Aluminum Siding


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Old 07-22-07, 08:45 PM
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Aluminum Siding

I filled in a window at my father's house. Took out the old window and filled it in with studs and plywood sheeting.

I don't know how to patch in the aluminum siding so I figured we would hire this done but I can't get any contractor to do the darn job. Several have come and looked, said no problem and then never come back.

Is this that big a job for some one who knows what they are doing?

I'd rather just hire some one but I can't leave this like this for ever. Is it something I can do with out buying a bunch of special tools to deal with the siding?
 
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Old 07-23-07, 04:12 AM
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Aluminum siding is like asking someone to stand on their head till they faint. They just don't want to do it. Matching the color is a primary concern since your old siding has obviously faded. Blending the old with the new will never look good. If you have access to the same type, style, color of siding, obtain enough to cover the window area in complete pieces, and we can walk you through the process. It would help, also to have some pictures posted on a site such as photobucket.com so we can see the project.
 
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Old 07-23-07, 10:28 AM
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I'm not a siding guy, but have done a few repair jobs. Several years ago, I headed a community volunteer event in which we took the roof off an a building at the community pool, put up a new roof and then had to side the gable ends. We called it an old fashioned Barn Raising and had 40 families participate. We had a family who donated some leftover Aluminum siding to help us finish the gable ends of the buildings. It was a bear to work with, so much so, that we ended up buying vinyl siding and finished the job in no time.

I think one of the problems with your patch is that siding is hung from the bottom up to the top. To repair your window, may indeed involve taking the siding down starting at the top of the building and finishing just lower than the window opening. Unlike vinyl, which is flexible, Aluminum dents very easily. Its a tricky job and no one may want to take on the liability of messing up the existing siding during the removal process. When istalling you want to overlap and stagger the joints, not just inset a couple of pieces.

Given that, you may want to ask the siding companies what procedures they would recommend. Maybe they have options and opinions that differ from what you have asked them to do. Sometimes, a job looks a lot simpler that it actally is. Your options may include the need to redo the whole side of the house.
 
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Old 07-23-07, 11:12 AM
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I think the others are right. It's probably just not worth it for any contractor to come and do it- they know won't make any money doing it, and that you'll absolutely flip when you get their bill.

You wouldn't think it would cost much to do such a small job, but if you want it done right, more is involved than just patching in the hole.

Matching the existing siding could be a challenge, depending on how old it is. As mentioned, the color has likely faded. New siding will not exactly match old siding (unless your siding was installed very recently), and even then, different lot numbers may vary slightly. If you have seamless siding, you'd need to have the same crew back to get an exact match, and it would literally cost you a fortune.

To patch the window, a lot of siding must be removed, and the new siding would be woven into the old. (or old siding can be taken off the house in an inconspicuous area, and can be used to patch in- helping to color match and blend with the existing- then the new siding is put up in the inconspicuous area, where any slight color or pattern difference is less visible.)

As czizzi mentioned, aluminum siding almost always has to be taken down from the top, so it's possible that means removing the siding from an entire side of the house just to patch a little window.

Now If you just want the window covered, and don't want them to go to all the work of blending it in, removing the j-channels, etc... someone could probably do that, but it will obviously look patched in.

It's also usually possible to unzip steel and aluminum siding, and perform the patch without removing a lot of siding, but it comes apart a lot easier than it goes back together. Attempting that also would not look perfect, but would take less time.

I've also seen guys patch windows just by putting on the least amount of siding possible. The seams at the end of each row are one on top of the other, and it probably looks okay from a block away but when you get up close to it, it looks patched in. And it increases the potential for water infiltration when you line up joints like that.
 
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Old 07-23-07, 02:58 PM
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It's on about the least conspicuous part of the house and looks are not a big concern. Even a different color and then I'll paint it white would be a huge step up from what I've got right now if it can be done reasonably. Redoing the whole side of the house is out of the question.

I need it to keep the water out and off the wood in the house and I can paint about anything white.

Those are the only requirements.

It is only about 3 feet from the edge of the wall to the nearest side of the window. Maybe pieces could be slid in from the end?
 
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Old 07-23-07, 03:37 PM
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In that case, I'd suggest that if you want a contractor to do it, you call them back up on the phone and ask if they were planning on getting around to doing it for you, and let them know that it doesn't have to look perfect. That will help them know what you expect as well as give them an idea on what corners they might be able to cut to keep the cost down for you.

If it was me, those would be the thing that would keep me away.

If you were to try it, I'd suggest you set up some scaffold and start taking pieces off from the top (I assume there is a soffit a few feet above the window?) and just remove all the pieces that you want to remove. If it's a standard Rollex or Alcoa siding, you can take a small piece to your local lumber yards and they should be able to give you what you need.

As long as you don't bend any of the pieces taking them off (handle them carefully, because if the bottom hem or the top interlock gets bent, it makes them very difficult to pull up and lock together again- just like czizzi was saying!).
 
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Old 07-23-07, 09:27 PM
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No it's not near the roof. It's on the ground floor of a hundred year old house, two stories and an attic. I'd be tearing off 20 feet or more higher of siding and I guarantee it would look worse by the time I got it back on than any patching job ever will.
 
 

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