Is replacing vinyl siding difficult? Is modern vinyl siding more durable? Can I install new siding over the old, or must I remove the old siding? How costly might this project be? My house in Omaha, Nebraska, has vinyl siding that is stained and old, and I'm wondering about my options.
Don R. ~ Omaha, Nebraska
The difficulty of replacing vinyl siding is largely a function of how much carpentry experience you have as well as how much vinyl siding installation experience you have.
Yes it is more difficult the first time you install but you will learn the process fairly quickly. In general, vinyl siding is very durable. It can melt if exposed to high heat like a BBQ too close or in close proximity to a fire, and it can fade over time. However it does not show scratches easily, it does not dent, and it is virtually maintenance free.
In some cases new vinyl can be installed right over old siding, but if old the siding is so far gone that there may be structural damage to your home, than the old siding should be removed to perform repairs prior to installation. I think it is always a good idea to remove old siding first so that you can see the whole house and repair any issues that that may have been covered by the old siding, specifically window installation and leaks.
To give you a rough idea on project cost figure in $5.50 per square foot (exterior wall surface) materials and labor. There are lots of options when it comes to siding. The Internet is a great way to familiarize yourself with what's out there. With a little research, you should be able to narrow down what you want to a couple of products and then it is good time to find out about price and availability in your area.