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Whole House Siding Replacement

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ajm
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Joined: Mar 24 2003

After 45 years of sun and countless coats of paint, I think it's time to replace all the siding on our Sunnyvale courtyard home, and I'll be looking for a contractor to do that this spring or summer. The siding with southern exposure is badly delaminating, and the rest just looks old and tired from too many bad paint jobs. I'm looking for some tips from people who have been through this on:

1) What other things to do while the siding is off. (Ground electrical outlets and add insulation are the ones that come to mind, but are there others?

2) Painting protocol. Prime the siding on all sides before putting it on? Paint before or after? Spray or Brush? Did your contractor do all the painting and priming or did you?

3) Contractor Recommendations (email me privately, of course)

4) Any other items that came up during the course of a whole-house siding replacement that would have been nice to know before starting.

Thanks,
Andrew

Tod
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Joined: Mar 21 2003

The side garage door on our house has the same siding on it as the rest of the wall: Our contractor used a piece from a different sheet than what he put on the wall and the grooves don't line up exactly. There is enough variation in the milling on the siding we got that I suggest you should assure that there are no seams for the piece that covers the door opening and you should have the door piece come from the cut out on that the same sheet.

If you want network, speaker, AV, alarm system, etc. wiring this is a good time to put it in as you can get to most rooms. At least the ones without continuous floor to ceiling windows.

Expect to find some structural/rot issues and have some contingency money for the contractor to fix those as they are uncovered.

Painting/priming/staining procedure will vary. If you are getting the MDF faced stuff you need to have the edges primed prior to installation. If you new siding is like the original then you can paint or stain after everything is up. Whether you do the priming/painting/staining or your contractor does is up to your negotiations with them.

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Joined: Jul 5 2006

We are also looking to do this in the near future...before next Winter. We have a large section with either no siding (currently covered in old painted over mahogony panels :oops: ), another section that is pretty thin and rotted and another section completely scratched up by raccoons. Obviously, our house was in quite poor condition when we purchased it last year since missing siding wasn't even on our immediate list of to-dos.

My questions: What are the differences in the quality of siding that can be made/purchased? Whatever siding we purchase, I would want to get the best quality possible for longevity. What are the cost differences? Is one type more preferable for staining? We matched up the original house color and stained the new Eichler fencing we had installed. We had to replace the original fence which collapsed at some point years back. We would want to stain the exterior house siding as well. Any feedback would be helpful.

Thanks!

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Joined: Mar 25 2003

"1) What other things to do while the siding is off. (Ground electrical outlets and add insulation are the ones that come to mind, but are there others?"

When we found out 90% of our panels needed to be replaced with thought the silver lining was the chance to insulate. Turned out the house was insulated. We added new stuff, but the real advantage was the chance to ground the electricity. I wish we had treated the sill for termites and added bigger bolts to the the screws that hold the structure to the foundation. I also wish we had upgraded the house wrap.

"2) Painting protocol. Prime the siding on all sides before putting it on? Paint before or after? Spray or Brush? Did your contractor do all the painting and priming or did you?"

We decided to stain and are pleased with how crisp all the grooves look. If you're unhappy with having years of paint jobs making everything look crappy, realized that you're going to have to paint every 5 to 7 years and quickly end up where you are now. Stain might be the way to go. If so, prime the backs and the edges, especially the bottom. You'll have to use wood siding instead of the MDF stuff available. Use a high rated solid stain. The transparent stains don't hold up.

"3) Contractor Recommendations (email me privately, of course)"

Expect to pay upwards of $300 a panel, unprimed.

"4) Any other items that came up during the course of a whole-house siding replacement that would have been nice to know before starting."

We ran into lots of termite and dryrot damage. (Of course, this was the reason we started to replace the siding in the first place.)

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Joined: Jan 16 2004

We have replaced most of the house over the years and have found that when painting, we use a brush for the grooves and roll the top. 2 Coats
My wife and I do this together and can get a nice rythym going.
We prime all edges and both sides and I do also brush on the Termite
Copper stuff on the bottom.

As Tom siad, it is a great time to not only ground but add and Sconces, lighting, or speaker wire.

Always use the Wrap or Tar Paper.

Good Luck,
Gerald

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Joined: Feb 8 2005

tborsellino wrote:
"1) What other things to do while the siding is off. (Ground electrical outlets and add insulation are the ones that come to mind, but are there others?"

When we found out 90% of our panels needed to be replaced with thought the silver lining was the chance to insulate. Turned out the house was insulated. We added new stuff, but the real advantage was the chance to ground the electricity. I wish we had treated the sill for termites and added bigger bolts to the the screws that hold the structure to the foundation. I also wish we had upgraded the house wrap.

