We have siding on the house that is almost like particle board. Some of the pieces are water logged and need to be replaced. We would like to replace only the siding that needs replacing in order to cut down on the cost. We would like to do it ourselves. We are afraid of what we will see once we start pulling of the rotten siding. Will we be able to do this job??
Siding work requires above average carpentry skills. It is certainly not as complex of a job as installing a waterproof balcony, nor as simple as a ground level deck, but it must be performed to good practices of the trades. Such work requires: an understanding of the process, good materials, the right tools, and attention to details and more details.
It is also important to keep in mind that the siding may have failed for more than one reason. Problems with LP, Masonite and other manufactured wood siding products are well known. Not appreciated are the roles of poor quality construction work, moisture problems and other factors in siding failure. Consequently, it makes little sense to replace damaged siding without an analysis of all that went wrong with the original system.
Most manufactured wood fiber siding products should be installed with a minimum of face nailing and much of the damage to such products occurs at the edges of the siding and penetration points. As such, the replacement of individual pieces is very difficult and may result in additional damage. For that reason, it is best to replace entire walls worth of siding, even though not all of the siding on any one house wall is damaged.
Now for some good news. In most of the cases I have seen, damaged manufactured wood siding does not result in damage to the rest of the wall structure. That does not imply that one can ignore siding failure, it just means that the timely correction of a siding problem is mostly a matter of siding corrections and repairs.