Vinyl Siding WorksheetHow do I get started?

There is a system to buy and install home siding.

You will save a lot of time and money if you follow this system.

Before you ever call a contractor and ask for pricing, you need to do a little research first.

Then when you do call a contractor you will have most of the pertinent facts the contractor will need before he can give you an accurate price to install siding on your house. Any contractor will need to ask you several questions before giving you a price. The contractor must know these questions in order to figure the labor cost he will have to charge you.

Having these basic questions written down will save you a lot of time. It will make talking to the contractor easier and allow you to spend more time with him discussing the options available to you and their costs.

Like all products, siding is a product and comes in many different sizes, shapes, degrees of quality, and certainly comes is a wide variety of costs. From very inexpensive to very expensive. The first thing all contractors will need to know is:

* what is on your house right now? (old siding, concrete block, brick, stone, or something else. Why? Because the contractor needs to know if he has to pay his crew to either remove it or modify it in order to put the new siding on)

* Are you wanting to install new siding over an existing siding? And will this require modifications to the existing surface in order to attach the new siding?

* Is there structural damage to the existing structure that will have to be corrected such as water damage, rot, insect damage or other concerns.

* Is your house a single-story home or a multiple story homw that will require the contractor to install scalfing in order to install the new siding.

* Do you want to purchase insulated vinyl siding to help control energy costs such as heating and cooling.

* Are you wanting to replace or modify the existing windows and door mouldings around the house.

* Are you wanting to repair or replace the overhang, soffit, gutters, or facia boards on the home.

These are some of the questions that any contractor will need to know before giving any pricing. These elements will affect the labor costs involved in installing new siding on your home.

How much siding will I need?

To find the total square feet of siding you will require you must first measure how much exterior wall space you have. It is very easy to do. you will need two people(great for husband and wife or let one of the kids help). One to measure and one to write down the measurements.

Go outside and stand in the front of your house looking at the front door. Start on the right hand corner of the house facing the front door. Walk down the side of the house with a long tape measure(a 50' ribbon tape measure is perfect, if you don't have one go to Home Depot and pick one up). Just follow the walls and every time you come to a corner, jot down the measurement. Follow the walls measuring all the little crooks and crannies until you get all the way around the house and end up[ back at the front door. Be sure to include the measurement over to the front right hand corner where you started.

TIP: Draw your house on a piece of paper. As you measure write down the measurements. You can do this on the back side of the printed out worksheet.

Next What is the siding going over?

Don't forget to think about covering the windows, door mouldings, facia and soffit to cut down on your painting.

What is your house made of? Wood, block, stucco?

How old is your house?

Does your house need any repairs to the exterior(water damage, termite damage, structural damage like cracks, rotting wood)

Do you want to install insulation under the new siding?

And then the very important question...What quality of trim do you want? The trim work makes the finished job much more appealing. It can either make or break the way your house ends up looking like in the end. IT CAN ALSO ADD AS MUCH AS 30% TO THE COST OF YOUR PROJECT.