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Installing new siding / windows - Some preparation questions...

Installing new siding / windows - Some preparation questions...

Old 10-16-03, 05:45 PM
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Installing new siding / windows - Some preparation questions...

Hello everyone. Today, I read through all the vinyl siding threads under the DoItYourself.com Community Forums > Build supercategory and figured this forum (Walls & Ceilings... Lumber & Paneling was my second choice) might be the best to post this in.

I'm about to tackle new windows and siding for my home and have some questions.

First, some background on my home:
. ranch-style, 2x4 construction, approximately 30 years old
. interior: paper-faced 3-1/2" insulation in wall cavities + 1/2" drywall (5/8" on ceilings)
. exterior: fiberboard sheathing + tar paper + 12" x 16' hardboard lap siding
. house is well-ventilated at eaves and ridge (did this last year - new roof)

I'm not crazy about fiberboard, but I guess it's considered structural sheathing (?). It seems to be in good shape (solid when I knock on it). The hardboard lap siding is in good shape too, other than needing paint, but I'm going to go with a low-maintenance upgrade with the vinyl siding.

I'm going to put in Pella Pro-Line 450 aluminum-clad series windows. Most of the sizes that I need are in stock at either Menards or Lowes, with 4-9/16" jambs. Their exterior frames extend 1-3/8" out from the nailing fins.

I've been doing some reading on this job, and some reading here, and I'm getting a lot of varied information on things like foam sheathing, house wraps, etc. etc.

I'm inclined to go this route:
1) Pull the hardboard siding off.
2) Install the windows, these would then be flush with the interior finished walls.
3) Install 1/2" or 3/4" foam of foil-faced foam sheathing. Tape seams.
4) Install siding. The siding has about a 1/2" profile (Dutch Lap).

I like the idea of a house wrap (Tyvek, etc.), but it seems redundant with foam sheathing. Plus, I live near a somewhat busy road, and I'm thinking the foam sheathing might cut down on some of the noise (and improve the home's R-Value, probably currently at R-11).

What do you guys think? Thanks...

Also, I got a price on Pella Pro-Line 6-9/16" jambs for one of my common sizes and it's about $30 more (special order). Another option is to leave hardboard up and foam sheath the house out for the wider jambs?

P.S. - Here are some of the better links I've picked up from various posts here...I'll be sure to read through them (that one at taunton.com is pretty good).

Vinyl Siding Installation Made Easy With resources from the Vinyl Siding Institute

Popular Mechanics: Installing vinyl siding

CertainTeed Vinyl Siding Installation Manuals and Instructions

Vinyl Siding Done Right
Old 10-16-03, 10:16 PM
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Go with the plan you've outlined, pull the old siding off, siding needs to be installed on a flat surface, otherwise you probablly won't be happy with your end result. I'd also recommend using the house wrap, it really tightens up an old house. My opinion is it's definitely worth the price charged.

And again I'll say it, don't cut corners on material, buy a good quality siding.
Old 10-17-03, 11:11 AM
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Yeah, I'm somewhat divided on that house wrap. I found this quote from someone over at the Garden Web forums (here):

Good points on the Felt vs. "non perforated housewrap" of which Tyvek is one brand.
I would use extruded polystyrene foam sheathing.
Eliminates the need for wrap, it's waterproof, and it has R-Value.
Why R-Value you ask?
Insulated sheathing will:
Prevent dewpoint condensation.
Reduce convective looping.
Provide an air barrier..
Insulate the studs which are the thermal short in the wall system.
And adds R-Value to 100% of the wall which gives you more bang for your buck than upgrading your cavity insulation.

Good moisture barrier.
Some are decent air infiltration retarders.
ALL have Zero R-Value.

Wrap is good foam is better.
He also provided this link: Foam Sheathing Article

I found another with a short reference to the two: WEATHER-RESISTIVE BARRIERS

I put a few calls into some manufacturers (who produce both foam sheathing and house wrap) as well:
. Talked at length with a Dow technician - his opinion was that it seems redundant; he stated their foam sheathing product will pass vapor and shed water, like wrap. But will foam really pass vapor? He also said they really didn't do house wrap until about ten years ago, due to market pressure.
. Talked with someone at Owens Corning - they didn't know anything (Customer Service).
. Left a message with someone at John Mansville Corp - no reply yet. Update: John Mansville Corp guy called back and said typically you wouldn't use both as their AP foam/foil sheathing would serve the same purpose as house wrap if it was installed properly and taped at the seams.

As far as quality siding goes, I'm not sure whether what's carried in my local home centers would qualify. They carry ABTCo, Georgia-Pacific, Ashland-Davis and they're all reasonable enough ($40-$60/sq), but I examined their warranties and there's nothing really special about them. Lifetime for original purchaser, limited coverage for fading, and warranty transfers result in a reduction of the manufacturer's liability to 10% at 15 years.

I'll probably move from this home in 5 years, so I have to manage the payback on whatever I spend.

Last edited by Blackhole; 10-17-03 at 02:45 PM.

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