Homeowner's Guide to Siding in Edmonton

 

The comprehensive guide to siding in Edmonton and surrounding areas. Your one stop shop for learning about the common products used, where to find them, the cost of siding in Edmonton, and more. 

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The siding Guide Table of contents

If you're just starting to look into re-siding your home and you don't know where to start, this is as good a place as any. But if you've already invested some time and you want to jump to a specific topic, here's what you'll find below:

  • Products - learn about the most common types of exterior siding products in Edmonton, their features and benefits, and where you can find them.

  • Selecting a Siding Contractor - learn about what factors to consider when selecting a siding contractor to renovate your home's exterior. Required licensing, qualifications, review networks, and more.

  • The Cost of Siding a House in Edmonton - the comprehensive guide on how much it costs to side a house in Edmonton. We break down the cost of siding by product, by renovation type, and by options so you can get a solid understanding of where your project might come in.

 

Products - Edmonton siding options

 

Vinyl Siding

 
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Vinyl siding has been the standard siding in Edmonton for the past 30 years. Vinyl (PVC) siding has a number of advantages that has enabled it to be the number one siding product in Edmonton for so long:

  • Price - Vinyl siding is the least expensive siding option in the Edmonton market. Lightweight and (relatively) inexpensive to manufacture, vinyl is less expensive to purchase and install than most other siding options. Vinyl siding comes in two major price points. The lighter colors of vinyl siding, your white, beige, and soft yellows, grays, and blues, are the least expensive. Dark vinyl siding, or premium vinyl, comes in at a higher price than the lighter colors. Generally speaking, the material cost of premium vinyl is twice that of lighter vinyl.

  • Maintenance - Vinyl is a relatively care free product. Routine maintenance for this product typically entails nothing more than washing it down with a garden hose to clean the dirt off every couple years.

  • Longevity - Barring threats to it's durability like hail, fire, or prolonged UV exposure, vinyl siding lasts about 25 years on the wall in Edmonton without needing to be replaced.

 

Despite being the go-to siding product for the Edmonton market for so long, vinyl is not without its faults. Here are some factors to consider before choosing to re-side with vinyl in Edmonton:

  • Curb Appeal - Simply put, Edmonton is bored of the look of vinyl siding. With the right contractor and a proper installation, vinyl siding can still be part of a beautiful exterior, but few people prefer it visually to the other siding options available in 2018.

  • Combustibility - Vinyl siding provides no protection against fire, as it melts when exposed to heat or flame.

  • Heat/UV Exposure - Vinyl siding can have issues when placed near areas of high heat, such as barbecues. As well, there are documented cases of vinyl siding melting due to reflections from high performance windows.

 

If you've settled on vinyl siding as the product of choice for your renovation, the next thing to consider is which manufacturer you'd like to go with. There are 4 manufacturers that make up the majority of vinyl sales in Edmonton. Each manufacturer offers what they believe to be their own advantages and benefits, so I've listed them each below for your reference.

  • Royal Building Products

  • Gentek

  • Mitten

  • Kaycan

Typically speaking, most homeowners don't have a preference between the vinyl manufacturers, so they will leave it up to the contractor to select the manufacturer, and then the homeowner will pick colors and type from there. But if you do have a preference among the manufacturers, let your contractor know - any of the Edmonton siding companies you choose to work with should have accounts with each supplier.

Want to learn more about vinyl siding in Edmonton? You can check out our vinyl siding products page for more information by clicking here.

 

Fiber Cement and wood composites

 

The second most common type of siding in Edmonton, these products are a step up from vinyl in terms of performance and cost. Fiber cement and wood composite products may look similar, but each offers there own set of advantages and disadvantages.

 

 
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Hardie Plank - also referred to as Hardie board or Hardie siding, this is the second most popular type of siding after vinyl. The use of Hardie siding in Edmonton has grown tremendously over the past six years. Manufactured by James Hardie Building Products, Hardie siding products are made of fiber cement - a durable composition of cement, cellulose fibers, sand, and water. 

The company has been around for over 125 years, and carries with it a very strong brand. Hardie siding is consistently ranked as one of the best returns on investment for renovations as house hunters see a lot of value in having a Hardie exterior. Some of the major advantages are:

  • Curb Appeal - Featuring wide 7" reveals and a natural wood-look, Hardie has a classic aesthetic. Often seen in estate and higher-end neighborhoods, re-siding with Hardie in Edmonton allows your home to stand out.

