While many homeowners explore the limits of their decorative sophistication by infusing the interior of the residence with their personal taste, let us remember that the exterior appearance of a house is also perceived as a direct extension of the owners’ personalities and life values. Furthermore, at the end of the stay, the curb appeal of the exterior façade earns back the investment by having a real monetary impact on the home’s resale value. With the siding taking the largest area of the exterior, its visual impact is essential. A quality siding make-up brings charm to the house’s appearance and match, or contrast the accents of your home, making it a one-of-a-kind work of art.
Among the many options available on the market, exterior vinyl board siding stands-out for its affordability. General DIY stores offer a good selection of siding boards from certain manufacturers. But keep in mind that there are other producers with competitive pricing and often better quality, James Hardie being our favorite. This article will discuss one of the most tested and popular options on the market, which is the vinyl siding board.
Make Good Choices
Before diving into your remodeling project, it’s important to deliberately evaluate the reasons and the means for installing the vinyl siding. This includes the color selection, the choice of the style that suits you and the house, the team you can trust, and the budget. For homeowners working on a small to medium budget, vinyl siding is a great option by virtue of affordable pricing, good durability, relatively uncomplicated installation, and low maintenance (no need to repaint or re-stain after a few years). In short, if economical pricing and low maintenance exterior siding are your two main criteria, then the vinyl siding option might be just right for you.
Another way to appreciate if vinyl siding is a suitable choice for your house is to observe other houses which are done with this exterior finish. Find a few houses with similar architecture, take pictures, bring them home, and compare. If there is one whose appearance you like, then you’re one step closer. Even better, if you have rendering skills you could manipulate the picture of your own house on the computer, and see how it will look like. If not, use your imagination. It is important to picture it (and love it) before you make the investment.
The next step will be to determine the appearance of your vinyl siding for installation. Vinyl is generally available with smooth or textured surfaces, and with gloss or semi-gloss finishes. They are available in a few formats (height / length), and in a plethora of color variations to choose from. Pricewise they may differ quite a bit depending on quality, size, and demand. Some manufacturers offer specialties like wood imitations (planks, sawn shakes, antique aspect etc.), and even insulated boards options. To begin estimating the size of the siding requirements, online computational tools (i.e.: Spike’s Calculators) can be handy.
Working in the harsh climate of Alberta we understand very well the importance a first-class product that withstands extreme cold, high winds, UV rays, snowstorms, and more. Engineered products that reduce the moisture absorption (like James Hardie’s) helps prevent the siding boards from growing mold, shrinking, swelling and cracking. It is essential to be aware of the alternatives available on the market before choosing the right vinyl board siding for your house. If in doubt, do not hesitate to contact us at any point of your investigation.
One other aspect worth mentioning here is that in certain neighborhoods and municipalities with heritage conservation bylaws, the building restrictions may prevent you from choosing the vinyl option. But if you do not live in an old, historic neighborhood, this normally shouldn’t be a concern. However, it is wise to be assured, especially considering such a sweeping change to your life.
For a sharp looking vinyl siding, installation starts with a proper preparation of the substrate. It is necessary to remove old windows trims, fixtures, shutters, ventilation registers, downspouts, decorative elements, and all the unnecessary materials. The rotten planks and the loose parts are to be fixed, and the old caulking around windows and doors must be removed. Furring is then installed perpendicularly to the direction of the siding boards (shimming is used wherever necessary). Alternatively, solid sheathing (plywood or other materials) can be applied to provide a smooth base for the vinyl siding. Breather-type housewrap (weather-resistant barrier) may also be applied over the sheathing. If increasing the insulation value of the sidewalls is part of the plan, the insulating sheathing is now installed over (or between) the furring strips.
For proper installation a few rules must be followed, starting with ensuring a horizontal chalk line for positioning reference. The first vinyl board is installed on the lowest part of the wall. Given the temperature variations throughout the year, thermal expansion allowance is considered for preventing the boards from warping (the nails are loosely driven to allow them to slide).
Fascia & Soffit
Besides its decorative function, the fascia protects the edge of the roof at the decking. Rain or melting water falling over the gutters drips onto the fascia just under the eavestrough. Once fascia removed from the roof, we inspect for mold growth or wood rot, cut and replace the compromised parts, and make sure the new fascia is properly installed.
The soffit is an important element of a house for providing shade to the side walls, but equally important for the ventilation of the roof. A properly ventilated soffit helps restricting moisture absorption and degradation of wooden materials, cools your home in the summer and protect attic and roofing materials year-round.
Depending on the type of your roof (the layout of the upper floor of the house), the soffit may run inside or outside corners, changing directions. This is achieved by installing two soffit moldings on a diagonal where the corners of the roof and the house meet. Soffits and ventilation pieces will need to be cut at an adequate angle in order to accommodate the moldings. When necessary, the vinyl siding is cut to lengths so that it will fit over the soffit. And again, allowance for thermal expansion is given. Each soffit panel is then pushed into the moldings.
We Are Here to Help
Homeowners can rest assured that we follow rigorously the installation procedures and best industry practices for our installations. The quality of the installation affects the longevity of the materials. Even the most expensive or higher-quality siding can warp if improperly installed. Working with a contractor can significantly extend the life of your siding. Our team consists of siding and roofing installation professionals, with an eye for beauty and a dedication to traditional craftsmanship.
If you are looking for reliable & experienced siding installation contractor in Calgary, then contact Raico Roofing.