I have touched briefly in previous posts regarding the cost of materials vs the cost of installation. Sometimes there is a large gap between the two.; for instance; vinyl siding. This is the type of product that costs very little to make and is relatively inexpensive to purchase from a supplier. The biggest part of installing vinyl siding is the prep work.
Lets just say you have a home that is completely sided with either older vinyl or some other material, and you want it updated or replaced.
The first step is to remove all of the old siding(or in some cases, simply leave it on and go over it). If it is to be removed then that in itself is a job. There is also a cost to get rid of all this material.
If you are interested in insulating your home, this is where the next step comes in. Essentially, you are “siding” the home twice; once with insulation, and once with vinyl. Once the insulation is one, it must all be taped, to form a barrier against the weather in the event that water gets in behind the siding. Keep in mind most of this work is done off of ladders, sometimes in precarious positions and awkward angles. This also costs money, and is still far more labour than product.
Now you must go around the house and “run” starter strip,J-channel, flashing, and drip cap everywhere. What is this the third time around the house on ladders? J-Channel is the receptacle for the siding to fit into by the way. There are also corner posts to install. Once again all of these are relatively inexpensive, to buy.
There is also a degree of instinct and experience involved. There are almost always going to be trouble areas that require identification, and a degree of pre planning. This is why hiring a professional is always a good idea. Experience equal money.
Now the siding. This is perhaps the easiest part of any siding job. installing the siding. its really hard to go wrong at this stage; assuming you’ve done everything correctly to this point. Even still, you are going around the house again on ladders, or setting up and tearing down and setting up your siding stage. Most homes however, have matured lots and a siding stage is often times impractical. Lets not forget as well, that we are dealing with twelve foot pieces of product that are flexible. It takes some getting used to to handle and apply without crinkling the piece. Depending on the time of year you install the siding, there are specifications, about how tight or loose you install it to the J-channel and corner posts, since it expand and contract according to the temperature outside. This once again comes with experience.
All in all, these things add up, and do require a degree of experience and skill, to foresee and install. And its always good to keep in mind the ladder work. If you were to try and do you job on a stair-master all day long, wouldn’t you want a raise?
Until next time