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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    13

    Default What do I do with the exterior of my house?

    Hello Folks!

    A lot of you are true experts and I really need some SOUND advice pronto, which is why I am asking my TOH friends.

    I am a middle aged woman, single, with a VERY limited income. The past 5 years have been very bad for me as the economy took my job in 2008 and although I got another job 9 months later, at less than $9 an hour I am making very little. I can only hope that things will get better for me and hold on.

    My house has lost a lot of paint and looks horrible and I have to get this fixed quickly. I am a believer in paint but it will be an expensive job. The original paint is in the grooves of the wood beyond a sc****rs reach and getting a painter to properly prep the house has been a joke.

    Because of my age, condition, and income, I am seriously considering vinyl siding. I know, I know, it is blasphemy, but do I have any other choices?

    So, what is MY best decision? Any tips or considerations? I appreciate any and all thoughts. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,195

    Default Re: What do I do with the exterior of my house?

    You can save yourself a great deal of money by doing some or all of the prep work yourself. It doesn't take a PhD to run a wire brush and scr-aper or a caulking gun.

    The only paint that needs to be removed is what is loose and peeling. As long as the stuff in the grain and grooves of the wood is sound, leave it. You can spackle or caulk small holes easily enough, and you can caulk around trim, etc. Once that is done, all you need to do is get the paint on the wall, still not an impossible task for one person and limited tools, you just have to work smart by choosing one section of the house to do at a time.

    You'll likely need to prime first, if the existing paint is as bad as you say and you have a lot of bare wood.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,969

    Default Re: What do I do with the exterior of my house?

    You can also take your time painting. It doesn't need to be done all at once. WHile there will be very slight color differences between the coats, after a short while you wouldn't be able to tell and certainly can't be seen from a car moving 20mph.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: What do I do with the exterior of my house?

    Alright, here comes the part that I really did not want to reveal. My lawnmower died and the yard got overgrown (I got a new one at last!) and this happened to coincide with the insurance company survey of insurability. Sadly, because of the yard and the state of the paint on the house they cancelled my homeowner's insurance. To get it reinstated, I have to have the house painted or sided the letter that they sent said. I have congestive heart failure and it limits how much I can honestly do, so painting is a serious issue for me and doing any of it just isn't in the cards for me. So now you have the ugly truth as to why I am freaking out just a little, lol.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,736

    Default Re: What do I do with the exterior of my house?

    Frankly, you shouldn't be living in a single family home, consider renting an apt instead.

    Why? the upkeep is obviously too much for you.

    There is nothing wrong with renting, where you don't have to worry about the exterior.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,195

    Default Re: What do I do with the exterior of my house?

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    Frankly, you shouldn't be living in a single family home, consider renting an apt instead.

    Why? the upkeep is obviously too much for you.

    There is nothing wrong with renting, where you don't have to worry about the exterior.
    Renting or switching to a condo if you're financially able, for the same reason.

    As to making it work in your house, first, shop for new insurance with a different carrier, you should do this every year or two anyway. A new company may not require the paint, as long as the house is sound. This doesn't get your house painted or protected from the elements, but it does keep you insured.

    You might want to see if there is any assistance through your local municipality for low income/disabled homeowners. There are also charity groups who help in situations such as yours. Check with your local community college to see if they have a construction program, it's possible that they may take your paint work on as a teaching project for the students, while this wouldn't be a free program, it would be significantly less than hiring professionals, yet still get you a near professional job. Another option is to hire a few of the neighborhood kids to come do the prep work for you, then have a professional apply the coatings.

    My biggest suspicion is that whether you have vinyl siding installed or repaint, the cost will be about the same, however, you won't be hurting your homes value with paint.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: What do I do with the exterior of my house?

    It is all a little complicated and I am not going to bore you with all the details. My house is out in the country and when I lost my job I had to move about 90 miles away to find work. Things got out of hand when I was too sick to go back and forth to keep things up, etc., etc., etc. You know how things mushroom.

    Anyways, my house is all that I have and whether I end up selling it or moving back to it, I have to get it back into shape.

    It is a plain and simple farm house, built by a plain and simple farmer. Why would getting vinyl siding hurt the value of it?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,203

    Default Re: What do I do with the exterior of my house?

    Vinyl is now being seen as a "lesser child" kind of home siding. A lot of it was (and is) not installed properly, but it also was (and is) often used as a way to cover unaddressed defects instead of repairing them. In your situation I don't think it will devalue the house and it will have the advantage of not needing regular maintenance like painting does. I'd say go with the vinyl. Get at least 3 quotes from recommended contractors who have been in business for awhile with a good local history behind them and you should be OK.

    I maintain my Mom's half-brick home because she cannot afford to have someone else do it and I have sided the gable ends and covered the soffits with vinyl to reduce my workload as her house is in an area where vinyl siding is widespread and acceptable. The old painted wood surfaces were beginning to become a real chore to keep painted as sun and weather exposure was causing paint peeling and 'gatoring' so I did one final paint job to seal it all then applied vinyl. It will last as long as the rest of her house does and it looks a whole lot better now. And I don't have to worry what she will do if something happens to me anymore.

    Many of us overelook the distant future where the possibility of medical issues may keep us from doing the maintenance our homes need. I'm not for destroying history, but when I'm 90 I'm darn well not going to be painting boxing, gables, or windows anymore. It's something to think about when your autumn years approach!

    Phil

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: What do I do with the exterior of my house?

    Thanks for the info!

    I understand that like most things in life, vinyl siding needs to be of good quality and installed properly to be worth the effort and that you also have to keep an eagle eye on it and not just assume everything is ok. There was a brand of paint that I used to buy that said on the can "you've got a good paint, now do a good job!" Most things are like that, aren't they?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: What do I do with the exterior of my house?

    Thank you Phil for your input.

    You seem to understand my position, which is difficult unless you have dealt with it before. "Other people" had the issues that I am now facing and it was never supossed to happen to me BUT life had different ideas, lol. I really like the idea of the paint before it is put on and I will see if perhaps I can paint some of the newer wood and known trouble spots first for added protection. The wood that the house is built out of is so hard that you cannot nail or screw anything into it without first drilling a pilot hole and paint alone would be wonderful IF the paint would stick for longer than 1 or 2 years.

    I started my subscription to OHJ back in 1979 and have been dealing with old houses my entire life. I would love to end my days in an old house if I can. Thank you for giving me a well needed lift.

    Helen

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastercarpentry View Post
    Vinyl is now being seen as a "lesser child" kind of home siding. A lot of it was (and is) not installed properly, but it also was (and is) often used as a way to cover unaddressed defects instead of repairing them. In your situation I don't think it will devalue the house and it will have the advantage of not needing regular maintenance like painting does. I'd say go with the vinyl. Get at least 3 quotes from recommended contractors who have been in business for awhile with a good local history behind them and you should be OK.

    I maintain my Mom's half-brick home because she cannot afford to have someone else do it and I have sided the gable ends and covered the soffits with vinyl to reduce my workload as her house is in an area where vinyl siding is widespread and acceptable. The old painted wood surfaces were beginning to become a real chore to keep painted as sun and weather exposure was causing paint peeling and 'gatoring' so I did one final paint job to seal it all then applied vinyl. It will last as long as the rest of her house does and it looks a whole lot better now. And I don't have to worry what she will do if something happens to me anymore.

    Many of us overelook the distant future where the possibility of medical issues may keep us from doing the maintenance our homes need. I'm not for destroying history, but when I'm 90 I'm darn well not going to be painting boxing, gables, or windows anymore. It's something to think about when your autumn years approach!

    Phil

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