  • Durability - James Hardie manufactures the only type of siding that is designed specifically for the Alberta climate. Using their own weather chamber to determine the best composition, James Hardie gives us a siding product that can withstand hail, rapid freeze/thaw cycles, and heavy UV exposure during our long summer days.

  • Non-Combustibility - Fiber cement is rated non-combustible, meaning that it can protect your home in case of a fire. There are several local examples of a James Hardie home standing strong beside a vinyl home that has burnt down due to fire.

  • Longevity - with a strong 30 year non-prorated warranty, Hardie stands behind their product. For the cost, no other siding in Edmonton can offer the same lifespan as James Hardie.

 

Hardie does have some limitations that keep it from being used on every renovation in Edmonton:

  • Cost - On average, Hardie costs anywhere from 1.5 times to 2 times the cost of vinyl siding, depending on the type of vinyl and design of the installation.

  • Colour range - Hardie has a selection of 23 colours in siding products (plank, panel, shingle). This is a smaller selection than those offered by vinyl manufacturers. Furthermore, it only has a selection of 10 matching trim colours - something to be aware of when picking colours!

To learn more about the James Hardie colour palette for Canada, check out our article on the subject below: 
James Hardie Colours Alberta

James Hardie siding products (Hardie Plank, Hardie Shingle, and Hardie Panel) carry a very strong, 30 year non-prorated warranty. For more information on the warranty for James Hardie in Canada, check out our article on the subject below:
James Hardie Warranty Canada

With its mix of strong curb appeal, durability, and low maintenance, Hardie siding will continue its growing popularity in Edmonton for years to come. If you want to learn more about Hardie siding products, you can check out our page on Hardie from the link below:

Hardie Products

 

 

Allura - Allura is the second most popular fiber cement in Edmonton, though its use is far more limited than James Hardie. A relatively new product, Allura was created following the sale of Certainteed fiber cement.

It is my personal opinion to use caution when considering Allura for your siding renovation. The plants that manufacture Allura are the same ones that Certainteed used prior to selling their fiber cement business to Elementia (owner of Allura). Certainteed is currently paying a lawsuit to Canadians that used their product due to its failure in our market. 

While the composition has changed, it is my recommendation that if you want to go with fiber cement siding, go with the one that has lasted in the market for twenty years already and isn't currently facing legal issues in the province.

 

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Canexel - Canexel is a wood composite product, with a similar aesthetic to James Hardie and Allura. Also featuring a wider reveal than vinyl, Canexel has been used in the Edmonton market for over a decade and carries with it a strong brand name.

The product has a number of advantages that has lead to its enduring popularity in the Edmonton market:

  • Curb Appeal - featuring a strong wood grain, Canexel mimics the look of cedar siding better than the majority of its competitors.

  • Proven Performance - Canexel has been used in the Edmonton market for over 10 years, and has proven its ability to stand up to our rapid freeze/thaw cycles and long summer days.

  • Weight - relative to fiber cement, Canexel siding is lighter and thus easier to install. If you are planning to install yourself, this could be a consideration.

Of course, there are some cons to the Canexel product as well:

  • Cost - The material cost of Canexel is much greater than that of vinyl, and higher than fiber cement products as well. Typically, despite the lighter weight, Canexel comes in higher priced than James Hardie when measuring a supply and install total.

  • Clips - Canexel recommends joint mouldings between the intersection of two planks, to cover the expansion and contraction of each piece at the butt joint. While not always noticeable from a distance, this is a deterrent to some.

  • Furring Strips - On renovations specifically, Canexel requires that its siding be installed over furring strips. While this is a good building practice and might be a consideration anyways, if it isn't required it can be a significant added cost.

  • Combustibility - Unlike fiber cement products, wood composites are combustible materials.

 

Wood look accent products

Since 2016, the Edmonton siding market has seen tremendous growth in the use of wood look accent products. These products offer a very compelling feature - the look of stained wood without the cost and maintenance. If you love the look of cedar shakes or highlights on a house but don't want to spend time re-staining every summer, you've come to the right place!

As this trend has grown, the number of wood look siding alternatives in Edmonton has grown significantly. Below is a breakdown of the most popular siding products in Edmonton, their features and benefits, and the cost of siding with a stained-look accent product.

