Fiber cement siding has become quite popular in recent years, and for good reason — it is a very attractive, highly durable siding that requires virtually no maintenance. In fact, it is so reliable that many companies offer 50-year warranties on the product. Fiber cement siding is definitely a long-term investment for your home.
Should you try the installation on your own?
Many homeowners decide to do their own fiber cement siding installation in order to save money. But even if you have the skills, is it a good idea to do so? Here are some points to ponder before you jump into fiber cement siding installation.
- You should have experience. If this is your first home improvement rodeo, starting with siding installation is likely not a good idea. Only homeowners who have a good amount of experience under their tool belt should attempt to install siding of any kind. Even if you have done successful home improvement projects before, if you are handling siding for the first time, be prepared to call a contractor to help them through the rough patches, if necessary.
- You should have the right tools. You will need a whole host of tools to complete the job, including some that you might not have on hand, such as a diamond-tipped saw blade or special shears. Don’t try to make do with lesser tools; if you have to rent the proper tools to get the job done right, so be it. This is a serious undertaking, and that might mean spending some extra cash on the right tools for the job.
- You should have the proper protection. Those tools can kick up a great deal of dust from the fiber cement, especially when you are cutting pieces with the saw. Always cut outside, and use a dust collector attached to your saw if at all possible. Protect yourself from breathing in the dust with proper respirator masks. Protect your eyes with the right kind of safety glasses. Finally, don’t forget your ears — protect your hearing before you kick that saw into high gear.
- Look closely at what voids your warranty. Keep in mind that in some cases, manufacturers require professional installation of their product in order to maintain the warranty. Installing the siding on your own could mean that if problems arise, your warranty is null and void. Look at the fine print to make absolutely sure you can install the siding without taking a serious hit from the warranty protection.
- Study the instructions closely. Before you begin any project, make certain you understand every step of the directions before you begin. This might mean plenty of research, asking questions of the manufacturer or construction experts, and getting a good sense of the scope of the job before you sink the first nail.
- Consider the time investment. Finally, look at the time you are spending on the project. How much is that time worth? If you will be devoting several weeks to the project, it might be more cost-effective to hire a contractor who can do the job in a few days. Your time is valuable, but only you can decide just how much it is worth.
If you are ready to install fiber cement siding on your own, great! But do keep in mind that things can go wrong for even the most seasoned contractor. If you run into a problem with your installation, drop everything and call the professionals to make certain the issue is handled in the proper way. It is always better to be safe than sorry.