On this page:
- How Pros Estimate the Cost of Siding Repair
- Benefits of Repairing Your Siding
- Factors Affecting the Cost of Siding Repair
- What’s Involved with Siding Repair?
- Preparing for Professional Repairs
- Cost Comparisons
- Level of Difficulty
- Find a Pro
It may be an exaggeration to say that your home’s siding is all there is between you and the elements, but it’s only a slight one. Layers of protective sheathing, housewrap, insulation and drywall also ward off the weather, but if your siding needs repair, these layers can quickly be damaged. When that happens, there really isn’t anything protecting you and your family from wind and rain.
Maintaining your siding keeps you comfortable, saves energy and keeps your house looking its best. Repairing small cracks and rotted sections before they grow into large problems is a common-sense investment that can save you big money in the long run.
How Pros Estimate the Cost of Siding Repair
Extent of the Damage
Before offering an estimate, a siding pro will inspect all the siding on your house, because a crack or bit of rot in one place could mean there is similar damage somewhere else. If the repair is confined to a small area, the pro will probably charge an hourly rate -- usually between $40 and $50 an hour -- to fix it. If the repair is extensive, it may call for a bulk estimate based on area. A typical quote to repair a six-foot section of wood siding is between $100 and $200.
Type of Siding
Different things can go wrong with each of the five main types of siding materials -- wood, aluminum, vinyl, fiber cement and stucco -- and different materials and techniques are needed for repair. Whereas a section of wood siding might cost $150 to repair, the same section of vinyl siding will probably cost more like $300. The cost of the materials, as well as the amount of work the repair requires, both factor into the estimate. The need for specialty materials or complex installation techniques can drive the estimate up by 5 to 15 percent.
Availability of Matching Materials
It’s important to match new siding with the existing, weathered siding, and it isn’t always possible to touch up with a coat of paint. Extra effort may need to go into the search for appropriate materials, and in some cases, materials may need to be modified for the job. Pros factor this extra work into their estimates.
Estimates vary widely by location, with those in large, metropolitan areas being higher than those in smaller cities and rural areas.
Benefits of Repairing Your Siding
Keep Damage to a Minimum
Whether your clapboard siding has rotted, your stucco has cracked, or your vinyl siding has blown off, the result is that your home’s sheathing is exposed to sun and moisture. The longer you leave the situation uncorrected, the more chance there is of rot and other serious structural damage. Fix the problems while they are small, and you avoid much more costly repairs in the future.
Preserve Your Home’s Curb Appeal
Cracked, rotting or missing siding detracts from your home’s appearance, and advanced damage might actually put downward pressure on property values in the neighborhood. Just as you paint your house regularly to freshen up its appearance, you should take care of siding damage to keep it looking its best.
Improve Heating Efficiency
Properly installed siding is an airtight envelope that minimizes air exchange, and when used with an appropriate amount of insulation, it keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Cracks and holes in the siding -- even small ones -- allow air to circulate. You lose warm air to the outside while cold air rushes in to replace it, and your heating bill goes up.
Prevent Health Problems
When water can penetrate the siding, it doesn’t take long for mold to grow underneath it. Left unchecked, the mold can spread to the framing and the back of the interior drywall. You might not know it’s there, but if you’re sensitive to mold, you could start experiencing respiratory and allergic reactions.
Factors Affecting the Cost of Siding Repair
In some cases, such as when you’re patching cracks in stucco, material costs are minimal. For example, a carton of stucco patch costs less than $15. You might have to pay as much as $40, however, for a single piece of fiber cement, vinyl or aluminum replacement siding. The labor costs for installing these materials can run from $3 to $6 per linear foot.
Patching vs. Replacement
When a repair can be completed by simply applying a patching material, you’ll spend much less than you will if a significant portion of the siding has to be replaced. There is sometimes no alternative to replacement, and if you have aluminum siding, you may have to replace the siding on the entire wall, because few siding experts will make spot repairs to aluminum.
Extent of Damage
If the siding has been damaged for a while, there may be water damage or rot on the sheathing, and repair may require removal of the siding. This underlines the benefits of making timely repairs, because you spend much more to remove siding, repair the sheathing and replace the siding than you do to simply replace the damaged siding.
