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I'm bidding a job that requires removing vinyl siding from a 2600 ft2 home with original Doug Fir siding (looks like shiplap?). I believe the vinyl was on there for around 10 years. What should I take into consideration making this quote? I've only been painting for 3 years and have never removed vinyl siding. Looks easy, but I'm worried about what might await me underneath. Homeowner removed one side (north) of the home already and it looks like the siding is in fine shape, but would there possibly be rot on the backside that I can't see or feel by pressing on it? I know it may be likely that the west and south sides are in worse shape. I'm also wondering how to address the large gaps between siding. I know I shouldn't caulk all the gaps in siding to allow for ventilation, but would putting backing rod/caulking the biggest ugliest gaps for aesthetic reasons be an OK move? leaving the smaller ones? Any tips and considerations that would go into making this quote would be appreciated!


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I'm bidding a job that requires removing vinyl siding from a 2600 ft2 home with original Doug Fir siding (looks like shiplap?). I believe the vinyl was on there for around 10 years. What should I take into consideration making this quote? I've only been painting for 3 years and have never removed vinyl siding. Looks easy, but I'm worried about what might await me underneath. Homeowner removed one side (north) of the home already and it looks like the siding is in fine shape, but would there possibly be rot on the backside that I can't see or feel by pressing on it? I know it may be likely that the west and south sides are in worse shape. I'm also wondering how to address the large gaps between siding. I know I shouldn't caulk all the gaps in siding to allow for ventilation, but would putting backing rod/caulking the biggest ugliest gaps for aesthetic reasons be an OK move? leaving the smaller ones? Any tips and considerations that would go into making this quote would be appreciated!


View attachment 112044
The underside of “lap siding” should not be caulked, so as to allow moisture to escape. However, I would personally caulk all of these joints with something- unlike lap siding, they will surely allow water to penetrate behind the siding and cause problems. What part of the country do you live in? I could be wrong, I’ve never worked on horizontal siding like this before. Is that tongue and groove car siding?
I can’t tell if that is open, or t and g? Can water get behind the siding? Are the cracks open?

Vinyl is easy to remove. Buy a vinyl siding tool, in case you need it. It has a slight hook, and is used to grab the vinyl (slips underneath) and pulls it down, and then apart. Then remove the nails or screws that attaching the siding to the wall.

If you choose to do a quote (I would offer an Estimate instead) make sure the owners are absolutely clear that there may be unforeseen issues that you cannot predict or be responsible for. Prices may need to be adjusted. T + M would make more sense in my opinion, but spell out as much detail as possible beforehand.

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Holy cow. That is "siding?" It wasn't done by anyone who knew what they were doing. Siding has to lap - bottom of the top pieces over the top of the bottom pieces - so that water sheds and runs down...down...down...rather than infiltrating. That is not a workable siding system. If this was to be used for siding with any hope of holding up, it needed to be installed on the vertical rather than the horizontal. And primed all the way around, including prime/caulk/paint on the end grains. As installed, it is an invitation to constant moisture problems and rot - not an appropriate siding system. I think that the HO should consult a building contractor and see about residing the house with appropriate materials and design.
 

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Here's my tip..move on to another job, do not bid this!! The reason people opt for vinyl siding is they are trying to cover the garbage underneath. It's likely that the old siding is so bad, that it needs to be replaced. I would turn this on to a siding company as a lead and maybe you get to be the painter?? But, seriously run away now.
 

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Here's my tip..move on to another job, do not bid this!! The reason people opt for vinyl siding is they are trying to cover the garbage underneath. It's likely that the old siding is so bad, that it needs to be replaced. I would turn this on to a siding company as a lead and maybe you get to be the painter?? But, seriously run away now.
I can +1 that. And even if the old siding isn't bad now ... it will be. Don't get in a position to be blamed.
 

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I've seen wood siding like that on many very old cottages around here. Most are non heated, non insulated. Every time I see it I think to myself "how on earth has this building survived?" But, here we are and most of these buildings are twice as old as I am and that is certainly saying something.
 

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I've seen wood siding like that on many very old cottages around here. Most are non heated, non insulated. Every time I see it I think to myself "how on earth has this building survived?" But, here we are and most of these buildings are twice as old as I am and that is certainly saying something.
Imagine if those buildings were twice as old as RH. That’d really be saying something.

