Home Design Your Best Life - 52 Week Series Finding Freedom Week 28: The Joys Of Home Ownership

Finding Freedom Week 28: The Joys Of Home Ownership

by Phia @ Freedom 101

Dealing with Cancer testing, and buying a vacation rental didn’t seem like QUITE enough on our plate over the holiday season. So we decided to also take on a massive renovation project to our house. Specifically – we had ALL of the siding of our house replaced. In its entirety. Oh the joys of home ownership are truly something.

It was a big job. And due to some inclement weather, entailed 10 weeks of living in a construction site. With a lot of loud banging, hammering, saws, etc. Perfect for a toddler’s afternoon nap.

Now why exactly would we go and do something crazy like that? Allow me to fill you in.

The Lead Up

First off – I have to take you back to when we bought this house in 2012. When the home inspection was originally done, the inspector pointed out a small area of the vinyl siding that had a slight amount of dimpling on it.

It looked a lot like vinyl looks when you’ve put a BBQ or other heat source too close. Except that it was halfway up the side wall, and wasn’t in an area where a BBQ could get anywhere near. While it was notable, the dimpling hadn’t caused sufficient damage to allow any water to penetrate the area, so the inspector simply cautioned us to keep an eye on the area.

And we did.

Overtime it looked like the dimpling had spread to the surrounding area, but nothing super concerning.

Until this summer. We noticed that the dimpling had changed into a full blown warping of more than a small area of vinyl on that side. But we couldn’t figure out what was causing it.

What Is Going On? And What’s It Going To Cost Us?

We called a bunch of different siding companies to come out and have a look, and the consensus was that due to the angle of a neighbouring homes windows, and the recent installation of a UV film on their windows, the afternoon sun was being magnified onto this wall of vinyl.

Causing such a high level of heat, that it was effectively melting the vinyl. Which would then cool over night, only to be melted again the next day.

We obtained several quotes to have the vinyl replaced, which would require us to also convince the neighbours to remove their UV film, so that it wouldn’t just happen again. Those quotes put us in the $7000 – $10,000 dollar range, and would replace the vinyl on one side of our house. The job would take 1-2 weeks.

With the caveat that the installed colour was no longer made, and even the closest colour match would look different from the rest of the house, given sun/weather exposure etc.

Bottom line – it would unavoidably look weird, do nothing to improve the appearance or value of our home, and still cost us a decent chunk of change.

Is There a Door Number 2?

Why yes. Yes there is. A gold plated door number 2.

The alternative option? To replace all the vinyl with hardie board siding. Arguably a much higher end product, with a lengthy life span, and generous warranty. A purchase that would also increase the value of our home, and allow us to substantially upgrade the general appearance.

The downside? $35,000 – $45,000, and about 5 weeks of on site construction. Messy construction.

Silver lining? If we agreed to do it over the slow season (read Christmas time, when no other people in their right minds are scheduling whole house siding jobs), most companies were offering a 5% discount.

We decided to go with the upgrade. And it probably goes without saying, we jumped all over the 5% discount. Whole house construction, over Christmas – for 5% off? Ummmm yes please!

Mike quickly negotiated a firm price just shy of $35,000, along with the 5% discount, and we went into the holding queue for the next available crew.

Oh the joys of home ownership.

Living Through The Renovation Project

While we felt good about our decision to upgrade the siding, officially crossing it off our list of things we would ever have to do again in the entire time we live in the home (we hope), living through the renovation project was a whole other ball game.

I’ve lived through construction MANY times in my life. But doing it with a toddler is just way more fun. I highly recommend it.

As anyone who has done it knows – toddlers get cranky when they don’t get to nap. And there were a lot of days when the hammering, banging, and sawing meant my toddler slept for all of 45 minutes before he was telling me it was “too loud Mama, too loud.”

Fair enough kiddo. It was really freaking loud.

Lucky for us we got a great crew that was willing to work long hours, in really crappy weather. But all the rain slowed them down big time. And the optimistic 5 week window, quickly become 7, then 10. Doesn’t it always?

The End Result

Well – I’m happy to say we survived the chaos, AND are thrilled with the end result. We have long hated the ugly beige colour of our house, and being vinyl siding, painting wasn’t an option. I mean it was. There are plenty of people who will take your money and paint a vinyl house for you. It’s just a really bad idea.

Think expansion and contraction of panel joints, peeling, scratching. It’s not a good long term solution.

So upgrading from builder beige, to a dark navy blue, makes our Craftsman style home look a WHOLE lot better. And aside from looks, this siding carries a 15 year factory finish paint warranty, and a 30 year product warranty. Even better, the whole job came with the installation of a new Tyvek Building Envelope and full rain screening. The gold standard here on the rainy West Coast.

Oh and did I mention – it looks beautiful? It really does 🙂

So while we weren’t thrilled to drop $35,000 on re-siding a house that is only 13 years old, we are very happy with the end result. And the fact that we should NEVER have to deal with siding issues again, for as long as we live at this house. (my fingers are crossed right now.)

Have you experienced the joys of home ownership? What big ticket items crushed your annual maintenance budget?

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Maria @ Handful of Thoughts February 10, 2020 - 10:01 am

This is the first time I have heard of a neighbour’s window melting vinyl siding. Who could have predicted that?

We recently had to replace a furnace and even though we new it was old and could go at any time. It was a big ticket item when it finally needed to be replaced. Thankfully we could the new furnace in before a big cold snap.

phiafreedom101@gmail.com February 10, 2020 - 1:10 pm

Hey Maria! Yah I was very skeptical of the whole window melting the vinyl situation! But this winter I walked past the window as the sun was reflecting off it, and the heat it was generating was insane! Even in -5 degree weather! Crazy……not something I would have ever considered when it comes to installing UV film on windows. Which is actually something we’ve done on our home to keep the house cooler in the summer.

Fortunately for us, the way our windows are positioned, it doesn’t affect our neighbours windows. Phew!

The furnace is definitely a big ticket item. We replaced ours two years ago as well, and it’s a big hit to the wallet. Nice to know you won’t have to worry about it anytime soon!

AffiliateLabz February 15, 2020 - 8:35 pm

Great content! Super high-quality! Keep it up! 🙂

Victoria Stadnik March 30, 2020 - 3:15 am

This is a very interesting blog, thanks for sharing your experience.

phiafreedom101@gmail.com March 31, 2020 - 12:07 pm

Thanks Victoria – glad you enjoyed it!


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