Dear Angie: Hail damaged two sides of our home, and our insurance company agreed to pay only to replace the damaged sides. Our siding is more than 20 years old and made of aluminum.
I think it will be impossible to match. One contractor told us we should plan to re-side the entire home and suggested vinyl because it is less expensive than aluminum. We're not certain we can finance the extra out-of-pocket cost for this project.
Is it possible to replace the two damaged sides with new siding and then replace the other two sides later, or should we bite the bullet and plan to fund the entire replacement at one time? — Linda C., Granite City, Ill.
Dear Linda: It is possible to replace just the two damaged sides now and the other sides later, but it's not the ideal solution.
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I recommend you first check with some reputable siding companies to see whether they can match your existing siding. Most companies should offer to remove a sample of the existing siding and take it to their supplier to match it.
Given that your siding is aluminum and more than 20 years old, that's probably going to be a tough task. That actually might be a good thing, though.
If the siding company is not able to match your existing siding, it should be able to provide you with a report stating such. You could submit this report with a supplemental claim to your insurance company and request they replace all the siding on the house.
A claim supplement most commonly occurs after a claim has been paid when additional damage is found or unforeseen expenses occur. It's not uncommon for insurance companies to pay to replace all of the siding if a match is not available. However, it's important to discuss your coverage with your agent and explore all the options available to you.
If your insurance still won't cover the other two sides, you could replace the damaged siding with vinyl siding, which offers a more modern look and costs less than aluminum, and replace the other two sides later. The challenge would lie in transitioning between the two types of siding. Making them look the same probably will be impossible.
You could replace the damaged siding with an aluminum product as similar to yours as possible and still replace the other two sides later. You'll still have difficulty making a perfect match, but the difference in appearance might not be as noticeable. Of course, going with aluminum means you'll probably be paying more as well.
Ultimately, the challenge with replacing only the two sides is that, if you wait another year or two and replace them with the exact same siding, you'll probably still face issues with the siding not matching entirely due to the newer siding fading. Though some siding manufacturers offer a "fade guarantee," that typically means they are guaranteeing the siding will fade evenly over time or only after a certain amount of time.
Your best option is to replace the siding on the entire house when you can afford it so it has a uniform appearance all the way around.