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  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Olive in New Hampshire, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?

    OLIVE: I’d like to ask a question about vinyl siding. I’m thinking of having vinyl siding put on my house and I’ve gotten a couple of estimates and one of the companies told me that they use a 3/8-inch foam insulation board and one of the companies is telling me they use Tyvek. And also one company says they have to remove the old clapboards and the other company says no. So what is correct?

    TOM: OK. You have old clapboard siding right now? So you have – you know it looks like vinyl but it’s made of wood?

    OLIVE: Yes, it is. It’s cedar clapboards.

    TOM: Alright. Cedar clapboards; what a shame. So you have to pull that off. If you don’t pull that off what’s going to happen is the vinyl siding is going to be sort of very thick around the windows and you’ll have to extend probably the trim to make it look right. It’s possible to put it over the siding but it usually looks better if you take it off. In terms of the insulation, I don’t think that that 3/8 of an inch of Styrofoam behind the siding adds very much insulation at all to the siding and I don’t think it’s worth spending any extra money for it. The vapor barrier, on the other hand – the Tyvek — that …

    OLIVE: Right.

    TOM: … is an excellent investment. That’s going to go a long way, if it’s installed properly, to cutting back on drafts that are going to make you very uncomfortable in that house. So, all factors being equal, I would remove the old siding and I would apply a vapor barrier.

    OLIVE: OK.

    TOM: If you want to save some money you probably don’t have to remove the old siding, but just make sure that they can make it look right around the windows and doors because that siding is so thick right now that when you add the vinyl on top of it you’re talking about like another inch worth of material. It may not look right.

    OLIVE: It may not look right. That’s true. To be honest with you, I’m really undecided about even having it done because my cedar clapboards are in pretty good shape. I do have some dry rot in a few areas of the fascia boards, so …

    TOM: Was it painted or stained last time?

    OLIVE: It’s stained.

    TOM: Well, why don’t you just restain it then?

    OLIVE: Yeah?

    TOM: Yeah. I mean if you restain it and if you prime it – if you oil prime it first and then restain it with a good semi-transparent or solid color, repair the boards, you know you can get a good 10 or 12 years out of that.

    OLIVE: Right. That’s great. Well, very good. I really appreciate your answering my questions and I love The Money Pit show. It’s the best show on radio.

    TOM: Well, thank you so much for saying that.

    OLIVE: Thanks very much.

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