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How to Look

at a House

A blog with answers
to your questions about

Welcome to our blog!
We want you to be an informed homebuyer, and each blog post is a question that we have answered for our friends and customers over the years. Hope they help you make a good choice for your next home.


  1. Bullet Dents easily, and is difficult to repair or replace when damaged. This is the #1 problem with the product.

  2. Bullet The paint finish is similar to the baked-on enamel of a car and it oxidizes in the same way over time. Will need repainting after about 10 years, and removing the oxidation before repainting is labor-intensive.

  3. Bullet Also like a car, scratches in the paint finish are very obvious.

  4. Bullet It has gone out-of-style, is considered less desirable by homebuyers, and may decrease the value of a home today.

   The life expectancy of aluminum siding is 25 to 40 years, and possibly longer with good maintenance. It can be difficult at a glance to tell aluminum siding from vinyl, but tapping on it will make a characteristic metallic sound. Distinguishing between aluminum and steel siding, in the absence of any visible rust, is best done with a magnet to identify steel.

    Because the aluminum siding of a re-sided older home covers the original wood siding, home inspectors like us cannot tell if any damage in the original siding and wall framing was repaired before the new siding was applied—but usually it wasn’t. The primary purpose of this stuff was to quickly cover over a deteriorated wall and make it look fresh again.

    To learn about more types of exterior siding materials, see several of our other blog posts:

  1. What is the average life expectancy of plywood siding?

  2. What do you look for when inspecting vinyl siding?

  3. What is engineered wood siding?

  4. What is the life expectancy of wood siding?

  5. What is the difference between “composite” and regular wood siding?

  6. The house looks like stucco, but the inspectors says that it’s EIFS. What’s the difference?

While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
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