What’s the Best Time of Year for a Siding Installation?
Homeowners spend a pretty penny on the interior of their homes. From redecorating to renovating entire rooms, much thought is put into what goes on inside our homes. What about the exterior? Is it time for a facelift to gain more curb appeal? And if so, when is the best time of year for installing new siding?
Curb appeal and new fresh look are definitely something to look forward to, but more importantly, new siding protects everything under it. Old siding isn’t just an eyesore – it’s also not protecting your home the way it did when it was new. Furthermore, siding that is engineered and manufactured today is of a higher quality than its predecessors.
If it’s time for new siding, you might also be considering what time of year is the best to call in a contractor for the project. Let’s cover this and various siding material types in the paragraphs below.
Considerations for choosing the best siding material
There are a few things to keep in mind as you begin your search for siding. Obviously, you want something that fits your home’s architectural style, but might also want to choose siding that doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb in comparison with the homes in your neighborhood. This makes design one of the essential elements that factor in to your decision-making.
Another factor is durability. You want to choose siding that will stand up to summer storms and heat, heavy springtime winds and the freezing rain and blowing snows of summer. Fortunately, manufacturers are increasingly focusing more heavily on research and development in an effort to produce longer lasting siding that won’t buckle under the normal abuse Mother Nature throws at us.
Everyone is going to be on some kind of a budget, which is why this also factors heavily into the siding you choose. Vinyl is among the most cost effective. Fiber cement is usually the second most budget friendly choice while wood is probably only going to be the choice for those who have larger coffers for the project.
Finally, you have to consider how much time and energy you have to maintain your siding. For example, dirt and mold can build up on any type of siding over time, but will be most visible on lighter shades. Pests can ruin your wood siding, which means it has to be treated around every three years. It’s recommended to clean your fiber cement siding around every six months. And while you can’t believe the myth that fiber cement siding will last forever and that it only needs to be painted once, high-quality products, such as those made by James Hardie, have a 15-year warranty against chipping and peeling.
Siding replacement in warm climates vs. cold climates
Vinyl is far and away the most popular material homeowners choose to use on their houses. Wood and fiber cement are the other popular materials, but vinyl often wins out due to cost considerations and the many shapes, sizes and colors manufacturers offer in vinyl.
There are some installation factors with vinyl that you have to take into account. For example, scorching hot or freezing cold days aren’t optimal for installing vinyl, as it is sensitive to high and low temperatures. For example, vinyl will expand in the extreme heat and contract in the frigid cold, which can compromise the installation and overall life of the product.
Moderate temperatures are the most optimal for installing vinyl siding, which means the optimal seasons are spring, early or late summer and fall. Of course, there are always breaks in the summer heat and winter cold when temperatures become more moderate, so if you can work with your contractor and being flexible when they install your siding, you should also consider this as an option.
The benefits of siding installation in the winter
There are some definite advantages to having your siding installed in the winter. First and foremost, contractors aren’t as busy, which means you have convenience on your side in regard to when the project happens. Also, exterior projects can take a toll on landscaping, but in the winter when everything is dormant, that’s much less of a worry, particularly with your lawn.
If you’ve got kids in the house, the summer siding project can kind of get in the way of the daily routine. But in the winter when the kids are in school and busy with their various after school sporting events or academic extracurricular activities, the siding project will not be an inconvenience.
Finally, scheduling a winter siding project makes a lot of sense when it comes to your budget, as many contractors will offer reduced rates as business has slowed.
Prices are lower in late fall
If you’ve identified some finalists for material types for your siding project, it’s time to start thinking about when you should schedule your contractor to install it. If you’ve extended yourself a bit on materials, you are probably looking to cut costs by finding some less expensive labor/professionals to install your siding.
Some homeowners will shoot for their siding project to occur in late fall, often because they can find better deals with contractors who find their projects diminishing, especially if you’re having an unseasonably cold fall.
The problem with siding in cold climates
As mentioned earlier, extreme cold is not the best time to install vinyl siding. Vinyl is brittle in the freezing weather, which means it is more likely to crack when being nailed down. If you have decided to go ahead with the project during the cold, you might run into an issue where a panel is cracked, which means it can’t be replaced and must be reordered, which can put a hold on your project while you wait for it to be delivered.
Vinyl will also shrink in the cold, which means measuring all the joints and spacing panels will be an issue, especially as it expands when the weather warms. For example, the measurements seem to be perfect and panels are spaced precisely, but when the weather warms and the material expands, it begins to push against casings, which can cause buckling.
If you have your contract tackle you winter siding installation project, make sure they have the experience with these jobs and that they are allowing for the spacing accommodations.
Which siding material stands up to winter weather the best?
The short answer to this question is that “any siding material will protect your home and keep you warm during the winter.” However, there are some pros and cons to consider before you make your final decision:
Pros and cons of installing vinyl siding in the winter
Regardless of the time of year you have vinyl installed on your home, it’s going to be the most cost effective. But when it comes to installation, you have to think about the factors for and against this type of material:
- Cheaper installation rates
- More convenient in terms of scheduling a contractor
- Less intrusion on daily life as kids are busy with school and activities
- Little to no impact on your landscaping
- Vinyl is brittle and might crack upon nailing
- Vinyl contracts in the cold, which means it can cause issues when it expands
- Your contractor has to be experienced in accommodating the contraction and expansion of the material when they install it
Vinyl is a versatile material and contractors are available to install it during the winter months, but do your due diligence and ask for references to ensure they’re up to the job, as winter installations offer challenges.
