Fix for back of house?

Turner58800May 6, 2014

My husband and I are trying to figure out a solution to this problem:


There used to be a window where the door currently is, it was wider and occupied the space currently filled in by plywood. To the left of the door you can see the old (I am assuming original) wood siding. Apparently all of our siding was caulked together, so at the time we could not take the siding down, cut the hole for the door, fill in the excess where the window was, and reapply the siding. It had to be cut. It is aluminum siding if that makes a difference.
We are looking for suggestions as to how or what to fix that corner. This project was done at the time with the inside in mind. We remodeled our laundry and bathrooms. It involved moving walls, having no shower for a week, etc. and we were primarily doing the project ourselves. It has been over a year now, and we still don't know what to do with the space. Some discussed ideas have been Novabrick (a mortar-less brick that you essentially stack and screw as you go), getting panels of faux stone vinyl, or ceder shingles, either real, or vinyl panels. The idea would be to "frame" the door in with an alternative material. As you can see in the pictures that section of the patio is a step lower than the rest so my thought is framing that section in with a different material wouldn't look that odd?
Does this solution seem like it will fix the problem? Or does it seem tacky? Any other ideas?
Anything is appreciated! Thank you!

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Sorry, It looks like my links didn't work.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 1:16PM
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Here is the other one, more of a general view of the back of the house.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 1:17PM
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Don't introduce another material. Probably anything like that would make it look bad.

Try to find that siding somewhere that you can salvage. Find an old siding guy who knows aluminum siding.

An alternative would be to remove all of the aluminum siding and replace with hardie plank.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 2:17PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Do a shed roof off of the garage just enough to close in that area for a small back porch. Then harvest the siding from the enclosed garage section for the house. Use hardiplank colormatched to the existing siding for the small porch area. Or, just screen it in.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 7:37PM
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I love Hollyspring's idea! I'll bet it would be nice to go from garage to that door without going outside. If the porch is insulated, you could just move the door (and doggie door) to the porch, and frame in the existing door.

If that's not an option, a new doggie door could be built into the wall of the porch, instead of the door.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 10:57AM
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The door with the dog door is in our laundry/mud room. There is a door in that room that is connected to the garage, and it is open to the kitchen. The other door pictured is coming from our garage, and is mostly used when my husband is going back and forth from garage to shed, or if we are grilling as we store the charcoal and lighter fluid in the garage. I am contemplating the idea of a screened room, bc bugs can be quite bad sometimes. My husband thinks it would be a hassle to have an extra door to go through.
We talked to some people at the local hardware store wanting to get prices for just that area around the door. They had an interesting suggestion: use the vinyl paneling that is faux stone, but instead of around the door, removed the bottome 5 pieces (about 3 ft) of our siding across the whole back of the house, creating a wainscoting effect. Then use the removed siding to repair around the door. Thoughts? It would cost about $800 to do this option which is more than we were hoping to spend to fix such a small section. However I do think it would look more finished and not as "rigged" as our original idea.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 11:20AM
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In my head it would look similar to this:

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 11:26AM
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You should stop and do it correctly. Plastic faux stone isn't a good answer.

Seriously, find a siding contractor who can replace the siding and then paint it. The amount of work involved in doing what you described is much more than just redoing the sidin in that one section. It looks like there's a break in the siding near the AC unit. I bet a siding person could remove the siding to that point, then replace it using salvaged material. The color won't match, but then you would paint that entire back side.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 11:49AM
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That is a good point as well. There is not a break in the siding, its slightly discolored as that is where a gutter downspout used to be, we moved it. We were originally looking for a quick fix, as we are wanting to refinance soon. However I think we will leave it as is, apply for the refinance, hope for the best, and fix it with a more permanent solution later this summer when we have more $$ and time.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 12:00PM
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Although not code-required in this situation, I'd replace that continuous step with a shorter landing.

Here is a link that might be useful: Landing

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 1:16PM
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That stone is just nasty looking. Redo the siding correctly.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 1:20PM
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Yes, that wood step is also temporary and will be replaced when the rest of the back is fixed. I prob. picked a bad example and I don't care for that particular faux stone either. My point was the idea of doing a wainscoting for the bottom half of the whole back of the house, and use that siding to repair around the door.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 1:36PM
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I'm not trying to be too critical, but it's not a bad example, it's a bad idea.

Do something that if you were to sell the house, the next person wouldn't remove first thing.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 10:48PM
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Jakethewonderdog: That is why I came here was to get opinions! Thank you :)

Our house is not worth the cost of real stone, the wainscot look is fairly popular in our area. We are going to get some estimates to get the siding fixed with siding next.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 9:10AM
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I completely understand. I'm not suggesting real stone.

I do appreciate the issue that people with metal siding have when they make some exterior modification. I completely get it. One way to look at it is that your siding is probably 40 years old. You may have gotten your money's worth out of it. Whatever you do though, you want it to be something that will last another 40 years.

Some options include:

Repair existing: if you can find someone who has the skills and the salvaged materials. Will still require painting.

Remove and re-side with vinyl siding. I'm not a big fan of vinyl siding because it's not that durable. But this is an option.

Remove all of the siding and re-side with hardi plank. This is the most expensive option, but is also the best looking and most durable. It also gives you the chance to Insulate your exterior walls if they aren't already. You can paint HardiPlank any color and it holds paint great. You could just do the addition for now to limit the scope of the project.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 10:34AM
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Elraes Miller

I'd build some shutters for both sides of the door (or go to a RESTORE type business and buy) if you are considering not doing anything to the siding. Also agree the step is an issue which an inspector for refinance would look at, as would your insurance company.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 7:19AM
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