Re-Siding Our House: Estimates and Decisions

So after a little project hiatus (and a much-to-be-desired hallway closet post) we are tackling our biggest, most expensive project to date. Replacing our siding!

It’s something we’ve known would need to happen since we moved in four years ago and we decided that we couldn’t put it off any longer. This past winter was not only the coldest winter I can remember, it also brought the highest energy bills we’ve ever paid; two things we hope to never repeat.

Before Siding August '14

We set the plan into motion at the beginning of May by making a list of siding companies in our area. (This is one project we had no desire to take on ourselves.) We pretty much knew that we wanted vinyl siding since we liked the idea of a material that would require less maintenance than our current wood siding and wouldn’t break the bank. Also, most of the houses on our street have vinyl siding so it will fit right in. We had also considered trying to salvage our wood siding, but the damage has already been done and it was going to cost almost as much to repair, as it will be to replace it.

Before Siding August '14

For those of you who are wondering wood siding needs to be painted or stained every 3-5 years to ensure it is properly protected from the elements. If you have wood siding and don’t have a lot of rotting boards it may be more cost effective to spruce up what you already have.  It never hurts to get some estimates!

After googling, reading reviews and perusing websites we chose ten companies to contact. I should mentioned that one of these companies only did steel siding; I thought it would make a good comparison and was curious to know what the cost difference would be.

Since all of the companies requested someone be home I had to schedule them after work over a two week period. Most of them lasted between 30-40 minutes but a couple were closer to an hour.

Rotting Siding August '14

Because we have a lot of rotting siding boards one of our big questions was if they would plan to remove the existing siding or just side over it. I was shocked that 80% of them said that we should only remove the rotting boards, and in some cases not even replace them with anything before putting new siding up. Their reasoning for this was that by removing the existing siding we would be decreasing the R-value (the measurement of insulation’s ability to resist heat) and we could be opening up a can of worms. I wasn’t sure I agreed with this theory, since years of outdoor elements had taken a mighty toll on the siding, I rather liked the idea of opening the house up to make sure the structure hadn’t been affected as well. It would also mean that the new siding would not project past the window trim around the old windows.

Old Windows Before Siding

In addition to the siding we also want the soffits, facia, gutters and downspouts updated so they match the new siding. One guy brought up the gable vents as well, which was not something I had even thought about until he pointed it out, but after he brought it up it seemed like the only logical thing to do. Lastly, we wanted to go with another color and since I’ve always envisioned our house as a blue-grey Peddy was nice enough to let me have my way.

Soffits and Facia

Most of the companies got their estimates to me within 24 hours after meeting with them. Peddy and I started trying to dissect each one individually but decided it would be best to wait until we’d received all ten and since he was out of town for work we also wanted to wait until he was home before narrowing them down.

Some of them were easy to eliminate since they were over our budget (including the steel siding). I had already ruled out one company during the estimate process since he was overly pushy and gave me a bad vibe. Then it came down to personal preference. We both decided that we would feel more comfortable having the existing siding removed in order to check the structural support of the house and at the same time would ask to have OSB boards installed around the house to make up for some of the lost R-value. Since only two companies had agreed with us on this fact it was easy to narrow down.

Old Corner Soakers

I contacted both companies with some additional questions and scheduled another meeting at the house with one of them. The main reasons I chose to meet with this particular company again was due to the fact that their estimate was within our budget and would allow us some room should some unexpected costs arise. After going over the plan again and adding in some additional items he wrote up a new estimate for us. Peddy was out of town for work again, so I e-mailed him the new estimate and we decided to wait a day to mull over everything before making a final commitment. A few days later, near the end of June, I mailed out the signed contract!

To be continued…

Have you been saving up for any big projects? 

Cleaning out my Closets

Sorry to keep you waiting! I wanted to fill you in on what I had done over the winter and then quickly realized that I’d done almost nothing. Luckily I came across a few project photos when browsing my camera and quickly got to work writing this post. I know I had mentioned in my last post that this past winter was a doozy and that it had knocked almost all motivation out of me, but I guess I hadn’t realized how much until I was searching for a project to write about. Anyways, I was able to complete one project that I’ve been putting off for quite some time….organizing the hallway closets. (I’ve also been wanting to paint them but with no white paint on hand I decided to put that off for another day.)

