Siding with style adds timeless value

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 26, 2012

(BPT) – As cooler temperatures approach, more homeowners are turning to value-driven renovation projects that will warm up their space and withstand the test of time.

Replacing outdoor siding is the home improvement site’s No. 1 pick for projects that add value to your home, according to Siding that is in bad shape gives an immediate impression a home is a “fixer-upper,” which can hurt expectations by potential buyers before they even step inside. Refreshing your outdoor siding not only adds curb appeal but overall home value.  

For Chicago-based architect Dirk Danker, principal at Nagle Hartray Architecture, one of the most popular siding applications on a single-family home is wood. Its timeless versatility as a total siding strategy or use as an accent that sharpens up the front of a home makes it a smart, durable choice in any climate.

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“We like it for its natural color, longevity and workability,” says Danker. “Many of these houses are vacation homes where the desire is to provide as maintenance-free a structure as possible, and wood siding meets that requirement.”

A side of style

In addition to using materials that are easy to install, homeowners tend to choose traditionally popular materials to maintain a home’s appeal through years of evolving trends. The stylish texture and rustic-colored warmth of Western Red Cedar siding gives any home a natural beauty while enhancing front yard curb appeal.

Replacing the siding on a home may seem daunting, but it can be done strategically to maximize value and accommodate all budgets. Creating an accent wall or using wood as a complement that warms up other materials can make a project more affordable while still boosting the bottom line.

Wood siding comes in many different patterns and grades, such as bevel, board and batten, channel, and tongue and groove, to match a home’s style and budget. Stains and other finishes will help preserve the wood and keep it looking nice for years to come. Danker recommends pre-finishing siding onsite before it is installed.

“We have finished cedar siding with both transparent coatings and semi-transparent stains,” Danker says. “Transparent coats look great because it highlights the natural look of the cedar siding.”

Timeless taste

If you are not quite ready to take the plunge on a siding project, consider adding trim in earthy red, golden and clay tones for a timeless touch to your home’s outdoor frame. Posts, beams and gables can also help reinvigorate a home’s exterior.

“Wood works well as a primary siding strategy or as an accent material because of its universal lasting beauty,” says Paul Mackie of the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association, who is known as “Mr. Cedar.” “For an additional accent and durability, consider using a stain blocking primer and top coat with 100 percent acrylic latex paint on all six sides.”

For more of Mackie’s home improvement tips, visit him on Twitter @RealCedar with the hash tag #AskMrCedar.

Regain investment 

Because siding replacement projects tend to include durable, low-maintenance materials, they typically recoup between 69 and 78 percent of their initial costs, according to Remodeling magazine’s latest “Cost vs. Value Report.” That return on investment is important whether you are refreshing your home to stay or planning to sell.

A home’s exterior finish makes the first impression and sets the tone for the rest of the house. Siding that is warm and inviting defines a mood and character that has long-term appeal to guests and potential buyers.