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View Full Version : OT: Making siding out of plywood. Anyone done this?



radiationroom
June 3rd, 2011, 01:30 AM
Yeah I know I'm way off topic here but I'd like to get some opinions and asking on forums dominated by those who think that Tyvec & vinyl siding are the solution to everything is proving pointless.....

My house currently has portions with original "lap-board" siding covered over with cement siding along with sections where the lap was replaced by painted T1-11. My wife would like to return the house to it's original 1870s appearance but we have been unable to find a suitable siding product that #1 fits our budget, #2 is not vinyl, and/or #3 accurately matches the original lap-boards. But the texture of the 4x8ft T1-11 sheets comes close.

So my question is "Is it feasible to cut T1-11 plywood sheets into the same dimensions as the lap-boards, water seal them on all sides (using something like iac, Thompson's Water Seal or epoxy primer), then install them with an overlay like the original lap-boards?"

Yes I am aware of the layers showing on the lower edge, but the plywood can be faux finished to minimize the layers being visible. And yes I also know that plywood based products can de-laminate if moisture gets between the layers.

Then there is also the question of building codes and inspectors.

Anyone here have either/or direct experience doing this or an educated opinion of some sorts? Like I said above that posting this question on contractor's forums has only netted the chorus chanting "Tyvec & vinyl! Tyvek & vinyl!" which has been ruled out because our house has a dirt basement which is chronically wet plus the fact that I don't want my house to look like a glorified single-wide.

Thanks in advance!

Aardvark
June 3rd, 2011, 01:52 AM
Wood is good but Vinyl's final.

Sorry, but the contractors are essentially correct.:Wink:

As to your question... have you and the wife looked at the cost against what this does to the re-sale value of the house? If I were you I would contact a home inspector and get an opinion on this type of treatment in case it presents any known and disagreeable issues... might call a real-estate agent and ask the same.

Sometimes a renovation can work against you if it narrows down your options come sale time.

Plywood will eventually give you some grief and you need to have a plan to easily replace the pieces that come apart... but you know that.

I would think long and hard about this approach.


Cheers,
Aardvark



.

dwoz
June 3rd, 2011, 03:53 AM
The only thing good about doing the house in de-constructed T1-11 as you've described, is that you'll have good practice under your belt for when you re-do it in 5 years.

When you say "lap siding" you mean clapboards, correct?

samc
June 3rd, 2011, 07:40 AM
Maybe you don't care about the resale value or having to redo it in a few years, but does the fire code allow you to do what you're asking, and will it void your home insurance?

dwoz
June 3rd, 2011, 10:28 AM
T1-11 is already certified for exterior walls. The fact that you choose to chop it up and install it sideways doesn't matter.

Radiation....are you overlooking the fact that traditional cedar or pine clapboard siding has a taper to allow it to sit down on the surface?

radiationroom
June 3rd, 2011, 01:06 PM
Wood is good but Vinyl's final.

Vinyl is good for about 25 years, but after about 5 years it starts to fade and looks like shit. There are about twenty or so examples with two blocks of my house that prove this. Vinyl is NOT fireproof (http://www.fourseasonsroofingandsiding.com/Vinyl_Siding_Fire_NJ.htm) by any stretch of the imagination, it doesn't breath and it is prone to wind damage. Cement or (better yet) asbestos siding (unavailable new) is what we want ideally but we are looking at a twenty grand price tag for materials.


Sorry, but the contractors are essentially correct.

My experience is that most home remodeling CON-tractors are in business to CON you out of your money. Home remodeling is by far the sleaziest business on the face of the earth, way more sleazier than music and politics combined. One bad experience after another has turned me into a DIY'er all the way. I had to have my roof done twice over by two different CON-tractors to get it right. Long story if you want to hear it. I have other nightmares too in dealing with CON-tractors. Rest of rant deleted.


As to your question... have you and the wife looked at the cost against what this does to the re-sale value of the house?

Yep. We could put roofing shingles on the house or we could put Dryvit. Opposite ends of the price spectrum and it won't budge the resale value one bit either direction.

Dryvit (http://www.dryvit.com/) is awesome stuff if you have the money. My pop used to use it in church restoration years ago.


When you say "lap siding" you mean clapboards, correct?

Yep.


T1-11 is already certified for exterior walls.

Which is about 70% of my house in current form. The T1-11 on my house has a date code on 1972. I'm assuming it was installed sometime after the Agnes flood. Most of it is in good shape.


Radiation....are you overlooking the fact that traditional cedar or pine clapboard siding has a taper to allow it to sit down on the surface?

