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Vinyl Siding Installation: What To Do With Your Home's Existing Siding


If you are undertaking a vinyl siding installation on an old house, you have two options for dealing with the existing siding. First, you can leave it in place, and install the new one over the top of it. Or, secondly, you can remove it, and apply the new one directly to your home's exterior sheathing.

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Regardless of which option you choose, all vinyl siding installation projects should begin with a weather-proof, flat surface on which to hang the new panels.

Vinyl Siding Installation: How to Choose What to Do with Your Old Siding

  • If the old siding is in decent shape and has a consistently flat surface, then you may be able to install the new vinyl siding directly over the top of it. Some styles of wood siding, such as shiplap clapboards or T-111 sheets, are flat, and can provide a strong underlying structure on which to nail the new panels.
  • Beveled wood siding is not flat, but can sometimes be left in place if it is covered with rigid insulation prior to installing the new siding.
  • Removing and disposing of your home's old siding can be expensive, especially if it was made with asbestos. If cost is an issue, then you may be better off leaving it in place. Of course, if it was made with asbestos, you must take all necessary precautions when working with it.
  • The appearance of your home may be negatively impacted by leaving your old siding in place. That's because the new one may protrude beyond the existing window trims and other architectural details. If this is an issue for you, remove your old siding and apply the new one directly to your home's plywood sheathing.

Each brand and style of vinyl siding comes with its own set of installation guidelines that should be followed exactly. Otherwise, the product may not perform as designed. It is pretty normal for rain water to eventually find its way behind a vinyl siding, so it is crucial that your home has a watertight vapor barrier. You also need a well-insulated, flat exterior wall in order to carry out a successful vinyl siding installation.

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