Kirstin is a passionate writer who loves helping people learn new things when it comes to home improvement. When she’s not behind a keyboard, she enjoys DIY projects, crafts, spending time with her pets, and making videos. She hopes that with all she writes, someone is finding a solution to their home improvement needs.
How To Remove Aluminum Siding (Step-by-Step Guide)
Whether you bought a home with aluminum siding or you installed it yourself, eventually, you may want to remove it. Most of the time, this type of siding is added right over the old wood, making it incredibly simple to take off. If you’re making exterior improvements on your home, you’re in the right place.
To remove aluminum siding from your house, you could pry back a corner and simply peel it off. The trick with taking it off correctly is to avoid harming whatever’s underneath it, which is why I’m writing this guide.
There are convenient step-by-step instructions below that will help you get this task done with ease. Aluminum siding is one of the easiest types to remove, and you can do it without prior skill or knowledge. I’ve included a cost chart and siding alternatives if you’re redoing the outside of your home.
Table of Contents
- How to Remove Aluminum Siding
- Aluminum Siding Alternatives
- Cost of Aluminum Siding
- Related Questions
How to Remove Aluminum Siding
Like you read above, one of the main goals when taking off aluminum siding is to avoid damaging what you have underneath. I hope these directions make it easy, and you’ll have the siding off before you know it.
Step One: Finding the Perfect Spot
While you may want to take a pry bar and start ripping pieces off, let’s try a different method. Find a corner of the siding and attempt to peel it back. Knowing what’s under it will help you follow the rest of the steps.
If you bought the house with aluminum siding already installed, you have no idea if it’s shingles under there or something like a clapboard. Once you know, you can move onto step number two.
Step Two: Peel Away
Something to be extremely aware of is the fact that aluminum siding is very sharp and can easily cut you. Whenever you’re working with it, be sure to wear thick work gloves. If you’ve ever installed vinyl siding, aluminum is attached the same way.
You’ll find nails across each top piece and on the bottom of the lap hooks. Since there are a few different ways to remove it, the next section will break it down even more for you.
Removal For Repair
Take a small hook or the curved end of a metal hanger and use it to penetrate the end of a piece of siding. This gives you something to use to help pull it off. It’s important to pull down and away. If you’re wanting to keep the aluminum without damaging it, this is the way to go.
Doing it this way makes it unzip smoothly from one end to the other. After it’s off, you’ll have access to the nails holding the piece of siding below it. Take a pry bar and remove the nails to be able to take the next section of siding off.
Removal For Restoration
It’s completely understandable to want to start from scratch; if this is you, you can grab a pry bar and start tearing slices off. It should rip off fairly easily but beware of the nails in the siding.
Step Three: Dealing With Trim
For step three, you’ll want to look for small channels on the outside and inside corners. These channels allow the siding slides into. You can pry this off by removing the nails that hold it in place.
Depending on how it was installed, the fascia and trim may have aluminum on them as well. This shouldn’t pose too much of a hassle, but you won’t be able to remove it without damaging the material.
The small nails used to keep the siding in place can be tedious to take out. This is why you want to start at a corner and work your way to the other side. It makes it much easier, and often the nails will come out without much muscle on your part.
Step Four: Removing Aluminum Soffits
One of the last things you’ll need to do is remove the soffits. Vented soffits are common in older houses and are simple to take off. Each individual panel will be attached using a handful of small nails.
You can usually find these on the sides of the J-channel. Take out one nail and use the claws of a hammer to remove the rest of the soffit. Repeat for each soffit, and you’ll be set for the final step!
Step Five: Getting Rid of Insulation
Something that is often found under the aluminum siding is ½-inch styrofoam or a form of insulation. Because it’s so fragile, it can be removed by tearing it away. There will be more nails to deal with for this step as well.
Patch the nail holes and wait for them to dry before you begin applying new siding.
Aluminum Siding Alternatives
There are several different styles of siding to choose from. Below are a few of my favorite and the most popular options. If you’re taking off the aluminum siding on your home to put on new stuff, consider using one of these.
If you’re on a tight budget, fiber cement is a great alternative. There are several benefits to using this sturdy material. It’s known not to burn, looks better than aluminum, and has a long lifespan.
Fiber cement can withstand harsh weather conditions and is even termite-resistant. It’s known for being able to be installed on any home.
Another alternative to aluminum siding is stucco. This is most often seen in states like New Mexico, Arizona, and southern California. It has a unique look and adds a lot of character to the exterior of your home.
It’s perfect if you live in a warmer climate, and it comes in a variety of stunning colors. Stucco is excellent because it doesn’t crack and is made of natural materials. The downside of this option is it requires regular maintenance to keep it looking its best.
Natural or Faux Stone
The third alternative I wanted to offer is a natural or faux stone. This adds a lot of beauty to the exterior of a home. It’s incredibly weather-resistant and is great for those living in areas that are prone to severe weather.
It does come at a higher price than aluminum siding but has plenty of benefits. One of the higher price points comes with the installation process. If you’re on a budget and like the look of stone, faux is much more cost-efficient.
If you’re over the look of traditional siding, you may want to give a more natural look to your home. If this sounds like you, consider installing wood siding. It gives a rich and classic appearance that gives a cozy vibe to the exterior of a house.
My favorite thing about wood siding is that it’s known to last for several decades if maintained properly. It does require a sealant to keep away mold, milder, and termites. Another awesome thing about using wood is that you can stain it just about any color you like.
Cost of Aluminum Siding
You can expect to pay between $2 and $5 per square foot for aluminum siding. While it depends on the size of your home, there are cheaper options out there. Fiber cement will cost you just $1 to $5 per square foot, while brick will be $6 to $30 per square foot.
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Can you pressure wash aluminum siding?
You can pressure wash aluminum siding as long as it’s not chalking. The only type of siding you should avoid pressure washing is hardboard siding. Overall, it’s a great way to get off hard-to-reach and tough stains on your home.
How long will aluminum siding last?
Aluminum siding is incredibly strong and durable. It can easily last over 40 years if maintained properly. The better you take care of the siding on your house, the longer it can last. Depending on where you live, you may need to paint it every five to ten years or add a sealant to keep out pests.
How do you make aluminum siding look good?
A great way to make aluminum siding look it’s best is to paint it. Using an oil-based primer will give a flawless finish. Be sure to use the highest grade of 100% acrylic exterior latex paint to have a long-lasting finish.
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