Before Vinyl Siding: Rip-off shingles, or go over them??

motoq2000January 7, 2010

First off - the house is a 100yr old 2-story, and has stained wood shingles (not sure if they are original, but they are in fairly poor shape - dry, brittle, and had curled (at some point the bottom of the shingles were nailed down to stop the curl). The house has about ~3,000 sq ft of surface area.

I had two separate vinyl siding contractors come do a consulation. The first guy brought a pretty nice looking Alside insulated siding product called Prodigy. It's backed with 1" of styrofoam (R5 value), comes in long lengths (16'), and has a very realistic textured. He said the only way to do it right was to have all the existing shingles ripped-off, wrap the house with breathable Tyvek, and then install the new siding. He quoted the job at $24k (including the all the aluminum trim, etc.).

The second guy brought a somewhat less attractive Certain Teed product called Monogram 46. It did not have any insulated backing (he called that a gimmick). It also came in 16' lengths though. He said it was actually unnecessary to stip all the old shingles off, and instead proposed to cover them up flat with a foam board, and then install the siding ontop of the board. He quoted the job at $16k, including all aluminum trim, etc.

Does anyone know if it's really necessary to strip-off all the old shingles before installing the siding? There does not appear to be any water damage issues with the existing old shingles, however the first guy said it's important get the old shingles off to avoid any issues with moisture or mold underneath the new siding. The second guy said any moisture under the siding would evaporate when the sun hits the house (of course, the north side doesn't see much sun)...

Also any opinions on an insulated siding vs. non-insulated. The house right now has no insulation, and is located in the Boston area. Some walls will be insulated from the inside during interior renovations, and we may get blown-in at some point.

Thanks in advance to those of you with vinyl siding experience!

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I agree with siding guy # 1. Stripping off the old shingles allows you to check ou the condition of the walls to spot any possible rotted areas.It also gives you a chance to insulate any areas that aren't, and seal any areas that need to be addreseed. You can also inspect around window and door openings for flashings that need to be installed properly coinciding with the tyvek. It would also be a time to consider if you want any outside electrical boxes or water spiquets installed before they start wrapping. I've only heard positives about insulated vinyl sidings, not a gimmick. Besides the small amount of insulation, the most important aspect to it is that it adds rigidity ot the panel when the neighbors kids baseball hits it! Tends to hold up to abuse a tad better than non-insulated vinyl. You might ask for an estimate for foam board panels rather than the tyvek for a better insulated wall. That might lead to furring out window and door trims to meet the extra width.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2010 at 10:30AM
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Definately the first guy!

Having pulled siding off houses, there can be lots of bad stuff underneath. And leaving worn out siding, especially shingles, can often lead to shingles dropping and really creating a hassle.

Added to that is the fact that leaving the old, adding foamboard and new vinyl adds an inch to an inch and a half to the thickness of the total siding. That means extending window trim/sills, electrical receptacles, and makes it much more difficult to connect gutter downspouts/etc.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2010 at 1:15PM
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Ok, well this week a 3rd guy is coming... I won't prompt him and will see what he says. From the phone conversation he sounds like he's less exclusive in terms of the manufacturer/product he prefers to install. Sounds like he'd install whatever I want, and would advise based on my interests/objectives.

Will update on how it goes!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 1:44AM
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If the walls aren't insulated I would also consider blowing insulation into the wall after the siding is stipped.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2010 at 10:16AM
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