 

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Longboard

Made from aluminum and featuring a beautiful, powder-coated wood look finish, Longboard is the Edmonton standard for siding options that look like wood. The product came in to the Edmonton siding market in the past 6 years, and its popularity has exploded since. 

The 24' lengths of Longboard siding can be installed horizontally or vertically, and the product comes in a woodgrain finish as well as solid colour to provide a lot of design flexibility. 

A siding product that has been tested in the Edmonton market, has a beautiful finish and a great reputation - what isn't there to like about Longboard siding? Well, the answer is pretty simple - the price.

Expensive both to install and to purchase, Longboard is one of the most expensive siding options used in residential siding in Edmonton. Depending on the details of the design, Longboard can go on the wall from anywhere from $30/sqft up to $40/sqft!

 

LUX Panel

Given the popularity of Longboard, and its high cost, its no surprise that Edmonton started finding and using Longboard alternatives when budgets were constrained. Lux Panel is a locally made, steel siding option that provides a similar wood look siding at a lower price point.

Lux Panel has a very similar look to Longboard, but is typically able to save about 33% of the overall cost of Longboard siding. One great feature of the Lux Panel product is the custom sizing - Lux Panel is cut to the length required for your project. For example, if you were installing vertically and lived in a bungalow with 9' tall walls, Lux Panel would have the lengths cut to 9' prior to shipping.

Lux Panel comes standard in a 4" wide and 6" wide reveal. Given its similar aesthetic and significant cost savings, this product has been a growing Longboard alternative in Edmonton.

 

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Sagiper

Sagiwall is another product that has popped up in Edmonton since the rise in popularity of Longboard siding. And of course, the value proposition is similar - get the look of wood siding without the cost and maintenance!

That said, how Sagiper achieves this statement is quite different than Longboard or Lux. Sagiper is not made of metal, but instead corrugated, heavy gauge PVC. The change in substrate does give Sagiper its own unique look, but one that is still similar to Longboard or Lux in its overall aesthetic. 

Sagiper comes in two different product lines - Sagiwall, its exterior siding product, and Sagirev, its soffit and interior siding product. Both products are now commonly used for siding Edmonton homes.

In terms of cost, Sagiper is very similar to Lux Panel. While a significant savings over Longboard, this is still an expensive accent product relative to regular vinyl and fiber cement siding options.


 

 

Selecting A siding contractor

 

Selecting which contractors you would like to bid on your project can be difficult. There are over 40 siding installers listed on Google for the Edmonton area alone. Houzz.com lists over 50. You'll want to determine what criteria are most important to you, and then start choosing contractors from there. 

There are a few items that you want to make sure each contractor you consider has:

  • WCB - You'll want to ensure that the contractors you consider have a WCB account in good standing. The contractor can and should share their account number with you so that you can verify that the individuals working on your site are covered.

  • Business Insurance - I strongly recommend getting a copy of the contractor's commercial insurance. At a bare minimum, you'll want to ensure that they are covered for an amount greater than the value of your house.

  • Licensing - If a siding contractor is going to solicit business or provide you with a quote at your home for your siding renovation, they need to have a Prepaid Contracting License from the Government of Alberta. Do not give any siding contractor a deposit for their work without first verifying their license status. It is illegal for siding contractors to accept deposits or progress bills on home renovations without this license.

Unlike mechanics or electricians, siding is not a ticketed trade in Alberta. As such, the contractors that you select are not tied to specific education standards. However, there are a number of things I would recommend considering to help you find the right fit:

  • Experience with the product - Different contractors focus the core of their business on different products. There are siding installers in Edmonton that have been doing vinyl siding for 20+ years and do a wonderful job of it. However, when asked to install Hardie board, they lack the knowledge, skill, and proper tooling to do it correctly. The opposite can be true as well.
    Ask all contractors you are considering for recent examples of work with the products you are looking at. They should be able to provide photos and addresses of recently completed work.

  • Communication - Watch the response times, forms of communication, and quality of communication when you are in the quoting stage. The cost of siding a house in Edmonton can be significant, and you'll want to ensure that when you have questions, they get answered quickly and professionally.
    If the contractor isn't able to make your initial meeting on time, is slow to respond via phone, text, or email, or doesn't effectively explain the design to you, you can expect this to carry through the whole job.

