LESLIE: Jake in Santa Rosa, California’s thinking about working on the siding of his house. What’s going on? Tell us about it.
JAKE: I’ve got a home I built about 13 years ago and I used, due to budget constraints, masonite bevel … about an eight-inch beveled siding.
TOM: Oh, that was a mistake, huh?
JAKE: Oh, boy, you're telling me. (laughing) And so now I’m in the situation where I’ve got to decide what to replace it with. To give you a little background, it’s a colonial.
TOM: Are you part of that class action suit that was over hardboard siding?
JAKE: Wasn’t even aware of it. (chuckling) Maybe I should be.
TOM: They’re actually … a lot of that hardboard siding was involved in a class action suit because it was … the problem with the stuff is it wasn’t … not terribly bad stuff. It’s just hard to install. And typically, if it got overnailed, you would break through the surface of it and then it would swell up and sort of rot out on you.
JAKE: Yeah, that and the ends. The ends are real susceptible to …
TOM: And so is that what’s happening to you?
JAKE: And actually, what’s funny is it was put on right but the wind sometimes, in certain locations, seems like it can get underneath it and get water underneath it.
JAKE: Because it’s kind of stained. You’ll see a drip from the back boards (ph) actually staining the painted boards from the … from the backside, so it’s time.
TOM: So how can we help you?
JAKE: What … I wanted to get your best recommendation on what to use. It’s a … it’s a two story colonial. And so, I wanted to go with a lap type (ph) siding …
JAKE: … and I know they’ve got the hardy plank out there and I guess there are some other composite type boards that are available …
TOM: Yeah, I actually am residing a building right now and using hardy plank and I really like that stuff. And they have a version of it that’s painted at the factory that’s got like a 10-year warranty on it. So I like hardy plank because it’s non-organic; it’s not going to rot. And it’s also very durable and very tough. I mean it’s basically concrete siding is what it is. And now, with it being prefinished, you know, you don’t have to worry about painting it.
JAKE: Is that difficult for a … for an amateur to apply?
TOM: No, it’s not terribly difficult if you can do basic carpentry work. It’s installed like any other type of carpentry. And you’ll have to decide whether or not you want to pull up the old siding. I generally recommend that you pull off old clapboard because you have a better, flatter surface to work from ...
LESLIE: Well, especially since this one is so deteriorated underneath.
LESLIE: You wouldn’t want it to compromise the integrity of the new siding.
TOM: Yeah, this way you can reflash everything, as well.
JAKE: The cuts, I guess, are a little more difficult on the ends in that kind of thing; with the hardy plank. I didn’t know if there’s a specific tool for that or …
TOM: Well, there are … there is a specific tool for cutting the cementicious material that the shingle’s made out of. There’s a special blade for a circular saw or a table saw. And when you have this special blade, it cuts through it like butter.
TOM: It’s a little dusty. You have to wear a respirator, but …
LESLIE: Yeah, make sure you wear the respirator.
TOM: Right. But otherwise, it’s great stuff.
JAKE: OK, good.
TOM: Alright, Jake?
JAKE: That’s what I need. I really appreciate it.
LESLIE: And you know, Tom, if you go to Remodeling.hw.net, you can find a cost versus value report, which will tell you how much you put into a project, what you will get as your return on investment at the time of sale. And if you do an upscale siding replacement, it actually has 103.6 percent return on investment. So that’s a great thing to do.
TOM: (overlapping voices) So you can actually … you can actually make money on your siding job. Yeah, I love the cost versus value survey that Remodeling.net has on every year because it really gives you the idea, in different parts of the country, what the best home improvements are. And siding …
LESLIE: And that’s the national average.
TOM: Yeah, siding clearly is a great home improvement investment to make. So Jake, thanks again for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.