But back on point, I’ve heard and read some about old growth wood having more natural longevity than the newer fast-growth timber.
Especially with pine here in the South.


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Imagine if those buildings were twice as old as RH. That’d really be saying something.

But back on point, I’ve heard and read some about old growth wood having more natural longevity than the newer fast-growth timber.
Especially with pine here in the South.


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It absolutely does. Why Old-Growth Wood is Better | The Craftsman Blog

But, uh, there's just not much around anymore.

Either way, you don't install an exterior anything that's designed to catch water rather than shed it. Old growth or not. So I don't know why anyone thought it was a good idea to install this kind of thing on the horizontal, but it wasn't.

In any case, the OP may not be coming back? But what I would do if I had no choice but to do this job - I'd caulk the heck out of all of those cracks. You don't do that on lap siding since it should be able to breathe (as Holland mentioned). But in this case I'd be trying to hold off water infiltration as best as I could.
 

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Imagine if those buildings were twice as old as RH. That’d really be saying something.

But back on point, I’ve heard and read some about old growth wood having more natural longevity than the newer fast-growth timber.
Especially with pine here in the South.


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Years ago I was wondering about that. Why were new houses rotting? Contracter told me it is because the new fast growth trees are essentially on steroids and do not have a tight grain and therefore rot easily.
 

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Years ago I was wondering about that. Why were new houses rotting? Contracter told me it is because the new fast growth trees are essentially on steroids and do not have a tight grain and therefore rot easily.
Cedar is that way.
Have been advised to treat Cedar as not completely weather resistant anymore because it is predominantly sapwood now, and to regularly coat it to make weatherproof.
 

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Years ago I was wondering about that. Why were new houses rotting? Contracter told me it is because the new fast growth trees are essentially on steroids and do not have a tight grain and therefore rot easily.
The heavy metals in the older paints also provided protection against wood decaying organisms, serving as biocides/mildewcides.
 

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Yep, that is tongue and groove meant to look like individual boards but with 2 “sections” to a piece. Likely cedar or it could even be redwood (not uncommon for back when - at least out west).

Probably well older than me - meaning ancient, but the quality would kick ass of any wood products made today. Ever try to obtain new pieces of stain grade doors or plywood expecting to make it look like older stuff? Good luck - today’s woods are but a shadow of the stuff from even back in the 70’s.

I would echo what others are saying. As a relatively new painter, getting into this could end up being one of those jobs you’d wish you never seen (and we have all had them). And as Kevyn said, the presence of lead paint could be a definite possibility.
 

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Please correct me if Im wrong, cannot find much info on it:

I think "Car Siding" is what we are looking at, which is also known as Box Car Siding, and also Tongue and Groove.

It is usually Pine and sometimes Cedar.
It takes it names from it roots, which originate in Box Car Siding. It was once used to make freight train box cars out of, and later was re-purposed for use as home siding. Is recognizable by the deep v groove down the middle off the board, as well as the Tongue and Groove.

The Woodie Car also has its roots in this transitional time in history.

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Please correct me if Im wrong, cannot find much info on it:

I think "Car Siding" is what we are looking at, which is also known as Box Car Siding, and also Tongue and Groove.

It is usually Pine and sometimes Cedar.
It takes it names from it roots, which originate in Box Car Siding. It was once used to make freight train box cars out of, and later was re-purposed for use as home siding. Is recognizable by the deep v groove down the middle off the board, as well as the Tongue and Groove.

The Woodie Car also has its roots in this transitional time in history.

View attachment 112076
It looks like a fairly common shiplap profile to me. Below is an example of a commonly available stock profile, although the siding in the OP’s photo is a bit beefier..probably 5/4 instead of the 3/4 pictured..
112077
 

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It looks like a fairly common shiplap profile to me. Below is an example of a commonly available stock profile, although the siding in the OP’s photo is a bit beefier..probably 5/4 instead of the 3/4 pictured..
View attachment 112077
You're probably right. Probably ship lap. that would explain what looks like gaps- so they are in fact overlaps.
Would you caulk those? That is the big question. probably wouldn't need to -if- they are intact.


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