What’s Involved with Siding Repair?
Rot and Crack Repair
The first step in siding repair is to assess the visible damage, such as cracks and rotting wood, that allow the elements to penetrate and deteriorate the structural framework. If these defects are small and have occurred fairly recently, patching them may be all you have to do.
Removing or Replacing Damaged Siding
When the damage to the siding is extensive, and enough time has elapsed for damage to occur to the structure, the repair job may involve removing some of the siding. This often requires special tools; for example, in the case of vinyl siding, you need a zip tool to unlock the damaged siding. If enough damage has occurred, the siding may have to be removed from an entire wall.
Repairing rotted sheathing and framing is an important part of siding repair. Not only will the rot spread if it is left as it is, it prevents the sheathing from holding the fasteners for the new siding.
Painting and Color Matching
Most siding can be painted, and a siding repair usually involves applying a fresh coat of paint to the entire wall. When the siding can’t be painted, materials must be carefully chosen to match those already in place to prevent the patched area from standing out.
Preparing for Professional Repair
Wash the Siding
Before the siding pros come, it’s a good idea to wash the affected area with soap, water and a scrub brush to remove dirt and mold. Power washing is not a good idea, because the high pressure can force water through cracks and rotted areas.
If the repairs you need are extensive, you’ll need replacement siding, and it’s best to have this on hand -- or know where to get it -- before the pros arrive. If you don’t do this, you’ll be relying on the aesthetic judgement of siding pros, who are often better carpenters and builders than they are home designers.
Get More than One Quote
Different contractors tend to take different approaches to large repairs, so it’s always a good idea to consult with more than one before hiring anyone. Not only can you save money by doing this, you may also be more pleased with the results of one approach than those of another.
|$100 - $300||$300 - $700||$700 - $2,000|
Because of the variety of siding types, no repairs are standard. Prices quoted reflect estimates for time and materials for various scenarios. Trim repair may be included in the cost.
Small Repair: $100 - $300
- • Wood Plank and Sheet Siding: The repair involves patching cracks and holes with patching compound and touching up the paint.
- • Vinyl/Aluminum/Fiber-Cement Siding: One or more planks are damaged or dented and can be repaired without replacing them. Repair of fiber-cement planks may involve filling with epoxy filler and repainting.
- • Stucco: Cracks have developed in one or more area. The cracks can be filled with caulk or patching compound and the paint touched up.
Average Repair: $300 - $700
- • Wood Plank and Sheet Siding: Some wood is rotten, and holes and cracks are large, but there is no damage to the sheathing. The project may involve replacement of some of the siding.
- • Vinyl/Aluminum/Fiber-Cement Siding: One or more pieces of siding need to be replaced.
- • Stucco: Cracks are extensive, but the sheathing is unaffected. Repair may involve chipping out some of the stucco and replacing it.
Large Repair: $700 - $2,000
- • Wood Plank and Sheet Siding: There is extensive rot and damage, requiring replacement of a large section of siding and trim. In addition, some sheathing has rotted and needs to be replaced.
- • Vinyl/Aluminum/Fiber-Cement Siding: Damaged siding has allowed water to penetrate and damage the sheathing. Sections of sheathing, trim and siding need to be replaced.
- • Stucco: Sections of the existing stucco have completely failed, allowing water to penetrate. The repair costs include chipping off the damaged stucco, pulling off the mesh and replacing damaged sheathing. New mesh and stucco must be installed.
Level of Difficulty
You can save money by taking care of small siding repairs yourself. Projects like filling rotted wood, pulling dents out of aluminum siding and patching cracks in stucco are ones that almost any homeowner with a few hours of free time can handle. More advanced projects that involve replacement of large sections of siding and repair to the infrastructure should be left to the pros, who have the tools and expertise to handle them.
Siding Repair Services
If your siding project is too big for you to handle, or you can’t afford to take the time from your busy schedule, get the process started by connecting with the pros. The sooner you do it, the less chance there is of a relatively small problem turning into a big, expensive one, and the more peace of mind you and your family will enjoy.