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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    1

    Default Having vinyl siding installed - furring strips vs. Tapcon (first house, help!)

    Our house is a 2 story cinder block. It was built in 1944 and has never had siding installed, it's only been painted. This house is very cold in the winter (no insulation in the walls) so we're hoping siding will help.

    I have gotten quite a few estimates. I finally found a contractor that was reasonably priced, licensed and insured, 25 years experience, and excellent references (I have spoken to 5 previous customers, very satisfied). The only problem is he wants to use Tapcon screws instead of furring strips. All the other contractors want to use furring strips.

    Which is better? I am feeling really good about this guy but wasn't sure about Tapcon. I am a 23 year old female... not much experience at all when it comes to this kind of stuff. I would love some advice! Should I hire this guy?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,776

    Default Re: Having vinyl siding installed - furring strips vs. Tapcon (first house, help!)

    I would go with furring strips and 3/4" solid foam insulation between. Vinyl siding adds little insulation.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,322

    Default Re: Having vinyl siding installed - furring strips vs. Tapcon (first house, help!)

    I agree too. Siding has very little R value, so the foam insulation is a must. Furring strips will give you more support, and since you have a two story home, that's what you want.

    If you zero on this guy, I'm sure he'll agree to change his routine.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,919

    Default Re: Having vinyl siding installed - furring strips vs. Tapcon (first house, help!)

    The classic 1x2 furring strip is a crappy piece of lumber. I'd go with a 1x4 or something beefier to have it last a little longer, be more able to take screws and nails and provide more support over the long haul.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,737

    Default Re: Having vinyl siding installed - furring strips vs. Tapcon (first house, help!)

    When fastening vinyl siding, the critical thing is to have the nail in the center of the nailing slot and that it not be tightly nailed down. If the siding cannot expand and slide around that nail head, the siding will buckle outward! I would hope those tapcons won't be cinched down tight!

    I wonder why a contractor would want to use hundreds of tap cons for general fastening of the siding , rather than just fastening down the furring strips and nailing to them? One way or the other, I would opt for the furring strips just to get the insulation foamboards.

    Just curious: had you considered a synthetic stucco instead of vinyl. Fastened to cement block, it would avoid some of the moisture problems DryVit type systems have had in the past. It would give better insulation value too.
    Last edited by ordjen; 03-03-2014 at 12:33 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,915

    Default Re: Having vinyl siding installed - furring strips vs. Tapcon (first house, help!)

    Definitely go with furring strips and foam-board insulation. By isolating the block from the exterior, it becomes a better thermal mass which will then retain the heat or cooling you have inside, unlike now when it is all being transferred directly to the outside through the block. Use treated lumber only for the furring strips and attach them to the block with tapcons at no more than 12" intervals. Be sure they go into the block, not mortar joints which may deteriorate over time. Urethane adhesive (like liquid nails) on the back of the furring strips would be a good idea too. Anything less that 3/4" insulation is pretty much a waste of time and materials so the furring strips will have to match that. Fit the foamboard tightly with no gaps. The added thickness will be seen at openings like doors and windows- this should be covered with metal like is done with fascias as painting treated wood doesn't work well.

    I'd do the exact same thing here on my block house but I'm renting it so I ain't gonna spend that kind of money on someone else's house!

    Phil

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