Siding Install Questions

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Old 12-11-19, 10:30 AM
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Siding Install Questions

I was wondering if it's common practice to replace roof flashing when doing a new siding install? Reason I ask is the step flashing that is on there is a bunch of small pieces rather than 1 or 2 longer pieces. The roof installers a couple years ago told me at the time it's not common to use long pieces. Seems the more small pieces you have, the more risk you run of a leak. I noticed the siding installers used color matching flashing on the windows that would have look a lot better on the roof vs exposed black step flashing. Wanna make sure they didn't cut corners as I dont know what standard practice in this situation or with James Hardie.

They told me that Hardie needs 1 1/2" gap between the singles and cannot be tight per their install spec. Is that true? Doesn't look appealing with that big of a gap that's exposing that black step flashing. The siding installers while good, I feel they cut some corners here and there.

The electrical box pictured is in a roofed screened room. Is it normal to top flash something that's in a enclosed area and also not chalk the top of that box? The also flashed electrical outlets in the same room. Some areas they didn't think thoroughly enough that now look tacky. Like the pic I added of the ceiling area. They didn't remove the crown molding which left a big gap in the corner and also makes it close to impossible to remove now due to the siding being butted up against it. The crown should have been removed and reinstalled over top the siding correct?

I can be a bit picky but I do feel they did cut some corners here. Curious what you all think and if some of the things I was told were true or not. Am I being a bit too picky here? I'm just one who takes quality very seriously. Thank you all in advance for your input!

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Last edited by PJmax; 12-16-19 at 12:17 PM. Reason: resized pictures
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Old 12-11-19, 10:55 AM
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I agree that the step flashing is ugly. As a minimum I would paint it to match the siding.

Here's a link to a Hardie installation site. A 1" min gap is specified between the plank butt end and roofing.
Z flashing is used on the top of boxes with a 1/4" gap specified. No caulk is required.
 
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Old 12-11-19, 10:57 AM
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Well, first off individual step flashing is far superior to one or two longer flashing as far as leak potential goes. And yes, James Hardie recommends a 2" gap to the roof. Siding crews don't replace roof flashing, that is the roofer's Department.

https://www.jameshardiepros.com/geta...-hz5-us-en.pdf

One way to make that look a little better is to cover the step flashing with a counter flashing that is the same color as the siding.

Above horizontal flashing, a 1/4" minimum gap is required, with no caulk. Whether or not that is needed in an area that is covered by a roof is probably up to the installer. Continuity of installation would dictate everything be done the same. But you could argue either way. As far as your existing trim is concerned, it's a little bit difficult when you are trying to side a house that's 100 years old and you aren't replacing 100% of the old trim to know where to stop. Old trim breaks when you try to remove it so I'm not surprised they went around some of it. Hard for me to say what I would have done different when it's not my job. Generally you remove everything that is old and throw it away. You don't put old trim back on top of new siding, that would be stupid. But it looks like there is a lot of old stuff that got left on... Hard to explain why when I'm not there. Quality varies from crew to crew, that's just the way it is. But these last points are the only issue that I see. The end of the step flashing should have a kick out flashing... Can't tell from the pic how that was done.
 
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Old 12-11-19, 11:41 AM
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Thank you all so much for your input! I know it's difficult to see certain things without being here. That makes sense to cover the step flashing with color matched counter flashing. At this point I don't think they will go that extra step but I will bring it up.

Good looking out on the Hardie install links. They told me 1 1/2" gap not that it could be a 1" minimum. They told me Hardie house wrap was being used but they ended up using Tyvek and Tyvek tape. Not sure if there is a difference other than branding but I thought in order for the job to be warrantied by Hardie, Hardie products needed to be used.

There was also a couple area's around the soffit vent that had fist size holes that I mentioned before the job started and they were aware of. I was told those areas would be removed and new wood installed. I asked one of the installers if they fixed them when I noticed the Tyvek being installed and was told yes. When I went in the attic they were not. They just installed over the holes. I mentioned it to the crew lead which he then said if they are not big holes it's nothing to worry about but he can patch them from inside the attic. We bumped heads on that as I explained patching them from the inside is not the right way to do it. Cant seem to upload more pics. I'm going a little of track with my post as I have so many other things going on that the stress is getting to me.
 
