isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can give a home character, especially if it’s vintage material like natural cedar.
There comes a point, however, when you cross the line between “worn” and “worn-out,” and the siding becomes an aesthetic liability. In those circumstances, it probably isn’t performing well against the elements, either.
Worn-out siding might have gaps and cracks, creating drafts and allowing pests and water into the framing. Maybe it’s fading, with sections missing and mold and rot underneath. At that point, you need to replace your siding.
On the other hand, some people don’t wait that long. The decision can be all about the look, or insurance against future problems. Structural repairs may also require replacing the siding.
Replacement costs vary from region to region, so it’s best to ask local contractors for estimates. The national average runs about $10,000, but it can be as low as $5,400 or as high as $15,500. The following will help you determine how much it will cost to replace your siding.
Factors That Determine the Cost of Siding Replacement
The most obvious determining factor is the size of your house. The average cost is about $12 per square foot, but it can range from $2 to $50 per square foot, depending on material. Learn how to estimate house siding costs.
If you’d rather not climb a ladder to physically measure square footage, you can take pictures and use an app like Hover. It’s not free, but it is safe and easy. Other factors that influence cost include:
Here’s a rundown of typical costs for siding materials at big box stores. The cost for stucco comes from a stucco pro, and it includes labor.
|Vinyl siding||$2 – $7|
|Wood (cedar, other)||$2 – $21|
|Metal (steel, aluminum)||$2 – $4|
|Brick||$6 – $54|
|Stone (products like Versetta)||$10 – $18|
|Fiber cement (products like Hardie board)||$3 – $5|
Labor rates are usually highest in large metropolitan areas, charged by the hour or by square footage. If it’s hourly, expect between $35 and $60 per worker. Per square foot, it ranges from $1 to $4.
Houses with multiple stories, dormers and complicated wall angles require more materials and labor than those with simple square boxes. When workers cut complex shapes, there tends to be more material waste.
Removing old siding can expose rotted sheathing and framing, clumping insulation and compromised electrical wiring, all of which must repaired before the new siding can go up. If it’s a really old house, this is also your opportunity to upgrade the insulation.
Siding Replacement vs. Siding Repair
A complete siding replacement is a major investment, and it may not be necessary. If your siding is in reasonably good shape and one section gets damaged, you may just need to replace that section.
New siding isn’t always a perfect match due to fading and weathering, but you can often compensate for that with a paint job. Certain circumstances do necessitate replacement, however, including:
- Severe leaking: If moisture reaches the sheathing, siding has to be removed to make repairs. Paint peeling inside the home is a sign of moisture infiltration.
- Pest infestation: There’s no way around it if you’ve got termites, carpenter ants or honey bees under the siding.
- Mold and mildew: These can be washed from siding with soap and water. When discoloration appears inside the seams between panels, however, that probably means there’s mold growing behind them. You’ll need to remove the siding to eradicate it.
- High energy bills: Gaps and cracks let cold air pass through and make your furnace work harder. Rather than patching the openings, it may be better to replace the siding.
- Design upgrade: You may want to replace your siding simply to give your house a new look.
Benefits of Installing New Siding
Appearance is the most obvious benefit. New siding boosts curb appeal and adds to the home’s value. Besides this, you also get the following rewards:
- Better energy efficiency: It keeps your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer while reducing your energy bill.
- Reduced maintenance: It dramatically reduces the crack repair, power washing and painting required, at least for the first few years.
- Better structural integrity: New siding supports the roof and stabilizes the framing.
- Design upgrade: It can transform the appearance of your home.
Questions To Ask Siding Contractors
For questions about the best siding material for your home, ask a siding contractor. A good contractor knows which materials last the longest, look most attractive and best fit your budget.
If you’re past the exploratory phase and ready to start your project, here are some of the most important questions for prospective contractors:
- Are you licensed, insured and bonded?: A licensed contractor should carry liability insurance as well as worker’s compensation.
- How long have you been in business?
- Do you have references?
- When can you start the project?
- How long will it take?
- How many workers are in your crew?
- Do you hire subcontractors?: If so, for your own protection, make sure each is also licensed and insured.
DIY vs. Hiring Pros
Siding replacement is more of a DIY job than roofing, and you can save 25% to 40% of the cost by doing the work yourself. But there are many good reasons for hiring pros:
- A contractor with a crew can work faster than you alone. That makes a difference when you’ve removed the old siding and exposing the sheathing.
- The job may require a permit. A contractor can handle the entire process.
- Installation takes more skill than you think, especially houses with a complex structure.
- Some manufacturers require installation by licensed professionals or they won’t honor the warranty.