  • Reviews - One wonderful thing about the internet is easy access to customer reviews. When evaluating contractors via internet reviews, I would recommend reading the full review versus just looking at the rating. Most sites don't verify the legitimacy of the review, and this will allow you to weed out fake reviews and get a good understanding of what other homeowners appreciated and didn't appreciate about the siding contractor.
    The siding industry doesn't have its own review site, but here are a few common ones to check your contractor on:

    • Google Reviews

    • Facebook

    • Houzz

    • Homestars

    • Guild Quality

  • Process - Providing a quote, signing a contract, and showing up on site to start work in X weeks doesn't cut it. Your contractor should be able to articulate a clear process for payment terms, site reviews, final inspection, and communication. The best siding contractors follow a strict process that ensures a consistent, positive customer experience.

  • Pricing - As is the case with most things in life, the best price doesn't always mean the best deal. Re-siding can be expensive, and price should be a factor in your decision. Just make sure you weigh the other factors when taking price into consideration. Beware the low bid, and make sure you are comparing apples to apples in terms of product and design.

You might notice on Google that there is a Siding Contractor's Association in Alberta. While the association does have value, an SCAA membership does not guarantee an excellent install or a positive experience. Membership is not based on the skill or quality of the siding contractor.



 

The cost of siding a house in edmonton

 

Here it is! What you should expect to pay for a siding replacement project in Edmonton. Just like asking what the price of a car is, the cost of siding in Edmonton is dependent on a number of factors. If you want a big SUV with all of the upgrades, it is going to cost a lot more than a compact car with no AC and a manual transmission.

To get a basic idea, you'll first want to understand the square footage of your walls. Siding is generally priced out in a dollar per square foot of wall basis ($/sq. ft). It isn't quite as simple as taking the floor square footage of your house and using that as a measurement.

I'll provide a few basic guidelines, and if you want to measure your walls yourself to get a better estimate that will help. All siding contractors in Edmonton will offer free estimates, so if you prefer that you can reach out risk free! 

For a standard bungalow, a typical wall square footage in Edmonton would be 1200. For a standard two-storey, 2500 sq. ft should be a good estimate. If your bunglow has a loft, add in another 500 sq.ft. And if your two-storey is an estate home, you could expect the square footage to be closer to 3000-3500 sq. ft.

The next consideration will be what type of siding you have to remove before you can put on new siding. For vinyl siding, I would buget $1/sq. ft for removal costs. For stucco, I would budget $3.50/sq. ft. And for old wood siding, I would budget $1.40/sq. ft.

Then of course are your installation costs. Please keep in mind that these approximate costs reflect the product and install, as well as the detail work such as weather barrier, fasteners, appropriate flashings to keep moisture out, etc. 

For vinyl siding:

  • Light colours of vinyl siding - $4.50-6/sq. ft

  • Dark or premium colours of vinyl siding - $6-7.50/sq. ft

For Hardie board:

  • $8.75-12/sq. ft

For wood accents:

  • $14-40/sq. ft

For stone accents:

  • $20-40/sq. ft

There are of course other factors that can increase the price. Here are a few to consider:

  • Type of products - horizontal planks versus shingles or panels. Vinyl siding or Fiber cement. Accent products?

  • Scope of work - are soffits, fascia, and eavestrough going to be re-done as well?

  • Equipment required - is scaffolding sufficient, or will a man-lift be required?

  • Details of the project - does the house have long flat walls with few details, or is there lots of windows and accents breaking up sections?

  • Trims - are the doors and windows on the whole house going to be trimmed, or just the front?

  • Bins and Disposal - depending on what material is going to be removed, bins and disposal fees can add up on your project as well.

  • Project size - smaller projects are more per square foot because there is less square footage to amortize fixed costs over - like bins, delivery, set up, etc.

For a comprehensive breakdown of what factors can influence the cost of your siding renovation, check out my series of articles on the subject:

In Edmonton, it is typical for the siding contractor to supply and install the products. If you have already purchased the material, or prefer to purchase it yourself, we simply suggest letting the siding contractor know ahead of time. Some contractors may refuse to do the work as labour only, but some will be willing. 


 

We hope you found this information helpful. At Blue Jay Exterior Renovations, we want to be your educational resource for the re-siding process. If we get to work together, that's a bonus! But as you do your research, please contact us with any questions you have and we'll be glad to help. If you do have any questions, you can reach us at our contact page by clicking the button below:

Or if you're ready to have an initial meeting and get an estimate, reach out to us for a quote: