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Siding just the front...for now...bad idea?

Hello! We are in over our heads doing a near-total redo of a 1930's 2.5 story American Four-Square type house. The exterior is very shabby and consists of old white cement/asbestos (we know these have to go eventually) shingles. Some are cracked or missing altogether.

Our ultimate goal is to replace it all and side everything but we have other major things that need to be done indoors. However, I was thinking that, as a courtesy to our neighbours, who have put up with years of our unsightly facade, we'd possibly scrounge the cash to side the front of the house and replace cracked/missing shingles on the sides.

I know the house would look slightly schizophrenic for a while but any change would be better than how it is now :o

Is this a bad idea? I appreciate your guidance!

Re: Siding just the front...for now...bad idea?

yes.. its is a bad idea. the exterior is more than just cosmetic.. if your going to dig into the exterior its best to do it all at once. especially if your getting into replacing windows and doors. reason being its more cost effective to bring in the crew once along with the staging.. you will have all the old stuff torn off.. any damage from leaks fixed all at once. all new flashings on windows and what not.. basically make the house watertight all at once so you have the same life expectancy for the hole exterior finish.. also with the asbestos you'll never find anything that matches as its a totally out of date product.. i run into asbestos shingled homes regularly. we completely strip the house and start fresh.. going over the old doesnt solve any issues it just covers it up for hte next guy to deal with if not causing a call back later down the road

Re: Siding just the front...for now...bad idea?

Hi jkirk, thanks for the rapid reply. You gave some food for thought and I appreciate it. I wanted to note, however that I do not want to do a cover-up as we plan to be here for quite a while.

We have all new windows, eavestroughs etc and are doing the siding ourselves so a crew is not a concern for us.

So, the idea is not slapping up a quick fix...some this year, some next....a slow fix, really.

I do feel sorry for our neighbours (at least 3 are trying to sell, though no one seems to mind. Not to our faces anyhow :).

Thanks again!

MLB Construction
Re: Siding just the front...for now...bad idea?

i have done jobs for customers where we reside the house in stages due to money worries. it can be quite expensive to reside a house. ideally it's not the best way to go about things and in the long run ends up costing you more to do it in stages. but on the other hand i see no problem in doing it as you have the cash.

however, i do think it's better to make sure the entire exterior of the house is water tight and sound. if that's the case when you do just the front of the house, please do it correctly. strip the front down to the sheathing, replace any rot, replace the trim, fascia boards, sofits, tyvek, etc. it's not the perfect and most cost effective way to do it but if that's what you can afford i see no reason to do just the front.

A. Spruce
Re: Siding just the front...for now...bad idea?

If you're doing the work yourself, then there is nothing wrong with doing the front now and the rest later. Just leave plenty of house wrap at the outside corners to wrap around and complete the seal when the sides are done.

It also bears to mention that you should be concentrating your efforts on the exterior first, to create a completely water tight shell, before doing any renovations on the interior. Case in point, you're likely going to have interior wall damage caused by the pounding and flexing of the walls as the siding is replaced, hence, it would be pointless to repair or paint interior surfaces beforehand.

Re: Siding just the front...for now...bad idea?

While it's true that you can side the front of the house now and the rest of the house later, only jkirk's suggestion, to side the entire house all at once, will guaranty you a perfect job.

Why don't you put the money you have now aside in a savings account, keep building and adding to it, and when you have enough, go ahead and side the whole house?

I consider the exterior of the house (walls, roof, windows, doors and foundation) the most important aspects of a house. I want these to be in the best shape possible.

Re: Siding just the front...for now...bad idea?

Hi everyone! I am so grateful for the advice you have given! I guess my question was a bit vague. A. Spruce, your advice about extra wrap was just what I was looking for.

I would love to be able to save up and do the whole thing but with no less than 3 neighbours selling their houses we are anxious to do a something with the exterior.

I appreciate everyone's response. I am getting a fuller picture of the implications.

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