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Replace Clapboard? New siding?

Handydan57's picture

We are now faced with the choice of once again painting our wooden clapboard house.  I have always resisted siding, but it is probably cheaper than replacing the existing boards with new (I like the cement boards I have seen) or sanding down what we have (too much lead paint and we have a toddler). 


So:  I am interested in hearing from others who have come to this junction in the road.  I have done siding jobs for clients and it may come to that but I want to consider all options.   Is there a not so horrible siding product out there that will not rob the house of its original charm?


Handy Dan of Boston

(post #105062, reply #1 of 24)

You have two choices: Remove and replace, or overlay. Remove and replace can be done with wood, fiber-cement, steel, vinyl, or even hardboard (if you're into self-abuse). Overlay can in theory be done with any of the above but practically is limited to vinyl or steel. (Aluminum should only be used for beer cans.) And of course you can always go for shakes/shingles or shingle-like planks, but that's a whole 'nother discussion.

Note that all of these options qualify as "siding" -- "siding" means any material used to create the outside walls of a house, with the possible exception (depending on your upbringing) of brick or stucco.

Also note that salesmen for vinyl/steel will frequently use the term "permanent siding" when referring to their products, trying to create the mistaken impression that it's maintenance-free. In fact, all types of siding tend to weather and will need painting at intervals, including steel or vinyl. However, good quality steel and vinyl should go 15-20 years before needing painting the first time, while fiber-cement needs painting every 10-12 years and wood (if well-painted to begin with) every 8-10. (All these numbers being thumb-sucks that are highly dependent on local weather conditions.)

One other thing that the salesmen will likely do is chat up the "insulation" they install as a part of the overlay siding process. This is generally "fan-fold" -- foil-faced foam board about 1/4" thick. This is NOT very effective insulation, adding at most an R1.5, and usually much less, due to poor coverage/sealing. Rather, the siding people use this stuff to create a flat surface over your existing siding so that the new siding won't "telegraph" the pattern of the old siding.

One thing that IS worthwhile, insulation-wise, is housewrap (though mostly only in colder climates). With an old house housewrap can substaintially (like by a factor of 2-10) reduce air infiltration into the house, greatly increasing insulation effectiveness.

When we resided 20-odd years ago we did remove-and-replace, replacing the junky hardboard with high-quality hardboard (which is unfortunately no longer available), and underlaying the siding with carefully-installed Tyvek. We've not been sorry.

OTOH, if I were going to use a "permanent" siding product I'd probably pick seamless steel.


If your view never changes you're following the wrong leader


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #105062, reply #2 of 24)

thanks Dan, that is really helpful.  I know that putting on vinyl siding will be faster and cheaper, than pulling off the old, but it simply won't be as nice.  Still, half the houses in this neighborhood have it, so I don't know if it really matters that much.  Dan

(post #105062, reply #3 of 24)

I've been there. For whatever it's worth, I just cannot stand the artifical siding, period.


I use it when required, but I don't like it and wouldn't put it on my own house. Our house needs paint, badly. I will scrape and repaint - probably not this year. :-) We have another problem which is no insulation in the walls and inside is "finished". I may go with blown in, but I've also thought about residing with beveled cedar over the existing. (House is ~130 years old and has single wall construction - nothing under the siding except the studs and bugs.)


Lots of people will disagree. to each their own.


Don K.


EJG Homes     Renocations - New Construction - Rentals

(post #105062, reply #4 of 24)

Yeah, as I said we ripped off and resided, though our house was a 1974 model with hardboard siding. We were the only house in the neighborhood to go that route, vs over-siding, but our house is one of the sharpest looking in the neighborhood, and maintenance is probably less than some of the others (have repainted once -- needed very little recaulking, etc because we were so careful with it initially).


If your view never changes you're following the wrong leader


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #105062, reply #5 of 24)

Hi DonK


I have not heard of bevelled cedar.  Is it expensive?  I may end up going with hardibacker. That seems to be the best choice for people like us who hate siding.


Dan

(post #105062, reply #6 of 24)

Morning;


Beveled cedar is horizontal cedar siding, typically around 6" wide and thin on top but around 9/16 or 5/8 thick on the bottom. Upper piece laps over the lower one. Think the vinyl look, but in wood.


Sad to say, it has gotten somewhat expensive. I don't have cost committed to memory - maybe my mind's way of blocking out the expense. :-) I need to get a price just to compare to the cement board.


Don K.


EJG Homes     Renovations - New Construction - Rentals

(post #105062, reply #7 of 24)

Bevelled western red cedar siding (clapboards) costs about a dollar per linear foot at the local lumber yard (upstate New York).  It's all clear lumber, but the last time I bought a bundle, half the boards were flat sawn.


Fifteen years ago, it was 44 cents a foot, all straight-grain (more stable and holds paint better).


