Replacement Siding: Lifespan, Materials, Cost and More

Replacing siding is an unavoidable task every homeowner is bound to encounter at some point. With direct exposure to the elements, it’s no surprise it’ll need to be swapped out.

Replacement Siding

Even so, it can be hard to pinpoint when to replace siding, what material to use and an estimate for the overall cost of the project. If you’re unsure of the details that come with a sizable exterior renovation like this, stay put.

What Is The Lifespan On Siding?

The list below is not only helpful in selecting a replacement siding but also as a rule of thumb to recognize when your current house siding has reached it full lifespan.

  • Wood: 20 to 40 years
  • Brick: 100+ years
  • Vinyl: 20 to 40 years
  • Stone: 20 to 75 years
  • Aluminum: 20 to 40 years
  • Fiber Cement: Up to 50 years

Can Existing Siding Be Restored Instead Of Replaced?

Can existing siding be restored instead of replaced

In short, you can restore old siding instead of replacing it but that does depend on the extent of the damage. Is it aesthetic, small cracks and warps? Or is it more serious like rot and pest infestation? Regardless, here’s a few repairs to common siding issues:

  • Stripping and re-painting
  • Filling small holes or dents with caulk or epoxy
  • Cutting a patch to fit the area
  • Specialized putty fillers

Keeping all of this in mind, it’s critical to note the age of the siding in making this decision. If your siding is only 5 to 10 years old, it makes sense to attempt repairs first. Likewise, if your siding is near or at the end of its lifespan, it’s best to go ahead with a siding replacement rather than waste money on fixes that in the end will only be temporary.

How to Know When Siding Needs to be Replaced

How to Know When Siding Needs to be Replaced
Dabbling & Decorating Blog

Here’s the top red flags that make the shortlist of reasons your siding may need replacing.

  • Rot and Water Intrusion: Water damage is the main contributor to siding replacement, for wood siding in particular. You can test for rot by pressing against the wood siding and seeing if it moves. If it does, you’ve got rot. Also, you can check for dry rot by tapping the outside of the siding. If it sounds hollow or if it cracks on contact, it’s time for replacement.Water can also enter through loose boards creating water infiltration into your interior walls. This is a solid sign that your siding isn’t protecting your home as it should. Moisture damage can present itself via interior water spots, musty odors, bubbling wet spots or paint and the like.
  • Insect Intrusion: From termites to bees, an insect infestation in your siding can cause irreparable damage. Though you can’t always see insect damage on the surface, there are some signs you can lookout for. Cracked paint, mud tubes, holes, hollow-sounding wood and wood powder and or fiber residue are all possible red flags that need further investigation.
  • Cracking and Warping: Often a result of the weather, cracking and warping can happen from a severe storm or temperatures that push the siding to its limits. Whatever the reason, cracking and warping are easy to see when the original look of your siding has taken on a new shape or has obvious splitting.
  • High Electric Bill: A red flag you’re sure to notice right away, high electric bills are a clear sign that your siding isn’t doing its job. Dated or damaged siding can force your AC system to work harder and longer than it would with proper siding. Examine siding for issues while checking other possible sources like your roof and attic to determine the culprit.

Siding Replacement Material Options

Siding Replacement Material Options

From different styles, advantages and finishes, there’s no shortage of siding materials when making a selection for your siding project.

  • Fiber Cement Siding: A strong material made from wood fibers, cement and water. Fiber cement siding is durable and resistant to fire, insects and weather.
  • Vinyl Siding: A PVC-based material that’s affordable, easy to install and low maintenance.
  • Wood Siding: The only biodegradable siding, wood is a customizable choice, easy to paint and with its own list of material options.
  • Aluminum Siding: A tough metal with the ability to resist rust, insects, rot, and fire while maintaining a high level of energy efficiency.
  • Stucco Siding: A sleek cement mixture, stucco provides a smooth finish that offers longevity, insulation and endless aesthetic options.
  • Stone Siding: Whether you go for natural stone or synthetic, stone siding comes in varied colors and shapes with a tough exterior able to withstand any weather.
  • Brick Siding: A clay and shale mixture that stands the test of time, brick siding is not only durable, it’s also energy efficient and somewhat soundproof.
  • Engineered Wood Siding: Made from resin and wood fibers, engineered wood siding is more affordable than real wood, recyclable and inexpensive to install.

How much does it cost to replace siding?

How much does it cost to replace siding

Siding replacement cost hinges on the type of siding you choose, but there are some ballpark figures to guide you in the decision-making process.

  • The overall project cost ranges from $5,400 to $15,500, with $10.300 being the average.
  • The material cost ranges from $1 to $15 per square foot.
  • The labor cost ranges from $1 to $4 per square foot.
  • Fiber cement siding ranges from $6,000 to $20,000.
  • Vinyl siding ranges from $6,100 to $16,500.
  • Wood siding ranges from $7,000 to $23,000.
  • Aluminum siding ranges from $10,000 to $19,000.
  • Stucco siding ranges from $8,500 to $12,100.
  • Stone siding ranges from $45,000 to $70,000 for natural and $15,000 to $35,000 for synthetic.
  • Brick siding averages about $18,000.
  • Engineered wood siding ranges from $3,000 to $5,000.

Factors That Can Affect Cost

Factors That Can Affect Cost
DLB Custom Home Design

There’s many factors that go forgotten in the siding replacement process, so considering the aspects below will help mitigate any last minute costs.

  • Siding Removal: Depending on the type of siding and your level of DIY experience, you might be able to remove old siding yourself. Even so, this is a large project most aren’t willing to take on, so consider a siding replacement contractor in your budget.
  • House Size: The size of your home will affect overall cost as it will require more materials and labor for installation. There’s no base cost, it will all come down to square footage.
  • Brand and Quality: There are often different grades of siding, some considered more premium than others, thus more expensive. Likewise, some brands that are more well known will come at a higher cost.
  • Additional Materials: Remember to include additional siding materials needed to complete your siding project such as fasteners, insulations, trims and the like.
  • Permits: Some homes, like those in HOA neighborhoods, may call for special permitting and licenses when installing new siding. Costs will range depending on region and requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

Can new siding be installed over old siding?

While you can install new siding over the old, it won’t work with every type of siding. For example, metal and vinyl sidings will need to be removed. Existing wood siding on the other hand, can act as a sub-surface for the installation of new siding. That said, this method of installing siding depends on what’s already been installed.

Do you install windows or siding first?

Installing windows first is the best choice in the long run. You can install windows afterward but you’d run the risk of damaging your new siding and trim. If you aren’t replacing both at the same time, go ahead and replace siding as needed. It’s better to have to go back and fix areas around the windows rather than wait and have your siding create avoidable issues.

Are there general maintenance tips to help protect exterior siding?

Make it a habit to check for damages often in order to make a speedy repairs, avoiding bigger issues. Also, a general maintenance rule is that siding needs cleaning every 6 months to a year with a gentle cleaner, soft bristle brush and medium water pressure. Avoid products with harsh chemicals or using hard water pressure as both stand to damage the siding. The more consistent maintenance now, the longer your home’s siding will last.


For many homeowners, taking on siding replacement can be a daunting project, but if you have the right information it doesn’t have to be. With the ability to diagnose when your home’s siding needs replacing, you’re off to a good start. Coupled with the different options for siding material and a cost that fits budgets both small and large, the possibilities are endless.

Making your home’s appearance what it is, siding replacements will give your home the curb appeal it deserves.