Replacing Vinyl Siding with Hardiplank

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Old 07-07-08, 09:56 AM
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Replacing Vinyl Siding with Hardiplank

Hello all,
I am new to the forum, but I have read lots of posts over the last several months. I am currently considering a DIY-project to remove all of the vinyl from my home and replace it with Hardiplank lap siding. I have not removed any of the vinyl yet, but when I was doing some interior electrical work recently, I discovered that my house does not have OSB as exterior sheathing. It appears to be a thin fiber board with a reflective aluminum material on one side with insulation on the other side.

My question is: If I decide to do the siding project, do I remove the vinyl AND this "insulation board" and then install OSB sheathing with Tyvek before I install the Hardiplank? If so, I need to factor in the material and labor cost to install the OSB sheathing.

Also, what scaffolding set-up would you recommend for a DIYer? My house is a ranch home with the highest point probably 30 ft off the ground. I know the project will take me a while (working afternoons and weekends by myself), so I wonder if renting would be too expensive. I would like to hear some thoughts on this.

Hopefully, Xsleeper sees this thread because his posts have helped me understand the whole process.

Thanks,
Rob
 
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Old 07-07-08, 05:09 PM
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Sorry to hear that your house doesn't have any sheathing. It's hard to believe that builders would do such a thing, and that the building codes in your area allowed it.

Personally, I think installing some type of solid sheathing would be a good idea. Cement siding can be installed over the studs, as per the James Hardie instructions, but if it was my house I'd feel a lot better having some solid sheathing behind the siding.

The problem is that if your windows have nailing flanges, the nailing flanges are on top of your thin cardboard/foam/reflective sheathing product. If, for example, you added 7/16 OSB as sheathing, you'd be nailing it on top of the nailing flanges, which isn't really ideal. In any case, adding sheathing means retrimming all the exterior window trim, but maybe you planned on doing that anyway.

Assuming you don't want to add sheathing if you don't absolutely HAVE to... once you remove the siding, you could simply add building paper- Tyvek (or similar) over your existing thin sheathing product, and tape it to the windows, sealing it well. Then locate all your studs, chalking vertical lines on your building paper so as to make it easy to know where to nail as you install the siding.

As you remove the vinyl siding, you should be able to rip it all off with your hands, don't use the pry bar unless you have to because you will punch holes in your existing thin sheathing. If you do pry, be sure you pry along the stud so that you don't punch any holes in the thin stuff.

As far as the scaffolding is concerned, normally I'd recommend ladders and ladder jacks, but I'm afraid that if you lean a ladder up against the house, the ladder would punch right through!!! If you add some solid sheathing, this wouldn't be an issue. You could look into "pump jacks", and several planks for the highest sections. You could also set up 2 or more stackable sections of stage scaffolding and plank across it in the lower areas. Renting a scissors scaffold might also be an option if you can get right up next to the house, provided it's level and you have no major landscaping in the way.

If any of this raises additional questions, don't hesitate to ask, there are plenty of us here who are willing and able to help.
 
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Old 07-08-08, 04:36 AM
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Next question, if I want to make absolutely sure I do not have any OSB sheathing, where would be the best spot to temporarily disassemble a portion of the vinyl to check. I've never looked into how vinyl is even installed, so I could use some ideas here.
Also, I assume that if I decide to install solid sheathing and replace my windows (upgrade for energy efficiency), I should definitely rip off the current thin fiber board sheathing. Correct?
Finally, if you are working solo, what is the method for getting yourself, your tools, and your somewhat fragile piece of Hardiplank siding up the ladder to the work platform so that it can be installed? Do you just go up and down the ladder for every piece, or is there some method that really helps increase productivity? It seems like you would either have to have a work platform across the entire width of the side of the house or move your ladders/ladder jacks or scaffolding for every row while working your way up the house. What am I missing?

Thanks,
Rob
 
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Old 07-08-08, 06:03 PM
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Vinyl siding can be unzipped just like an overcoat. Any piece can be unzipped, although it might be easier for you to unzip a full piece that is out in the open as opposed to one that short and that has j-channels on each end. Unzipping them is easy and you can do it with just your hand by starting at a seam (end of a piece) pulling down, moving your hand to the bottom and sliding it along. Zipping it back up again, however, requires a special tool that you can purchase at almost any big box/hardware store. You use the tool in one hand to pull DOWN on the interlock, push IN on the bottom edge of the siding with the other hand, then with both hands performing that same operation, slide you hands (one pulling down on the siding with the tool, the other palm pressing in on the siding) along the bottom edge of the siding... this will zip the siding back where it was. You can literally do this anywhere you want.

Regarding ripping off the old, it would probably be a good idea. I'm guessing it won't be in very good shape by the time all is said and done.

Regarding your scaffold and working solo, that's hard to say. Last time I had to side a house by myself I used a combination of ladder jacks and stage scaffolding... went up and down with almost every piece, and the siding job took 3 days. Without seeing your house and the layout, it would be hard for me to envision a plan for you. But realistically, you would benefit from having a LOT of scaffolding and planks, whether it be stage scaffolding or ladders and ladder jacks. Pump jacks would probably cost you a fortune to rent. But I think tapco makes some nice ones that can be raised with an electric drill. Very cool. If using stage scaffolding, and the side of the house is 40' long, you might have 3 towers of scaffolding, each section with several walk planks... but then also you'd want some long planks and cross members that you could hook between each tower. If I was working alone on a big house, I'd make a stack of siding on each section that is as high as I could reach, then climb up and transfer it up to the level that it is needed. I'd make all the cuts on the scaffold so that you aren't wasting time going up and down.

