i own a house built in 1930. it's a center hall colonial. looking at it from the front, the first floor is stone venere (though fairly thick venere), and the second floor is cedar shingles that looks like clapboard (i've been told that it's called "perfection cedar" and supposedly they are unusually thick). the roof is vermont slate that kind of matches the color of the stone venere.
my question: the house is not insulated at all and the windows are old. i need to move / enlarge some windows, replace other windows, and add insulation. my contractor is suggesting removing the old shingles, insulating via blown cellulose and foam boards on top of the sheathing, and replacing the shingles with hardieboard. insulating the stone part will be trickier and may require blowing in cellulose from the inside.
supposedly leaving the cedar siding on the house would make insulating / dealing with the new windows much more difficult.
does anyone have any comments on this approach? i'm a bit concerned about what a house would look like -- half stone, half synthetic siding material with a slate house. at the same time, i think it's extremely important to have a well insulated / comfortable house.