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Proper DIY Installation of New Siding

While the installation of new house siding is a large, labor-intensive renovation task, it is not complicated, even for do it yourself skilled amateurs. Anyone with basic handyman skills and a few helpers can get it done in a week or so. Although the work is straight-forward, it must be done properly to ensure the siding is installed properly.

Removing the Old Siding

Tear off the old siding using hammers and pry bars, handy tools for this. Drive in or pull out screws and nails you leave behind. Made of felt paper, the old house wrap must be removed as well.

Repair the Sheathing

Examine the sheathing for insect and water damage. Very few homes, especially older homes, remain completely sealed against the weather throughout their lifespan. Use a screwdriver to determine if suspicious areas have superficial or extensive rot. Replace the wood if the screwdriver easily goes in more than a quarter-inch.

Wrap the House with a Protective Barrier

Staple a good housewrap around your house. Work your way up starting at ground level. Have one person unroll the sheet while another staples it firmly. Use a hammer stapler for best results. Cover right over the windows and doors; cut these areas out later with a utility knife.

Trim out Windows and Doors

If you’re using vinyl or aluminum siding use J-trim to fit around windows and doors. The ends of the panels slip into the channel to create a neat, finished appearance. Your choices are a bit wider with fiber cement or clapboard. For abutment at the ends, use stock lumber, brick molding or fiber cement trim boards.

Hang the Siding

Start at the bottom of one wall, and work your way up. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on proper fasteners and fastening procedures. Be sure to leave a small gap between the head of the nail and the surface of the panel when installing vinyl siding on a house. This allows the panel to expand and contract as needed. The starter course needs to be perfectly level. Use a laser level or water level for best results.

Completing the Job

Seal all the gaps between windows, doors and trim with a high quality, exterior-rated caulk. Replace any vent covers and if needed, add a coat of paint.

After you finish all work and everything has dried up, don’t forget to file your warranty with the manufacturer and contact your insurance agent. The agent needs to see your work to determine if the house value increased, decreased, or is stable.

Better DIY Tips: Keeping Your DIY Workspace Clean and Organized

Stay Organized and Start with a Plan

Many “do it yourself people” start into projects with little more than an idea and maybe some quick scribbles on a note pad. This is a sure way to get a bloated budget and timeline. Of course you need the idea to get started, but from that you need to develop a plan and put it down in detail on paper. You need to decide just exactly what you want to do first. Come up with a design and sketch it out using actual measurements so it is to scale. Make sure of your DIY capabilities and how far experienced you are. Can you knock out walls?

Can I do electrical, plumbing, and ducting home improvements? Or is my experience limited to patching rough spots or repainting? A lot of people just start without thinking first and before they know it they are in over their heads.Get a plan in place so that you can develop and decide on some material and budget choices. For example, if you’re contemplating installing new flooring: What kind of flooring? Tile, hardwood, laminate, cork, engineered hardwood, carpet, or sheet vinyl? What about baseboards, window and door trim?

Keep Organized

So now that you have a plan you can start to organize the job. Start with a list of the materials you will need and even the quantities. Some things may need to be ordered and will need some time to get to you. There are always trips to the supply store for things. Keep a running list of supplies and tools needed each day in your pocket as an easy reference tool to help and keep these trips to a minimum.

Cleanliness Equals Safety

A clean and tidy work area is more efficient and safer to work and live in. If you keep tools, materials, and garbage straight and tidy there is less chance of tripping, falling, twisting your ankle, and generally injuring you or someone near you. Keep all of those plastic five gallon buckets from products you bought in the past. They work great for hauling garbage, debris, water, and tools around, mixing mortar, organizing anything that will fit in them and of course sitting on them for a break.

While going through renovations, safety should be a must not only you, but also for your family members, pets, and neighbors. All of this sound like a lot of work, but it pays off in the end and can even save some time and cost as well. So before your next big project, sit down, pen and a pad of paper in hand, and take a little time to get things figured out first.


Nine Tips on Home Improvement and Renovation

Summer is about a third over so it’s time to check out the house for any repairs, improvement, and renovation that’s needed. This is important especially if your home is more than 10 years old. Here are some tips to check out before you dive right into your home improvement:

1. Invest in Good Planning

Planning and good designs are the cornerstone of any good project. Unfortunately, very few people want to invest in the time and effort. Don’t be one of them and get trapped in the false concept of saving time. Without good planning, your project can avalanche on itself.

2. Check Out Your Cash

In terms of negotiating a cheaper price, offering cash is a great bargaining chip. However, don’t ever pay everything up front. Offer only 10% maximum deposit. Cash payments also lead to discounts when you’re buying second-hand materials from salvage yards or antique shops.

3. Avoid Shoddy Home Improvement Companies

Check the credibility of any gutter, roofing, and home improvement company you plan to hire. The cheapest quote is not necessarily the best result. Ask for references, recommendations and ask to talk to past customers or see past work.

4. Simplicity is Better

Simplicity will be cheaper and easier to execute. Always accept that more complex plans to your new installations or improvements will increase cost and labor time.

5. Measure Twice, Cut Once

Make extra sure that you get the right amount of materials by measuring everything accurately according to well considered plans. Ordering more later is costly. You might get them from a different batch that will affect the overall finish and appearance. It’s also wasteful to order too much. Always ask your suppliers to help you with the quantities you need, and allow for a little extra just in case.

6. Shop Around

Prices will vary on the same product depending on where you get it from. Shop around and don’t be afraid to negotiate.

7. Use Standard Sizes

This will give you more leverage in effective bargaining when shopping around. If you plan around standard sizes, you’ll find that most manufacturers will have a product in their range that will fit saving you time and money.

8. Monitor Everything Carefully

Always start on exterior home improvements before starting on interior ones. Always monitor everything carefully. For instance, you can start on an entire exterior of an extension and do part of the interior. Make sure you do all the services before cosmetic work like electrics and plumbing before plastering and painting.

9. Brick is Stronger

If you’re looking to renovate an old place which has been empty for some time, it may be worth completely gutting the place and starting afresh. There is no better way to solve a renovation problem than to go back to brick.