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long island, NY
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Discussion Starter #1
please oh please someone give us guidance.

right now guys are in our place installing prodigy 7" insulated vinyl siding. Our old siding is WAY past its prime. It's cheap builder's quality planks that are sort of porous with the paint peeling. We had the worst portion of the siding replaced last year, and the substructures also had to be replaced due to moisture.

our guy is now installing the insulated vinyl siding directly on top of the old siding. I thought he was going to remove the old siding, put up a new vapor barrier, and then the new siding. no dice.

he says it's fine to do it his way. Is he right? my gut instinct is no.

I just issued a stop work order. Idiotically, our contract doesn't specify either method of installation, so I think I'm up the creek as far as contractual obligations are concerned.

please advise!!!!!
 

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long island, NY
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382 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
I should add that the original siding wasn't solid wood. it was original to the house, and was some sort of fiber board / particle board. but I know for a fact that it has moisture issues and is quite spongy and soft.....

I'm worried about mold growing on the old siding, or termites / carpenter ants being attracted.

I've been negotiating with him. he said an additional $1500 to get the old siding off, and a vapor barrier up. While we're seriously almost broke, I think we'll go for it.

advice? thanks so much!
 

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Myself I always pull the old siding off
Biggest reason is to inspect the sheathing & look for rot
Better to seal the house, flash windows etc
I also always seem to find some bug or another under old siding
 

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long island, NY
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382 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
thanks... that's what I suspected.
sadly, you're apparently a more competent contractor than the guy we hired. sigh. I don't know what else I could have done. I checked out his creds with the better business b. (perfect rating, and in business for over 20 years) and he had glowing references.

I'm starting to conclude that a customer can't really know what they're getting unless they are educated enough to be able to do the job themselves. Hindsight always being 20/20, I'm smacking myself bigtime for the contract having a some small details not being explicitly written out. In my defense, however, as a person who's not terribly knowledgable about siding and windows, I really didn't know what should be outlined in a window and siding contract. Especially since my 3 estimates were presented in such different fashions.

you live and you learn.

when it's time to get a new front door installed, I'll make sure the obvious is written (remove old door, install new door, make sure it's level, put hinges on new door, install new knob, make sure door shuts and locks properly, insulate....

Anyone remember the peanut butter and jelly instruction game (open bag of bread, take out 2 slices, close bag of bread......)
ugh. At least we made the correct decision (we are paying a bit more and had him rewrite the contract an hour ago and add that he's removing all siding and putting up a new vapor barrier before the vinyl sidding) according to your advice.
 

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your contractor isn't incompetent probably 80-90 percent of resides are over existing siding,didn't you ask any questions before you signed the contract?

that being said issues with moisture damaged siding should have been pointed out by him

also he shouldn't be putting up a ''vapor barrier''
 

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I totally agree to remove old siding. You never know what you are dealing with. When working on my parents deck, I had to replace some siding(raised deck from 18" off the ground, to a walkout), I felt the siding was loose and could move in and out. Turned out that the old studs for the crawlspace wall were totally rotted out. On a triple stud(looked like old crawlspace door), there was only about 1/4" of one of the studs still in tact for the bottom 6 inches.

The good thing about your situation is that while you had to pay extra to get the siding removed, at least the contractor didn't remove it without you asking and issue a change order for it since it wasn't in original contract.
 

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long island, NY
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382 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
your contractor isn't incompetent probably 80-90 percent of resides are over existing siding,didn't you ask any questions before you signed the contract?

that being said issues with moisture damaged siding should have been pointed out by him

also he shouldn't be putting up a ''vapor barrier''
I realize that method is standard... IF the pre-existing siding looks decent and doesn't have moisture issues. I pointed out to him numerous times that both the windows and siding are falling apart and have moisture damage and must come off completely. that's why we didn't get replacement windows. I didn't trust the sashes of the originals.

so to me, as a pro, he should have assessed the situation more conservatively. the old siding is definitely not up to staying on the house. it's so saturated that you can tear chunks of it off by the foundation... and I showed that to him.

as for "vapor barrier", I don't know the term, but you know what I mean.. the plastic sheathing they put below vinyl siding on new construction homes....
 

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if that's the case then yes he should have recommended a R&R

and i understand what you mean about the ''vapor barrier''

just wanted you to be sure:thumbup:

good luck hope everything works out,keep on top of your contractor let him know your concerns,his job is to have a satisfied customer when hes done
 

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long island, NY
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Discussion Starter #9
first off, I'd like to thank everyone who replied to this thread.... THANK YOU SO MUCH! you guys rock :thumbup:

We sqeezed the last few pennies out of our checking accounts and came up with the remaining $ he asked for to strip the old siding and put up new sheeting or barrier... We paid, and he ripped down the old siding this afternoon...

So now comes the answer to the question that has nagged me for years... what on earth is under that siding? how DO those walls and tar paper look? :huh:

drumroll......

(this is all 2nd person info. Mom was taking care of my son and in charge of contractor oversight as we worked... she's a good person for that job...)

while prying off the old siding, each plank would snap at a point where the paint was worn away (areas where we worried about water damage). So the boards WERE bad. there were at least 30 or so of those "soft spots". Mercifully, the tar paper overall was in decent shape. With one noteworthy exception. Aparently, the builders (in the mid 70's) were cutting corners and didn't bother to tarpaper everywhere :eek: there were patches were you saw siding that was directly nailed to substructure. No water barrier at all! (Then again, I've learned a long time ago to always question the quality of the builder's subcontracted work.)

So we're very glad we caught this early on and insisted on getting the old siding removed.

And Mom pulled through also. She was inspecting the window subcontractor's work. Apparently, he doesn't take mouldings very seriously. One window's was loose (not nailed in properly), and the huge bay windows? Well, he must have run out of mouldings, so he framed it out with regular wood! Didn't even bother to miter it.. Mom, with her attention to detail, noticed it right away, said "where's the moulding?" His respone: " you want moulding around these" :censored: all I have to say is they should feel glad they said that idiodic comment to mom and not me!

thanks for your input. this whole experience reminds me why I prefer to DIY things when possible. I may not get it right the first try, but at least I am trying to do a proper job, and never cut corners :wink:
 

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I am a little late but wanted to congratulate you on all of your "attention to detail". I am amazed at the vagueness that contractors have when it comes to contracts. My contract is 6 pages long and there is no room for ambiguities on either side. My estimates are also done via Exactimate which lists line by line what will be done once again leaving no amiguities. If any homeowner is reading this and contemplating a home reno don't take anything for granted remember if it isn't in writing it doesn't exist and isn't going to be done! might it yes but never assume!

Good luck and be safe!
 
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