Find out how to replace cedar siding that has been damaged by a woodpecker. If the holes are too big to fill in, the best thing to do is pry up the piece above them, cut out the bad pieces and put a new piece in.
LESLIE: Marvin in Illinois, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
MARVIN: I have a house with cedar siding .
MARVIN: And the woodpecker  – now deceased, unfortunately – but he pecked two holes about an inch-and-a-half in diameter in the side of my house. And I was wondering if they make a product that I can put in that would fill in those holes and it would be sandable and I can blend it in and then stain it the same color as the original.
TOM: Well, inch-and-a-half holes are pretty darn big. What kind of cedar siding is this? Is this clapboard or cedar shingles? Shakes? What have you got?
MARVIN: It’s clapboard.
TOM: Clapboard? Was he courteous enough to make both holes on the same piece?
MARVIN: No. No.
TOM: No, huh? Because to try to fill in an inch-and-a-half gap like that, it’s going to look like a patch. I presume this is stained and not painted?
MARVIN: Oh, it’s a colored stain. (inaudible at 0:13:30).
TOM: It’s a colored stain, yeah.
MARVIN: So it’s not a clear cedar.
TOM: Right, yeah.
MARVIN: It’s more painted than stained.
TOM: Right. The best thing to do here is to replace the piece of siding  and it’s not that hard to do. What I would do is I would gently pry up the piece above it and then try to cut out the bad pieces and then put a new piece in.
The key here, though, is not to put a small piece in but to put, actually, a sizeable piece; like I’m talking like a 4-foot-long piece in. And if you replace both of those pieces of siding, then you sand it and prime it and restain it, it’ll be invisible. If you try to fill that in – because an inch-and-a-half hole is actually way too big to use, even if you use an epoxy wood filler. Or there’s different products that are used for rotted wood and things like that that work and sort of fill it in like a cavity.
I mean even if you use those products, I think no matter what, you’re still going to see it. So I would rather see you replace it, because it’s just not that hard of a project to do. And this way, it’ll be done once, done right and you won’t have to think about it every time you stare up there and remember that woodpecker; respectfully remember that woodpecker , of course, that is now – that’s right – that has now gone to the big tree in the sky, so to speak.
LESLIE: May he rest in peace.
MARVIN: OK. Well I appreciate your expertise and saved me some time.
TOM: You’re welcome.
MARVIN: Thank you very much.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.