Is $500 a reasonable price to replace sections of woodrot?

needinfo001August 21, 2014

I had a nice guy come to my house to install a new door in an existing frame. I paid him $200. Other people i spoke with told me i needed to replace to whole door frame. The guy was able to cut the door to size and fix the jamb. He did a really good job.

Now, i need him to replace a 10 foot section of rotted wood that is below the siding on my house and also replace some of the actual wood siding. The rot is around the cement steps leading to the door. When it rains water can get back there and it has rotted the bottom piece of wood and is now moving up the wood brick and batten siding.

He said when he removes the rotted section he wll need to seal around the cement to keep water from getting to the wood. The siding he needs to replace is a 2 foot by 2 foot section.
he told me he would charge me $500.

I know he does good work.
Does this seem reasonable?

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HandyMac

Not enough info.

What is brick and batten? Do you mean board and batten siding or brick mold(door trim)?

Is the rotted wood part of the framing of the house, like part of the bottom sill plate, or is it mud sill(the piece that sits of the top of the foundation)?

Replacing board and batten siding usually means an entire piece(4' by 8' minimum size).

Plus priming/painting.

If the repair entails a full piece of board siding and supporting the wall to replace the rotted wood, I'd say $500 is cheap.

How much siding has to be removed to access the problem area?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 3:15PM
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millworkman

Help us help you, please post some pictures.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 3:27PM
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needinfo001

Handymac

millworkman

Yes, it is board and batten siding not brick and batten. sorry. lol.
Im attaching photos of the area.
In the pics, he will replace the horizontal bottom section adjacent to the stairs and a 4x8 piece section of the boars and batten. Rot from the horizontal bottom section is climbing up the the board and batten.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 8:02PM
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needinfo001

another pic of the rotting boards....

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 8:03PM
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needinfo001

and a close up of where water is getting in by the cement....
he will replace about 10 ft worth of this section

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 8:04PM
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needinfo001

Also, does anyone have a clue of what material the board and batten is?
The board itself is only about a quarter inch thick. There is 1x6 tongue and groove pine boards behind it.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 8:07PM
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Trebruchet

You can't just replace rotting wood. You must determine what is causing the rot, or the replacement wood will rot too.

I just quoted a door replacement at $850.00, door not included. My door and jambs will never rot.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 10:38PM
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klem1

$500 is about right for removing rotted material to the point of knowing the extent of repair needed(possible frame member rot).

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 12:47AM
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PRO
Sophie Wheeler

Learn how to flash properly and DIY. That's a lot more than $500 if it's done correctly. Done poorly, with improper flashing, it can cost you enough structural damage that the bill woukd be 10x that eventually, if there's not already a rotting sill under that. A bandaid here would be the worst thing you could do. And that's what you're proposing. The problem isn't wood rot. It's the construction of the house/steps that allows moisture penetration. Fix the problem, not the symptom. Get ready to spend some money if you can't get handy quick.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 7:25AM
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millworkman

I agree with hollysorings, you need to fix the problem not apply bandaids.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 9:15AM
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HandyMac

The other responders have nailed the problem---something is causing water to be collected at that spot. That type of board is a cheap pressed wood fiber material, often like hardboard. It is notorious for disintegrating exactly as you have now unless it is kept dry. Paint controls the moisture absorption on the surface. The problem is in the edges, where water is easily sucked into the material.

I'd guess there is a porch roof over that area without a gutter. Or, the concrete is slanting towards the house.

The way that trim is installed is promoting the water absorption.

Two longer termed fixes. One is to use pressure treated wood rated for ground contact. A much better(and more expensive) fix is to use Azek or comparable plastic trim. And a good caulk between the new siding and the trim as well as along the trim/concrete.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 10:19AM
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needinfo001

The carpenter said that he would seal around the cement steps to keep water from collecting there and damaging the wood.
I put my hand under the horizontal board and it feels like there is some piece of metal under it. Hopefully that has kept the water from getting to the sill plate, but i dont know.

now you guys have me really worried!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 10:37AM
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millworkman

"seal around the cement steps", is not addressing the problem, that is using a bandaid. If you put wood back there again you WILL end up in the same spot down the road.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 11:51AM
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needinfo001

millworkman

What are you suggesting the problem is?
Im thinking that when it rains water is getting to the wood from the steps.
I think a previous homeowner might have also replace that wood before.

