Blue house with front porch

Exterior Repair vs New Exterior, What’s Best for You?

Deciding between exterior repair or exterior replacement

Everyone enjoys having a home with good “curb appeal”. Whether it’s a house you plan on staying in for 30 years or something that you plan to put on the market tomorrow, having an exterior in good shape is important. Here in Minnesota it can be especially important to have a well maintained exterior because of the extreme weather conditions we face from season to season. Whether its snow and ice in the winter or driving rains in the spring and summer, it’s important to know that the exterior of your home is protected from the elements and insuring its long term value.

If you’ve decided that it’s time to give your house a “face lift”, then you’ll have to start considering whether you want to do exterior repairs or build a whole new exterior. The right choice depends upon your households preferences, budget and long term vision for the house. We’ll outline a few important considerations here.

How much repair does the house need?

One of the most important things to consider when deciding between repairs and replacement, is the extent of the likely project. Do you simply need to repair a portion of the exterior because there was a one time event, such as an errant ladder or perhaps a car that scrapped the side? Or are you looking at wear and tear that has occurred over time and is more extensive? Are you seeing breaks, cracks or other defects in multiple locations and sides of the house?

If you’re just taking care of that one-time isolated issue, then a patch job could work for you. Consider how critical the damage is and if there is risk of the damage causing additional issues such as water damage or pest infiltration. If the answer is no, then a cosmetic patch to the spot, such as painting or replacing that piece of siding, can make sense.

However, repairs and patches are not without complications. If you weren’t involved with the original siding of the house, you may not have the product name and model number that matches the current siding. This could leave you with mismatched siding, which may not be aesthetically pleasing. If the risks of additional issues are minimal, then you may want to consider waiting on a patch repair until you are ready to replace all siding on your house.

You should consider a new exterior if you are seeing extensive damage in multiple locations in the siding. Where you can, inspect the damage and see if any of the interior portions are getting exposed, such as the insulation. You may also simply see that due to factors such as weather, sun exposure and age, that your siding is looking old and faded and could use an update. In order to maintain a cohesive look, this is not something that you would want to do piecemeal, and you should consider replacing all of the existing exterior with new siding.

What fits your budget?

When considering whether to opt for a repair job or a new exterior your budget will become an important consideration. There are several factors that will affect the cost of the project that you should be aware of before making your decision.

The material you choose can significantly impact your budget. On the low end, you could use vinyl which goes for about $9 to $10 per square foot, and on the high end there is Cedar and real wood which goes for $15 to $16 per square foot. That’s a difference in budget of 60% or more between two different materials. Repairs and patches might be more budget-friendly if you have a real wood exterior. Whereas you might be more willing to do a full exterior replacement in vinyl due to the lower cost of material.

Your home insurance plan can also come into play for deciding your budget. If your home is covered for damage from storms and/or accidents, then you may get money to cover the cost of siding repair. More than likely, insurance will only cover the portion of the house that was damaged, so be prepared to cover the extra costs of siding the entire house if you decide to do more than just the damaged spot. Check your insurance policy to determine what kind of coverage you have before you start any exterior projects.

Depending on the size of the job and your own availability of funds you may want secure financing. There are several methods of financing a home remodel. We’ve covered some options in a previous post: Our Two Cents: How to Finance a Home Remodel to Maximize Your Budget .

What is your time horizon?

As with all major investments or expenditures you should consider your likely time horizon before making the decision. Do you see yourself living in this same house for the foreseeable future? Are you likely to put the home on the market again in less than 5 years? A short time horizon means repairs are more likely to get you a better return on your investment than a full replacement. If you plan on selling soon, it’s important to consider how outward facing aesthetics of the house may affect a buyer’s perception of your asking price, and how quickly it will move on the market. A few exterior repairs can go a long way in making your house more marketable. However, if you plan on being in the home for a while (10 years or more), then redoing the exterior can be an important insurance policy to prevent larger issues in the future, and give your home a look and feel that you can be happy with .

Are you trying to decide between an exterior repair or building a new exterior? Contact Treasured Spaces today!
We’re Minnesota’s leading home remodeling contractor and we make it our mission to provide you with a home remodel that has great value, superior quality and attention to detail.

Contact our expert team of remodelers to find out how we can help craft the right space for you!

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