Siding 101: Everything You Need to Know Before Getting New House Siding

Siding is low maintenance and energy-efficient. It can raise the value of your home and save you money. There are many things to consider before hiring a siding contractor. Learn just about everything you need to know before making a siding decision here.

Repair vs. New Siding

Can you repair the siding you have, or should you start with new siding? Even before contacting a siding contractor, there are some things you can look at to tell if repair is an option for you. 

When Do You Need Siding Replacement and Not Just Repair?

If you think your damage only affects a small section, you may want to find siding repair contractors near you to help you determine your options. Wood siding can have unique problems, so you may have to contact a wood siding professional.

When the damage starts to spread to multiple points, or several problems may have changed the integrity of the entire siding system, it may be more efficient to replace the whole thing. 

Signs You Need New Siding  

  • Discoloration 
  • Cracking 
  • Peeling 
  • Wood Rotting 
  • Blistering 
  • Chipping 
  • Animal Infestation 

How Much Does New Siding Typically Cost?

Every siding job is unique. You may have to contact local siding contractors to get a quote. However, some averages may give you an idea of the cost. 

Averages Per Sq. Ft.

The national average Per Sq. Ft. of siding installed is $5-$7. The type of siding and your area can significantly change your specific price. 

Types of Siding to Consider 

You can choose your siding from three categories.  

  • Vinyl 
  • Vinyl Board and Batten
  • Vinyl Cedar shakes 
  • Wood siding 
  • Cement Hardie board

What Your Contractor Needs to Pay For

Window and siding contractors near me have to pay for many things, and all this goes into the price of your quote. They have to account for the following. 

  • Labor

Time and expertise are siding contractors’ main products.

  • Materials

Materials include the siding, insulation, and hardware the siding contractor has to use on your job. 

  • Marketing

Local siding contractors have to pay so that people hear about them. 

  • Capital Costs 

Exterior siding contractors can use a lot of specialized equipment. Your price reflects a portion of that equipment. 

Many siding calculators out there can help you determine a more accurate cost for your specific job. 

Types of Siding 

Here is a closer look at the main styles of siding you can choose. Each one can work better in different situations, and they all have their uses. 


When you contact vinyl siding contractors, you will learn about all the different color options you can pick from vinyl. The material lasts between 20 and 40 years with straightforward maintenance. 

It can fade over time, depending on the sun in the area. If you’re using vinyl to replace another style of siding or home material, it may lower the value of your home. Vinyl siding contractors Grand Rapids MI, will be aware of the unique weather conditions during install.

New siding comes with UV protection to prevent fading.

If the advantages of vinyl outweigh the problems, you may want to contact vinyl siding contractors near me for a quote. 


  • Low Maintenance 
  • Inexpensive 
  • Curb appeal
  • Increased value of home (#3 return on home improvement)


  • May Lower Homes Value 


Wood siding contractors explain that wood siding can add value to your home. It can be stained almost any color, and it is safe for the environment. It can last up to 40 years. 

Wood is also the most expensive siding option, and it requires the most maintenance to keep it free from pests and safe from water. Contact wood siding contractors near me can help get you a price. 


  • Environmentally Friendly 
  • Greatly Increase Homes Value


  • Can Attract Insects and Animals  


Aluminum siding is relatively outdated, expensive, and not easy to maintain. We don’t recommend using it in Michigan. It’s also out of style, dents easy, and is hard to replace. 

Home Siding Contractors – What You Need to Know

When looking for home siding contractors, there are steps you should take to make sure you hire someone who can do the job right. 

What to Look Out For

There are warning signs that may indicate your siding installation contractor may not be the best option for you. 

  • Late to Meetings 
  • Lowest Price by Far 
  • Won’t Make a Contract 
  • Lots of Excuses 

If you notice a lot of these problems, you may want to look for a different contractor. 

What Questions to Ask Your Siding Contractor

When getting quotes from siding contractors in my area, you want to find out about their business. Do they have licenses, and are they insured? Do you sub-contract? 

You will also want to know about your job specifically. How long will it take? How much will it cost? What permits do we need?  

Make Sure They Are Licensed

Some siding and gutter contractors near me may say they are licensed, but how do you know for sure? 

You can contact your state’s licensing board and ask them directly. Each state has different contact info. Grand Rapids siding contractors will be licensed in Michigan, which you can check on their site

Licensed contracts won’t have a problem giving you their information so you can verify it. 

Read reviews online

Online reviews are a great resource when picking siding contractors near me. See what real customers have said about working with the contractor. Check ratings at places like:

  • Angie’sList
  • Home Advisor
  • Better Business Bureau 

Insurance and Siding

Insurance usually only covers the repair of areas affected by events covered in your policy. Talk to your insurance and your window and siding contractors to determine if insurance can help you, especially with a repair. 

Will Your Insurance Cover New Siding?

Insurance often doesn’t cover the total replacement of siding. Repair is more commonly covered, but it never hurts to ask about your policy specifically. 

With Legacy’s team, we’re more likely to get your whole house siding covered by insurance. If your siding is obsolete and we can’t find a match, by law, insurance is required to cover the cost of replacement. Our team can work with you from start to finish to make sure your house is properly covered. 

Storm Damage 

Storms can cause your siding a lot of problems. Wind damage is the most common, but hail and downed tree branches can also cause huge issues. 

If a storm damages your siding, get pictures of the damage and document the problem. 

With the right contractor, like Legacy, you can make sure you get the most coverage from your insurance. 

Commercial and Residential Siding

Commercial and Residential jobs offer unique considerations that may need an expert to address. 


There are going to be different codes and laws for commercial and residential siding. There is also a potential difference in the scale of the project that can affect how well a contractor can do the job. 

Residential siding contractors focus on single-family or small multi-family homes. Commercial siding contractors focus on larger living complexes and business buildings. Some Grand Rapids siding and window contractors may do both. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some helpful questions and answers.  

How Long Should Siding Last?

Depending on your location and the style of siding, it can last between 20 and 50 years. Siding contractors in Grand Rapids, MI, know how to install siding to hold up to the weather. Legacy’s CertainTeed siding comes with a lifetime fade protection warranty and should never have to be replaced.

Can You Paint Vinyl Siding?

Yes, you can, but if you paint your current siding it will often chip and fade the siding. It is not recommended to paint your current siding. 

How Do You Cut Vinyl Siding?

There are a few ways to cut vinyl siding. You can use a utility knife, tin snips, or a circular saw. Your house siding contractors may have a specific vinyl cutting tool that makes the process quicker. 

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