How can i fix the problem once and for all?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 12:19PM
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HandyMac

What I recommended earlier.

Two longer termed fixes. One is to use pressure treated wood rated for ground contact. A much better(and more expensive) fix is to use Azek or comparable plastic trim. And a good caulk between the new siding and the trim as well as along the trim/concrete.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 1:07PM
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klem1

Let's lay subtleties aside and see if we can make headway in answering your questions about the rotted siding on your house. It's important you understand noone can tell from the pictures what's behind the rotted siding. For that matter,one could only be certain after removing the siding if they were standing in front of the damage. That precludes even the best of carpenters making an accurate estimate of repair. Let's assume for a minute one of these experienced individuals threw reason in the wind and gave you an exact figure of $1,241.12 material,labor and repainting. 99.9% of the individuals you have look at it will disaggree on one or more points. I said $500 is close to a fair price for someoone tearing into it far enough to make an accurate list of material on time required for repair. Even at that point different carpenters will charge different as result of several considerations.
You asked "How can i fix the problem once and for all?"
Handymac suggested material for one way and can give you a couple more. Another carpenter will likly have even other ideas,maybe better,maybe not. Personally,I am happy to discuss a client's suggestions and desires as long as they are his own but I have turned down more than one job only because client wanted third party methods used.
I feel safe in saying everone thinks $500 will not be enough IF PROPER MATERIAL IS USED ACCORDING TO GOOD PRATICES. Unless you plan doing this yourself,you need to be asking around your town for the name of a reputable repair carpenter,not if the one you have is the one to use. Optionaly.let the guy do it,$500 is a bargin.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 4:00AM
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Trebruchet

"The carpenter said that he would seal around the cement steps to keep water from collecting there and damaging the wood."

Caulk is not mechanical flashing.

You need someone skilled in diagnosing problems and detailing solutions which is obviously not this carpenter.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 7:57AM
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deee_gw

Can you take a wide shot of the door and the steps? I'm not a contractor but I am wondering long did it take for the siding to rot? If the siding rotted after fifty years of dripping from the roof, then to me, replacement would be fine.

If there is no obvious dripping or if the siding isn't very old then you need to find out where the water is coming from.l

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 8:11AM
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mosquitogang201

I'm going to suggest that this is rotting because of 1) rain splashing off the steps and soaking the wood, and 2) concrete is porous so it will absorb water, which can wick into the trim. Sealing between the concrete and trim will solve #2. The splashback off the steps is harder to deal with. A gutter above will help but still can't fight wind driven rain. If you go back with wood trim, make sure it's solid wood and prime all sides of it with an oil base primer before installing it. Make sure everything is caulked well after it's installed. Pressure treated wood will last longer but the downside is that it will warp and crack as it dries out, plus you can't paint it for a few months. So I wouldn't use PT wood. The other option is plastic trim, although personally I don't like the way it looks. If there's flashing underneath like you suggest then your wall framing is probably ok, but of course no way to know until it's opened up.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 5:57PM
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needinfo001

deee

The siding is pretty old i imagine. Im sure it is original to the house which was built in 1960. The siding under the carport is perfect because the elements dont hit it. The rot seamed to occur in the last couple of years.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 6:59PM
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energy_rater_la

changing the wood without addressing what is
causing the moisture issue is a band aid.
be prepared to do it again...because it will rot
again.

apparently this job is beyond the scope of your guy.
get more bids.

expect source of moisture to be revealed &
how to resolve this issue.
then treated wood, proper flashing methods..
including z flashing..should be part of the job.
caulk fills in seams/joints but flashing is what keeps
water out when caulk fails.

best of luck.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 2:07PM
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tlbean2004

OP here under a different screen name.

I think it got damaged from rain water splashing up on it from the steps.

The siding in front of the house by the front door also has steps and it is in the same condition. But all around the house where there are no steps to allow the rain to splash up, the siding is in good condition.

Really dont want to let go of this $500 dollars though!
Could by a new flat screen TV.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2015 at 3:42PM
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greg_2010

Maintaining your house so that it doesn't rot out from under you is not throwing your money away.
Buying a new TV is.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2015 at 1:28PM
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tlbean2004

lol that is very true greg!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2015 at 4:46PM
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