question about siding
mcbartz
January 31, 2014 in Design Dilemma
we have a farmhouse built in 1919 and the siding is original....it has been painted many many times and the current color is red. the last owners let things go a bit and the paint was in bad condition. we painted everything 2 summers ago and is already starting to peel in some places. Some of the boards are in really rough shape wile others only show wear from up close. Hubby and I were thinkng to just get vinyl so we wouldn't have the bother of painting ever again. however colors are limited and from the sounds of things vinyl has it's issues also. Another reason we wanted to side is so we could get a layer of foam board beneath to help seal things up. Im wondering now if it would be smart to take the old siding off, put insulation layer and tyvek down, flip the siding (so its a fresh new side) and paint? would that give a better R Value. im attaching a pic of my house (red), and one that I would like to mimic (olive house)
 
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MarleneM
If the siding is original, I doubt it would come off without splitting as I think it would be very dry and brittle. Tyvek and foam board would be a very good idea.
My husband was in the exterior reno business for many years and installed lots of vinyl siding. vinyl is one of those products that a lot don't like anymore, but I think issues come down to installation. There is a lot of bad installation out there and if you don't do it right, there are problems. I just think its great not to have to paint.
There is cement siding too, and I don't know much about that. I did see a show on TV where it was installed on a new house and 5 yrs later there were major moisture problems because of improper installation.
I don't know if I have helped you or not, but let me know if you have any questions regarding insulation or siding and I could try to find out for you.
January 31, 2014 at 10:05PM        Thanked by mcbartz
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halbraswell
Part of your problem is that red paint is very prone to fade. Fiber cement is a great product that takes paint well but it is very heavy and older homes may not be structurally designed to support that weight.

Our house is SW Red Bay but when we had to cut down a big tree in the back yard the increased sun exposure caused fading. Our plan is instead of red with cream trim, to install cream vinyl siding with red shutters. The front of our house faces north so we may install vertical fiber cement siding near the front entrance to improve curb appeal and paint it a matching red .
February 1, 2014 at 12:59AM     
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rinqreation
This might be a good time to insulate the house.

Costs saved on heating will eventually pay back the new siding.

Make a list of all pros and cons (and costs plus maintenance) of different types of siding and see what comes out as your winner.
February 1, 2014 at 1:56AM        Thanked by mcbartz
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rinqreation
Here in the Netherlands freestanding houses can be insulated with EPS or XPS (both polystyrene), which is lightweight and plaster is applied directly on the material (with reinforcing netting). So the insulation becomes the new siding.
I have no idea if this technique is used elsewhere, but I guess so.
February 1, 2014 at 2:02AM   
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mcbartz
we have wood heat so our cost in bills would not really go up so much, our labor of cutting/stacking/hauling wood would lol. (wood would 10x fast? lol)....MarleneM: have you heard of people having major mold issues with vinyl? One person told me that if you don't put a water proof sheet over the tyvek that water gets in and there are mold issues that can't/wont be detected until its too late.
February 1, 2014 at 7:20AM   
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mcbartz
halbraswell: we were looking to change the red...I don't mind it but it almost seems that it isn't ours because we bought the house with this horribly awful peeling (red) paint, and all I have wanted to do since we have bought it is make it better. We painted red a year an a half ago to try to save money, so we would only have to do one coat and some areas didn't need any paint. Another worry about painting the green over the red is that a chip or peel might REALLY show bad! what do you think?
February 1, 2014 at 7:24AM   
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rinqreation
A house needs to be able to breathe at all times, especially older ones. And moist comes from within (sweat, cooking, shower, etc) and out (rain, damp), so please do a lot of homework on ventilation and insulation before you start.
February 1, 2014 at 7:26AM     
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rinqreation
If the layers of paint are in bad shape, remove as much as possible and start over with a proper cleaning, sanding, primer, etc.

Good paintwork does not chip or peel that easy.
And covering bad layers will never give a good result.
February 1, 2014 at 7:28AM     
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lefty47
HI -- I bet the old siding is not worth saving . Taking it all off and insulating sounds like that's what is needed , that's probably why the current paint has failed and has for the other owners too. That would explain most of the paint layers. Maybe if that is all done then you could have a good quality siding .
February 1, 2014 at 7:55AM        Thanked by mcbartz
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mcbartz
thanks for the input. I have heard both from contractors that the wood is better than vinyl and to keep it, and that vinyl will get rid of a lot of ....the house has been many colors...started white, then green, cream, blue, and now 2 layers of red. The otherthing that I feel might up the cost is if they sand it all down smooth, they will be getting into layers of lead paint and dusting it all over the yard.
February 1, 2014 at 8:04AM     
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mcbartz
anyone out there tried to paint over original siding and wish they hadn't?
February 1, 2014 at 8:05AM     
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PRO
Rockin' Fine Finish
If you really want to keep the siding then I would hire a qualified paint company to strip the house to bare wood and start over from scratch if that's something you don't want then go with other options for siding . Not all options are perfect it will come down to cost and what you want your house to look like.
February 1, 2014 at 8:31AM     
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halbraswell
The thing with old wood siding (our house was built in the 50s) is that removing all the old paint is very labor intensive. Power washing helps but there is a lot that must be scraped or sanded.

