Is investing in vinyl siding worth it?

31 Replies

Hello Bigger Pockets community!

im not sure if this question fits in this topic, but i wasnt sure where else to put it (sorry im a noob!)

I own a 2 family home in Buffalo NY (Black Rock neighborhood, to anyone thats familiar) The home was purchased at 50k in 2010. The front and the back of the house are vinyl, and both sides are wood. The wood is in bad need of a paint job. I was considering investing in vinyl (most of the homes getting rehabbed in Buffalo have vinyl unless they are in historical neighborhoods). I was quoted by one of my tenants who is a roofer that the cost would be about $6400 to do the two sides which would include facia, soffits and framing all the windows of which there are 13. He said it would be "double 4 inch siding, about 10 squares".

Now this is a lot of money for me. I wanted to know if a) is this a reasonable price b) is this a good investment? will i recoup this when i sell the home possibly in 5-10 years? and c) is this generally much more than painting?

thanks in advance!

. . .  have you gotten an estimate for having it painted?   if the paint is in disrepair, you probably should expect that the city will give you a hard time and require that it be remedied before they renew your CofO.  At least, that's been my experience with my properties in Rochester.   

 In my experience, vinyl siding might cost more in the short term, but it's better long term.  As a buyer, I much prefer homes that are vinyl sided to paint because of the ongoing maintenance that paint brings.

-Dave

The one thing I can contribute to this question is to tell you about what happened to the house with vinyl siding down the street from my parents.  

There was a fire (don't know how/where it started) and once the siding ignited the fire couldn't be extinguished.  There was *literally* nothing left except the smoking hole that used to be the basement.  That was several years ago, and the siding might have been older still, but it clearly left an impression.

Diana, 

I use to be from Upstate NY did a lot of investing and rehabbing there. 

The cost sounds high to me. 

I would recommend two things for you. 

1) Defiantly do the siding, Don't worry about fire that's silly. The siding will make the house look much better and be easier for you to sell when your ready and no more painting. 

2) Get three professionals to come in who have insurance and have them quote it for you. This then will leave no doubt in you mind of of your cost.

@Account Closed great advice! i thought it sounded high but he insists that a company will charge more and hes charging less because he is my tenant

@David Stott not yet but thats the plan. Im thinking if the painting is done well, i wont have to paint again for 8-10 years but i could be way off on that.

@Mark Sullivan I have vinyl in the front and back anyway so while fire is a concern its too late for me at this point...

Originally posted by @Sydney Chase:

2) Get three professionals to come in who have insurance and have them quote it for you. This then will leave no doubt in you mind of of your cost.

This point is especially important.  There are a LOT of uninsured contractors who can do work for you on the cheap in Buffalo, but the second one of them falls off a ladder doing your siding, you're boned.

Make sure every contractor working for you has both liability and worker's compensation insurance.  Request to be an additional insured on their policy for the job.  If they won't do it, move on to the next one.  Ask your insurance agent for more information.

One thing to consider is that you purchased a $50k home in Black Rock.  What is that home currently worth?  How long do you plan to hold it?  Don't plan for appreciation in home values in the city of Buffalo.  Basically what I'm saying is consider that vinyl as maintenance and upkeep, not as something that will significantly improve the value of the property.  If you aren't planning to hold it long enough to justify the cost, you may want to consider just painting it.  If you're planning to hold long term, go vinyl.

Just curious but why would you ask a roofer to do vinyl siding?  Get bids from the appropriate trades and make sure they are licensed and insured.

@Andrew Schultz

good points! i just requested for two more estimates from companies i found on angie's list

I have no idea what its worth now, but i plan to hold on to it for a while. Its a great maintenance free property (so far, aside from the paint) and i love the area.

I dont really plan for it to go up in value that much however there is a new transit line thats in the plan for that particular area, and this may dramatically improve it (or the opposite!) so you never know in terms of property values. I guess it depends who you talk to.

@Martin Scherer he works for a roofing company that also does siding, and he happens to live IN the actual house (he is my tenant) so i figured why not throw him a bone and have a peace of mind that someone I actually know is doing the work.

@Diana K. ,

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Raymond

Originally posted by @Martin Scherer:

Just curious but why would you ask a roofer to do vinyl siding?  Get bids from the appropriate trades and make sure they are licensed and insured.

It's pretty common for roofing companies in WNY to also do siding.  I believe it has to do with the insurance requirements.

thanks @Raymond B. I thought i figured it out but it only seems to work half of the time :) getting the hang of it!

@Andrew Syrios the wood is fine, just needs paint

the front and back of the house already have siding so this would just complete the look.

@Diana K. ,

I have problems with @?, if I use the Firefox Browser. No problems with the Google Chrome Browser. I don't use the Microsoft Internet Browser. 

Also, I only use a Laptop to post in the forums.

