I don't actually know when those better days were, because it looked pretty bad when we moved in, and has gotten progressively yuckier as the years have passed (although it doesn't look anywhere near as bad as our next-door neighbor's siding, which they don't actually have to see because it's in our courtyard and not theirs).
(Told you so.)
The bottom of the planks were peeling up and several of them were cracked and crumbling. We didn't want it to get bad enough that we could wind up with water damage, so we had looked into getting it replaced. But that was where we had to throw on the brakes, because we couldn't really afford to drop a couple thousand on siding. And we especially weren't willing to drop thousands on siding that wasn't even ours.
But luckily Matt has the best family ever, and two of his uncles graciously offered to replace the siding on our house for us, if we paid for the materials. And even nicer, they said they'd replace the neighbors' siding too, if they wanted it done. (They did, thank goodness!)
So last week, his uncles and parents brought in their hydraulic lift and a whole bunch of primed siding, and went about installing it and getting the house fixed up!
But first, they had to tear down all the old siding first. Matt said this was the best part of the whole project.
Of course, when they did that they found that parts of the house hadn't even been insulated properly, so that had to be fixed too.
View from inside the attic.
Meanwhile, my mother-in-law and I went to Home Depot to look at paint colors for the exterior of the house. We settled on Behr's satin-finish "Cozy Cottage" (740C-2) and got a huge five-gallon bucket of it. Eventually we plan to re-paint the entire exterior of the house, though there are a few more fixes we have to make first.
Once the siding was all torn off and new insulation was added to the gaps, the guys started putting up tar paper so if it rained overnight, the wood and insulation wouldn't get messed up, and then started nailing the new, unpainted siding up!
Because I couldn't really do a whole lot to help out with the manual labor, I went to Lowe's and Home Depot for extra supplies, went on beer and Gatorade runs, and made sure we had lunches and dinners prepared so no one else had to think about it. (When it comes to major projects, I say play to your strengths. I'm not good at doing home repair, but I know how to feed people!)
And once all the siding and flashing was up, it was time to give that sucker a couple of coats of paint!
The dark beige was the color the boards came in. The lighter color is the Cozy Cottage paint.
Some extra boards were added to frame the edges.
And after a little more painting, our new siding was done!
Beautiful! And when all was said and done, I got to take a ride up in the lift to "inspect" it up close! That was pretty cool. They took it all the way up (about 34 feet in the air), and you could see the roofs of all the houses on the street from up there.
The whole project took two and a half full days of work with four people working on it, so they didn't get to work on the neighbor's siding before they had to go back home. Besides, our courtyard is too small to fit the hydraulic lift in, so they'll have to come back another week with some scissor lifts to be able to reach it.
We are very pleased with how it turned out! And I think it will be a major help when we try to sell next year too.