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Tell me about removing your vinyl siding

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Tell me about removing your vinyl siding

Postby q. rious on Sun Jun 28, 2009 11:59 am

We recently bought a 1500 SF 1940 Minimal Traditional house that has been encased in vinyl. It is super ugly and I really worry about long-term damage, based on these forums. Based on the PO's maintenance habits, I am worried about what we'll find underneath.

However, I had a well-regarded contractor (referred by a few friends) come out and peek under a vinyl shingle on the south-west side. He said the wood underneath looked pretty good to him (and to me, except for the THOUSANDS OF SPIDER EGG CASES UNDERNEATH), and the wood would be in the worst condition on that side.

He gave me a quote of 4K to remove the siding, fill nail holes, paint the exterior with Miller Paint. He seemed unfamiliar with my concern over whether the windows had been trimmed to install vinyl, and he didn't think it was such a big deal if so. Our window restoration guy pointed this out.

Someone else has pointed out that we might want to replace our front door at the same time. Current door is a 70s replacement monstrosity and lets a lot of cold air in. So that's another 2K, probably.

The PO's home-made storm window system works with the vinyl, but will obviously not work with unvinyled exterior. That's okay, we got all the storms off and found that windows had mild rot damage from the poor seal.

Have you removed vinyl? Lay it on me. Did you do it yourself? Hired someone? How did you choose him or her? What sorts of quotes did you get? What sorts of surprises did you find? We have 4K but we really don't have 22K if a bunch of boards are missing. The contractor seems very, very sure that we won't find surprises, but who knows?

His quote seems low to me, but what do I know.

EDIT: Just talked to a long-time neighbor. She said the vinyl was on when she moved here in the 1940s. Dang. That's some old vinyl siding, and means that it's been on almost as long as the life of the house.
Last edited by q. rious on Sun Jun 28, 2009 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tell me about removing your vinyl siding

Postby kellie on Sun Jun 28, 2009 1:24 pm

I don't know anything about removing vinyl, so I'm of no help in that department, but for front doors, you might try looking at an architectural salvage store or Habitat for Humanity ReStore for a 1940's front door that will match your house. It would probably save you a little money too.
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Re: Tell me about removing your vinyl siding

Postby q. rious on Sun Jun 28, 2009 1:55 pm

I thought of that too, Kellie. But I've had more than one person say that although a door might look like it fits, the door framing has shifted over the years and we'd need a whole new system, including removing the door trim (waa) and reinstalling or putting on new trim. Weatherstripping (as is currently done) won't keep out the elements well enough. The front door is very drafty.

I don't know though. I hope I explained that correctly. Still learning.
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Re: Tell me about removing your vinyl siding

Postby mountain_one on Sun Jun 28, 2009 3:20 pm

Here's a couple of links to recent discussions from people who have removed their vinyl or aluminum siding, either themselves or hired it out. Hope these help.
http://www.oldhouseweb.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=19231
http://www.oldhouseweb.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=19322

I know the one below was hired out and I'm pretty sure costs are mentioned in the posts.
http://www.oldhouseweb.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=18285
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Re: Tell me about removing your vinyl siding

Postby q. rious on Sun Jun 28, 2009 3:38 pm

Thanks for those. It looks like the aluminum siding removal quote was near mine (3500 for original poster's, I think?), in the third thread, and the OP's house looks to be much larger than mine. So it's doable and not too crazy.

I do wish window sill rehab was going to be included in the quote, but I suppose I'd rather have a qualified, historic-home-experienced carpenter come and attack those, anyhow.
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Re: Tell me about removing your vinyl siding

Postby S Melissa on Sun Jun 28, 2009 7:31 pm

We took off the old depression asphalt brick siding - then put on aluminum (1978) then we took off the aluminum in 2006 and put on James Hardie board. We had a lot of missing wood on our house - and after two siding jobs - the claps were there, not rotted but surely a bit punctuated from nails over the years. We found NO ROT on our house. We have an ideal setting tho so we're really lucky.

Taking off siding is not hard work. The best way to save money is to do as much "grunt" work yourself as you can - save your money for the work a professional needs to do. They first came out with vinyl siding in the 1940's - it was an amazingly well constructed product - not like the el-cheapo stuff that is often seen today. That may well be what you've got.

As for replacing boards - you may have to - depends on what you find. But mostly, you will be able to fix and patch it up and you might even continue to utilize the grunt work factor if you fill in your own holes and help with the painting - if you have the time that is. Many time contractors will let you participate in projects to cut costs - or to pay for additional work - like your sills.

Look at the sills - if the ends are "even" with the upright parts of the window frames - they've likely been clipped for the siding job - if they extend past the upright part of the frame - they may still be there. Replacing them isn't too hard so shouldn't be too expensive if you need it.

Good luck!
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Canton, MI
1860 Italianate - Reuben Huston Home
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Re: Tell me about removing your vinyl siding

Postby q. rious on Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:31 pm

S Melissa wrote:Taking off siding is not hard work. The best way to save money is to do as much "grunt" work yourself as you can - save your money for the work a professional needs to do.


So what would you think is the professional part of it? Replacing and painting? Hauling this vinyl away? I am not sure how to delineate the project.

I am not ready to paint. I have a hard enough time painting a straight line in our rooms (which I'm doing), much less something everyone on our street will see!

S Melissa wrote:Look at the sills - if the ends are "even" with the upright parts of the window frames - they've likely been clipped for the siding job - if they extend past the upright part of the frame - they may still be there. Replacing them isn't too hard so shouldn't be too expensive if you need it.


You are right, they're even. Boo. Do you have to replace or can someone add on the ends?
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Re: Tell me about removing your vinyl siding

Postby Texas_Ranger on Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:54 am

1940s house? Sided over in the 1940s? Creepy.

Just a few guesses based on what I read: removing the stuff doesn't seem to be too bad - pry it down and bag it or get a dumpster. If it's not vinyl but asbestos it gets more complex, but still might be possible, depending on local regs. IMO filling the nail holes, sanding and painting is going to be the real tedious part of the job. Heck, I hate painting a single door, and then doing the whole exterior of a wood home? You can do it wall by wall though.

And yes, the solls can be fixed - some wood glue goes a long way.
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Re: Tell me about removing your vinyl siding

Postby cs on Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:16 am

On our place I did the stripping of the old vinyl siding… and the old asphalt shingle siding… myself. The paint prep (including hole filling) and painting I hired out. As Mellissa suggests, if you do the same, you will probably save a good bit of money – maybe enough to pay for the door. It certainly is not rocket science. All it requires is a willingness to do hot, dirty jobs on ladders and put up with some creepy-crawlies and the occasional hornet sting. But hey, that’s what we all bought old houses for! We eat that stuff up! :lol:
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Re: Tell me about removing your vinyl siding

Postby q. rious on Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:06 pm

CS, awesome site! You guys did a great job.

Did you hire out the hole-repair and painting before you started removing vinyl, to ensure overlap of services (i.e. they didn't wait too long to get to you, then you had a big rainstorm, and ...)? Could they also repair old boards?

How many days did it take you to remove the siding from your house? Did you use any special tools?

Texas_Ranger, yeah, I think maybe that's not right. Was vinyl siding really in use in the 1940s?
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