My wife and I bought an old victorian in Ditmas Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. The house has some ugly asphalt shingle siding that has apparently been around for decades. We are eager to get rid of it, but a little frightened about what lies beneath.

One contractor we talked to said, just plan to completely re-side the whole house with wood (cedar I assume). Don't bother trying to paint/restore what you find underneath because it isn't worth it. The quote to do this was $80,000.

I'm looking for advice on how to approach this project. Is that quote high? I mean, this is NYC, but $80,000 is a lot!