The exterior of your home has a huge role in making a good first impression on visitors. We all want our houses to look nice, so it makes sense that the exterior meets your standards. One question we receive a lot is this: should I paint the outside of my home, or install siding?

This is a loaded question, and answering it starts with understanding how the wood on the exterior of your home works. If you’ve ever seen a home in construction, you’ll notice that freshly cut wood has a vibrant, golden look to it. This is because of the oils that are present in the wood, making it look healthy. Over time, however, these oils are leeched out, causing the color of the wood to change and pockets to form within it that were once filled with oils but now are empty. These empty pockets absorb water which accelerates the rotting process.

If you decide to paint over the wood on your home, you accrue some risk in the process. Lead paint was once favored because it had linseed oil that filled the empty pockets of the wood while the lead reflected the damaging ultraviolet rays of the sun. Lead paint could last 20-30 years, but the sun would pull the water out of the wood causing the paint to crack. In 1978, lead paint was outlawed due to health risk factors. Latex paint, today’s predominate paint option, is a mixture of water and rubber. The water gets into the pockets in the wood while the rubber lays over top. Unfortunately, you’ll have – at best – 5-8 years until the latex paint begins to peel and you end up needing to completely repaint.

This brings us to the main point: siding is the better option when it comes to the appearance of your home’s exterior! Here’s why:

Before vinyl siding is installed, a layer of insulation is added, which ultimately acts as an additional protective layer over the entire structure of your home. The internal layer of insulation helps keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The vinyl siding on top keeps water out, lessening the possibility of damage to the wood in your home’s structure.

One of the best parts of vinyl siding is that there is little maintenance required. You may need to hose it off once a year, but unlike paint, the look and feel of your siding is not subject to much change. According to 2020 cost vs. value reports, vinyl siding has a recoup of 77.6%. If you decide to go with painting your home, you’ll have to shell out cash for all of the labor and material it’ll take to maintain the paint coat every 5-8 years. With painting, you also miss out on the energy efficient benefits that you get from insulated siding without adding any value to your home at the end of the day.

For all these reasons, vinyl siding is the way to go! If you have questions about your home’s exterior, the team at Omaha Door & Window is here to help. Contact us today to learn more.