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Old 07-03-2008, 03:07 PM   #1
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Starting siding.

Hello everyone,
I am going to put new siding on my house to replace what was torn up in a hailstorm.
I am going to go with the fiber cement.
I have looked around to see if there was any information on how to "start" the project. My concern is how do you know where to start so that when you reach the top, you don't wind up with a half piece up there. I know you would obviously measure down from the top on the side you start on, but when I get to other sides of the house, I want to make sure everything is linging up. In other words how would you make one side match the last side and so on all the way around, without any unsightly short pieces up at the top.


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Old 07-03-2008, 10:27 PM   #2
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First of all, figure your exposure. That's the recommended exposed portion of the siding. That is the only critical measurement for laying out the height of your courses. You may have to adjust down, or modify the exposure ever so slightly to get the layout to work.

Use a chalkline to snap layout lines (top of each piece of lap). Base all your measurements off the soffits or the frieze board...That way even if the house isn't perfectly level, the siding will line up with the horizontal features of the house. You could also use the mudsill if it is at all exposed. If you use a level, I doubt your laps will meet at the same level when you get all the way around the house...Too much margin for error.

Snap your layout lines all the way around the house before you ever install a piece of siding. That way you'll know what you're doing is working before you commit to the installation process.


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Old 07-03-2008, 11:41 PM   #3
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would recomend HardiePlank™ Lap Siding. Follow installation instructions for southern states.
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Old 07-09-2008, 03:54 PM   #4
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thekctermite has some good advice for the reveal/exposure. Plan out each section of the house so you can adjust your exposure from the start. Also snap vertical chalk lines on the housewrap to figure out where your studs are to help figure out where to nail it.

Been there, done that, did the hardiplank, 8.25" with 7" reveal. Thought it was over my head, mostly due to safety and the fact that with a walk out basement one side of the house was actually three stories up. My two quotes were $17,500 and $19,225 for removal of old siding, new siding, paint, new trim, housewrap (house had none), and repair of up to 100 sq ft of damaged sheathing. I said forget that, I'll tackle it myself. I was hesitant but decided to go for it. Sure I took about 4 months but I spent less than $3,500 for siding, trim and housewrap, $300 on ladder jacks and a ladder (already had one and was able to borrow two more), $100 on shears, $300 on a nail gun, $600 on paint, brushes, nails, caulk, etc.

$4,800 sure beat the quotes I received. Few tips from a DIY'er:

1. highly recommend a product called solo sider (no affiliation at all with this other than 100% satisfied customer). It's a $35 tool that is essential if you are doing the job solo, still nice if you have help. It will help you get consist reveals on your lap siding. I did most of the install myself, including all of the stuff that required ladderjacks and a platform. I was not about to let the 14 year-old get up there with me.
2. Forget the circular saw or miter saw. Use shears. Best thing for cutting fiber cement by far. I bought a Milwaukee shear reconditioned for just over $100. Jig saw with special blade for tight curves.
3. Break the house up into small sections. Mine was just under 3,000 sq ft of siding and I broke it up into 12 sections and did a section a weekend, sometimes 2 depending upon weather and size of the section.
4. Pneumatic nail gun. I used a Makita siding nailer. Keep a hammer on your belt and go back after each board is up to make sure the nails are driven far enough. The nail gun left about 25-30% of the nails not quite flush.
5. Predrill when nailing near the corner of a board.
6. If working about 6-8ft, work slow, be patient. Fortunately for me I had all the time in the world. The old siding was white and the new going up was as well. I never left any exposed areas for more than a few hours, never had rain to contend with once I ripped off a section of old siding.

I really liked the product, I bought mine preprimed. I painted each section as I completed it using Sherwin Williams paint. We went with white and only needed one coat.

Only regret is the trim. I went with regular wood, primed and painted. I should have used the hardi trim, all the contractor sites talked about how they hated it, how the nail guns split it and it such, so I stayed away. Then my brother showed me how to put it up easier. He used a finish nailer to tack it in place and then predrilled holes and used stainless steel screws. Caulk, putty and paint and you can't even tell. Labor intensive but he knows it will last. I looked into the Azek trim but it was priced out of this world.
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