Hi to this discussion board. Although I'm new here, I've been flamed on other forums for years...mainly car restoration related. So here goes:

I am rehabbing my first investment property, which is a 1912 small Victorian in Richmond Ca. Since the neighborhood isn't very nice, and I'm trying to keep costs low, I've been looking for some creative ways to rehab certain sticky spots on the house.

First issue: lead paint abatement on exterior siding. The front and visible side of the house was already stripped when I bought the house, so refinishing the redwood V-rustic was a no brainer. The back and side of the house that isn't visible from the street has a ton of lead paint starting to flake off. My decision here is to try and cover the siding so I don't have to deal with costly lead abatement, etc., which could be 10K+ by someone licensed.

My neighbor, who is a laborer with stucco experience, quoted me $3000 plus materials to stucco over the existing siding on those two sides of the house. The side wall is 48' x 14', with 3 small windows. It is just 4 feet away from the wall of the house next door. The back wall is 24' x 14', with lots of windows. So about $4k to stucco the two sides, and be done with the lead paint. This is no doubt a steal of a deal, but what if his stucco work is subpar, and the stucco wall starts coming off in a few years?

I am considering T1-11 instead of the stucco, which I could do myself for around $1200 in wood panels. I already have the scaffolding at the house. My thought, though, was to hang the siding horizontally in order to try and pseudo-match the look of the 2 visible sides of the house. I know that this siding is not meant to be hung horizontally, since the butt ends would then run vertically, allowing a considerable gap for rain to get in, and because the grooves would then hold water since they run horizontally.

How doable is this plan, since the siding underneath is already exposed to the weather? I would start with primed T1-11, would seal all edges, caulk the butt ends, etc. I would bevel the bottom edge of the grooves, and prime/caulk them so rain wouldn't sit in the grooves. I'm not looking for something to last another 100 years...if I can get 10 years of rental out of this house, I'd then consider putting in more money down the line to make a better restoration, but at this point, I'm trying to get the house up and rented (safely) with a minimum investment. For what its worth, the side wall gets no weather since it is so close to the other house...and the back wall gets little weather. Also...this is the Bay Area of California...and we don't get much weather other than sun most of the time.

This is a $75K house that I am earmarking about 15K to rehab. No sense in putting in 10K+ just to return 2 sides of the house to original/lead free.