Wood Siding Repair









This is the side of a garage parking area in an apartment complex but it will serve well to show how to do wood siding repair or replacing wood siding on a house. The only difference between this exterior wood siding repair and home siding repair is there is no backing Tyvak paper on this one because it's just a parking structure. In a house, you would have Tyvak Homewrap, which goes between the paneling and the studs and overlaps itself, ideally overlapping at the studs and tightly nailed. If this job had needed paper, I would have had to pull out the nails on both sides of the repair, slip the paper underneath the 2 panels and renail them both before I started nailing the panels back on (but after I had reframed, of course.)



Here is how it looked when finished:









Can you guess how this happened? I'll let you know at the end, but it's pretty obvious. The main thing about exterior wood siding repair, or any trim or exterior home carpentry, is that the end repair has to be sealed from moisture completely. If you don't bother to nail it up right, or seal it completely, then don't bother at all because it will deteriorate quickly.






When doing exterior siding repair, line things up so that the wood seals itself as much as possible. These siding panels are tongue and groove, the tongue on one end fits into the groove on the other end of the adjacent panel.

After making sure the first one is nailed well you can you slide the next one into the groove on the side of it and then you would nail it tightly to the stud behind it. This would of course be more difficult if we had paper over the studs so in that situation you'll just have to measure where the stud is before you nail and then mark the panel well for where the nails go. When you're measuring the studs measure from center to center obviously. A good thing to do with paneling is to just nail as much as you need to to secure things, and then fill in all of the rest of the nails when you know for sure that all your wood is in the right place. That way you don't have to pull out a million nails if something went wrong!

Just some other exterior carpentry tips: If you do have to pull out a lot of nails (like in the beginning of this job) it is best to dig the nail out with a nail-puller, then grab the nail in the claw of a hammer as usual but then push the hammer down sideways. Try it! it takes a lot less energy then pulling the handle down every time. Also, be sure to measure very carefully on every cut and watch out for slack in your measuring tape, then take the 'kerf' (width) of your saw blade into account when you cut. Also when cutting two by fours for framing make it a 1/16th of an inch bigger than your measurement so you can gently pound the studs into the space they are going into, otherwise it will be much harder to nail them if they are flopping around. It is also much easier to toenail the studs by predrilling holes in this situation. Start by drilling straight and then turning the drill down as soon as it bites into the wood.






Some more tips: you can switch arms when nailing, one arm gets less tired and you get a more even workout. If you have to pound a lot of nails over and over like on this job you can grab a handful of nails in one hand and 'feed' them to your hammer. In other words, while one hand is pounding a nail the other hand is getting another nail ready at the same time. Of course the old 'measure twice, cut once' adage is good advice and for long cuts in plywood or siding I like to measure two marks at either end, make a line all the way across with a 2 by 4, put the panel up on scrap wood on the ground out of the way of the saw (scrap wood on the LEFT side of the cut), make the cut with my hands and knees on top of the wood and watch the blade against the line (with your safety glasses on, of course.) Be careful! It is possible to make a very straight cut this way without a lot of gear (saw horses, saw fence, etc) and the piece you are cutting off will just fall away.






This picture is after the 2 panels have been roughly nailed in. Now I need to nail them all down and since there are already nail holes I'm just reusing them because that's the best way to seal it, by using the same holes and caulking them very well after they are nailed. Obviously if you were starting with new panel you would just make new nail holes and you would have to measure very carefully in order to hit your studs every time.






I got lucky on this job. I didn't have to paint because the almond caulking matched the paint well enough (but use paintable caulk anyway). Again, the most important part of this job is sealing every nail hole and every crack between the panels and in the panels themselves, because if you're not going to seal it up don't bother doing it at all, it will be a mess in a year!







external home repair



So I told you I would tell you what happened with this panel in the beginning and here it is: yes, you probably guessed, a car smashed into it and here's the picture of the the framing job again that I had to do on the other side. In this case I had to match the framing to the nail holes because I wanted to reuse nail holes. Yes framing is always supposed to be 16 inches on center but you would be surprised at how often that isn't really true!



Here is a great little tool for pulling nails available from Amazon.com:

Stanley 55-117 10-Inch Molding Bar









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