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Old 12-11-19, 12:01 PM
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We will keep an eye out for more pictures. Dont let the stress get to you. Generally homeowners create more problems for themselves than it's worth by thinking they know best, or thinking they are always the one getting screwed. For instance, I dont fully understand what holes you are referring to. Rotten I assume? But if the soffits are being covered by new material then the installer is right, the old holes really dont matter. In some cases, the old boards would be completely torn off and not replaced... the new would go right on. So in that case, would it matter if the old stuff had holes in it and was left on? No!

But I understand your concern for your house and wanting a quality job. Confidence in your installers is the problem. The other part of the problem is a lack of understanding about what matters and what doesn't. You've got to draw the line somewhere, so pick your battles.

Regarding fixing holes, I'm reminded of the last siding job I finished a few weeks ago. My bid was to replace X amount of siding for $X per square. My contract specifically states that unseen damage (rot/termites, etc) is not included and that any repairs will be time and materials (extra at $X/ hr). Well good thing that was in there because the house had no house wrap and when the old siding was removed there was rot under every window! But what if I didn't include that in the bid? Who pays for it? Homeowner thinks its included... (it aint) and the Contractor thinks I'm not doing this for free so I will just go over it. Homeowner thinks he's getting screwed.

The solution is simply communication, and spelling out what's in the contract, what's included, what's not. Not every contractor is good about that. = butting heads.
 
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Old 12-11-19, 03:43 PM
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Keeps saying I exceeded my photo limits and getting invalid when using external links to upload. I can't even posts the links in my post. I was in the skilled trade industry so I do know a little bit of how things work and how things should be done. I don't know code or certain way things need to be done manf spec. I didn't explain the holes well enough. The holes in question were on both sides of the gable vent, side of the house not soffit (my mistake). due to water damage. Being the house is old those top areas had compressed board, not plywood. Sections of the area in question was crumbling, had fist size holes and warped. It's common practice to remove and replace damaged or rotting wood when doing siding/roofing. Most companies will include x # of sheets or charge for every piece replaced. Like you stated you charged for every piece cause you never know what's underneath. I've seen jobs where they lose $$ cause they didn't include that in the contract.

Before the job even started I mentioned it and was assured it would be replaced with new plywood. The way water flows, it makes no sense patching from the inside. They knew they messed up and tried assuring me that it makes no difference. Dont think they expected me to go in the attic to check. There was no crew lead there the entire time, no safety harness's used, things they said they were going to do were not done, corners were cut. Sad thing is this company has rave reviews, an awesome website and a great reputation. A funny thing I noticed is they have a group pic on their site of all the installers next to a James Hardie install they were doing wearing hard hats. Everyone in the pic is white, but "everyone" that did our install was Hispanic who barely spoke English and used zero safety gear nor used James Hardie house wrap & tape. Basically manipulating you into thinking that's what you're getting when it couldn't be farther from the truth. Side note, I have a lot respect for skilled trade workers as I was one. I know a lot of these Hispanics in my area don't get paid what they're worth, which is usually the main reason for them to cut corners or put out quality.

When you're spending a lot of money on a job you want it done right. Problem is in todays world quality is becoming extremely rare that's it's scary. What blows my mind is if these companies were to take the extra time to do it right, do it with passion, business will almost always be waiting for you around the corner. Now its more about getting it done asap to collect a check and onto the next. That's why I stopped doing skilled trade work. I took pride in what I did that companies told me I take too long which costs them $. That aside the amount of lying and manipulation towards customers started effecting my mental health. I just couldn't do it anymore. The things I saw and experienced were downright evil.



 
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Old 12-11-19, 08:20 PM
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I know what you mean. A man is only a good as his word, but that's getting harder and harder to find. But you are right, a good reputation is worth its weight in gold. And no reason you should ever have to lie or even stretch the truth. It's one reason I never have had to advertise in the area I'm in. Sounds like you should have started your own business long ago. You can still find people who want quality over speed and who will pay for it. But the hassle of employees is the problem. It's why I work alone... or just with my wife. Sometimes alone is better. lol

Oh and your photos cant be giant sized cell phone photos. You need to change the resolution and size before you take them, or before you upload them. The space here for photos is very limited. It's usually easier to just put them on google photos and link to them.
 
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Old 12-16-19, 10:44 AM
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Coincidentally, I was about to post a question about one of the concerns you expressed--specifically, the gap over the electrical box. Following James Hardie recommendations to the letter, that 1/4" gap (uncaulked) is specified. I was wondering if others were following that recommendation, because I don't like the way that it looks. Since I'm doing my own installation, if something isn't done correctly, I have no one to blame but myself.

