Refinishing a house can add to its curb appeal – and its owner’s sense of pride! If you have an older home, you may be facing a tough choice: do something about peeling paint by hiring a professional exterior painter. Or going with a popular choice and installing vinyl siding. Which should you choose?
Compare the Durability of Exterior Paint vs. Vinyl Siding
When it comes to durability, vinyl is the preferred choice. Paint will begin to peel and fade within five to eight years. Vinyl siding, on the other hand, has a lifespan of 20 years or more. Vinyl also comes with integral insulation and can be more energy efficient.
The cons of choosing vinyl siding over paint may depend on where you live. Keep in mind that vinyl siding is flexible. It can bend, dent, or warp. So, if you live in a windy or storm-prone climate, you may want to consider the cost of maintaining the siding on your home.
Consider the Initial and Long-Term Cost
When you consider cost, be sure to factor in both the initial payment and the long-term requirements of your home’s exterior. These costs vary depending on the materials you choose, and whether or not you decide to hire professionals.
Painting is less expensive than siding initially, and if it’s done well, it can beautify your home for several years. Because high-quality paint lasts longer, you’ll want to use the best that you can afford. To give you a cost estimate, a 3,000 square foot house requires somewhere around 15 gallons of paint. Premium paint can cost $50 a gallon or more. So, you can expect that the cost in paint will be approximately $750 or more.
Painting requires a lot of prep work to achieve the smooth, evenly-coated surface you’ll want to achieve. Other repairs to loose or rotted wood may also prove costly. Whether you do the work yourself or hire professionals, the job will require an investment, as well as regular maintenance.
Let’s compare this cost to that of vinyl siding. Installing vinyl, even on a smaller one-story home, will cost upwards of $3,600. Depending on your contractor, vinyl can run you as much as $12,000. Clearly, it’s more expensive up front. However, as we mentioned above, it may require less consistent maintenance over time.
Appearance Matters: the Aesthetics of Exterior Paint
Do aesthetics matter to you? You may want to consider how vinyl siding will change the appearance – even the character – of your house, especially if you have an older home. Repainted wood not only gives your house a classic appearance, it also allows you to keep those charming details, like window sills, cornices, or decorative trim, that give the home so much character. Siding, on the other hand, may make your home look boxy or bland. As one expert in historic home restoration puts it, “Installing vinyl siding on a building is like putting a slipcover on a sofa.”
Whichever you choose, you’ll need to be prepared to invest effort, money, and time into your project so that your home will look its best. If you would like to get advice from professional home painters, let us know! Our experts will be happy to talk to you further about this important choice.