Whether you’re on the Kansas or Missouri side of the Kansas City Metropolis, homeowners in the area are blessed with the full, four-season experience when it comes to weather. While this certainly comes with its challenges, there’s something special about the changing of the seasons that folks in other parts of the world don’t experience. That said, living in the Midwest means being prepared for the changing of the seasons in just about every way—and especially when it comes to our homes.
While winter remodeling certainly has its challenges, homeowners are often surprised at the perks that come along with a renovation during the coldest season of the year. Plus, there are a number of different siding materials available to homeowners which can help mitigate the impact of siding installation during cold weather. In this guide to siding replacement from Smart Exteriors, we’ll reveal what Kansas City homeowners should know before planning a winter project of their own—and what you can do to secure the best results possible.
To Replace or Not to Replace Siding in Winter
Siding replacement is often thought of as a spring or summer home improvement project, and it’s not hard to see why. The exterior of the home takes a beating over the winter season—especially for those of us living in the Midwest. The most logical course of action, it would seem, would be to schedule and complete any necessary exterior home remodeling projects to take place before the season even starts.
The thing is that siding replacement and other home improvement projects can’t always take place at the ideal moment. Sometimes damage from a storm will call for a middle-of-the-winter replacement, or funding for a home improvement loan is approved later than expected. Whatever the reason is for a winter siding replacement, there’s no doubt that having it done as soon as possible is always the best course of action to take to protect your home and investment.
Fortunately, winter remodeling isn’t always all bad—even for exterior home remodeling projects like siding replacement. Take a look at some of the benefits of scheduling a siding replacement project over the winter:
- Easier scheduling: Winter is low season for most exterior remodeling projects in Kansas City, including siding replacement. This means that contractors are more available to take your project on the dates that work the best for you—and to finish the project faster than they would be able to in the busy spring and summer months of the year.
- Cheaper installation: As we mentioned before, winter is the low season for home remodeling companies. This means that it’s also the low season for product manufacturers of siding materials, too. During winter, contractors and product manufacturers are much more willing to offer deals or more competitive rates on supplies and materials for siding. Shipments can also arrive much faster during this time of the year as well due to the lower demand.
- Get ahead of existing problems: The winter is when homeowners are less likely to remain vigilant in their home inspections. However, that doesn’t mean the house isn’t at risk. In fact, any lingering concerns like cracks or missing pieces are made worse by the cold. Getting siding replacement done now means the problem can be stopped before it’s too late.
Breaking Down Your Siding Options
Weather conditions like freezing rain and snowstorms can result in project delays, and this happens quite often in the Midwest. Hiring a knowledgeable Kansas City contractor will be the key to navigating the area’s weather patterns and scheduling an installation without too many delays if any at all. Your contractor can also help you choose the best siding materials and installation methods for your home—a decision that is particularly important to think about when planning a winter installation.
This is because some siding materials—cheap vinyl siding, for instance—are particularly vulnerable during winter installations. Materials can crack in cold, freezing weather, have joint or corner issues from expansion in temperature fluctuations, or experience issues with poor paint finish quality, among others. Also, some tools, like the pneumatic drill, are weaker in cold weather which can provide additional problems. This can be avoided by selecting the right siding material and installation techniques—another reason why an experienced and reputable contractor is your best bet for a successful replacement.
That’s why we’ve listed the best-performing siding systems for winter siding replacement in Kansas City. To help you understand these materials better, take a look at the list of pros and cons of each option.
Fiber Cement (James Hardie)
This option has become increasingly popular in recent years. It’s durability, long life, and a wide range of design options make this siding system an excellent choice for most homeowners. In addition, fiber cement is a solid choice for winter installations.
- Material isn’t affected by cold temperature
- Easy winter installation
- Likely to be discounted during winter months
- Invulnerable to the thaw-freeze process
- Delivery still affected by winter weather
- Must be painted prior to installation
This is a relatively new siding material that is just now rising through the ranks compared to other siding materials. While information is relatively scarce, its performance during the winter is well known.
- Virtually seamless (no joint or corner issues)
- Painting isn’t needed
- Resistant to snow and other winter elements
- Resistant to cracking
- Reduces energy costs
- Specific installation process
- Not as many design options compared to more established materials
- Higher installation costs
Vinyl is the most popular siding choice for homeowners across the country and the Kansas City area is no exception. However, this is one siding option where it pays to shop carefully before committing to the project. Normal or cheap vinyl siding will not survive a winter installation. Period. The quality is too low and the panels will crack due to their brittle nature. The good news is that premium vinyl is made of a thicker grade and much higher quality, so if you go with vinyl siding during winter, make sure it’s premium vinyl.
- Cheap installation
- Most contractors carry so scheduling is easier
- Wide range of design choices
- Low maintenance
- Can be installed yourself
- Contracts in the cold, which means guaranteed expansion during warmer months
- Requires trained contractor and special installation methods that will compensate for expansion and contraction
Engineered wood (LP Smart Siding)
This is a wood-based siding that is actually well made for colder climates. The siding is considered a composite material since it’s made of wood fibers, water-resistant resins, and industrial-grade binders. While this product is new compared to some, it’s already made waves when it comes to performance.
- Specifically made to resist cracking
- Won’t warp or split
- Resistant to freeze/thaw cycle
- Resistant to damage
- Not eco-friendly
Making the Decision
Now that you have a handle on how to navigate a winter siding installation, it’s time to make a decision. However, before you fully commit, consider the following tips to reduce your risk this winter:
- Reputable and experienced: The most important thing you can do is work with a company that has the experience and reputation needed to do the job. Check into the company’s background, verify warranties, and get references from previous customers. Make sure to get ones from others who got their work done during the winter season.
- Stick to quality over price: Staying within the budget is usually the most important concern for most homeowners. However, this is not the time to compromise on the quality of your chosen siding material. Poor quality is responsible for more failed siding installations than any other factor, bar none. While the price is important, don’t make the mistake of choosing the cheapest materials for your renovation—as these usually end up costing far more in the long run.
- Scheduling concerns: Be aware that some conditions may be too extreme no matter the crew or siding chosen. Sign up with a contractor who will be honest about that and provide a realistic timeline as to what will get done and when. Also, ask your contractor what will happen if sudden bad weather ruins plans. An experienced contractor should already have a policy in place for situations like these and will be able to answer your questions with ease.
Contact Us for Winter Siding Replacement Options
If you’re ready to explore your winter siding replacement options, Smart Exteriors can help. With over 20 years of experience helping Kansas City homeowners with their siding, roofing, gutters, and other home exterior needs, you can trust in our local team of home improvement experts to match your needs and your budget with the smartest solutions on the market. For more information, give us a call now or fill out our online form to request a free estimate.