Siding Replaced and Painted


In 2011 we had the north side of the house re-sided with fiber cement lap siding. You can find out all about that project in the Archived PDF files under the Greenovation Section entitled "Greenovation : Siding". The rest of the house had to wait until we could afford it and the original siding told us we had better figure out a way to afford it in 2017. The panels no longer over lapped and that meant air and even water could be infiltrating the cavities behind it. Why fiber cement siding? The answer is covered in the PDF with the info about the 2011 siding project.

2017 found me immersed in the world of aging parents needing to be uprooted from their home of 56 years to an assisted living facility and all that entails. For once, I was not at the leading edge of something because my parents successfully lived in their home until all of us kids became senior citizens ourselves. Most of our friends had already dealt with these issues, the world at large had discovered the need for places where elderly people could live comfortably and relatively independently, and a new niche in construction had arisen so senior citizens could Age in Place.

With this knowledge, I evaluated our home and was happy to note that Aging in Place construction/remodeling is very similar to (or even a subset of) Universal Design. That means our home already has many positive Aging in Place aspects because Sustainable Building using Universal Design had been a driving force in the selection of the house and continues to be part of the entire Greenovation.

I also compared the costs of remodeling to Age in Place with the price of assisted living facilities and deduced that it is cost-effective to make the changes necessary to stay in my home for as long as possible.

Armed with this information, I started doing internet searches for contractors who focus on Aging in Place and found that there are few in the Kansas City area who use that phrase. One happens to be a local business in Blue Springs, which is relatively close to my location.

I contacted them and had a lovely conversation with the woman who is their Financial Concierge. She and I later had a phone meeting in which we discussed what kind of grants and other financial help is available for Aging in Place upgrades in the home. She spurred me into action regarding financing (something I always dread because we generally make enough money to live on [and therefore too much to qualify for assistance] while not enough to pay for major improvements) and after some frustrating encounters with my mortgage company, etc. I learned from my hubby that we would be able to borrow enough from our 401k to make at least a few of the major improvements (and eliminate our debt beyond our house payment… which was necessary so we would be able to pay back the 401k). This may be too much information to be sharing, but I think it is important to say it because there must be other people who are in a similar situation and you need to know that it IS possible to work these things to your benefit within legal means. Luckily for us, we borrowed before the latest stock market “check” and so sold high and are paying ourselves back with interest… meaning we did not fare as badly as we would have if we had not borrowed against our retirement funds when we did. We will be scrimping for the next 5 years (the length of the loan) and at the end of that time we will also have a nice amount of equity in the mortgage since we did not refinance it to get the money for the improvements. AND we will have enhanced the value of the house besides.

I was so impressed with the Financial Concierge that I asked her to have someone come out to evaluate what they think we need to Age in Place and provide a quote. We hired that company to replace the north porch (you can read about it here) and I hoped they would do such a good job that we would want to continue to use them for more work on the house, but alas, no.

Hiring a Contractor

Usually, I enjoy spreading the work around but the experience with the north porch contractor was fresh in my mind and it was unpleasant. I had a great experience with the Bordner crew who replaced the siding on the north side of the house in 2011 so I decided to contact them about a quote for the rest of the house.

It turns out that Bordner has been bought out (or merged or something) and is now part of a national business. They talk like they are a local, neighbors-helping-neighbors business but they act like the profits-before-people corporations. The Project Manager on our 2011 job no longer worked there (not really all that unusual) so I agreed to have someone else come out and give us a quote. He was nice enough and seemed to know what he was talking about. We decided to hire them.

He came back with samples of the cementatious fiber siding they use. Uh-oh, first red flag! It is not the same product that was used on the north side, so they would not be able to patch the area that needed it due to the new porch steps. Second red flag! The siding is prepainted so I would have to choose from their samples to get the price quoted or have it painted at additional expense to match the rest of the house. We really needed to schedule this job and so we decided to move forward. Third and biggest red flag! They only work through a financing company. We had to use it, we couldn't just give them a deposit and pay for the job when it was completed. Grrr, grumbling, we let the guy set it up (digitally, an application process) because he promised that we COULD work the finances the way we wanted.

I soon discovered that what we had applied for was a CREDIT CARD with a limit the amount of the quote. I was extremely angry. I contacted Bordner to get it cancelled, I was told they "could not". I spent a week going back and forth with the Credit Card Company AND Bordner to get the "financing" cancelled. I spoke to supervisors of supervisors on both ends and kept a paper trail just in case. FINALLY, we received proof that the account had been closed and the "hold" amount of money had been removed.

And, back to square one.

