(NewsUSA) - If your house is starting to look a little scruffy, you could re-caulk and re-paint, but that's a lot of work. Plus, you'd be out there again in a few years doing it all over again. And would it really make that much of a difference in the overall look? To really jolt your curb appeal, maybe it's time to re-side.
If so, you'll want to balance beauty and performance, says designer, and home improvement expert Vicki Payne.
"On the beauty side, when you mix materials, incorporate a variety of shapes, use rich colors to accentuate windows and doors or the whole house, the synergies are spectacular," she said. "On the performance side, choice of materials is critical -- make sure you go with something that will retain long-lasting beauty but not require a lot of effort to maintain."
In the past, homeowners, designers, builders and remodelers frequently chose vinyl siding on its own and in combination with brick, stone and even other styles of vinyl and polymeric siding for its durability, low maintenance and value. It has the lowest installed cost of any exterior cladding, never needs painting or caulking and can be cleaned with just a garden hose, long-handled bristle brush and soapy water. Vinyl and insulated siding consistently rank among the highest return on investments for remodeling projects.
That's partly why vinyl siding has been the number-one choice in exterior cladding for the last 20 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But with improved aesthetic qualities and performance of today's vinyl siding, trim and accessories, it's increasingly popular for its ability to suit a sweeping range of architectural styles and design tastes.
In fact, vinyl siding is available in more profiles than any other cladding on the market. Using the latest technology, vinyl siding manufacturers can recreate the fine wood exteriors of the past that work beautifully with many architectural styles from historic to contemporary. And vinyl siding is available in a broad and ever-increasing spectrum of colors.
To see what your home might look like with a facelift, many home improvement companies offer online tools that allow you to mix and match trim and accessories to accent details specific to the architectural style of your home. Just search "siding visualizer" for a list of sites.
"No matter the age or type of house, whatever your budget, looking to sell or just make your neighbors jealous, there are many ways to transform your house into something spectacular," Payne said.
To see examples of homes beautifully sided with vinyl, visit www.vinylsiding.org/homeowners/photo-gallery/.