Over the past year or so the closets have become fairly unorganized. Not only have we accumulated more stuff but we’ve also gotten into a habit of just throw thing into them and considering them “put away”. We don’t have much storage space in our house so we need to utilize what we do have efficiently. With that being said here’s what I started with…

Hall Closet 1 Before First things first, I pulled everything out from the coat closet in order to see what kind of inventory we had and to give the closet a good cleaning. Once everything was out I dusted the shelves and wiped them down with a disinfectant, swept the floor and used a magic eraser to clean off marks from the wall.

Hall Closet 1 wall before

Hall Closet 1 wall after

When I felt the closet was sufficiently clean it was time to neatly put everything back. It was starting to come together when I suddenly realized we needed more shelving or it was quickly going to go back to an unorganized, jumbled state.

Hall Closet 1 Progress

After scouring the house for some type of shelving unit that would fit in the closet and still allow me to store our vacuum and some other larger items, I came up empty-handed. I then remembered these cheap white organizers my mom used to have when I was young and hopped on the internet to track down a store where I could pick on up. Unfortunately I didn’t have much luck with that either and eventually just called my mom to see if she still had any lying around. Thankfully she did so I went to pick it up the next day! (I eventually ended up finding one at Home Depot in case anyone could use one.)

Hall Closet 1 Shelving

It was perfect! It gave me a little more vertical storage space for some of the smaller items without taking up much floor space. Fifteen minutes later and the coat closet had never looked better! I was even smart enough to bring our hat and glove storage over from the linen closet, why we’d kept it there I shall never know.

Hall Closet 1 After

Once I’d finished the coat closet I moved on to the linen closet where I again removed every item, dusted and disinfected all the shelves. Once I started putting everything away I found that I even had enough room to store our extra blankets versus keeping them in a bin in the basement! This closet did take me a little more time just because we keep a lot of extra toiletries in it but it was well worth the time to know where everything is.

Hall Closet 2 Before

Hall Closet 2 AfterIt was a great way to jump-start my spring cleaning since I was able to toss expired and useless items as well as start a donation pile for some of the nicer things that I just no longer wanted.  All-in-all I am very happy it’s done but I do wish that I would have been able to freshen them both up with a new paint job and shelf liners. But I guess that will give me something to write about at a later date.

So now that I’ve been getting rid of some stuff does anyone have any thoughts on holding a garage sale? All opinions greatly appreciated!!

I’m Back!

Happy May Day!
I’m back. Sorry it’s been so long since my last post, the past few months have been interesting, so I will just quickly recap them for you.

Around Christmas Peddy was offered a job that temporarily took him overseas. He left right after the New Year leaving me and the four-legged ‘kiddos’ to survive winter alone. Knowing that I would need to keep myself occupied during his absence I devised a list of ‘Kallie’ projects to work on. (Basically easy projects that didn’t require many if any power tools.) Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for his absence and the short, cold, VERY cold winter days to take their toll and completely knock out any motivation I once had. After a few weeks of passively looking over my list I decided I couldn’t procrastinate anymore.

Thankfully as the days went by my motivation sloooowly started to return and I began crossing off some of the projects on my list, like sorting through and organizing my bins of “crap” in the basement and organizing all of our closets. When Peddy finally came home the house was in better shape than when he left but not nearly as far along as I planned.

Now that spring is slowly rolling in I have once again gained some motivation and am in the midst of working on some new posts (aka projects) which should be up in the next week or two. I also gained a great deal of motivation after discovering that we would be having company come to look at the house. There is no motivation like company motivation. So after a long weekend of nothing but cleaning, the house is looking better than it ever has. (Now would be a great time for me to film a walk-through video… but one thing at a time!) With any luck I will be able to sustain the cleanliness that we now live in and fill my time with fun projects instead of cleaning. Wish me luck!

Did you go into hibernation mode over the winter? Tackle any projects?

Our favorite winter activity!

This is what most of our winter months looked like.