Quite aware of the taper. Can cut it with a stacking dado blade on either the table saw or the radial arm saw. 5/8th's inch rabbet cut leaves five inches exposed surface area on the wood.

Thanks for your opinions!

Aardvark
June 3rd, 2011, 01:55 PM
Vinyl is good for about 25 years, but after about 5 years it starts to fade and looks like shit.

I have had a different and better experience than you with then... and my experience with it dates to the late 80's and a very nice reno my brother and I did that still looks good.

We also put it on our cottage in PEI where the wind and salt killed the original wood in short time.


There are about twenty or so examples with two blocks of my house that prove this. Vinyl is NOT fireproof (http://www.fourseasonsroofingandsiding.com/Vinyl_Siding_Fire_NJ.htm) by any stretch of the imagination

Who ever said it was fire-proof?


My experience is that most home recordists are in business to CON you out of your money. Home recording is by far the sleaziest business on the face of the earth, way more sleazier than construction and politics combined. One bad experience after another has turned me into a DIY'er all the way. I had to have my mixes done twice over by two different home-recordists to get it right. Long story if you want to hear it. I have other nightmares too in dealing with home recordists. Rest of rant deleted.

There are incompetent crooks in every business and it is unfair of you to tar every contractor with that brush.:headpalm:



Cheers,
Aardvark



.

Comte de St Germain
June 3rd, 2011, 02:40 PM
Real wood primed and painted properly.

Vinyl traps moisture underneath...

T111 is shed cladding.


Look into buying wood planks and ripping it down and routing the shape yourself.

nobby
June 3rd, 2011, 04:25 PM
I have mostly vinyl siding on my house but T1-11 on one wing.

The vinyl is old and could use touching up as in some spots one can see the black plastic through the cedar colored paint. But that's after about 20 years.

The T1-11 you'll have to paint every several years which is what I don't like about wood.

Look at your heating bill and decide if you really want your house to "breathe". My mother's house got vinyl siding several years ago. They put styrofoam over the original clapboard and the siding over that.

The siding job pays for itself in a few years due to not having to be painted and conserving fuel.

And I never heard of cement siding... must be a PA thing, like cement windshields :grin::Wink:

radiationroom
June 3rd, 2011, 06:36 PM
There are incompetent crooks in every business and it is unfair of you to tar every contractor with that brush.:headpalm:

Who said I was taring all of them? There are a few that are good, like the guy who did my carpet and the guy who did the painting in the 2nd floor.

But in all seriousness, the CON-tracting trade has become so sleazy here in PA that in 2009 the state enacted a new licensing system to try to stem the issue of problem contractors. So I am far from alone on this issue. Maybe in California and NY there is better regulation of the trades. We certainly need it in PA.

And a real issue seemingly in all trades is the lack of an apprenticeship system. It seems like plumbers and electricians are the only building trades where you need documented work experience in order to get Journeyman's and Master's certifications, and such certifications are NOT required by the State of PA to do such work for hire. TTBOMK Philly, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Reading are the only cities in PA that require strict licensing for the building trades. The fields of masonry and carpentry certainly could use such programs. There is no "Master Carpenter's License" that I know of.

radiationroom
June 3rd, 2011, 06:44 PM
I never heard of cement siding...

http://www.jameshardie.com/

dwoz
June 3rd, 2011, 07:20 PM
You will dramatically underestimate the time it takes to special cut all that wood. If you cut a rabbet in it with a dado saw, you will have a drip edge that will capture and hold rainwater and rot out twice as fast.

It will end up costing you more and taking longer.

There are also nightmares hiding under that existing siding that will require remediation.

Personally I would get a decent grade of pine clapboard, purchased ALREADY PRIMED.

Galvanized nails and a nail gun...but you knew that already.

frnjplayer
June 3rd, 2011, 07:49 PM
You will dramatically underestimate the time it takes to special cut all that wood. If you cut a rabbet in it with a dado saw, you will have a drip edge that will capture and hold rainwater and rot out twice as fast.

It will end up costing you more and taking longer.

There are also nightmares hiding under that existing siding that will require remediation.

Personally I would get a decent grade of pine clapboard, purchased ALREADY PRIMED.

Galvanized nails and a nail gun...but you knew that already.



Repeat the above for emphasis.

You can use plywood as an exterior siding. Seal all the edges and paint it, both sides, thoroughly enough that it is effectively encased in plastic. Repeat the painting process on anything exposed to weather on a regular basis. Often.
I'm with Dwoz buying pre-primed clapboard will be a greater initial outlay and have very similar maintenance issues. It will also allow the job to be completed in this lifetime. If you apply any value to your time,ripping, dado'ing, and prepping plywood will quickly eat up any savings over proper clap boards.