I still had the phone number of the subcontractor from the 2011 siding job since we had been given permission to contract with them to do the painting of the rest of the house. So I called Monica Hernandez and she remembered working on our house. Yes, she knew about the changes at Bordner and, yes, she was free to contract jobs directly.

By now, 2018 had arrived, so this project was officially a 2018 project. It took a few weeks for Monica's foreman (same person as in 2011) was available to come out and estimate materials etc. but I was happy to wait for someone I trusted.

They were able to resource the same materials that were used on the north side, so everything would match and the patch could be included. The lap siding would need to be painted (which is what I wanted anyway) and so the quote included both the siding and the painting. The price was within our budget and we hired them to do both jobs providing a 30% deposit (this basically gives them enough to purchase materials) and 70% upon completion. No fuss, no muss regarding payment... personal check was just fine.

The crew were scheduled to start work on March 17, 2018 and they figured it would take two (2) to three (3) days, weather permitting, for the siding. The paint crew would arrive after the siding was finished.

Siding Materials Arrive

If you have read ANY of the rest of the Sustainable Building part of the website, you already know how child-like I am around construction. I just L*O*V*E to watch people doing their jobs and I love to learn new things. Well, this time was NO EXCEPTION.

The materials arrived on a semi-tractor trailer rig that definitely would not be able to make the turn into out gravel driveway (mainly due to the huge ditch on the other side of the road). Not to worry, they are used to this kind of situation. The trailer and how they handle materials was FASCINATING to me.

This is the rig. The driver parked it as close to the ditch on our side of the road as he could; so cars would be able to pass AND he would be able to work at removing our materials

The siding of the trailer was some type of cloth.

The machine/vehicle on the back was a type of forklift... but OH WHAT A FORKLIFT!!

The cloth covering of the trailer SLIDES BACK to reveal an open deck with contents strapped down. No load shifting back there!

See the metal triangles under the cover? Those move along a track creating an accordion fold in the fabric (see the next photo for that).

The front of the trailer is solid and the metal triangle joists lock into it when it is closed (with some of that front metal wall covering the gap so wind does not rip the fabric off of the joists. AMAZING!

The forklift was lowered to the ground (I missed that part because I was so excited about the trailer!) and manuevered to the side of the trailer to remove the material.

I can tell you I was very nervous because I could not see how he would be able to back up the forklift holding the material without going into the ditch and THEN turn with it to go around the trailer without damaging the fabric et al.

And HERE is the ANSWER! He only had to back up the width of the material because THE WHEELS ALL TURN SO THE WHOLE FORK LIFT CAN BE DRIVEN SIDEWAYS!!

Is that COOL or WHAT!?!

The driver thought I was so funny. He smiled an awful lot watching my excitement.

So here are the wheels still in position to go sideways. (Clearer picture with the gravel road to highlight them.)

He presses some buttons (or something) and the wheels turn IN PLACE, all three (3) of them, without moving the forklift AT ALL!

Now he is ready to drive forward onto our driveway.

There was plenty of room to manuever without having to turn the wheels by themselves in order to place the materials where we wanted them.

Once he had them on the ground, the driver removed the tarp (blue square on the bundle), opened it up and stapled it to the pallets all the way around so the materials were completely covered.

We were surprised at how small the bundle was. Really hoped they wouldn't have to order more... and they didn't have to. It is amazing how far that pile went! There was even material left over. (See the photo at the end of the siding section.)

I wish I had taken pictures of the driver putting the forklift back on the trailer! Basically, it went like this... He drove the forklift to the back of the trailer. He manuevered the fork high enough and angled correctly to fit in the grooves provided for them in the deck of the trailer. Then he drove it forward until the fork was completely inside the deck AND LOWERED THE FORK which lifted the VEHICLE off the ground until it looked just like the first picture in the sequence. He then got down and locked everything in place, closing the sides, etc.

I know, I know, I am easily entertained, LOL. I sure wish I had known about jobs like that when I was young enough to do them. Of course, back then it would have been unheard of for a woman to be driving a forklift, a semi-rig, or any of the dirt movers I drool over.

Professional Siding Crew

Monica Hernandez is truly a professional contractor. Her siding crew was scheduled to start on March 17th, but they were finished with their previous job early and were able to start on the 15th... if that was OK with me. Yes, indeed! (So much for the "dreaded" Ides of March, LOL.)

Such a different experience from the porch replacement. Monica's crews worked from the minute they arrive to the minute they leave, with the exception of scheduled breaks. They are efficient, clean up every day, avoid damaging the plants and are generally a joy to have around.