Real wood siding in older homes is often a structural element. If your woof siding is removed you may need to put up OSB or plywood before installing new composite siding. Our house, like many built in that era, was not built with insulation in the exterior walls. Over time we have renovated many of the rooms, taking them down to the studs and putting in insulation. Plan to do the same when we gut the kitchen this summer. That will leave us with just the north wall lacking insulation, and most of that we will handle by removing wood siding and replacing with vertical fiber cement.

To me , you have three issues: material, insulation and color. Regardless of color, installing vinyl siding is the cheapest and less maintenance way to go. Usually very thin styrofoam insulation is placed between the wood and the vinyl siding but that is more for looks than increased R value. Thicker insulation can be used but then you have to deal with wider window and door casings.

I am reaching an age where I don't won't to deal with any serious repainting. If your house will support fiber cement, I would remove wood siding, install insulation, apply sheathing and a vapor barrier, and then install either vinyl, fiber cement or composite lap siding.

Barring insulation from the interior such as we have done, that seems to be the only way to address both insulation and having a fresh surface to paint . Most older homes have horizontal 2 x 4s between the studs which makes blowing in insulation difficult.

And most real wood siding has only one finished side so reversing it likely would not work.

I think the real issue is whether you want to invest the time and money to prep properly and repainting your existing home, or tackle both insulation and a new surface by gutting from the outside, putting in insulation, sheathing and then topping off with vinyl, composite or fiber cement siding.
February 1, 2014 at 8:37AM        Thanked by mcbartz
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pgteach
You should have an energy audit. The cost to the homeowner is minimal since it is government funded. Just google energy audit and your local extension should appear.i had one in nov. and wish I had done it years ago. Good luck!
February 1, 2014 at 9:57AM        Thanked by mcbartz
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mcbartz
I guess it is coming down to cost for me. The only other issue is that we may add on in the future and make changes to the house shape (add on to the south side and turn sunroom back to porch), would paint be a temporary fix for now? or are we going to be dishing out more in the long run? maybe just keep red for now and side later...I just don't think there is going to be extra $ later is the other thing :/
February 1, 2014 at 10:17AM   
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donnahale
Maybe you are giving yourself too many projects at once, therefore not allowing yourself to concentrate on quality that is causing you to second guess yourself.
February 1, 2014 at 10:39AM     
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mcbartz
yes I agree. I grew up in a fixer upper house, so I knew how much money my parents saved and how they were able to customize and make things work for them. I dabbled in design after high school and got a degree in interior decorating, but that is a mild qualification. We have the opportunity to refinance and take out about $20k. I know that does not sound like a lot but its what I got. And if it doesn't get done now, our kids will grow up with it that way. Things that have to be changed:

#1 is the kitchen, we are expanding and reusing appliances and refacing cupboards. Part of this is taking out the existing chimney total cost for all this with new floors $8000-9,000
#2our living room is too tiny. we can seat 4 people. Would like to expand the living space to openly flow out to the sun. room and make cost to open up this space $3,000-4,000.
#3 house needs AC...appliances sweat in the summer so that is $2500
#4 however vinyl siding and making the house look good on the outside is about $10,000. That is a larger chunk of cash and would be much harder to save that amount on the side vs. the $3,000 to expand living room or $2500 to put in AC

Sorry to dump all my problems here, but im going a little crazy with all these things going on lol!
February 1, 2014 at 11:07AM   
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donnahale
Mc I totally get where you are at. I hate writing comments sometimes because they sound much harsher than intended. I bought my house thirty two years ago. it was a house that needed a lot of work. I found that I only had so much money out of my budget. So for many years it was the very unrewarding. We took down every wall in my house and replaced every door and window. Needless to say it took years. Decorating? As much as I could but I felt the bones of the house needed to be done, trying not to make mistakes of redo's. I am still doing and I'm sixty one years old and my kids are married! I am currently doing a sunroom also that was my deck. This is a journey, a marathon of sorts. Take your time, use good materials and you will see the reward.
February 1, 2014 at 12:10PM        Thanked by mcbartz
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MarleneM
MC, I think you are doing the right thing by getting as much into as possible while trying to make a decision. I have read some of your other posts too. When I am overwhelmed with a decision, I find it helps to write things down, prioritize them, and weigh the pros and cons. Get as many estimates as possible, and agree with advise not to cut corners, get quality materials. Make yourself a plan of what can be done now and then future updates.
IMO, I would put the $ in making the inside function for your family. And then I would paint the siding in the beige, olive tones you love.
February 1, 2014 at 12:30PM        Thanked by mcbartz
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acroteria
mcbartz,
I'm uncomfortable with some of the advice you've been given seemingly from people with biased opinions and/or little or no practical experience.