"2) Painting protocol. Prime the siding on all sides before putting it on? Paint before or after? Spray or Brush? Did your contractor do all the painting and priming or did you?"

We decided to stain and are pleased with how crisp all the grooves look. If you're unhappy with having years of paint jobs making everything look crappy, realized that you're going to have to paint every 5 to 7 years and quickly end up where you are now. Stain might be the way to go. If so, prime the backs and the edges, especially the bottom. You'll have to use wood siding instead of the MDF stuff available. Use a high rated solid stain. The transparent stains don't hold up.

"3) Contractor Recommendations (email me privately, of course)"

Expect to pay upwards of $300 a panel, unprimed.

"4) Any other items that came up during the course of a whole-house siding replacement that would have been nice to know before starting."

We ran into lots of termite and dryrot damage. (Of course, this was the reason we started to replace the siding in the first place.)

I'm curious, why did it cost you around $300 per panel?
I've priced it out at around $90 per panel.
Thanks

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Joined: Jan 16 2004

Tom had Wood Siding made not MDF and also had it installed.
That is where the $300 per 4ft panel estimate comes from.
It is right on track with a quote we got to go with wood and stain it...

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Joined: Mar 25 2003

Correct, the price quoted was for installation.

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Joined: Mar 16 2005

The installed pricing looks daunting, but I too, am faced with either covering the exposed side with a new coat of paint (and leave spigot water damage in 4 corners in place) or replacing siding.

In a previous replacement project, we used siding from Jeff Nichols (the swirled w/ channels, a 1970's thing), but his siding is thicker and the channels are deeper than the original. We had one half of the front done, and the difference between the new and old siding is obvious to me, but fortunately, my wife who insisted on Eichler (I didn't) don't notice or don't care.

Well, the contractor who did my siding don't want to do the exposed side where the garage is and where all utility services come into the garage. He may relent if I allow him to replacing the siding in patches so as not the disturb the incoming utility services, but so far, he seems more interested in re-modeling kitchens & baths than siding work.
Also, my garage is the other half of the front, and has a 2-car single door built from siding -- it would be difficult (expensive) but not impossibe to building another garage door with siding.

I just didn't think replacing siding should be this difficult and cost daunting and wish my wife preferred ranch or colonial style instead of mid-century contemporary.

cpw
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Joined: May 19 2003

I'm thinking of doing the south facing wall on my San Jose house and am fearful of what I'll find when I open up the wall, but that's the fun of home ownership.
My real concern is that I had a Dura-Last (or is it Duro-Last?) roof installed and the edging is pretty wide and I'm hoping I can get the panels off and new ones up even with that wide edging. Anyone experienced this?

Chuck

Chuck (West San Jose)

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Joined: Mar 16 2005

I'm providing pricing experience on my siding project - -

pricing is $450 per 4 x 9 sheet; Eichler 1/2" wood; priming but no finish painting; removing & reinstalling, where possible, utility lines/pipes; and adding wrapping to the insulation.

I could not get the $300 per sheet pricing others have suggested.

cpw
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Joined: May 19 2003

I'm planning on doing most of the work myself with a friend but thank you, that is the pricing I've been seeing. The roof leaked on this side of the house so I'm suspecting some damage once I open the wall. That I'll call in a professional for.

C

Chuck (West San Jose)

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Joined: Apr 19 2007

depending on the siding you buy, the new will likely be thicker (the breckenridge is 5/8)... the original siding is 1/2... before you tear off the siding in the areas overhung with flashing, you might want to have a chat with a roofer... for us, we put up new siding before the new roof went on and they flashed over it.

cpw
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Joined: May 19 2003

I have a concern with the flashing. It's quite large on my 5 year old Dura-Last roof. In terms of thickness, that's another issue....since there are currently two layers of siding on most of the house. The last people who sided it didn't take off the original layer. It just all goes to make the project interesting :shock:

C

Chuck (West San Jose)

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Joined: Jul 20 2008

I cannot believe that siding can cost $450!!

I am planning on redoing the exterior myself and this number is unreal. What is the cost of the siding if you are a DIYer?

JG

cpw
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Joined: May 19 2003

I believe that price is installed. I think the siding itself runs around $100/sheet.

Chuck

Chuck (West San Jose)

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Joined: Mar 16 2005

I believe each 4x9 sheet is about $90, 5/8" thick plywood, from a well-known supplier.

Our type is the Tex-Plank, 8-inch on-center channel with swirls used in the 1970's. We used about 30 sheets for 1/2 house replacement. Original sheets were, I think, 3/8"; avoided the thickness issue by leaving entire sidewalls with old and replacing entire sides with new, BUT the old siding's channels are barely below surface and the swirl marks mainly covered by 4-6 coats of paint.