Mick Stuart
June 3rd, 2011, 08:56 PM
http://www.jameshardie.com/

Thatís what we have and thatís all I would use (JamesHardie)

IF I had a budget for real wood and the constant upkeep it requires I might consider itÖ But the Hardie stuff rocks

Plywood has glue and no amount of paint/stain will keep for long enough to stop the layers from separating, at some point.

CloseToTheEdge
June 4th, 2011, 12:12 AM
I am a real estate appraiser, so I see a lot of houses. Here's my opinions for siding material (at least the kind found in the Pacific NW) based upon my observations on over a thousand inspections:

1) Painted cedar shingle - lasts 100 years + if you keep it painted. The best for long life and quality. Utterly reliable. Also expensive, but it's the best stuff on Earth.

2) Solid wood lap - great stuff, quite expensive to find anymore. If you can find it, go 'fer it!

3) T1-11 - great stuff, does not look as nice as the others but outlasts the fancier stuff, just keep some paint on it. Low cost.

4) Cement fiber - nice lap siding look and is the standard for new construction in many places, but I've seen it develop vertical gaps between siding boards, not a good sign. It's not exactly cheap either.

5) Vinyl - I hate it. Vinyl windows, doors, and fences are wonderful, vinyl siding is shit. It's too thin, cracks from UV exposure in just a few years, lets moisture in, and blows off in strong winds. All the things you DON'T want your siding doing. It should be outlawed.

6) Other wood composite lap siding - Tread very carefully here. Google "LP Siding" sometime for some horror stories. Nothing like the old LP on the market today, but it was a genuine mess.

Not sure how the sawn T1-11 you describe would work out, but I suspect that to make it look and work properly, it would have to be planed to shape (in cross section) and that does not seem like a good idea for a plywood product.

Just my two cents... Your siding may differ!

nobby
June 4th, 2011, 12:21 AM
Plywood has glue and no amount of paint/stain will keep for long enough to stop the layers from separating, at some point.

I've got about 20 years on mine with no problems. I use good paint and know how to apply it. Of course, 20 years ain't much.

The clapboard at my Mother's house was about a hundred years old when it got siding. I couldn't tell you how many times it had been painted.

A trend I've seen lately is covering a house with styrofoam and putting a stucco type cement over it.

radiationroom
June 4th, 2011, 01:37 AM
If you cut a rabbet in it with a dado saw, you will have a drip edge that will capture and hold rainwater and rot out twice as fast.

If I try the homemade siding route, what type of bit/blade to you suggest I cut the rabbets with?


There are also nightmares hiding under that existing siding that will require remediation.

Been there done that. Those problems have been mostly fixed. It is amazing what tiny little insects that you can almost see through can do.


Personally I would get a decent grade of pine clapboard, purchased ALREADY PRIMED.

Or Hardieboard (http://www.jameshardie.com/). Which is what I really want but it's expensive as expensive can be.

My wife and I are discussing the idea of a "board & batten" style finish which could be achieved simply by nailing pressure treated 1x lumber directly to the T1-11. Haven't decided yet, but that would be an inexpensive yet effective way of getting rid of the "T1-11 look" without having to drop $12K-USD into materials.


Galvanized nails and a nail gun...but you knew that already.

Got that covered years ago. I have Campbell Hausfeld air guns driven by a huge-ass DeWalt air compressor which date back to when I still worked on church jobs for my father. They have paid for themselves many times over. :Thumbsup: :Thumbsup:

Dr. Bob
June 4th, 2011, 02:17 AM
HardiePlank is not nearly as expensive as you think... in the long run.

When you calculate your materials, time to rip the boards into planks, then dado the edges, prime both sides, then install, trim and paint that T-111, you've actually paid for the HardiePlank going up and only needing paint.

I have a friend who put HardiePlank up 15 years ago, and even with all the weather we experience here in NC, it still has the same first coat of paint on it, and it looks fine. So, you'll probably even get extended wear on your paint.. which equals even more savings.

The fact that it doesn't rot, adds mass for sound attenuation, is relatively impervious to moisture, plus its termite unfriendly and just about non-inflammable... IMHO... it's a no brainer.

nobby
June 4th, 2011, 02:35 AM
Looks like spam to me :lol:

:Wink: :weedstore::beer:

radiationroom
June 4th, 2011, 11:49 AM
A trend I've seen lately is covering a house with styrofoam and putting a stucco type cement over it.

Most likely Dryvit. Nice stuff. My neighbor did the exterior of her pizza shop in it and it looks fab. Expensive too.