The nice thing about a wood sided house is that it'll indicate problems if one knows how to read the signs. Vinyl and EPS sided homes are not so forthcoming.

If you painted over the "many, many" layers of paint you should expect failure within 1-3yrs. (especially on the darkest and sunniest sides of the house).

Wood expands and contracts with humidity and temperature and the darkest is wettest and the sunniest is the hottest. [Historical Note: Traditionally, when houses were sided with clapboard the installers were mindful about letting air circulate behind the siding. The most common way to achieve this was to let each course of clapboard/shingle overlap the one below loosely. Sometimes protruding nailheads kept the coarses from being paint closed.] When we paint a clapboard house everyone has several playing cards to score the paint between courses to prevent them from becoming totally "painted shut."

Many layers of paint serve as a flexible covering which inhibits the house's ability to 'breathe'. *How* the paint starts to come off will often indicate *why* it's coming off. For example, coming loose like a blister/bubble indicates moisture underneath. The moisture gets heated from the sun, expands, blister! Painting the house in the warmest time of year, in low humidity, and not right after or before a rainy day is the best idea. Water-based latex doesn't respond so well to previously painted oil-based paint.

Also, one should not powerwash a wood sided house because a) powerwashers exert damaging pressure and b) (for wood or vinyl) can force water up behind the face of the clapboard. Using a regular low pressure garden hose at as much of a downward angle as possible is better.

Unless one's brain is still developing (ie. a toddler) or a pregnant/nursing woman then one doesn't need to be excessively concerned about occassional, incidental exposure to lead or asbestos. It's a hazzard that should be avoided but the hype is litigiously overblown. A homeowner shouldn't be overly concerned about removing existing paint from their own home. Wear a mask, drop a tarp, scrap, heat, gel away.
February 1, 2014 at 2:30PM        Thanked by mcbartz
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acroteria
One other thing, treated felt paper (often called tar paper....it's not tar) is much, much better than Tyvek. Tyvek (like any thin plastic) deforms and begins to break down in direct sunlight. Also, it's not thick enough or with the proper elasticity to be called self-sealing. All those nails that hold on the siding (vinyl or wood) largely negate its intended usefulness. I have yet to see a Tyvek installation that was properly done and quickly sided over.
February 1, 2014 at 2:42PM        Thanked by mcbartz
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MarleneM
@mcbartz, sorry I just noticed your question regarding mould on vinyl. I have never heard of plastic sheeting over the Tyvek. It all comes down to installation. The right trims, channels have to be used and installed correctly. My hubby has seen/repaired some where there wasn't even trim on top of windows so of course water can get in behind, and was installed by contractor not DIY. We have had vinyl on our house for 25 yrs, and no problems. We have tar paper over plywood sheathing, and then a polystyrene foam board that is foil wrapped. Walls were strapped with strips before the foamboard was installed to allow air space. It will sweat if placed directly on plywood. We live where there are extreme temperature changes/weather and it has never cracked etc as some have claimed it will.
My hubby has used both tar paper and Tyvek , and says he can't say which is better. It is a matter of opinion I suppose, but here in Canada a lot of renos require Tyvek to get the energy efficiency grant. And we have never left a house with just Tyvek or tar paper on it!
I am not saying any type is better than another, and personally believe original features should be saved if possible. This isn't always possible though, and everyone has to do what makes sense for them.
February 1, 2014 at 8:18PM      Thanked by mcbartz
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mcbartz
acroteria- yes have a 3 yr old, 1 yr old and im not sure that Im done having kids...im thinking one more lol??? so Lead is sort of an issue right now. I tested areas of teh house and found the old window sills have lead in them, and everything has been painted over except for the last and worst window which will be removed.
February 1, 2014 at 8:54PM   
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mveasey
Not sure how thick your wood siding is, but is there a way to run it through a planer?
Personally I really like your red, it gives the house real presence, a little worried that the olive might look a little more subdued, but again I am biased since my brother in law on the east coast ended up siding their place in red vinyl. It looks fantastic, is care free and reasonable - the hand dipped wooden shingles were just astronomical in price.
We have vinyl on our house and have not had any issues in the last 30 years.
As one poster mentioned, I would focus on the inside, that is where you spend your time...things will come together, in time.
Focus on the happiness and function of your family, the exterior is theoretically a "minor detail" of life.
February 1, 2014 at 9:25PM        Thanked by mcbartz
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