Re-siding in Massachusetts

Vinyl siding is durable, but it’s not perfect. Heavy snow this past winter surrounded my parents’ house in Massachusetts and pressed hard against the façades. When it melted in April we observed the damage: about 10 pieces of their vinyl siding had cracks or chips.

Siding removal.

Siding removal: using snips to isolate the broken part.

The damaged pieces were all in the lowest three feet, so I borrowed Terry’s siding tool from Vermont to remove them without disturbing the others. Using the Side Swiper is a struggle. Basically, I needed to hook the bottom edge of the course above the broken piece and then pull down. Starting from an end made the task easier, but I still needed to pull in precisely the right direction to unclip the siding. Once I had one area unclipped, I ran a finger across and the rest of the piece detached readily.

New siding delivery: six 12-foot pieces and one spigot surround.

New siding delivery: six 12-foot pieces and one spigot surround.

I learned a new term while ordering replacement siding: double-4. My parents’ siding comes in pieces that resemble two courses of wooden clapboards (hence “double”), each 4 inches wide. By analogy, Colin’s siding is triple-3. The contrast continues: I could remove Colin’s siding from the wall without disturbing the nails that held it in place. Here the nail slots folded back on themselves, making the piece too stiff to slide on and off existing nails. So I reached under with a cat’s paw and clawed every nail out of the wall.

Time to fill in the void. I cut a new piece of siding (or took an intact portion of an old piece), clipped it into the course below, and hammered the nails back in their old holes. To finish, I made another pass with the Side Swiper to reclip the course above, a few inches at a time. Then I moved to the next damaged piece of siding and repeated the whole process.

Back patio re-siding in progress.

Back patio re-siding in progress.

I’m pleased with the result, and I’m thrilled to save my parents from hiring an outside contractor. They have a few more projects for me in the coming months.

Front façade, re-sided and damage-free.

Front façade, re-sided and damage-free.

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