Best way to add vinyl siding may also be most expensive

Our church is planning to cover the building with vinyl siding to simulate clapboard. Three of the four bids are similar and propose to cover the existing irregular siding with vinyl. The fourth bid proposes to remove the existing siding and install three-quarter-inch, fiber-glass sheathing under the new vinyl clapboard siding. What would you suggest we do?

Virginia W. Curson Newark, N.Y.

I say what Bird & Son (founded in 1795) says - that the three similar proposals are acceptable and in most common use. This means leaving the old clapboard in place and covering it with the new vinyl-shingle siding.

This method contains a leveling process of the old clapboards so that the new vinyl siding will appear flat. It is an add-on process rather than a replacement.

Obviously, it creates an additional layer of material which may show at the trim.

The fourth proposal to remove the old siding and apply the fiber-glass sheathing under the new vinyl siding is the better way, although it is more expensive, says Bird.

Budgets are always a compelling factor in church decisions, be it new construction or remodeling. Almost always the best way is the most expensive. However, the best, most-costly method or material may be the most economical in the long run. Also, it is apt to look better in the short haul.

Budget aside, I'd go with the best, most expensive method if it is commensurate with the returns in additional insulation, aesthetics, and longevity. Is it?

For expert information direct from the Bird's mouth, get in touch with Thomas J. Hartnett, Bird & Son, Inc., Washington Street, East Walpole, Mass. 62032. The phone number is: (617) 668-2500.

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