Raymond

Originally posted by @Diana Kroll:

  i thought it sounded high but he insists that a company will charge more and hes charging less because he is my tenant


 I would be wary of a tenant quoting me on something.  Definitely get more bids.  Usually there is no cost to you because the contractors want your business.

Children playing with beebee guns and baseballs significantly damaged the vinyl siding on a garage and storage shed at one of our rental properties. Local fire department reports several area fires caused by tenants who placed the bar-b-que too close to vinyl siding. Neighbor has vinyl siding that catches the wind and comes loose. Some of the reasons I don't care for vinyl siding. Mostly, I don't like the look of it. We have aluminum siding on one of our rental properties and I don't like the way it dents.

Given the choice, I would definitely stick with the wood siding. If I were purchasing a house to live in or rent, I would favor natural brick or natural stone or wood or hardy plank. If the paint job is done well with good quality paint it can last a long time and look terrific!

Hey @Diana K. welcome to BP.  Just my 2 cents but I hate vinyl siding.  I tend to buy houses and keep them for like 20 years though.  I usually paint, if I plan to put siding on, it would be steel.  Vinyl damages so easy, a barbeque grill can melt an entire wall, the door can get flipped open in the wind and knock a hole in it, etc.  Steel is almost indestructible, never needs paint, etc.  It also costs more to buy but installation is almost the same as vinyl.  Also vinyl also looks cheap.  It is hard to justify the cost of steel if you don't plan to hold it forever.

I'm new here, but have recently been looking at the siding situation. That sounds high to me. The materials for 10 squares shouldn't be over 1500.00, assuming he isn't putting insulation under it. I don't know what his plans are as far as "framing" the windows unless he means putting the J-channel around them. Based on others I've watched being done, it shouldn't take more than 3 days with a helper, assuming nothing unusual.

I decided to use Hardieplank that comes already painted with a extended warranty. It is more expensive, but IMO is a superior product. I don't like the look of the J-channels or the flimsy nature of the vinyl. If I was in the situation you describe, I would almost certainly repaint. Get someone to prep it real well - not just a powerwash - prime and paint and it will last a while and keep your options open as you go forward. JMO

There is clearly good money to be made in putting up siding - I have tyvek on the house now pending insulation and siding - "contractors" are coming out of the woodwork wanting to know who is doing my siding.

wow thank you at @Dawn Anastasi @Dirk Richmond @Jerry W. and @Marcia Maynard for your valuable input. At this point i decided i will get two quotes for siding from reputable companies and if its still over my budget i will just have the sides painted.

In buffalo vinyl siding is pretty popular because a lot of the homes are very old and the wood is not in the best condition. Usuallly its easier to just put up vinyl especially if its a rental property that you plan to hold on to for a while, like myself, and you dont want to have to go back every couple of years to paint it.

That being said i just dont have 6-10 k to put up siding so im leaning toward painting at this point!

@Dirk Richmond yes he plans to put up J channels. I have very limited choices as to what to use because it has to match the front and back siding.

Ill let you know the other quotes that i get. But yes im in the wrong business should be running a roofing/siding company instead!! This guy (my tenant) swears that 6 k is actually a great deal and i will get quoted double by other companies! This is probably because he is not going to be working under his company's insurance (which i dont know how i feel about that, and that goes for painting as well) He told me to paint would be 1,500 and im thinking of just going with that. Wouldnt he be covered under my homeowners policy though if he does get injured?

@Diana K.  

I will not buy a rental property with vinyl siding.  I always wonder what's under the vinyl siding - wood rot? 

@John T. interesting...in Buffalo i tried to stay away from anything with wood. More maintenance. 100+ year old homes ...probably really depends on the area.

Diana, I'm no lawyer, but I worked with medical claims for years, and dealt with Work Comp and Personal Injury, but that was in Illinois. I'm also no lawyer. but generally, if you contract with someone for a certain price you aren't liable for them, but if they're considered your employee, you are. In theory. Of course, even with that being the case, if someone gets hurt, they're likely going to look to you. If you didn't have your workplace up to OSHA standards, and even if you did, they may try to sue you. There are a lot of hungry lawyers out there.

Originally posted by @Diana Kroll:

... This is probably because he is not going to be working under his company's insurance (which i dont know how i feel about that, and that goes for painting as well) He told me to paint would be 1,500 and im thinking of just going with that. Wouldnt he be covered under my homeowners policy though if he does get injured?

Check your policy - I bet you will find that workers you hire are excluded from coverage; that is why workers comp insurance coverage exists.  Now if you had a workers comp policy, then you would end up covering any worker you hire; a year end audit would uncover that you had employed workers who did not carry their own coverage and so you would be paying additional premiums for the time (and tasks) that they worked for you!  Workers comp is thus billed retrospectively.

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