By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Repairing a section of damaged wood siding may appear more daunting than it actually is. In many cases, the damage to the surface can be fixed and a new finish topcoat will complete the job. However, if you find more extensive damage when you remove the siding, the repair is more complicated. You may have to remove and replace the plywood sheathing beneath the siding. Either way, the repair job requires carpentry know-how and tools.
The repair process has several phases. First, you inspect and remove the damaged siding and the area around it. Then inspect the plywood sheathing beneath the siding to determine the extent of the damage, and cut out any bad sections, replacing and reinforcing it when necessary. To complete the job, measure and cut new siding to cover the damaged area, being careful to patch it in with the existing siding, and then caulk the joints. Prime the back and edges of the new siding before installing it and finish the job with a topcoat of paint or stain to match the rest of the siding.
A carpenter will charge $495 to replace a six-foot section or about 150 square foot of damaged wood siding, which includes labor and material; but a handy homeowner can do the job for $120 and save 76 percent. If you decide to do it yourself, you’ll need replacement sheathing, siding, siding nails, wood preservative, caulk, primer and paint or stain, and scraps of wood to use as spacer blocks. For tools, you’ll need an electronic studfinder, keyhole saw, hacksaw, pry bar and tape measure.
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The bottom line: compare the price of a contractor’s bid to replace damaged siding with what it costs to do it yourself and make your decision. You adjust the cost to where you live by adding your ZIP Code.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2020