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Old 02-19-2010, 12:32 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Springfield, Oregon
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Re-siding my home with HardiePanel

Hi, everyone! Big project here and I'm looking for some wisdom!

I live in Oregon and I have a single-story home which was built in 1971. It has the original T1-11 siding, 3/4" I believe. It seems like it's only been re-painted once or maybe twice and unfortunately by the time I moved in the damage was done. A good deal of the south and exposed east sides have rotted away from the front due to failure of the finish. On top of that, the now-removed cedar deck did not have proper flashing and the siding rotted out all along the ledger. Even if I wanted to patch the 40% of the house with damage, the specific groove pattern used - 4" O.C. with a very narrow groove - is no longer available anywhere I can find it. There's already one repair on the east side that doesn't match, and aside from the pattern, just the way the newer wood holds paint differently is really an eye-sore. So, I've decided to re-side, and do a couple of other things while I'm in there.
  • Replace all windows
  • Re-locate some poorly located outside lighting and electrical connections, with new lamps and covered GFCI outlets
  • Re-insulate an isolated gable section where the original blown-in insulation is pathetically thin and disturbed by a previous bird nest - that I can't get to easily from inside the house
  • Add some gable vents to supplement the attic vents on the new roof

The house, as I said, is single-level, with three gables and approximately 200 feet of perimeter. The gables are horizontal lap, which is some kind of particle board product and has been dinged up and warped.

To be consistent with the neighborhood, I am limited to a vertical or horizontal wood treatment. I'm planning to use 8" O.C. HardiePanel for the walls and HardiePlank for the gables, or something similar if the price is better.

I've been reading up a lot on the theory and practice of designing a good wall system, and I'm prepared to take the time and get it right so that we get optimal performance from the wall.

I'm fairly new at leading any kind of project like this, so I'm relying a lot on books and reading. With the Hardie installation guides in hand, I've developed the beginnings of a plan. Some of the specifics, though, seem to be hard to pin down, and that's why I'm here. The key points:
  • Tear-down one wall at a time
  • Inspect and repair as needed - so far the damaged wall sections look to be okay, and some have been covered with painted plywood to protect from winter
  • Remove windows
  • Put up 7/16 OSB for sheathing
  • Fasten the OSB with some kind of pneumatically driven fastener from a siding nailer
  • Put up a suitable housewrap
  • Put up 5/16 HardiePlank on gables, with z-flashing at the bottom
  • Install new windows with appropriate flashing/sealing
  • Install 5/16 HardiePanel
    • Cut the Hardie with a dust-reducing saw and a HEPA vaccum with appropriate dust mask
    • Fasten the Hardie with some kind of pneumatically-driven fastener, being sure not to over-drive the fastener, and following other guidelines for nailing, caulking etc
    • Ensure that the ends of the panels are fastened correctly
  • Use either ripped panels or Hardie trim for the edges.
  • Paint everything, unless I can afford finished Hardie

So, my specific questions.
  1. Should I be adding insulation? I think the elimination of airflow around the old storm windows will be a HUGE improvement, but should I be considering some kind of foam on the outside? For one it's kind of expensive, but for two it sounds like it makes the siding harder to install, and I'm biting off a fairly big chunk already. Would replacing some or all of the 1971 fiberglass be worthwhile, and would it be easy from the outside?
  2. Is the combination of 7/16 OSB and 5/16 Hardie enough structurally for my 16" studs? Those are the sizes commonly available here, so I assume it's widely used, but I want to be sure.
  3. Some documents discuss using double studs if needed to ensure that both panels can be nailed at the stud where they meet. I don't think this is the case now. Should I add to the stud wherever it's needed to do this, or can I skip this if I use a substantial-enough sheathing?
  4. What's a good choice for a siding nailer? I need to make sure I don't over-nail the Hardie. I don't really have a lot of experience there. Renting would be preferred - I expect I'll do the whole thing in 6 or 7 different days - but if I could buy one and then sell it after that would be okay too.
  5. What's a good fastener for the Hardie? They have recommendations, but I wasn't sure what the best long-term solution is. I'm willing to put down an extra couple hundred bucks for easier work and longer life. Should I use the same thing for the sheathing?
Thanks for taking a look and any advice you can offer.
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