Category Archives: Do It Yourself

2020 Vinyl Siding Cost vs. Fiber Cement Vs. LP SmartSide Siding

You have just spotted the first telltale signs of peeling paint from your house’s wood siding. It won’t be long now until the dreaded house painting becomes a must-do. Unless, 2020 is the year you finally re-skin the house in vinyl siding.

Vinyl siding – actually polyvinyl chloride plastic resin that is heated and extruded into sheets – has only been around for about 50 years and was developed as a cheaper alternative to metal siding back in the 1950s.

Vinyl’s reputation for “cheap” was honestly earned as plasticized siding was susceptible to cracking and sagging. Colors were limited and those colors faded. Even well-cared for vinyl siding looked like… well… vinyl siding.

But in recent years, the two most important components of vinyl siding – the quality of materials and the expertise of installation — have made giant leaps forward.

Today about one-third of new American homes are built with maintenance-free (almost) vinyl installed as cladding.

Vinyl has been rated in various surveys to last anywhere from 60 to 100 years so this will likely be the last investment you make in your house’s siding.


What to Expect in Terms of Costs?

So how much will it cost to cast those paint brushes aside and put new vinyl siding on your house?

The short answer is anywhere from $6.50 to $12.50 per square foot installed, or around $650 to $1,250 per square (100 square feet) installed, on average. This can translate to a total cost of $13,000 to $25,000 for an average two-story house or 2,000 square feet of new vinyl siding installed.

vinyl siding on a cape style home Vinyl Siding on a Cape Cod style home installed by Siding & Windows Group

In a remodeling contractor survey done by Hanley Wood, the mid-range vinyl siding cost for a typical home (1,250 sq. ft. of siding installed) in the US was about $14,300 according to the Hanley Wood Remodeling Costs report for 2020.

The survey also reports an average cost-to-value return (average percentage of cost recouped at the time of resale) of about 75% for a new vinyl siding job.

That being said, your total cost for a new vinyl siding job will depend on a couple of factors; primarily the grade of materials (low-end, mid-range, or high-end), the quality of installation, and of course your home’s geographic location, accessibility, level of difficulty, etc. Let’s explore this further:


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Gutter Guard Installation Cost 2020 – Are Leaf Guards Worth It?

Gutter guards (aka leaf covers for gutters) are an attractive idea to homeowners whose homes are surrounded by large trees. Plenty of marketing dollars go into promoting gutter guards, but are they really worth the money?

In this guide, we cover the cost to install gutter leaf guards, their pros and cons, and alternative approaches — to help you decide whether or not gutter guards make sense for your home.

Right off the bat: Gutter guards will not completely eliminate the need for gutter cleaning. That said, to have new gutter guards professionally installed, it will cost you between $7.50 and $12.50 per linear foot installed.

You should know a couple of realities from the start, though: Gutter covers WILL reduce the frequency of gutter cleaning, but they WON’T completely eliminate it.

Depending on how many trees are in your landscape or backyard surrounding your property, expect to clean your gutters about one-third to one-half as often as you did before.

It’s impossible to keep fine tree debris out of the gutters. The debris will build up over time. Seeds might sprout, and you’ll have significant clog issues if you don’t clean the gutters.

Did you know? When your gutters eventually need to be cleaned, the job will be more difficult and time-consuming because you’ll have to clean the gutter guards and the gutters.

Depending on the type of guards you install, removing them before cleaning the gutters might be a necessary extra step in the process.

Three Gutter Guard Installation Options

You’ve got three options for gutter guard installation:

DIY installation: You buy the product at your local Wall Mart, Lowe’s, or Home Depot and install it yourself ($-$$)

Pro installation of the product you buy or select: You hire a handyman service or gutter guard company to install the product of your choice ($$-$$$)

Pro installation of a proprietary product: You hire a company to install its own brand of gutter guards ($$$-$$$$)

How Much Do Gutter Guards Cost?

The features of the gutter cover types are listed below. First, here’s what you can expect to pay based on the three options for gutter guard installation we just listed. All costs are in linear feet:

Material Costs:

  • Plastic screen gutter guard: $.20-$.40 (20-40 cents)
  • Aluminum perforated gutter covers: $.50-$1.25
  • Steel screen gutter guard: $1.50-$3.00
  • Foam gutter guard: $2.00-$3.25
  • Micro-mesh steel gutter guard: $2.25-$4.00
  • Brush gutter guard: $3.15-$4.25
  • Solid-surface gutter guard (helmets): $3.50-$6.25

Professional installation cost when you purchase the materials: $2.25 to $4.75 per linear foot.

Full-service professional installation — materials supplied and installed by a gutter guard company: $7.50 to $12.50 per linear foot.

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Roof Shingle Colors – How to Pick the Best Roof Color for Your Home?

The roof accounts for as much as 25 to 40 percent of your home’s visible exterior and plays a key role in how your home is perceived from the street.

That’s why it is crucial to pick the right shingle color, especially if you want to enhance your home’s overall curb appeal and present it in the best possible light.

What to expect: This guide offers practical and proven tips for choosing the right asphalt shingle color to achieve that WOW effect in highlighting the beauty of your home.

The advice provided below will help your achieve visual harmony with respect to how well the roof color integrates with the rest of your home’s exterior and its surrounding environment. Let’s get started.

Coordinate with Siding and Shutters

Interior designers don’t randomly pick pretty colors for flooring, cabinets, countertops and walls without regard to the big picture.

All colors have to work together to achieve a whole that is visually coordinated and appealing.

The same is true for your home’s exterior. First, the roof color should be dissimilar enough to provide contrast.

A dark brown roof would be boring with wood siding stained dark. Brown shingles would work with beige siding, a mild contrast, or with white, a more distinct contrast.

Also, when the roof color picks up tones in window shutters, the front door or accent trim, it nicely ties together the exterior look.

The table below shows roof colors that integrate best with siding colors.

House Siding Color: Best Matching Roof Colors:
Red Black, dark gray, dark brown, dark green
White Brown, black, green, gray, blue, red
Gray Black, dark gray, dark blue, dark green, white
Beige/Tan Brown, black, dark green, dark blue
Brown Green, black, blue, charcoal and browns that are lighter or darker
Blue Black, brown, gray, white

Know When to Use Color Blends

Asphalt shingle lines are produced in solid colors and blends. For example, CertainTeed Landmark shingles in Hunter Green show no variation. They’re just deep green.

CertainTeed Landmark Hunter Green

By contrast, Landmark Heather Blend shingles are a mix of several brown tones and rust too.

Landmark Heather Blend

Owens Corning Duration Designer shingles in multiple blends are even more varied.

Duration Designer Shingles Aged Copper

Now, here’s the blending principle: The plainer the siding is, the more a blended color pattern is needed to make your home look interesting and appealing.

A solid black roof on a home with dark brown wood siding creates a boring combination.

The same home with shingles that have a charcoal base but flecked with greens, tans and browns would be far more appealing.

On the other hand, if your home’s siding is varied – perhaps brick featuring multiple shades or an elegant stone front with varied colors – then color-blended shingles with clash.

You wouldn’t wear a patterned shirt with a patterned skirt or pants, right? Go solid on the roof when the home shows variation.

Here’s an example of Landmark Driftwood shingles that fail in this regard. The result is a busy clash. The colors aren’t coordinated either.

Shingle colors clashing with the house exterior

The stone veneer on the house above is arguably quite busy, and so is the roof. The plain white color on the rest of the house helps to balance the appearance, though.

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