Siding or vinyl-siding (in this case) is a very important part of your home. It makes it unnecessary to paint periodically as it protects against the weather, and helps prevent water from getting to your home's wooden frame.

If you get moisture behind your moisture barrier, the wood on the frame work will swell, and rot sets in. This picture shows our house sided with vinyl siding.

simple home siding

Our Home - built for us

Our old house had a horizontal trim piece put on over an exterior plywood siding. I liked the look of it, and didn't want RL to remove it (on the old house), as he wanted to do. After 10 or so years, he was out stripping off the trim piece, declaring that there was rot all under that trim piece. His famous last words on that subject were "I should have taken it off when I wanted to." He had to replace several pieces all around the house where that trim piece had been.

It's much easier to prevent than to “repent” I've been told, and in this case it would have been much less work if RL would have done what he thought in the first place, and removed the trim early-on. As it was he had to replace a bunch of siding and paint the entire house because of a simple trim piece. As a seamstress we say "A stitch in time saves nine." Same applies here.

The exterior plywood siding that was used on our old house required upkeep in the form of scraping and painting on an almost annual basis. We always thought we couldn't afford vinyl siding so we never afforded it until this house.


I just learned of a friend's purchase of a vinyl-siding job for her home. She couldn't do the job herself, so she hired one of those sales-types who come around, door to door. The price was over $20,000 for a little home almost half the size of ours.

vinyl siding

We paid $3,200 for the siding of this home. This included the labor on an 1800. sq ft home, plus garage. Another advantage of doing it yourself, (the hiring and firing_that is) and shopping around for the best buy.

vinyl-siding is made from oil, so today, in just 1 ½ years, that $3,200 may be $5,000 today, due to rising price of oil.

vinyl siding installation

This picture shows our vinyl-siding in progress. It shows the wrap under the siding. We were waiting for the front step to be poured so they could finish the job. The pix at the top of the page shows the completed siding job.

Get a Quality Siding

It is important to get a quality siding so you don't lose it in high winds.

siding wind -damage

Even then, the siding needs to be put on right. A friend was telling me about his siding job that wasn't put on right. Subs will sometimes skimp on the nails and you'll know it if they do. The siding will blow off in the wind if it isn't installed right. vinyl siding wind-damage

We took these pictures after a terrible wind that ripped the siding off of homes in our area. These are just two of them in the same subdivision.

Look for a contractor who will guarantee his work. Our sub guaranteed his work and we haven't had any trouble even in some very high winds.

If you brick or stucco, you need to see how they prevent the moisture from getting behind the brick or stucco. Many places just put up the “chicken wire” and then start applying the stucco. Up north here, they are having a bit of a problem from stuccoing jobs, due to the extreme cold and possibly moisture getting behind it and then freezing. It's kinda like the roads expanding and contracting and breaking up in the winter time.

With brick you can make sure there is a space behind it so if moisture does get in, there is room for it to get air and dry out, leaving less chance for problems later on.

Generally your exterior sub will do the siding, guttering and downspouts, as well as the soffit and facia and shutters. If you are bricking your home, then you may need an extra sub for the soffit, facia, downspouts, & shutters.

Look for a framer through a company that deals in exterior work. They can often do most of the exterior work, including framing, roofing, shingles, wrapping house, siding, guttering, soffit and facia, windows and doors. Get as much under one roof as possible to speed up the process.

We bought a Direct Club type membership, where we were able to use their buying power, and purchase power for much of the building materials, so we didn't get caught in the “trap” of paying our sub to supply the materials.

We provided most of the materials for our house and got them all at a very decent price, I'm sure we would have been tempted to let the framer provide the wood, the cement contractor to provide the cement, the shingle sub, to provide the shingles, etc. if we hadn't gone thru our Club Membership.

In the case of our vinyl-siding, the contractor purchased the vinyl-siding and then we paid him. Maybe we could have saved even more by supplying the materials. Our contractor knew what he was doing, and guaranteed us a top of the line vinyl siding job and he delivered what he promised!

Building your home as owner/builder

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