By the way, as you look at the photos, you will probably notice that some of them show the crew in short sleeves on a sunny day and the rest show the crew in hoodies, wearing gloves and the day is overcast. Well, that is because they did this project in only two (2) days! The first day was warm and beautiful and then the weather turned COLD. I thought the project would take longer, so I missed most of the prep work on the first day which is why the photos aren't all in order. I think you'll have figured that out, but in case it messes with your head... you are welcome. LOL

The project started with preparations.

Removal of damaged and or unneeded wood. (The previous siding was large 4x8 panels which required linear wood to cover the horizontal seams. Of course, they were never flashed, so they were the first to rot.) You can see in this photo where the vertical seams have started to gap... the most obvious one is just to the right of the tall ladder holding one of the workers.

They also took the downspout from the gutter off so it would be out of the way (the black mark at the far right shows where it was).

The also put flashing where it was needed. In this corner by the fireplace chimney, for example.

Oh look, now you can see where the downspout was!

And flashing along the bottom of walls so that any rain that drips off the lap siding and wants to follow that bottom edge toward the building doesn't have anywhere to go but down the metal piece of flashing and onto the ground.

Also flashing where the wall meets a roof. This picture shows the wall of the second story where it meets the shed roof over the south porch.

This location has been a real problem spot with water making its way through to the wall below. You can see the damage that had been done... that dark spot at the left under the shadow of the ladder and person.

They also create boxes to go around any external penetration. These get flashing as well as being insulated.

Pictures of the finished products near the end of the siding section.

Once the walls are prepared, flashing in place, etc. A sheet of HardieWrap™ is installed starting at the bottom and working up so that it overlaps.

A good house wrap allows for breathability while blocking moisture from entering.

Close up of flashing with the wrap over it.
Once the crew got to working on the siding installation, the foreman and his assistant got to work removing the necessary lap pieces on the north side that would be replaced.
I thought they would have to remove longer pieces, but the previous crew were so good at what they do, I just couldn't see the seams.

Here is a close up of the corner that had not been touched during the previous installation because there was a railing up against it.

Since that railing was removed during the porch replacement, this was an opporutinty to plug up the mouse holes behind it and repair the corner at the same time as the patch (because the profile of the stairs changed).

What a difference!
The finished patch.

These guys are quick! I almost missed getting photos before this side was finished.

Once again, they start from the bottom and work up.

Look at all the ladders! Plus the siding cutter (red/orange thing in the center at bottom) and the flashing cutter (bottom right), not to mention pneumatic hammers, nails, siding, etc. that is required for the job.

Close up (well, as close as I could get, LOL) of how each seam has a piece of flashing behind it.
All the vertical pieces (and along the soffit, also fiber cement) were placed first to make the measurement of each lap easier.

The color is hard to see here, but the unpainted fiber cement lap boards were a greenish-gray color and I just fell in love with it.

More about that when we get to the paint portion of the project.

Starting the south and west of the second story.

So fast! They have one person on the ground to whom they call out the measurement and angle for each cut and it gets handed up to the person NOT on the ladder. So efficient!

You can tell this second day was much warmer than the first day.

And finished!
Putting the fiber cement board along the top edge first. They had to cut one to go over the window, but it fit beautifully.
Almost done with the west side.
Look how precise! They matched the north and even added that inch wide strip of lap board along the top edge to make sure it that top lap wasn't wider than the rest.
Quick pic of the waste material that accumulated. That is not a very big pile! (Especially when you compare it to the porch remodel's pile.)
West side finished!
Coming to the end of the last area.
And it's done!

Oh yes, I promised the boxed penetrations. Here is the dryer vent.

Can't tell you how much I appreciated this one. I had accidently run into it during the summer (mowing) and had been bugging the hubby to resecure it (which had not gotten done before the siding installation).

The sump pump discharge hose.
The old liquid propane gas line (no longer used because of the geothermal system but it is still a penetration) and the electric line exiting to the garage (inside the tubing at right).
The leftovers! They came back and loaded these into a covered vehicle for use on another job.
All the waste materials wenting into those bags in the back of the two (2) trucks to be disposed off-site. So they didn't even have to order a dumpster.
The finished product starting with the patch (the North).

All cleaned up... you'd never even know they were there!

From the West...

From the South...
From the Southeast...
From the East...
From the Northeast.

Professional Paint Crew

Monica Hernandez' paint crew started on March 22, 2018 and it only took them two (2) days because they used a fast drying caulk that let them start painting sooner than they would have otherwise.

As always, preparation is critical!

Caulk on the seams and any exposed nail heads.

I didn't take a picture of this close up when it was completed. I had left over body color from 2011 which still matched well. This was just painted with brush and roller.

Plastic and/or paper taped on anything that is not supposed to be painted.