Pros and cons of installing cedar siding in the winter
Cedar is among the most popular choices for wood siding. Its beauty is hard to argue against and it is durable, as well. One of the unfortunate aspects of this material is related to cost – it’s expensive. As labor can be less cost prohibitive in the winter, you might be able to afford a little wiggle room and get the cedar siding you’ve always wanted.
- Contractors have higher availability in the winter months
- Less impact on landscaping
- The typical job site inconveniences are less of an issue as the kids are in school and away from the home with school-related events
- Cedar is an excellent insulator, which makes installation in the winter a great option
- Cedar, regardless of what season it is installed, requires a professional’s touch, as it is more challenging to install than other materials
- Cedar expands and contracts, which means the contractor must know how to properly account for measuring and spacing
Not many people will complain about their decision to have cedar siding installed. It can really make your home stand out from the others. However, choose wisely when it comes to contractors, because the life of the siding depends on their installation knowledge.
Pros and cons of installing fiber cement siding in the winter
Fiber cement siding has become a popular choice for siding because its durability, long lifespan and because it comes in so many shapes, sizes and colors. Fortunately, fiber cement doesn’t expand and contract in extreme temperatures, but is it a good choice for a winter siding installation project?
James Hardie makes a fiber cement siding that is engineered for climate, and the company looks at eight climatic variables that affect the performance of siding over time to manufacture their products.
For example, James Hardie makes a particular type of siding that is great for areas where freezing temperatures, snow and ice are the norm. They also make a siding that is ideal for areas where the heavy rainfall is common and humidity is high, but also where conditions can also become hot and dry.
- This sturdy and rugged material is not impacted by cold temperatures, which means it can be installed without issue during the winter
- Look for installation cost reductions from contractors looking for more work during slow months
- Landscaping is not impacted to the same degree it is during summer months
- Job site activity does not have as much of an impact on the residents of the home, who are often busy with school-related events
- If weather conditions are harsh, it could impact the timeline, especially if the siding can’t be delivered due to poor driving conditions
- Material needs to be kept out of the elements prior to installation, as moisture can impact the quality of the product before it is nailed to the structure
- Fiber cement must be painted prior to being installed, as cold temperatures prevent painting when its on the house
Fiber cement materials have obvious advantages, but it’s not without its limitations where installation is involved; fiber cement siding must be kept dry prior to installation, which means installation jobs during rainy seasons should be avoided because it can be difficult to handle as the water increases the material’s weight and flexibility. Also, you have to account for soluble salts, which are generally white in color and can cause staining.
Pros and cons of installing wood siding in the winter
Aside from the ever-popular cedar siding, there are other types of wood that look amazing on a home. Cypress, redwood, firs, spruce, pine and engineered wood are all quite popular choices.
- Wood siding is not susceptible to the usual brittleness problems occurring in vinyl siding
- Siding installation contractors are more available during the winter and might offer a discount
- Landscaping is largely unaffected
- Inconveniences related to the job site are not as much of an issue in the winter as residents are often away from the home
- Winter storms can delay the project due to work conditions or material delivery delays
- Experienced installation professionals are preferred for this type of installation
- Regardless of the type of wood siding you choose, it’s going to significantly upgrade the look and feel of your home. However, it’s smart to do you research and choose the most qualified contractor to do the job.
The reasons to replace your siding in summer
Spring and autumn are the busiest seasons for siding contractors, which means if you’re going to beat everyone else in your area looking to replace their siding, you’re going to have schedule it far in advance. For this reason, the summer can be one of the preferred times to schedule your siding installation.
Not only will the contractor be able to schedule the project for a time that fits your schedule, they’ll likely have more workers available, which means your project should be finished ahead of schedule.
Summer storms can delay your project (nobody wants to be on the side of a house while being pelted with rain), but for the most part, summer weather can offer a window of opportunity where workers can jump on the job without interference. And if it does get hot, siding installers know to tackle parts of the house that are in the shade first and move with the sun to avoid exposure.
Another aspect to consider is cost. While contractors aren’t as slow in the summer as they are in the winter, there is a good chance you’ll get a better rate in the summer than you will in the spring or fall.
Which types of home siding are best for hot climate?
Siding plays a very important role in protecting your home from the hot summer days. Fiber cement stands out as a highly effective material to protect your home from heat, as it is extremely durable and will not heat up like metal siding or warp like vinyl siding.
Furthermore, fiber cement will not bubble, peel or flake, which means you won’t have to schedule a paint job as often as you would with vinyl. Fiber cement is also easily installed over insulations, which means even during the hottest summer days, you home is going to be protected.
Other types of siding might fit your needs during the summer, but talk to your local trusted siding contractor and have them walk you through the options.
Entrust your siding installation to the experts
At VIS Exterior, we’ve installed vinyl, cedar planks, James Hardie siding and everything in between. We have years of experience and use highly trained individuals to install siding for our clients. We’re experienced siding installation experts and we’re ready to advise you on your project and do the installation any month of the year.
If you have questions about the type of siding you want installed and when the best time to install siding on your house might be, just contact us. And you won’t regret it - we haven’t had a single unhappy customer in more than 15 years.