What's the Best Way to Install Cedar-Shingle Siding on an Old House?

Click To EnlargeAs part of a city lead-abatement program, Erik Neave's 1865 Wisconsin house is being re-shingled. New white cedar shingles will cover up a layer of painted shingles, which given the age of the house no doubt are contaminated with lead-based paint.

The facelift will certainly brighten the appearance of the house while entombing the paint, but it's the installation that has Neave concerned. The contractor who successfully bid for the job has installed a layer of 1/4-in. fanfold insulation over the old shingles and is busy stapling up the new ones even as Neave writes to Fine Homebuilding's Breaktime forum for advice.

"I was on my honeymoon when they started and they are about halfway done with the house now, " he writes. "I have never installed shingles before but on the things I've seen online, I am a bit concerned about the installation."

Neave's worry? Because the singles are being installed directly over the fanfold insulation, there will be no air circulation behind them, and everything he's read on the subject suggests there should be.

"When asked about this, the contractor said that the fanfold insulation achieves this purpose, " Neave says. "It sounds a bit fishy to me because I thought insulation would do the opposite...I want to trust that they know what they are doing, but it is stressing me out that I won't really know if this type of installation is quality till a few years down the road when problems show up."

Here's how it should be done

Mike Smith, a builder from Rhode Island, lays out for Neave how the job should be approached, beginning with stripping all of the old shingles off the house.

Then, Smith says, replace the flashing at doors and windows, wrap the house with 15-lb. or 30-lb. felt, scrape the lead paint off the existing trim (following EPA lead-abatement procedures), repaint the trim and re-shingle.

"If this contractor does what he's saying...he is going to bury all your trim..." Smith says. "He's a hack. Who wrote your specs? Where did you get this guy from? Or perhaps I'm being too harsh. It doesn't sound like you are going to get a very good job."

But the windows the contractor has installed look good, Neave replies, and the exterior trim has been built out and capped with aluminum. The real issue here is whether the installation method the contractor has chosen will trap moisture on the back of the shingles and raise the potential for problems down the road.

On that question, Smith is confident the fanfold will not act as a vapor barrier because it should allow the passage of water vapor. Its purpose, he adds, is to level the existing layer of shingles to make a good nail base for the new ones.

"Realistically, " Smith adds. "I don't know what other choices you have other than choosing a different siding...like fiber cement, or vinyl...or red cedar, etc."

DanH agrees with Smith.

"About the fanfold, " he writes. "Fanfold siding backer (it's not really 'insulation' to any degree worth mentioning) is almost always perforated so that moisture can pass through to a moderate degree.

"Far from ideal, but it's not a solid, impervious piece of plastic/foil. How well the shingles will work out on the fanfold is hard to say. Certainly far from ideal, but ideal would cost a lot more money."

But Piffin does not buy in.

"They should start by tearing off the old shingles, " Piffin says. "The fanfold is OK but requires a breather between it and cedars."

In these circumstances, the new shingles will hold up only if the climate is dry, there are large roof overhangs and plenty of trees to shelter the house from wind-driven rain, Piffin adds.

Source: www.finehomebuilding.com

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Prices can vary depending on circumstances

1) install 2 ext doors - Are you replacing existing doors or cutting in new door openings as well ? Prehung or not ? Type of siding , brick , stucco , wood , etc . It all affects pricing . If you are replacing existing doors with prehung doors $300-$400 per door
2)install 2 locksets-included with installation of doors
3)install 2 storm doors -$100-$150 per door
4)install 2 exterior lights- Again depends if you are replacing existing lights or installing lights, switches in new locations . If you are just replacing existing lights $50-$75 per light

Ogdensburg home rehabilitation program gears up for phase two, on schedule  — WatertownDailyTimes.com
Some homes will receive extensive and visible rehabilitation, including the installation of vinyl siding, roofing and windows. Other homes won't have an obvious exterior update but will have new furnaces or flooring put in.

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  • The multi-function support handle easily holds material in place.
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  • Temporarily attach The Boardmate with a 1.5 roof tack when installing siding or plywood.
  • Fits in a tool pouch and weighs less than 8 ounces/227 grams.
  • Simply pry off The Boardmate before fixing when installing hardie board siding or plywood.

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  3. Replacing Wooden siding shingles

  • Avatar New Homeowner Removing vinyl siding installed over wood siding to restore house to original condition?
    May 16, 2007 by New Homeowner | Posted in Do It Yourself (DIY)

    My wife and I just purchased a 16 year old house late 2006. The previous owner was the only owner and right after he bought the house in 1990 he had vinyl siding installed over the cedar wood siding (with foam insulatio … moisture from inside the house travels through the walls to outside, it may get trapped in the original wood siding due to the foam and vinyl siding acting as a barrier for its escape. Anyone have experience with this?

    • Go to a local hardware store and purchase a zip tool for vinyl siding. You can remove panels at varies spots on your house.cut away the foam board and take a look. To remove the siding fully is not a dificult job and you …e it is not very difficult,, but time consuming. If you do tear off the siding and have to tear off all the clap boards you have options for a fibre cement board siding to replcae the wood which does weather much better.

  • Avatar dmart50493 Installing exterior shingles...?
    Dec 30, 2006 by dmart50493 | Posted in Decorating & Remodeling

    I'd like to install exterior cedar shingles to the exterior of my ranch style home. I currently have wood siding on the front and stucco on the sides and rear. I would like to shingle the whole house: how? Where do I buy them and do they have them that last forever with no maintenance? Thanks, DM in California.

    • An order item at any lumber yard or home improvement store. There is also a newer version made of treated southern yellow pine that has a longer expected lifespan. While the cedar will last a long time, you may not be happy with the appearance over time. Some really like the muted silvery gray appearance, others do not and may used a treatment such as CWF, clear wood finish or a stain to keep a fresher look.

  • Avatar ryan l I will be installing wood cedar siding shingles. What type of nails should I use?
    May 18, 2010 by ryan l | Posted in Decorating & Remodeling

    I know by hand, I would buy hot dipped galvanized or stainless steel ring shank nails. But I have a nail gun, so what type of nails would I buy that will work? I have a staple gun, 15GA finish gun, 16GA finish gun and a framing gun. Im just not sure which gun to use and which nails to buy?

    • Using a nail gun will probably break your shingles. Just do it right the first time. By hand with galvanized nails.