Logan
June 4th, 2011, 01:33 PM
If you are absolutely determined to put ply on the building do the board and batten look, it will save you tons of grief over the years. Also wrap the house in tyvek before you do it that will save you feul and make the place more comfortable. Don't forget to tape the tyvek joints and overlap them a good two feet. I'd avoid pressure treated for the battens simply because most of it ends up pretty wonky over time and it's full of stuff you don't want around you.
I'd take the time to run my battens through a table saw to put about 30 degree slant on the edge looks classy. In PA there must be guys with portable band saw mills, and if you could hunt them down you may find real wood a decent prices. I built my own place from scratch it's all wood and log and none of it is painted at all, I'm working on 30 years of unpainted pine facer boards that are still strong and although slightly checked and nicely greyed by weather. Setting yourself up for an endless cycle of painting anything is a nightmare to me, but I'm wood rich having 160 acers of timber and a sawmill, so if a board rots, which they hardly ever do endless exposed to constant moisture or traped moisture, I just rip it off and replace it, the weather greys it out in a few years and all is good. The trapped moisture is the reason you dont want to put that ply on horizontally. take care Logan

radiationroom
June 4th, 2011, 04:49 PM
I'd take the time to run my battens through a table saw to put about 30 degree slant on the edge looks classy.

DEAL!!! I owe you a beer for that idea! :beer:


In PA there must be guys with portable band saw mills, and if you could hunt them down you may find real wood a decent prices.

There are several places like that who also deal in antique wood. I found several pieces of tongue'n'groove wood with a center bead to patch an original wood ceiling which was drywalled over when we first bought our place.

Thanks again! - PC

CloseToTheEdge
June 4th, 2011, 05:21 PM
A prior point made by Aardy really needs some emphasis, and I must agree with him completely. You will likely be hurting the value of your property by doing what was described here.

If you ever intend to refinance this property or sell it someone who will need to obtain a home loan, you will need it appraised.

If an appraiser inspected a home with such siding as you describe, it would have to be noted on the report, and the lender would likely want the siding torn off and replaced with an "accepted" siding method before lending on it.

I suggest going with the real deal (wood lap or Hardy plank) or just doing it in T1-11 if you cannot afford lap siding.

Good luck, and post some picts when you're done!

radiationroom
June 4th, 2011, 08:03 PM
You will likely be hurting the value of your property by doing what was described here.

Board & batten over T1-11? How?

From the appearance of this thread the sawing planks out of plywood has been abandoned for better ideas. We already got T1-11 on the house, so the board & batten style is the easy choice.

CloseToTheEdge
June 5th, 2011, 01:57 AM
Sorry, I totally missed that part of the discussion, Rad!

Board and batten over T1-11 is a most excellent choice. That will probably increase the value of your home and will a very long time if you keep paint on it. Post some pics when you're done!

Logan
June 7th, 2011, 02:26 AM
DEAL!!! I owe you a beer for that idea! :beer:



There are several places like that who also deal in antique wood. I found several pieces of tongue'n'groove wood with a center bead to patch an original wood ceiling which was drywalled over when we first bought our place.

Thanks again! - PC

No problem man I'm doing several hundred pieces of batten my self, some of them 18' long, bit of a pain but it does look great. you can also dress it up more by putting drip caps over your window. I run up a bunch of 2" with a slight angle on the top side and on the bottom you just run a saw curf about half an inch back, from the outer edge and a quarter in deep. Helps shed water. You can put it right on top of the frame around the window or under the top piece of frame on top of the the side vertical pieces. Take care Logan

radiationroom
June 7th, 2011, 01:27 PM
you can also dress it up more by putting drip caps over your window.

That and proper window trim. We are likely to case the windows out so the T1-11 sits "behind" the frame instead of in front of it. Whoever originally installed the T1-11 never framed out the windows correctly and "gap-filled" the openings. While it is water-tight it looks as ugly as my neighbor's baby. :icon_eek:

Logan
June 7th, 2011, 01:50 PM
Absolutely. Is the T1 over the old window frame or flush with it? If it's over lapping the frame cut a strip to build out to the level of the existing ply and then just put a frame on that. If it's flush just put a new frame on over where the old frame and the ply meet. you want to make that frame at least an inch bigger than the battens, just for estetics. Try and leave a reveal on the inside by leaving about half an inch of the old frame showing, If you put the strip on to build out to the ply again leave a reveal. Those little details make it look great and less clunky. Take care Logan

radiationroom
June 7th, 2011, 03:36 PM
Absolutely. Is the T1 over the old window frame or flush with it?

Over.