More siding articles
People come to us with a lot of questions with regards to vinyl siding, and what is possible to do with it, which is why we put together this neat little article to clarify some things and hopefully help you make the most informed decision. Keep in mind that this article will have less general information about vinyl siding than the hyperlinked article, which is our attempt at answering everything you need to know about the siding material. If you do choose to go forward with the project that brought you to this specific article, we'd be happy to help you get quotes from vinyl siding installers in your area that have been screened. It's completely free, and the worst that can happen is that you save money on your project. All you have to do to get started is simply fill out the form below.
Can You Put Vinyl Siding Over Existing Wood Siding?The answer to that question is yes. Yes, you can put vinyl siding over existing wood siding assuming its condition is still good. If it isn't, there will be more steps that need to take place before it becomes possible and you might need the help of wood siding repair contractors to have the bad boards replaced, which isn't always easy to do for the homeowner himself. A requirement is that the wood is in good condition and that it isn't suffering from rot or mold, which could be an indication that your roof vents are not doing what they're supposed to be doing and keeping the moisture levels under control inside the house. It also could be because you haven't been properly maintaining the material. For instance, if you have cedar siding installed on your home, you'll need to stain the cedar every couple of years in order to make sure it's properly protected. Any bad boards will need to be replaced. Other things including potential trim or windows that have been installed will need to be taken out so that you can proceed with the installation. To answer the question, yes it's possible as long as your current siding doesn't have any problems and is structurally sound.
Can you Put New Siding Over Old Siding in General or Do I need to Remove the Existing One?In most cases you can put new siding directly on top of old siding without having to remove the old siding first, and in addition it will in fact add an addition layer of insulation, thereby helping lower your energy bill. Foam board is, however, often added in order to help level out the wall when it has certain problems with it. There are also states that provide you with tax credits when you insulate your home better, and your existing siding could make you eligible for those. Is it better to leave existing siding on or to take it off? Some homeowners may want to take off their existing material before installing new siding, while others don't mind installing on top of it with the benefits it provides too. The reason why you will want to level out the wall is so that the poor condition siding behind it isn't seen when the new layer is added on top, since siding in really bad condition could be seen through the new installation. The curling of the existing wooden siding would cause the wall to look curvy. When that's the case, you'll want to take it off so that the new installation looks as good as possible. When it's in good shape and you install on top of it, you'll be saving yourself money that you'd otherwise be spending on having it removed and disposed of. Fiber cement siding can however not be left on, as well as some other types of siding such as metal siding or previous vinyl. Make sure to speak to a siding contractor to see what their recommendation is in your specific case. We'll be happy to help match you wit the most relevant contractors in your area. Often when you're installing new siding, it's with an expectancy that it will be there for 50 years or more, which is why it's so incredibly important that the necessary support is there in the form of the existing siding. Warp, curing, delamination and rot are all things that may require that it be completely replace. If there have been previous water leaks or water infiltration of any kind, those could have left damage requiring new support. Termites, damage from wood peckers, rodents and pests are a thing that should be addressed also. If you leave on the existing material, the project will also take less time.
Benefits of Removing the Old Siding Before Installing New OneWith all these mentioned benefits in the previous section, why would you in fact not just choose to leave it on, assuming it's in good condition and it will save you money? Those characteristics are in fact very appealing to most homeowners.
- Adding a brand new substrate will inevitably have a smaller risk of developing problems.
- Removing the old siding gives you the ability to do a thorough inspection of the structural elements of your home, such as the framing, as well as the insulation.
- The warranty of the new siding may not be valid if the material is not installed as dictated by the manufacturer's recommendations, and potential problems that would otherwise have been covered will now mean you'll need to pay for them instead. That is at least the case with James Hardie siding
Pros and Cons of Vinyl Siding
ProsBut why would you actually choose to install vinyl since you already have wood siding installed on your home? Well, we'll take you through some of its advantages, and then you'll see why it's so appealing to so many people.
- Vinyl comes in many different variants and styles - you can get a new look on your home with the versatility of vinyl.
- Modern, high grade vinyl is more durable than most wood siding materials - if you're having high quality vinyl installed on your home, it can last a very long time and will outlast wood that will eventually start degrading, even with good maintenance.
- Vinyl is a cheap siding option, even if you go for a more durable option - the thickness of the vinyl is what will also make it more durable.
- Vinyl often comes with good warranty available, although for it to be valid, it should be properly installed.
- This material can crack or puncture and if it meets a thing such as a lawn mower, the mower usually wins.
- If it isn't installed well on top of a surface, it can cause problems to the wood underneath.
- If you get low quality material, you're also more likely to experience problems with it.
Vinyl vs Wood ComparisonAs you can see, vinyl by itself already has a lot of benefits, but how does vinyl compare to wood?
- Premium, high grade vinyl can look better than some types of wood - for instance, if you have T1-11 or another type of plywood siding installed, vinyl can in fact have a more appealing look. While plywood isn't that commonly installed on main buildings as a permanent solution, it might have been installed as a temporary one, and a lot of the vinyl options in fact look better than plywood.
- Vinyl doesn't rot - if left untreated, wood will at some point start rotting, and faster in humid climates. Vinyl doesn't have that drawback.
- Less maintenance in general - vinyl doesn't require painting or staining as often as wood does. Wood will contract and expand more than vinyl, which may cause the paint to crack at which point you need to have a house painter come and paint it again. If you have been staining your siding instead, that is a task that needs to be done even more frequently.
- Insects and pests are no longer a problem the same way - while termites may love wood, they stay away from vinyl.
- Vinyl doesn't rust - in comparison to metal, vinyl has the advantage that it doesn't rust. While the material itself may not rust, rust stains could appear on the siding if the nails that were used weren't rust-resistant.
- While vinyl can look great, nothing looks more like wood than actual wood does, so if you want to stay authentic and don't mind the maintenance, wood looks better.