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Residing and insulating an 1880's farmhouse

ElleCatskills's picture

(Not sure I picked the right forum)

Hi, first post. We just bought a 4K sq.ft. farmhouse in the Catskills and are about to start major renovations. It's a wood frame house with traditional lapboard siding, no sheathing or insulation and single pane windows. We've already ordered the new windows and decided to go with HardiePlank for the siding.

We know you can't just install HardiePlank over old siding, but can you sheath (OSB Zipboard & tape) over the existing siding and then install the HardiePlank? The siding tested positive for lead paint in a couple spots and we'd rather not disturb it if we don't have to. We are going to gut the inside of the hosue as well so we'll still be able to add insulation when we do that. It will save us a huge chunk of money if we don't need to remove the old siding (and lead paint).

Anyone ever do this? Have thoughts on it?



Sheathing should be attached (post #216339, reply #1 of 9)

Sheathing should be attached directly to the framing.  If you need sheathing for structural purposes, the existing siding has to be removed.

If you just want a smooth surface to hang the new siding, apply strapping over the existing siding.

Strapping gives you the (post #216339, reply #2 of 9)

Strapping gives you the opportunity to insert a layer of foam behind the new siding.

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

What exactly is 'strapping'? (post #216339, reply #3 of 9)

What exactly is 'strapping'? I'm guessing vertical strips of wood like 1x3 to use as nailers.

Hardieplank requires a flat surface with a vapor barrier or he warranty is void. I wonder if this would meet the requirements?


OK, I googled - it's what (post #216339, reply #4 of 9)

OK, I googled - it's what Iwould have called furring strips. Should have guessed that. This sounds like a good approach, I'll have to see if it meets HardiePlank's requiremens for warranty.

Hardi is a great choice but (post #216339, reply #5 of 9)

Hardi is a great choice but needs to be installed over a solid surface. Check with your  state but typically homeowners have a different set of lead abatement rules than contractors. You'll need a new vapor barrier between the Hardi and sheathing as well. I'd also use solid, 5/4 PVC trim around the windows and corners.

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

Pictures? (post #216339, reply #6 of 9)

Hi ElleCatskills,

This is Matt Millham, an associate editor at Fine Homebuilding. Do you have pictures of the house? I'd like to use your question in our Ask the Experts department. If you could send photos and question directly to, we can get you squared away. Thanks, and have a great day! 

Matt (post #216339, reply #7 of 9)

sorry to say I cannot contact Elle to let her know your question.  I used to be able to see an email address of a registered poster, but no longer.  Same goes for the user message button, that works here no more either.  As a supposed moderator here I have pleaded with FHB to make this a viable forum again and that has fallen upon deaf ears as well.    


So, if you have any pull, please try to do something.  If nothing else, please ask an expert and get back to us.



A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


Thanks, Calvin (post #216339, reply #8 of 9)

I'll see what I can do. In the meantime, I've asked an expert to weigh in on this. Should have an answer soon.

Best regards,


Matt (post #216339, reply #9 of 9)

best of luck.......

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.