• Replacing Rotted Wood On The Exterior Of Your Home


    The truth is that wood on the exterior of a home will likely fall prey to rot at some point. Wood and water are a bad combination, and that’s why many homeowners are moving to maintenance-free exteriors that don’t use wood at all.
    However, if you do have wood sidings/cladding or windows and want to keep the natural beauty this material provides, this house repair guide will help.
    The tips included will assist you in doing the work yourself, and if you have tools and experience, DIY repairs are certainly an option. The information will also help you hire a contractor – a handyman or siding contractor – if you prefer professional repairs.

    Exterior Wood Siding Replacement Guide 

    Along with handy tips for replacing rotted wood siding and trim, you’ll find costs for DIY and professional repairs.
    A list of tools is included and their prices that give you a clear idea of your expenses when doing the work yourself. You’ll learn how to save money on replacing exterior wood. Finally, a DIY resource list provides links to more helpful information for you to peruse.

    These tips give you an overview of what’s involved in this home repair project. More tips are found in the resources section below.

    • The first tip is to discover the cause of the rotten wood – if it’s a lack of paint or stain and sealer, then the wood might need to be painted or stained more often
    • Damaged, clogged or old gutters and downspouts might also cause water to run down onto wood surfaces and produce rot (especially if water is getting behind the wood which is usually not sealed) so check them twice a year and keep up with cleaning and repairs
    • Rotted wood low to the ground on an exterior wall is often caused by water falling off the roof and splashing up onto it (again behind the wood) so install gutters if they’re not present or clean and repair existing gutters
    • You might need to take off wood trim that covers rotted wood siding
    • It is often easier to remove entire pieces of rotted wood that to attempt to cut off the rotted portion and install a patch
    • Be careful when removing rotted wood not to damage good wood around it
    • To remove a rotten piece of lap siding, the board above it must be loosened using a pry bar and hammer
    • Ease the piece above the damaged piece away from the wall about an inch and then push on it to locate the nails which can be either cut with a hacksaw or carefully removed with a pry bar
    • Remove all fasteners after the rotted wood is removed and note the type they are, so that you can pick up more
    • When the wood is removed, check the underlying sheathing or studs for additional rotted wood
    • Take a damaged piece of wood siding or trim with you to the home improvement store to find the best replacement match
    • Cut the new siding to the proper length using a circular saw or chop saw
    • Paint or stain the edges of the replacement piece before installation to cut down on the possibility of water getting into the wood
    • Fasten the new siding to the sheathing below or to studs if they are visible
    • When replacing more than one piece, start with the lowest piece and work up
    • Caulk seams between the siding and framing to protect from moisture, insects and a loss of the home’s heat
    • Use the same paintable caulk for nail holes
    • If it’s been a while since the surrounding wood has been painted or stained, the entire wall might need to be painted after the repairs to give it a uniform appearance as colour does fade over time

    Exterior Wood Siding and Trim Replacement Costs

    Here’s a look at costs for DIY and professional repairs made to rotting wood on your home.

    DIY wood siding and replacement cost: The cost of the siding will depend on its quality. Pine that must be painted costs less than cedar, for example. Siding boards cost $4.50 to $7 per 8-foot board. Wood trim costs about the same. Here are some of the tools and material costs. The price ranges for each tool are a result of differences in quality of the tools available.

    • Pry bar: $6 to $12
    • Carpenter’s hammer: $12 to $30
    • Circular saw: $50 to $150
    • Nails: $7 to $15 for a 5lb box. copper nails $24 to 34 a box
    • Caulk: $4 to $7 per tube
    • Caulk gun: $6 to $25

    Professional wood siding replacement costs: Your costs for the material and installation of replacement wood siding and trip will be $9 to $12 per square foot. The larger the section being repaired, the less the cost per square foot will be. For just one or two pieces, some siding contractors will have a minimum service fee of $100 to $175.

    How to Save Money on Wood Siding and Trim Repair

    Doing the work yourself will save money, especially if you can borrow the tools you don’t have. When choosing to hire a professional, call several contractors for estimates, and let them know that they are competing for the work. Ask about experience too, and you’ll find the best value on exterior wood repair.

    DIY Resources for Repairing or Replacing Rotted Wood

    Universal Roof and Contracting – On this local siding company’s site, many common questions about replacing wood siding and trim are answered.

    Image Works Painting – This painting contractor offers tips for repairing rotted wood when the damage is relatively minor.

    Lotz Painting – Here’s a page that shows what a siding contractor or painter should do when replacing damaged wood siding.


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