04:02PM | 05/31/08
Member Since: 05/30/08
2 lifetime posts
If possible would you please express an opinion on what I should find and what you would recommend, considering functionality, aesthetics,and cost, if I decide to do the following. A little background first. I am slowly restoring and updating rooms and structural features in my family's homstead, now my home. Although my parents did not let the needed maintains on the house slip, what they did do was to apply the changing "fashionable styles" over a 55 year period. Thus they covered hardwood floors with wall-to-wall carpeting, painted the inside wood trim work, etc. Now I am removing and restoring these treatments and giving them a more natural look. What I am confronted with now is the following: Around forty to forty-five years ago they applied 8 inch aluminum siding to the outside. When doing this they covered the siding that was there then,(I had to check with my older siblings to determine what this was since I was quite young when the aluminum was put up) which was 8 to 10 inch deep brown stained cedar shingles (their size is a best guess). Although the aluminum siding has been well kept and has no visible signs of failing, I am considering removing it ( I have been told it is a fire trap). I am not sure what I will find under the aluminum if I do. That is, will the cedar shingles be in good enough shape to keep; what problems may I encounter and have to fix to the old cedar shingles, if they are fixable, from all of the time being covered and the due to the installation of the aluminum? Finally, if keeping neither the aluminum nor the cedar shingles is advisable then what would be your recommendation(s) on other possibilities, remembering keeping in mind functionality, aesthetics, and cost, in re-doing the outside in a natural style? I will give you some additional information which may be helpful in your considerations to my many questions: The house is located about 10 miles north of Boston, MA and was built, according to city records around 1910, and whether the cedar shingles were part of the original construction, I do not know nor know how to determine this issue.

Thank you,



05:41PM | 05/31/08
Member Since: 11/10/06
138 lifetime posts
Nails,...nails.....nails,....think nails !!

From the vapor barrier, trim stock, J chanel, and shims, used to anchor the siding you will have nail holes nail holes, nail holes !! The condition of the carpentry probably sold the cheaper siding coverage. Cracks and rot in trim dissapear under the metal coil stock, and cedar shingles will split when roof nails made of aluminum drive threw.

If you want the cheapest way out with maintenence free,...many types of vinyl siding have great curb appeal.

in line,.....

......Vinyl is what I would do again,`s easier to shim to tolerances,less disposal,..and quicker times.

......Cedar is way up now, (clabboards or shingles), and you will need to go down to the sheething. Dumpsters are up too.

...... Try to use Fur or Hard Pine on out door decking and PVC for railings and posts, and fences.

Over the long run it will pay off big to use material rot, milduew and mold resistant and paintless. Please do your homework on the quality of their workmanship !!

.....All this from a guy only 5 miles North of Boston !!

Hope I helped some.


04:52AM | 06/01/08
Member Since: 05/30/08
2 lifetime posts
Thanks for the information!

When I saw "Oddball," I thought you were referring to me for asking stupid questions. Your idea of vinyl is the most logical solution, fitting the needs mentioned. It's not that I am into all things natural but most of the neighbors have vinyl and I was hoping to use something different or at least to break-up the monotony and status quo of the neighborhood. It seems you know quite abit about siding, much more than me, in your best estimate, comparing vinyl to the varying types of wood sidings, including removal and disposal (is there any scrap value) of the aluminum and typical preparation to the sub-structure what am I looking at in a range of cost, considering the house is two stories, typical Cape, approximately 60x40 with little or no siding needed for the front and back, since they are mainly windowed porches? Also, would you use "Angie's List" as a place to look for quality builders or installers?

Any other ideas or suggestions, if you have the time and inclination to offer, will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks again,



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