Q&A / 

Replace Wood Siding Cost

Jim Carter, no relation to me, lives about an hour's drive north of Sacramento, CA. He thinks he wants to replace the wood siding on his house because it looks bad. But he's worried about the cost and his tight budget. Here's his story:

"Hi Tim,

When we moved into our house, it needed the trim painted badly. The wood was pretty much bare and grey, so we scraped and primed with an expensive exterior primer and them top coated with an expensive exterior finish paint.

It wasn’t too long before it started peeling off again, and the T&G boards on each end of the house are now curling to the point they will have to be removed and replaced.



Can you suggest something to replace them with, such as a vinyl siding or such?

The house was built in 1948 and we are the second owners. I'm a medically retired police officer (25 years service), and was medically retired about 22 years ago, so can no longer do my own repairs and we can’t afford expensive fixes.

I'm looking for the best fix for the price that includes (if possible) an easy fix and inexpensive installation. We are in the Central Valley of CA, just under an hour drive north of Sacramento.  Any help would be appreciated."

Jim, I looked at your photos and the wood seems to be in pretty good shape. I don't see much curling.

What's more, even if there are a few pieces of wood that must be replaced, that's usually not that hard to do.

The most important part of your question is the last paragraph. You said, "I'm looking for the best fix for the price....."

Guess what? I maintain that repainting the wood satisfies that requirement. I know you said you used great paint before and had poor results, but I'm here to tell you that if you clean that wood siding really well and apply paint I use, you should be able to get at least ten years from a paint job.

You live in a part of the USA that is ideal, in my opinion, for painting wood. While you can get hot weather in the summer, if I'm not mistaken you don't get lots of rain. Rain is what really helps accelerate paint peeling issues.

SS02smallClean the siding first with my Stain Solver oxygen bleach. It will help to remove any of the remaining oxidized paint and get the wood ready to accept the new paint.

I would get Sherwin Williams' Duration exterior paint. Watch for it on sale. READ the label and use whatever primer they recommend on the bare wood.

That said, I guess you should get quotes from some vinyl siding contractors. Be sure to go visit at least three past customers of theirs  and TALK with the homeowners to see if they'd rehire the contractor.

You then need to do the math. Let's say the vinyl siding cost is 4 times higher than painting. You can then paint the house at least three times and still be money ahead.

Are there any high school boys in the neighborhood looking to make some extra money? Hire them to do the painting. You can be in a chair on the ground the entire time supervising. Test them out first to see if they can paint to your satisfaction.


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