Judging from your picture, the gap above the electrical box seems appropriate (it may even be a bit under 1/4").

On the plus side. From what I see in the pictures, the caulked/sealed edges seem to be fairly neat (I'm still finding a feel for that detail).

Regarding the holes on the gable ends of your house. I was trying to picture how that might be repaired from the inside.
What are you left with? Is it still compressed board under the Hardie? My house was completely sheathed with Homasote (pressed board) under cedar shingles. I replaced all of the Homasote with 1/2" ply prior to installing the Hardie wrap and siding.

Regarding Tyvek vs. Hardie-Wrap, you might consider calling James Hardie to ask if Tyvek is approved for installation under their siding. I know they have an interest in advertising their own products, but they have approved other brands as being acceptable.
 
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Old 12-16-19, 10:51 AM
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The James Hardie directions are quite clear and aren't about looks. There is no requirement anywhere that says ONLY hardie wrap can be used. And if the flashing gap is less than 1/4 you aren't following their directions. Its 1/4" because of the skin tension of water and capillary action. If the gap is less than 1/4" the siding will be sitting in a puddle and water will be drawn up into the siding. The 1/4" gap also allows you to stick a caulk nozzle in there to seal the ends of the siding.

Personally I make a cap flashing with upturned ends that are at least 1/4 tall. Otherwise, water runs off the ends and right behind the siding.
 
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Old 12-16-19, 01:35 PM
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@XSleeper. I do understand that the directions are meant to be followed diligently and, to date, I think I've been doing that. Looks are important though too, so, if there are ways to follow the directions and have the outcome look better, I'm all for it. I should have asked the question differently, like "that 1/4" gap above electrical boxes looks bad, is there any way to make it look better?"

Regarding house wrap, when I was deciding on which house wrap I was going to use, one wholesaler told me than one of the brands he carried was approved by Hardie for use under Hardie siding. Now, he may have been "blowing smoke", but it did get my attention. I chose Hardie-Wrap anyway, because I knew that Hardie's own brand would meet their requirements.

A couple of things you mentioned were interesting. You mention caulking the ends of the siding. I assume you're talking about the vertical edges of the cut opening, not the horizontal cut edge.
Also, could you help me visualize how you're using cap flashing? What material do you start with?

Thanks.
 

Last edited by SturdyNail; 12-16-19 at 01:52 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 12-16-19, 02:07 PM
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Your questions are starting to hijack stovepipe's thread. But it's exactly the same as stovepipe's flashing in photos 2 & 3 but with 2 flaps turned up on each side to act as end dams. The crease in back can then be sealed better with caulk, preventing water from running off the ends of the flashing. This is known as an "end dam". Just google it.

Yes, he was blowing smoke. Hardie's instructions simply mention a WRB is required. (This could literally be any brand). Then they mention their own brand as one (one of many) that is compliant.
 
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Old 12-16-19, 02:18 PM
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sorry for the interruption @stovepipe. Back to your thread. What are you left with at the gable ends?
 
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Old 12-23-19, 06:31 AM
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I've been under the weather. Spoke with Hardie about the wrap. They told me Tyvek is fine as their brand wrap isn't in a lot of supply houses. Did a walk thru the other day inspecting all the work. I wasn't happy nor upset with the quality. Somewhere in the middle but when you're paying a nice chunk you expect top quality work. To me, chalking alone can make or break a good install of many different types of jobs. There is a lot of areas where the time wasn't taken to do it clean and it takes away from the beauty.

There is a lot of unfilled nail holes in the siding which I know isn't per Hardies spec. There is also a different gauge nail where the heads are flush to the surface. Don't think thats spec either as water can find it's way behind the nail head. They ended up patching the holes by the gable vents from inside the attic which Im not happy about. While no one will know unless they went into the attic, it is not the proper way to do it and looks like a hack job in the attic.

Some areas had corner molding at the top where it meets the soffit. That trim should have been removed, plank run up and molding reinstalled over top the plank or not even reinstalled, just chalking along the seam. Instead they ran the plank right underneath it which now gives water a place to go over top and behind the plank. While water might not have a high chance of getting behind there, it looks very tacky and half assed. Being it's butted underneath you cant remove the molding now either.

Being someone who takes professionalism and quality very seriously I am rarely ever happy. That's why I try to do my own work where I can. Anyways, thank you guys so much for all your input.
 
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