Shane and I just finished a new Vinyl Siding project East of Didsbury, AB. We were thrilled with how smoothly the remodeling went. We asked the homeowners how they had prepared themselves to tackle such a large exterior project, without a General Construction Manager to oversee all the details.
That is when the Miller’s shared their 5 step plan of creating a smooth and simplified exterior renovation project.
- Define your end objective
- Decide what elements will provide the most payback
- Set a Budget
- Decide what they could do themselves & what their contractor will do
- Get estimates & meet the contractors
No matter the size of your project, your success will depend on the information you gather before you hammer your first nail. Make sure you have a clear vision of the outcome and how much you are willing to spend.
Step 1: The Objective & End Goal
Early on, The Millers knew they were going to need the help of professionals to complete their project. But first, they had a look at the bigger picture—what did they hope to accomplish? Were they planning on selling or were they going to live in this home for many years to come? Did this facelift add value or was it more about adding their own personal style and making their house a home? Was this a necessary update or could it wait?
Planning to sell your home?
Pay close attention to the details. Look at your home through the eyes of a prospective buyers. What do they see? Hail damaged gutters, fading or stained old siding, doors and windows that need a fresh coat of paint? Consider updating the smaller pieces of your exterior like cladding those peeling trim boards, or replacing a section of leaking eave trough with new Seamless gutters, and replace any dented or damaged soffit and fascia before listing your property. These simple changes can communicate a well-maintained home to your prospective buyers.
Planning to stay put for a few years?
The Miller knew they were not planning on moving for several years. So they focused on updating the exterior, while accenting a few key elements that would showcase the style and period of their beautiful home. These types of home renovation projects are becoming more popular. Today new homeowners are looking for a greener alternative. Some owners will take an older style home; with good bones, move it to an acreage, then refurbish it into a cool, trendy new home with a fantastic backstory.
The Miller’s house is one of these beautiful homes; a modernized old farm house from the 1940’s or 50’s (they couldn’t say for, sure as the information had been lost.) Their house boasted some of the most exquisite cedar siding work we have ever seen. All hand nailed and professionally installed. It even had hand-split cedar shakes in the gables and on the dormers. You could tell the building had style, even though it now stood before us looking very tired.
As much as the Miller’s loved the idea of the old wood siding, their lifestyle dictated that a maintenance free exterior would be more important. They looked for options that would replace their high maintenance exterior with one that had little or no upkeep.
That is where we came in. We wanted to help them get a beautiful new finish with no scraping or painting. We helped them look at all the options from James Hardie fiber cement board, all the way to a beautiful Can-excel product. They finally decided on the most maintenance free option. A classic Estate Grey Vinyl siding and a straight cut double stacked vinyl shake; to accent the Gables/Dormers.
Step 2: Which Exterior Elements Will Pay You Back?
Choose the best investment
Remodeling your home is a great way to improve resale values for a later date. At the same time, creating a space your family can enjoy now.
According to Remodelling’s National Data survey of 2018, some investments have greater returns than others. Most of us know that some renovation projects can earn you tax savings, reduced energy bills, and, of course, increase the value of your home when it comes time to sell.
When the Miller’s decided to renovate their exterior they consider the cost of your project versus the money you can expect to recoup. They were happy to learn that by putting money into the exterior of their home, they would recoup a whopping 76% of the money they invested in the project; when it came time to sell or refinance.
By replacing the exterior of their home, the Millers were adding considerable value to their bottom line.
According to the chart above, if you spent $20,000 installing new vinyl siding on your home; you would re-coup 76% of the total dollars you spent on your project. That is to say, you would re-coup $15,200 of the cost from beautifying your home. That is much higher than spending money on a new kitchen remodel or bathroom revamp.
Dollar for dollar, doing an exterior siding renovation gives you more bang for your buck.
Step 3: Set A Budget
According to Home Renovations April 2018 pricing guide, doing a vinyl siding renovation will cost you anywhere from $2 to $7 per square foot.
By measuring the exterior walls of their home the Miller’s had a clear idea of how much it would cost them to do their renovation. After that, it was a matter of deciding on which elements they could live with and without.
Step 4: Decide what you can do and what your contractor will do
Unless you have a lot of building and remodeling experience, tackling a major project can cause you a lot of unseen problems. It’s a good idea to consider every aspect of the project before starting to work on it yourself.
Before beginning your DIY, ask yourself if you have the necessary skills and equipment to complete your project. How will you dispose of the removed siding, soffit, fascia and gutters? Would you benefit from the purchasing power of a professional contractor or are you willing to pay off the street prices for your building materials? Do you have the proper tools to complete the project or will you need to purchase them before the job begins?
Also you may want to consider how long the project will take you. Are you able to devote adequate time to completing it, will an ongoing project disrupt your work or schedules, and how will it affect your family members. Your idea of a reasonable timetable may not be the same as your spouse’s— most homeowners decide hiring a professional for at least some part of a major remodel makes the most sense in the long run.
Step 5: Get Estimates & Meet the Contractors
Partnering with the right professional can be the best way to keep your project on track and running smoothly. The right contractor can make all the difference in the world.
But how do I find the right contractor?
Ask family and friends for referrals. Reach out to friends and family members that may have used a contractor in the past. Ask about their experience. Was the job completed in a timely manner? Was the contractor easy to contact? Did they answer their phone or reply to e-mails & text messages? How clean was the work area after they finished? Did the contractor listen to their concerns and try to find solutions to the problem?
Look online on for contractors in your area. Look for client reviews on their website or on social media channels.
Request Information. Don’t be afraid to ask a potential contractor for their licensing and insurance credentials. Most contractors are happy to supply this information for you. Ask your contractor if they are registered with the province of Alberta? Do they have Worker’s Compensation coverage? How about Liability insurance? Are they bonded?
If you find a potential contractor that refuses to supply this type of information …. Run! Run, as fast as you can…this is not the contractor for you.
Get a quote. Most exterior contractors are happy to supply a free estimate for your project. This not only helps you dial in your budget, but it also give you an opportunity to meet the contractors face to face.
And there you have it…. 5 easy to follow steps to simplify your next exterior makeover project. Whether, you are in Didsbury, Airdrie or Linden, AB ….. all the Miller’s tips and tricks apply when you want to create a hassle free construction project.
Is your house looking old and tired? Looking to give your home a modern new look? Need a great Siding Contractor?
Give us a Call! Big or Small we are the right team to call. For all your Siding, Soffit, fascia or Seamless gutter needs
Call or Text : 406-617-7280