Paint over or fix dry rot?
I started preparing to repaint my 600 ft cottage, which has old wood siding. I found quite a bit of dry rot, the largest being a strip about 3 feet wide and 2 inches tall. The siding is horizontal boards. I asked a contractor friend and he said, just fill it in an repaint, it will buy you a few years, but that was before I found out just how big the holes are. Also, in at least one place, the hole goes all the way through the wood. I am not able to do the work myself so am hiring someone to do the prep work. Based on advice from the hardware store, he is filling in the holes with this bondo stuff that has a hardener. MOney is an issue for me and I have spent $300 so far just on scraping off the old paint. Should I go this route, or what the contractor said was the other route, removing all the siding and completely redoing with Hardiboard or something and painting it? The guy who is helping me used up one quart of Bondo- should I get more and continue this route? Also, in some places, the bottom is touching the ground. The contractor said I should have this part made into a concrete pathway next to the house, which he said would cost $1000- is there another way to do this, such as just replace the bottom boards with boards of this hardiboard stuff? Thanks so much for your help.