Easy Fix to Rotted House Siding

This blog post is a little out of my norm- I prefer to blog about fun and pretty things. 😉 However, my hubby and brother worked on something this weekend that I thought I would document- you never know when this info. might help someone!

Our family has a cabin that’s been around since the 1940s. My grandparents owned it, then my parents, and they all have done a lot of additions and renovations over the years. It’s a great house, but it definitely is a true “cabin”- the humidity keeps the house feeling a bit damp, little creatures are always visiting us, and it’s impossible to keep the dirt and leaves from being tracked in from all the walking around that we do.

The wood siding off the deck on the front of the house is positioned in the direct sunlight, and it takes in all the rain and wind. Because of that, the siding had begun to rot. And, unfortunately, the humidity and creatures I mentioned before have had a much easier entryway into the cabin! Luckily, the rotted wood wasn’t a structural issue, just a cosmetic one, so we came up with a plan.

Stephen said the base of this wood was like mush!

My mom and brother purchased hardieplank siding at Home Depot. It runs about $11 per 12-foot board. Stephen and my brother decided to actually just cover the existing (rotting) wood… some of it was still in decent shape, and they figured it would allow for a little extra protection from the elements, protecting the inside of the house more. If you have this issue and want to take the wood down, you would simply just pry off the existing wood until you have your blank slate.

With hardieplank, you always start at the base of the wall you’re working on. They began with a “starter strip”, which is a ~3 inch-wide strip that they cut to put across the entire bottom of the wall. This strip allows for the boards that will go above it to angle out some. Without this starter strip, the boards would sit flat on the wall and not have the typical angled look. They stripped the hardieplank board down to the 3-inch width using a circular saw.

They made sure to find the studs to nail these into.

To keep the height of the boards the same, they used a stick of wood that was the length of the hardieplank board minus one inch. They sat this wood at the base of the previous board and this stick showed them the height at which to put the next board. The boards overlapped each other by an inch, hence this wooden stick being one inch less than the height of the board. They used a level on each board to make sure they were lined up straight. They nailed the hardieplank boards down their lengths with a nail gun, continuing until they filled the wall. The top piece needed to be cut down a few inches, so they cut that down with a circular saw.

They did this on two sections of the front of the house.

My mom painted the boards the color of the house…

and… it is done! SO much better! This was a super easy fix to a rotting-wood problem.


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