Is a mountain of rotten wood or faded vinyl siding decorating your front lawn? Now before you dive into your new project, Cape-Cod cedar shingles or Fiber Cement lap siding, take a good look at the condition of your structure. While you or your installer is dismantling the outside of your home, you have an excellent opportunity to inspect the condition of the structure of your building . This is general for all trades really. I would say that usually you’ll uncover some nasty truths about the state of a home during reno projects.
Most of the problems surrounding siding are water related. More often than not, with lap siding anyways, the damage is a result of wind driven rain getting through the butt joints. Maybe you find that your tar paper or (in some cases newspaper) has very little life left in it and the structural timbers are wet or even beginning to rot. Although it probably isn’t in the budget, fix this stuff while you have the chance, seek it out and repair it. Put your siding off for two days and tend to any thing you find in disrepair. The other option is pretty bleak, i.e removing your new siding in 6 months to fix an old problem.
As far as a builders tips go Ask the Builder.com provides some good information on installation techniques to ensure that water stays out of your butt joints. He uses a miniature flashing behind the caulking, pretty clever.