We used to have a dreams! Dreams of statement area rugs, freshly mulched lawns, and movie nights together on the weekends.
Then, the siding fell off of our house.
That's right! A few weeks into buying the house pieces started coming loose. We thought it was an easy fix. Until we signed the mortgage papers, headed over to fix the few loose pieces and realized, to our horror, that every time we touched a piece of the siding it crumbled underneath our hands like crusty bread.
So we took a look at the budget and figured we had around $1,000 in savings that we could use to put towards residing the house. "No problem!" said naive homeowner!
Then I actually looked up how much siding cost. For the cheap stuff we were talking $3,000-$4,000!!
"Ok, don't panic!" We said...( a little panicky) we'll just do it in sections as we have the finances. We settled on the fact that for the next few years, we would fondly call ourselves the patchwork quilt house. It would be...cute?
The neighbors would hate us, we'd depreciate the value of our neighborhood...but at least we wouldn't be in debt!
Then, something miraculous happened! The fairy god-mother of siding smiled on me.
I was trolling my favorite internet site (craigslist!) for building materials when I stumbled across a post. 1,500 square feet of siding for $500!! Only 500 buckeroos!!
I contacted the seller and found out it was a small siding business liquidating their inventory before they moved.
We knew that we needed around 1,900 square feet of siding, but decided to go ahead and get it. We could at least do most of it! When we went to pick it up, it turns out it was more like 1,800 square feet of siding for $500. Beautiful gray shake siding. Thanks fairy god-mother of siding!!
So off the old siding went.
Even three year olds could rip the papery stuff down!
We choose to get non brand name house wrap from Menards, and our house suddenly became a favorite among the neighborhood children because....
We affectionately became known as the dino house! (Actually, I think I just called it that...)
Dinosaur themed wrapping paper, I mean house wrap, cost us around $100. Then add another $200 for nails, trim pieces and all new soffitt. At this point we are sitting at a pretty $800.
Isn't it pretty!
We blissfully thought to ourselves - we'll be done before winter, I mean, Christmas...I mean...*sigh* NEVER! Needless to say, we've run into a few snafus (pronounced sna-foos) along the way. Squirrels, weird venting, miscolored trim and backordered jchannell are just to name a few.
But let me tell you - there's no better way to meet your neighbors than working constantly outside on your house for months straight. I'm pretty sure the neighborhood has taken up a poll to bet on when we'll actually finish this beast.
Now, if you are wanting to reside your house economically, here are a few tips I've gathered along the way.
- Check craigslist and ebay, often - like every few hours. I've downloaded the apps, set notifications to ring me, and even bought something while rocking my daughter to sleep at 2am.
- Join local facebook groups in your area. Sometimes people are selling leftover siding. It might not be enough to do your whole house but it could do a large section.
- Keep an open mind. When it comes to huge purchases like siding, if you find something like we did, it's better to work other design issues out around it, rather than forgoing it all together because it doesn't match the picture you had in your head.
- Check out Build Direct . We didn't buy siding from them, but they were our backup plan. Their prices on building supplies are pretty amazing!
- Plan ahead. We could have probably done the siding project even more frugally if we had been shopping for house wrap, soffit and other materials months in advance. Every once in a while those pop up on craigslists for very inexpensive (sometimes even free!).
- Get creative labor. Even if you didn't luck out and marry a contractor - it doesn't mean you have to pay full price for labor. You can do this project yourself. (In fact in the coming months we'll be putting together a tutorial to show you how!) If you're not quite up for that challenge, consider bartering. What skills do you have that you could offer? Do you have graphic design skills? Offer to build or design a website for a local siding company in exchange for some labor. Are you good at taxes or paperwork? Offer to do office work in exchange for labor. You never know until you ask
As far as our project goes - We are in the final stretch now! We now have to make a decision on what to do for the final areas of house that we don't have siding for. Do we buy more of the same (we found it at Menards) Do we use cute board and batten siding? Straight across siding?
What do you think would look best? All opinions welcome!