Wednesday, May 12, 2010

High Anxiety

Our house was built in 1956. It is a solid house - back when houses were built with quality materials.

However, it is stucco sided and the siding is showing some wear and tear. The Evil Twin and I had been kicking the idea of having it vinyl or brick sided for a few years now, but were nervous about the expense.

Finally, I started looking into getting estimates. Just to see, you know?

So, yesterday, a gentleman came by (recommended by a larger company) to give us an estimate. I was surprised to learn that the whole ordeal would be considerably LESS than what I had envisioned. It's still a chunk of change, but we CAN afford it and I think it will improve the curb appeal of the house immensely.

Plus, it would mean we'd never have to deal with the cracking stucco ever again.

I'm in the "Yea" category while the Evil Twin is in the "Nay" category.

Other pluses are that we'd be eligible for a tax credit for making the house more energy efficient and it would up the re-sell value quite a bit.

As usual, any matter that involves money (big or small) has my knickers all in a twist.

So, is 3 weeks worth of construction and about 11K worth a lifetime of happiness and a beautiful exterior? The inside is already nice. I'd like the outside to reflect the same vibe.

Since the Evil Twin and Buddy were both off yesterday (primary elections), my whole routine is all akimbo and I have a ton of making up to do today. Laundry, dishes, grocery, phone calls, etc.

If you have any thoughts about the siding, let me know in the comments. Otherwise, have a Happy Wednesday, hooligans!


  1. If either way you go, it is affordable, go with the brick. It just looks more, for lack of a better word, stately. And one more thing...

    You had me at, "akimbo". Cheers ETW!!

  2. For better curb appeal, I'd say go with Brick. But as long as the house is sealed tight with insulation (including vapor barriers, etc.) it doesn't matter what you put on the outside. If you want your house to be efficient in it's use of energy - insulation is where it's at. I'd go with brick - it's basically a big thermal mass anyway. Our house is brick, but our house is not well insulated, and it's a nightmare sometimes. Just make sure it's insulated and you'll be good.

    The important thing is that you have a solid substructure behind whatever siding you decide to put up. The siding is just the icing on the cake to make it look pretty.

  3. If it's affordable and has tax benefits and will greatly raise the re-sell value, I say do it.

    Big decisions always make me nervous too, but this sounds like a well thought out plan with a lot of pluses.

  4. Matt-Man - The estimate we got was for vinyl. I'm afraid the brick would be more expensive.

    Josh - I know. For a stucco house, they install insulation between the stucco and vinyl, and our house is well insulated anyway with good new windows, so I'm leaning heavy towards the Vinyl is Final thought.

    Kim - I think so too! Thanks.

  5. I agree with Kim... Go with the best long term gain.

  6. I'd do it. It'll be a good investment and make you feel good b/c it'll look new and pretty! I love brick, but either would look new and updated. 3 weeks is worth the end result, I think.

  7. Dude, I paid 9K to have a tummy tuck, and there's no resale value on that at all ;)

    If it will make you happy to beautify the exterior of your home - go for it! 11K is a very reasonable price!

  8. Put me in the yes column as well. Tax credit? resale value? better insulation?

    What not to like?

  9. i love the look of stucco siding.. but i do know that its a lot of work.. id say go for it... theres too many pluses not to...

    i guess i should ask why is evil twin in the Nay category? is it the money? the time? or does he have something else he would rather?

    From everything you wrote.. id say go for it...

    ( in that overthinking every situation kinda mood today... lol. )

    have a great hump day!

  10. I've gotta go in the yes category too. And I'd get a brick estimate too, before you decide anything. As someone in the house market, brick does add some value. Not sure if it would be equal to the cost, but there's no way to know until you check.

  11. I'm in the "how long do you plan to live there?" category.

    If it's more than 5-7 years, then I"d go for it. If you think you'll be moving sooner, you'll probably never get your money back in the resale (especially in this market).

    Let us know what you decide (I know you will!)

  12. Ours is brick and it is so great to never have any upkeep! I would do it in a heartbeat.

  13. Considering it's less then you had anticipated AND you get a tax credit for doing it, then I say DO IT! 3 weeks in the grand scheme of things isn't really that long and better to do it now then later.

    just my opinion.

  14. I say do it! Mostly because it has to be done and the longer you wait the more it will cost. If you wait, say three years, not only will it cost more, but you'll miss out on the tax credit.

    Also, you never know how the housing cycles are going to go. If things really pick up it's possible that materials and labor could be much more expensive because of demand. Right now seems like the perfect time with demand much lower and prices down from what they have been in the past.

  15. I want to buy a house so bad...

  16. Vinyl is final.

    No more painting, re-pointing, scraping, re-stucco-ing. Pick a color you can live with for 30 years and go for it. You can always change shutter & door colors every 10 years for variety.

    This coming from a guy with cedar shake siding that needs re-painting every 10 - 12 years. Ugh!

  17. You could always donate your 11K to me and then you won't have the money anymore and therefore not have to worry about it. I'll come sit on your front porch topless to give it curb appeal :)

  18. I'm in So California, where almost all of the houses are stucco (I grew up in an early-50's stucco house, and have lived in a '76-built stucco house for the last 26 years. That doesn't make me much of an expert, but this helps: I represented stucco manufacturers and sub-contractors for 25 years in my prior life as a practicing attorney. And we just completed a top-to-bottom renovation of our house (literally), so I've been dealing with the process.). If you're looking for a less-expensive alternative, I'd recommend that you simply patch the stucco where necessary (especially if the existing insulation is adequate), and then paint with elastomeric paint. The paint is very durable, and will minimize future cracking.

    You'll save some money, and you'll still get a fresh look for the exterior of your home.

    Now, back to lurking...

  19. I *hate* vinyl siding, but am well aware of its resale value. I say go for it!

  20. Might'nt it also save you heating/cooling costs? Sounds like a good, solid investment.

  21. We just did new siding on our house last week. Here in Texas where the fireball produces several months worth of 95-100 degree days, people have figured out that vinyle is not the way to go. One of the advertisers here talks about vinyl "going goofy on you". Where you are, it may not be an issue.

    We went with a product called HardiePlank which is a cement fiber type of deal. It looks just like wood siding, won't catch on fire and is guaranteed for 50 years. It can be really expensive to have install but I was able to get the entire deal done for less than $8K (although we have a lot of brick on our house, so it wasn't the entire house).

    We love it and I am now kicking myself for not doing this a few years ago.

    You'll post pictures of the finished product, I trust?

  22. Our house was built around that time. I'd say it's a good investment if you can afford it and still have plenty left in emergency funds. (Yes, I have serious Suze Orman damage!) Just check around and compare prices. AND make sure the company is reputable before they start!

  23. It is completely worth it!



  24. I may be too late to get in on the party but if you are at all handy, do it yourself! I sided our house for around $1500. It really is super easy if you don't mind a ladder...