Should You Repaint Your Home... Again?
it time for Vinyl Siding!
by Allison E. Beatty
Exterior house paint has been around for decades and is one of the most
common home maintenance projects. Paint is popular because it instantly adds
beauty and a sense of newness to a home. Here's a look at the ins and outs of
Paint comes in several finishes, from flat to satin to semi-gloss and
gloss--a progression from no shine to very shiny.
- Flat paint has a matte finish; there is no shine. It's
ideal for softening areas and hiding rough surfaces or other impairments.
- Satin paint is used on the main exterior areas.
- Semi-gloss is often used to highlight trim.
The glossier finishes add more drama to an exterior, but also show the
blemishes more than flatter finishes. Generally speaking, so-called
"satin" or "low lustre" paints offer a good compromise between durability and
Most modern paints are high quality coatings, but there are differences.
Your best resource for unbiased information is the Consumer's Union, publishers
Reports magazine. They regularly review a wide variety of
paint manufacturers, though all brands may not be available in your area.
Quality Materials and Professional Prep
The defining components to a good paint job are the quality of the material
and the thoroughness of the installation. Whether you are hiring a painter or
doing the work yourself, you need to start with a quality paint and detailed
prep work. After all, the paint is only as good as the surface to which it
A good painter also takes into account the effect of temperature and
sunlight. A general guideline is not to paint when the temperature falls below
60 degrees or when the sun is beating down on a hot, humid day. This helps a
quality paint job last, on average, five to eight years.
Exterior painting is one project that is best left to professionals or
especially if you live in a two-story house. While periodic touch ups are easy
enough for homeowners, using tall ladders can make it a dangerous project for
Cost? Still the best choice for handy
do-it-yourselfers on a budget
The cost to paint the outside of a house will vary, based on where you live and
amount of prep work needed. In many areas, the cost averages $2,500 to $7,000,
often comparable to the cost to install vinyl siding. The decision to paint or
replace the underlying material should be based on the condition of the original
material and your budget.
If you are a do-it-yourselfer, repainting is by far the least expensive way
to refresh and protect your home. Since most of the cost of repainting is
labor, you can purchase all the materials PLUS that new ladder and other tools
and still save money!
Many people like the nostalgic look of wood siding and don't have a problem
with the maintenance and cost of painting it every so often. Others loathe the
expense and hassle of exterior painting and prefer lower maintenance products
like vinyl siding.
About the Author:
Allison E. Beatty is a syndicated real estate writer who has been writing home
improvement columns for 15 years.