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Exterior Renovations: Should I Update My Windows or Siding First?

Homeowners want to invest in their homes, and when it comes to improvements that make a big difference, siding and window replacement are two things that can make a big impact on a home’s performance. For homeowners tackling exterior renovations, the most common question is often, “Should I update my windows or siding first?”

Here are a few tips dealers can pass along to their homeowner customers in order to help them efficiently spend their time, effort and money when undertaking this kind of remodel.

When Should I Replace That?

Most contractors will suggest tackling the entire exterior renovation simultaneously, starting with replacing the windows. “Installing the windows first allows the contractor to set them into place and then precisely finish off all the capping surrounding the windows before adding the siding,” explains Angie Hicks with Angie’s List.

Windows can account for 25-30% of energy lost in your homeowner customer’s home, and that kind of loss adds up over time. Replacing old windows is an excellent step towards conserving energy in the home. “If you are selecting windows for new construction or replacing existing windows, it's important to choose the most efficient windows you can afford that work best in your climate,” according to the Department of Energy. New windows can even promote better indoor health for homeowners by helping with ventilation and air quality.

There are a few reasons to replace the windows first in a project like this instead of first replacing the siding. “If you decide only to focus on the siding first, the capping on your old windows is something that can damage easily when the old siding is removed, so you’ll have to have those old windows capped again,” explains Angie.

There isn’t just the potential for damage, but homeowners can run into additional costs if they choose to replace the siding before the windows. “If you later choose to purchase new windows, you’d have to pay to have those capped as well,” says Angie. “Obviously, you don’t want to pay to cap your windows twice.”

Homeowners will need to replace the moisture barrier, which goes behind the siding if they’re installing new windows. “That means some of the new siding could have to be removed and later reinstalled, which could add to the cost,” says Angie. If homeowners need to replace several windows, those costs can quickly add up.

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Ways to Help Homeowners Save on Exterior Renovations

In an ideal scenario, homeowners should replace both the windows and siding in one project, starting with the windows. This results in an exterior built for long-term protection and proper insulation.

Sometimes homeowners just can’t tackle it all at once, though, usually due to budget constraints. Their windows might still have a few years before a total replacement is necessary, but the siding is damaged beyond repair. Help homeowners decide which item is in more disrepair, and work with them on that item first. Also let them know they can talk with their contractor about price discounts: If they replace the exterior siding, perhaps the contractor will cap the windows for free when installing replacements later on.

If choosing the installer themself, it’s recommended that homeowners consult with a few different professionals before starting a project, regardless. “Ask for advice on the best and most affordable way to tackle your plan and if there are guidelines for window and siding installation specific to your municipality. Check before you hire that the company carries the proper licensing and liability and workers’ compensation insurance,” says Angie Hicks withAngie’s List. Homeowners don’t want to be stuck with the bill if a worker is injured on the job and the company doesn’t have the proper insurance, or if they don’t follow building code regulations, resulting in either a fine or the work having to be redone.

A Partner in Home Improvement

The direction a homeowner decides to go is ultimately up to the needs of their family and the constraints of their budget. But dealers can help homeowners navigate those decisions with a bit of consulting.

Start by asking what they need most. If they can save up the funds over time, and don’t need to address the siding or window replacement immediately, advise them to have both done at the same time later on. That gives them more time to find the best contractor for the job and research the right materials to work with.

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Homeowners can always spend extra time finding the best windows and siding materials for their home. Plus, some energy-efficient windows are eligible for a tax credit, so there are a few ways to save on such an important project.

Planning Ahead for Success

Working with the best materials and the right product partners will ensure the success of an exterior design: There’s no need to rush into the decision. When dealers help homeowners spend time finding their favorite products, they’ll wind up with a design they’ll love over the long run.

Siding from Allura comes with a limited lifetime warranty, so if it’s time to replace exterior siding, homeowners should consider a fiber cement product that they can rely on for decades.

Take a look at how homeowners are using fiber cement siding to beautify their exterior: Explore Allura’s products today.

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