WORTH THE INVESTMENT?
Last summer, the paint was peeling badly on the south and east sides of our house. Those sides get a lot of sun. The sun, combined with exposure to the rest of the weather all year, wears down the paint quickly. It had only been three years since I had the house painted for almost two thousand dollars. My neighbor had vinyl siding installed the previous year, but he said he paid a lot for it. I just wanted a quick, cheap fix so I didn’t think siding was worth it. I landed on doing it myself!
Paint is cheap, right? Not really when you consider the square footage of just one side of a house not to mention 4. Then, don’t forget the primer because the paint apparently does not work by itself. I lugged heavy buckets of paint and primer back from the home improvement store, along with brushes and rollers and rags.
I just wanted a quick, cheap fix so I didn’t think siding was worth it. I landed on doing it myself.
WEEKEND ONE: SCRAPPING
When I first got out the heavy ladder I would grow to hate and got up close, the peeling was worse than expected. My job of scraping the peeling paint just increased. I came to find that scraping is a harder chore than it looks. I spent a full weekend scraping the two sides alone.
WEEKEND TWO: PRIMING
The priming took another weekend of climbing up and down the infernal ladder. It seemed like every time I came down I would see a spot I missed. After buckets, brushes, rollers, and sore leg muscles, I got the priming finished.
WEEKEND THREE (AND FOUR): PAINTING
When the actual painting finally began, it took another weekend to paint the house, and another yet to paint the trim and fix my mistakes. By now I had paint on almost every window and ruined two pairs of old sweats. The end result looks…decent. It looks like a hapless homeowner went cheap.
The investment may be more, but next summer we are having our house wrapped with vinyl siding. To paint or not to paint…I choose not!
WHAT I LEARNED
The cost of vinyl siding is more than paint, but once it is installed there’s nothing left to do. Take the hose to it once in a while to clean it off. It doesn’t ever rot or peel. And the insulation they install underneath it adds R-value to the walls. The investment may be more, but next summer we are having our house wrapped with vinyl siding. It will add significant value to the place, but I will be most thankful for not having to climb that ladder again.