I've seen some attractive cement-board installations, but I have never priced it.


Allen

(post #105062, reply #8 of 24)

Just finished installing 8 square of hardi cementous siding. I bought it primed and painted. Delivered price was $154.00 per square. Matching colored caulk was $8.00 per tube. I was amazed it wasn't more expensive. It works well and the finished product is very nice. Wait until you see the price of beveled cedar planks.

(post #105062, reply #9 of 24)

$1.16 / lf for x8 red cedar bevel siding where I am.  Kind of expensive.  Pine would be about $.60 I think.

(post #105062, reply #10 of 24)

CVG cedar around here at 1 x 10 is running $4-5/LF.   You can get it pre-primed and pre-painted from PrimeTech if you want - inexpensively.


Jeff

Unfortunately, the best stuff (post #105062, reply #11 of 24)

Unfortunately, the best stuff is no longer made.  It was Masonite "Woodsman" siding, rock hard and nearly impervious to water, but with a "look" very much like wood.  Some of the cement sidings come close, but don't really match it.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Haha! You realize you're (post #105062, reply #12 of 24)

Haha! You realize you're responding to an 11 year old thread?

Your "nearly impervious to water" Masonite went bankrupt from class action lawsuits because it rotted so badly.

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 50 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.

I suspect that Masonite went (post #105062, reply #13 of 24)

I suspect that Masonite went under due to all the other brands of "hardboard" siding that were called "masonite" by the uninformed.  And, at times, Masonite sold some cheap stuff in an attempt to compete in price with the other outfits.  But their "Woodsman" stuff was "tempered" (soaked in resins and heat treated) just like their smooth panels and remarkably weather resistant.  And it was hard -- you could beat it with a hammer and not dent it.

The stuff we put up nearly 40 years ago is still in great shape, while other hardboard sidings were looking sorry in ten years.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

No, Masonite went under (post #105062, reply #14 of 24)

No, Masonite went under because their product was crap and fell off walls. You sound like a broken recored trying to convince people that it was a great product, it wasn't. I've replaced miles of it and it's always the same, rotten.  Banks don't want to give mortgages on houses with Masonite on them. Just because you've been lucky and maintained yours still doesn't make it a good product. 

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 50 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.

Like most people, you don't (post #105062, reply #15 of 24)

Like most people, you don't know what Masonite siding is.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Let me get my coffee while (post #105062, reply #16 of 24)

Let me get my coffee while you explain to all of us "exactly" what Masonite really is. 

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 50 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.

It's "tempered" -- treated (post #105062, reply #17 of 24)

It's "tempered" -- treated heat and a resin which hardens into plastic.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Why on earth would you think (post #105062, reply #18 of 24)

Why on earth would you think that I wouldn't know that?  Trust me, everyone who has had the misfortune of having it on their house knows exactly what it is.  As I mentioed earlier, I've replaced miles of it and the only reason we don't do as much these days is that it mostly has all been replaced by now. Masonite's only virtue was that it was cheap to buy which made it popular with builders who would be long gone when the rot started.

 

https://www.hunker.com/13414652/masonite...

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 50 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.

Once again, you clearly don't (post #105062, reply #19 of 24)

Once again, you clearly don't know what Masonite is/was.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Except of course with my 50 (post #105062, reply #20 of 24)

 To anyone else reading this please go to You Tube and type in "Masonite siding." 

 

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_q...

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 50 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.

Most of those are clearly not (post #105062, reply #21 of 24)

Most of those are clearly not Masonite.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

pparentlyyour knowledge of (post #105062, reply #22 of 24)

pparentlyyour knowledge of Masonite doesn't include the fact that it was made by other companies. all of the vidoes are about masonite.

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 50 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.

Hardboard siding was made by (post #105062, reply #23 of 24)

Hardboard siding was made by many companies.  Masonite siding was made by the Masonite Corporation or someone authorized by them.  Just because people referred to the other junk as "masonite" did not make it "Masonite".


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

You ask if there is not a (post #105062, reply #24 of 24)

You ask if there is a siding that won't rob the house of its original charm. Fiber cement board, I believe, comes close to duplicating wood clapboard sding. It has many advantages! Do NOT apply it over the existing clapboard siding. FCBoard requires an OSB,plywood or another flat, hard backing. Cement board is not easy to cut and install, but once installed and painted, it will last "a lifetime"! I highly recommend it. I prefer to purchase smooth, primed boards. I apply the first paint coat on the ground, and the second after installation and caulking are completed. I am so confident in the product that I give my clients an unconditional 15yr guarantee on my labor. What I don't guarantee is that the paint won't fade due to UA/UV damage. Paint peeling and blistering won't happen. As I said, the product is not easy to install, but at age 68+ I still do it solo with ease.  

Mel Fros froscarpentry.com