Learn how to replace individual pieces of vinyl siding. Find out how using a certain tool can help take off siding pieces without having to take down the entire wall.
LESLIE: Now we’re going to take a call from David who’s looking to improve the exterior of his house.
David, what are you working on?
DAVID: Hi. I have some vinyl siding  that was installed about four or five years ago and unfortunately, it appears that the contractor used two different batches.
LESLIE: So the color doesn’t match.
DAVID: Exactly. One batch is faded and the other has maintained the original color. So one side of my house is fine. One side did not fade at all, one is all faded, but the other two are the problem and they have kind of a checkerboard look to them. I don’t want to go to the trouble of completely residing the house and I was wondering if there’s any way that you can peel off individual pieces of siding. For example, I have a faded piece at the bottom and I would like to replace that faded piece without having to start at the top and take them all off.
TOM: Certainly there is. There’s a special tool that siding contractors use to sort of unzip the piece of siding. And you definitely can replace pieces of siding from the inside out. Now the consideration here though is, Dave, when you get that new siding, is to make sure you’re happy with the color of that. Because you may find out that everything else is faded except for the – of course the new siding is original and that doesn’t look good either.
But if your question is “Can I pull out a piece of siding from the middle of my house and replace it without ripping all of the siding off?” the answer is absolutely yes, it’s done everyday.
DAVID: Great. Where do I get a tool like that?
TOM: I would try a local siding supply store, a really good-quality lumberyard, or a place that caters just to roofing and siding.
TOM: You know, in my area of the country we have centers here that only sell roofing and siding products. But a specialty lumberyard or someplace like that ought to be able to have that tool.
DAVID: Yeah, that sounds terrific. Now can you just give me a quick tip on how do I caulk vinyl siding. What parts of it do I have to make sure that I recaulk once I (inaudible)?
TOM: You really don’t have to do much caulking with vinyl siding. If the siding happens to be cut around window trim, that’s the only time. But actually, that’s not the best way to do it. The best way to trim around a window is to use something called the J-channel. So generally there’s not a lot of caulking involved in vinyl siding; perhaps around an electrical box or a light fixture that comes through but there’s not a whole lot of places that siding needs to be caulked, vinyl siding needs to be caulked.
DAVID: Well, that sounds terrific and I hope that I can actually do this without buying very much new siding. I’m hoping that I can just sort of rearrange the pieces so that I have all the original stuff on one side and all the faded stuff on the other.
TOM: Well, I would suggest, before you start taking your wall apart, get the new siding, put it up there, maybe attach it with a couple of pieces of duct tape, let it hang there, stand back, look at it, make sure you’re going to be happy with the color. Then you can do the permanent installation.
DAVID: OK. Well, that’s terrific. I sure appreciate your answering my question.
TOM: You’re very welcome, David. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-…
LESLIE: Hey, Tom?
LESLIE: Do you think the manufacturer has any sort of responsibility in the fact that the batches didn’t quite match up? And maybe they have some sort of – you know, a chance to sort of send him some of the product to sort of make up for the fact that this has happened.
TOM: Well, certainly if you can identify the original manufacturer and you’re still under a warranty and you can prove that you had fading, then sure. But you know what? It’s one of these situations where it’s so much work to try to do that, if you could just buy a couple of replacement pieces and put it up yourself, it’s almost easier.
LESLIE: Good to know.
TOM: David, thanks again for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.