Moving ladder jacks and planks is fairly easy, but if you use sections of stage scaffolding, then yes, you'd probably want to scaffold an entire side since it takes a lot more time to assemble. You'd set it up only as high as needed, then when you need to go higher, stack on more sections as you need them.

If using ladder jacks and a walk plank, you really have no place to set a pile of siding, so I suppose you would have to do them one at a time. When you're close to the ground, you can lean a 2x12x12 up against the house vertically and lay a few pieces of siding against it. Might save you a few trips. But when you get up higher, I don't have any tricks. You might be able to do something similar by using a tall extension ladder and rigging up some sort of board with a rope and pulley system, then tie off the rope to keep the load suspended.

I don't envy you- trying to do something of this scale by yourself.
 
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Old 07-08-08, 07:47 PM
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Xsleeper,
Thank you very much for all the info so far. I know the project will be difficult, but it does help that my house is a relatively small ranch house. If not for the cathedral ceilings, the gables would probably be lower and easier to side. I will post some photos if I can figure out how.

I did have a question about trim. Do you generally use the James Hardie trim products, or do you use the AZEK products that I have seen you mention in previous posts. I know that I will have to use some of the AZEK around the bottom of the siding (too close to the ground for Hardiplank, < 6"), but I wonder if I should use their corner boards and window mouldings. I would like to hear your thoughts on the trim.

Also, do you install the trim first and then butt all the siding into the trim boards? Is it even possible to install the trim boards after the siding?

I've read some good reviews on the Bear Clips and Bear Skins products. It seems like they would really help a DIYer like myself. Any thoughts on these clips or some of the adjustable siding guages that are available?

Finally, do you butt the Hardiplank joints and use flashing or do you generally leave a gap and then fill it with paintable caulk? I wondered which method you preferred.

Thanks,
Rob
 
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Old 07-08-08, 08:14 PM
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Glad to help. If you've got a ranch, then it should be a piece of cake. I do not generally use the James Hardie trim products. I most often use Miratec... sometimes Azek... and if you want something easy for your corners you could look into QuattroCorner siding corners, if you can find someplace that can get them for you.

I always install trim and corner boards first. I have not used the Bear Clip/Skin products and have not used any gauges other than my own homemade ones. I typically will flash each butt joint in the field and caulk joints using OSI Quad. The flashing is there to provide protection in the event that the caulking should fail and go unnoticed. I've read articles where some installers prefer to flash and NOT caulk, instead going with a moderate contact joint in the field. Personally, I think that could lead to deterioration since the butt ends of the product would be subjected to repeated wetting and wicking, but I have no proof of that.
 
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Old 07-10-08, 05:34 AM
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Xsleeper,
I am going to "unzip" a piece of my vinyl this weekend and verify my sheathing situation. I will also try to post some pics to get your ideas on a strategy for approaching my siding project. We can talk more about some ideas for siding the "high" points of the exterior walls.

Also, is the installation of OSB as straightforward as I think or are there some real pitfalls? Same question in regards to the Tyvek installation. I would like to hear your thoughts on both.

Thanks again,
Rob
 
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Old 07-10-08, 04:00 PM
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The answer to that really depends on what you plan to do about the windows and doors. (and whether the existing windows have nailing fins or not.) If you plan to do the windows at the same time, then you would usually want to:

remove a window, install the OSB on that wall and around the rough opening, Tyvek that area, install your new window.

If you aren't replacing the windows at this time, you would be retrimming them at a minimum, I would think. So you would apply the OSB up to the windows, Tyvek around them, use a peel and stick membrane to try to seal the cut edges of the Tyvek as best as you can, then apply the new trim over the top. A drip cap over the top of your window trim (let in behind the Tyvek) would be a good idea in either case.

For best window installation practices, you can see Tyvek's website, and look for window installation instructions using Tyvek Straightflash membranes.
 
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Old 07-17-08, 06:06 AM
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Xsleeper,

The in-laws were in town this weekend so I didn't get a chance to unzip the vinyl or take any pics of the house. I'll try to get that soon to get your advice on how to approach the project from a "big picture" perspective.

However, looking at the house this weekend did raise one question for me. I know that when the siding on a wall intersects a roofline, the Hardiplank must have a 2" clearance from contact. You previously recommended flashing painted to match the siding or a piece of non-Hardi trim. My question is: what do you normally use for trim on the peaks of gables (under the eaves)? Do you do the same thing for standard gables as you do on siding (or roof) peaks where the lower side of the siding intersects a roofline?

I'm somewhat familiar with corner and drip cap trim, but what is offered for the situation I described above?

Regards,
Rob
 
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Old 07-17-08, 06:46 AM
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I'm not sure I understand what you are asking. When you go to take your pictures, snap a picture of the areas in question.

When the siding is following a roof line below, (angle cut on the bottom side of the siding) the siding must be kept 2" off the shingles. James Hardie recommends all field cut ends must be primed and painted.

When the siding is following a roof line above, (angle cut on the top side of the siding) the siding can either butt right up to the soffit, or a piece of trim (1x2, 1x4, 1x6, etc) can be installed if that sort of look is preferred. If there is no overhang, then the siding would butt up to the existing fascia. It would obviously be critical that the fascia be flashed with roof edge (drip edge) in such a situation, lest you get water behind the fascia and siding. In all such cases, the top cut edge of the siding is caulked to either the soffit, or the trim (freize) board.
 
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