I was tempted by Home Depot's 5/8" thick 8-inch on-center channel siding (no swirls) for about $40/sheet, but kept to "Eichler". My neighbor went to synthetic materials after being freaked-out by termites & vermins.

$450 per sheet, installed w/ back primer, is cheap; regular pricing is $550 by website advertisers. However, Willow Glen Eichler owners seem to get better pricing from their contractors. For Tex-Plank, I believe there is finally a 1/2", but went with 5/8 because of some shear-wall effect; also added additional bolting to the foundation -- I believe 28-36" (can't recall what the contractor said). To pay for it all over 10 years, dropped our Earthquake insurance since our 15% deductible looks high.

Also, couldn't re-paint worn siding without replacing and without paint protection, siding became more vulnerable so something needed to be done.

Despite the expense, chance to add additional electrical circuits was a great plus; the whole job only lasted over 1 weekend so there wasn't time to wire (DIY) for a burglar alarm and didn't have time to drill inside so wiring could be done to the inside or walls perpendicular to the side walls.

Joined: May 10 2008

$450 for each sheet installed. I am sorry, but that is just obscene pricing. How many sheets are they doing an hour? At $90 a sheet for the material that is a really healthy mark up the contractors are getting for that work.

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Joined: Apr 19 2007

blinkbeforebeauty wrote:
$450 for each sheet installed. I am sorry, but that is just obscene pricing. How many sheets are they doing an hour? At $90 a sheet for the material that is a really healthy mark up the contractors are getting for that work.

from removal to prep to install to cleanup (including old nail removal, trimming to fit, back-priming, caulking all of the voids, insulating, nail-plating, etc), each sheet took us about an hour and a half (or more) per sheet with 2 people. it's not brain surgery, but it's not fun work either...

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Joined: Jul 20 2008

I am glad to hear that you can DIY this project. It is possible to lay out all of the sheets and apply back primer one day and then hang them the next. I am not afraid of putting some sweat equity into this project. It is, after all, a labor of love.

I can handle $80 to $90 per sheet for raw materials.

If I am spraying soy insulation into the open cavity after running new wiring, do I need a vapor barrier? The foam should seal everything up.

JG

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Joined: Apr 19 2007

live2ridetahoe wrote:
I am glad to hear that you can DIY this project. It is possible to lay out all of the sheets and apply back primer one day and then hang them the next. I am not afraid of putting some sweat equity into this project. It is, after all, a labor of love.

I can handle $80 to $90 per sheet for raw materials.

If I am spraying soy insulation into the open cavity after running new wiring, do I need a vapor barrier? The foam should seal everything up.

JG

timing/prep/method = depends if you get the breckenrige or the MDO.

breckenridge = most closely resembles the original (but a bit more rough) and is 1/8in thicker (note how this will effect transitions and trim).

MDO = technically more watertight/durable, but thinner at the original 1/2in spec...

MDO: you could simply back-prime, hang and go (and out-prime/paint later). since it's smooth, it often resembles the old siding with multiple coats of paint.

breckenridge: the way its milled leaves voids in the board which need to be filled with caulk. we found it to be ultimately easier to work horizontally for back-priming, face-priming and filling all at once.

my original post was longer but presently edited for brevity... feel free to contact offline with more specifics if you need them.

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Joined: Dec 28 2003

Here's another money-saving tip: It's not hard to put the lines in smooth siding yourself, especially if you have some teenage helpers. With our two kids (15 and 17) we could put the grooves (thinline) in a 4x9 sheet in about 30 minutes. That's with one person running the router, one person marking the next line for the guide and one person with a shop-vac cleaning up the sawdust.

Basically, you just get yourself a straight piece of guide-wood, and start it where you want your router to cut the first line. Have a small block equal to your line width so you can mark the next location for the guide-wood. Then run the router down the board, unclamp the guide, reposition, and move on to the next cut.

No matter how careful you are, mistakes are inevitable, but they can either be touched-up later or cut out altogether with judicious placement (e.g., a cutout for a window or door). And compound error means your last line on the board isn't usually in the same place, but with a large number of boards (8+) you should have no trouble choosing boards that match when put together.

So given that smooth Breckenridge is available from lumber yards for around $60 per sheet, or similar siding available for slightly less (with greater or less surface texture) you could save 30-50% per sheet by grooving it yourself on a Saturday. Just depends on if you're up to it.

Good luck!

Dan in Castro Valley

Dan Cogswell
Anshen+Allen E-111 in Castro Valley

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