Teamwork is also important.

Unlike the siding, spraying starts at the top and works down.

Note that they did not cover the vertical board at the edge because they needed to paint the caulk seam. Instead they simply painted the trim on that east side again.

You can just see the sprayer at the bottom center of this image. It has a tube that goes directly into the 5-gallon paint bucket so they don't have to keep filling the sprayer. I know that isn't new, but it was new to me. LOL

Once the sprayed areas dry, the trim guy will get to start.

And here he is! Rolling the vertical boards with the same trim color as in 2011.

I don't know how he managed that long roller extension! Good thing there wasn't much wind on this day in March.

Yes, the bottom had not been sprayed yet, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. He did not paint the trim below the painted area until after it had been painted.

Efficient coordination of breaks when one area is drying and another is being painted.

This is the sprayer guy working on some trim now that his spraying is finished.

The trim is always the last to get done.

Finished product! The green is much more "green" than it appeared on the siding alone.

I love the combination of the sage green with the brown trim and architectural stone of the chimney.

From the Southwest...

From the South...
From the Southeast...

From the North. (Looking into the sun... not the best pic.)

Maybe I'll be able to get Monica's crew back in 2019 to paint the North side to match the rest... fingers and toes crossed.

The lamppost? Oh that is just waiting to be taken to Habitat ReStore. It will get a new home.

And this is the end of the 2018 Fiber Cement Siding and Paint Project.

2020 Update: Painting Completed

As soon as the general maintenance repairs were done, I called Monica Hernandez about painting the rest of the house and set up a date for her to come out and provide me an estimate on repainting the north side of the house and the repairs.

Since there was trim to be painted due to the repairs on the soffits and fascia AND since I have long decided the trim should have been a darker color (more contrast) to begin with AND since I've been putting off doing the painting of the a) south porch railing and skirt, b) south porch ceiling, and c) south wall under the porch... the hubby and I agreed it would be worth the extra expense to have Monica's crew do ALL of it and get it done both quickly and professionally.

The only issue was deciding the color of the trim because we MUST put gutters on the north and south porches and they must match the trim color. Monica assured me that we could schedule the job so long as she knew how many colors of paint we would be using because they would not purchase the paint until just before they started.

The body color of the north side would be Svelte Sage (that being the lap siding and the old composite siding under the north porch); but we would leave the shingle siding in the gable ends the current brown color (Moche). All the trim would be repainted and the small gutter by the chimney would be painted the same color. Additionally, the south porch railings and skirting would be the same as the trim color. The old composite siding under the south porch would be Svelte Sage (multiple coats to really seal it) and the ceiling of the south porch would be a blue called Undercool.

I was sure Monica would think me nuts to paint the ceiling blue, but she didn't and I'm not. It's not uncommon at all. I had seen stories about how wasps don't build nests on blue ceilings because it looks like sky (nothing to attach to)... and considering how many wasps we have around, anything to reduce their numbers by the house is a good thing. (By the way, the night after it was painted, several yellow-jackets settled in on the side of one of the boards. The hubby dispatched them so I don't know if they would have just left on their own. Time will tell if it's just a myth or not.)

We set a date for September and that gave the hubby and I plenty of time to finish trimming out the ceiling of the north porch (click here for the north porch project) and to contact a gutter company to come out and to decide on the trim color (which they did) and the color that matches the gutter material is: Turkish Coffee.

Some time later, Monica called to ask if we could move the date of painting up because another client wanted to shift their's back. We were all set by then, so SURE, sooner is better than later.

Shameless plug for folks in the KC Metro area.

Just a few pics of the process.

Here you can see how they tape off the windows and doors.

Also the stairs are taped around the railings and posts so they can spray as much as possible (then they finish up with brushes what didn't get sprayed).

I was wondering how they would handle the trim of the north porch ceiling. So clever!
Here it is sprayed.
North porch finished.
North porch in it's entirety.
From the northeast.
From the northwest.
From the south.
From the southeast (showing porch ceiling).
From the southwest (showing porch ceiling).

The entire job took them two (2) full days and they were done just in time because the next day we had 1.75 inches of rain.

Just as an aside... for some strange, unknown reason, grasshoppers/locusts LOVE to munch on the Turkish Coffee trim paint. The crew experienced it on a job several years ago and even got photos of the grasshoppers munching away at it then and photos of the damage they did. And, yes, the grasshoppers/locusts do seem to be drawn to it... they go for the edges, heavy sigh. I'm hoping that the rain right after the painting was finished may have reduced the scent of the paint and the late season will reduce any damage. (Further update: it did not.) Regardless, touching up spots is my job. You have been forewarned, LOL.


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