Siding Question

Old 09-24-07, 07:56 PM
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Siding Question

I had a contractor come out and give me a estimate on repairing a 2 car garage that is rotting on parts of the bottom because its too close to the ground. He suggested using hardiboard.

After reading about it on the forum, I think this is a bad choice.

The T-111 board was to be cut at 4' and replaced with either treated or marine plywood with a metal flashing at the bottom. I can't get the level of the ground much lower then 2-3 inches.

I am now thinking of doing what he suggested with the plywood but instead replacing it all to have a level surface to work from and using vinyl siding. Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated.
Old 09-24-07, 09:17 PM
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Replacing all the T1-11 is overkill. I would only remove what is rotton, and only the minimum. 16" worth would be great if that's all the higher the rot goes, because you could get 3 rips from one sheet of plywood.

As for the ground clearance, it is not really that big of a problem. James Hardie recommends 6" of clearance. If 2-3" is all you can get, and you have rock, mulch or something there, I'd say that is fine. They are just saying that they won't warranty that first row of siding if it would happen to decay prematurely due to constant wetting. If you want to raise it up more, all you would need to do is trim the bottom of the garage with a 1x4 or 1x6 skirt to gain some extra height off the ground. You could use Miratec, which has a 30 year guarantee, or a PVC material like Azek, which should never rot. On top of the skirt, you'd install a drip cap flashing, then you could install your hardipanel / hardiplank siding. That stuff is great and the cost is very close to vinyl. IMO, there's no comparison, cement siding is great.

If you want to use vinyl that's certainly up to you, but when vinyl is that close to the ground, the dirt splashes on it and it looks terrible.
Old 09-25-07, 08:53 AM
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It appears that the root of the problem is the proximty of the siding to the ground.

Your T-111 is getting a wicking effect. That is; it's taking on a lot of moisture and rotting. (T-111 has always been a lousey idea.) I can also assume that if it is a garage, the T-111 is also the sheathing, attached directly to the studs and sill plate. Hopefully the builder used treated lumber at least for the sill plate, if not, you could be in trouble. You may want to take a serious look at the sill and studs to make sure they are still in good shape, because whatever you use, has to applied to them.

Relative to the garage, are asthetics important to you ? Are you looking for a quick fix or a more permenant solution.? Is cost a major factor ?

My advice to solving the problem is really predicated on the answers to the above questions.

Regardless of what you use as a exterior siding, it will have to be applied to something. The "siding" choice wont stop or prevent the problem it will only mask it.

Frankly, (assuming the sill plate and studs are OK) I would remove at least 2 feet of the T-111 replace it with a water impervious product like Starboard (used on boats) or one of the products previous mentioned, making sure that the surface areas were flush. I would silicone behind and between the newly applied sheathing and the sill plate (it will help keep moisutre and bugs out and away from the structure) Then I would consider my options for siding. (Yes, I said siding) I am not a fan of patching an exterior surface, It becomes an open wound and besides it looks like a patch. Ultimately it devalues that property. Regardless, the exterior siding choice should be based purely on personal preference. Just pick something that dosen't rot or absorb water. (think about snow and ice build up as they are water waiting to happen) Treated plywood is not the answer.

Water is one of the most destructive forces there is. You need to be proactive in how you protect against it. If you don't, your property will pay for it and if your property pays
trust me you will pay.

PS Hardieboard is a good product, but like any product, if you dont' follow the mfr's directions and recommendations,
you can void the warranties.

Good luck
Old 09-25-07, 01:34 PM
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Functional & Goodlooking Siding Repair

The previous suggestions all sound pretty good (IMO).

T111 (T-111) is a siding style. It just means a sheet of siding with groves cut into it (usually 4" or 8" on center - 4"o.c., 8"o.c.). There's LP (Louisiana-Pacific, SmartSide), Cedar, Fiber Cement (HardiePanel, WeatherBoards) and others. LP T111 is the most common and it is an exterior grade OSB sheeting with a notoriously poor reputation. Although the LP OSB sheeting is very common and works well... as sheeting. I mention this because it helps illustrate the fact that cutting out the rotten areas, sealing, installing a weather membrane (like Tyvek) and installing siding over the top is an effective solution. Something I (myself), my installers and countless other siding professionals have had great results with. Often it is just a waste of money to replace ALL T111 once some of it goes bad, but of course that is your call. I always say, if it's something that could keep you awake at night worrying about - then replace it all. 98% of the time homeowners select the repair option and re-siding.

Siding too close to the ground and foliage is a common problem. There are ways to circumvent this issue (as suggested by XSleeper). It's best to avoid the issue but as you said, it can't be avoided. I do feel XSleeper's suggestions are very insightful and professional.

So my questions are:
1) Is the inside of the garage finished (i.e. Drywall & Insulation)?
2) How bad is the rot?
3) What type of siding and look are you truly leaning towards?

Last edited by twelvepole; 10-03-07 at 11:19 AM. Reason: Advertising Link Removed

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