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I'm getting started on a renovation of a small 80 year old house in Tennessee. When I removed the various interior layers of the walls, I found there was no exterior sheathing - just boards installed like clapboards, and I could see daylight thru the cracks. Found some hornets and such but not as many as I would have expected.

I'm looking for options to make this close to right. Probably will end up with vertical board and batten style vinyl siding. I'm thinking a rain barrier over the clapboards, then strapping that I can shim if needed to straighten things out if needed and then the vinyl siding. I'd really rather not remove the clapboards and put up sheathing, that would cause the house to be open to the weather more than I want. All new windows and doors so wall thickness is not really an issue.

I guess I could install sheathing over the clapboards??

Any suggestions?

Thanks, Bob
 

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Do not use vinyl. It doesn’t hold up to hail, and it isn’t fire resistant.

Do you mean plywood sheathing? Or a manufactured product?

I alway recommend a fiber cement exterior for fire protection.
 

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I would rip it off add sheathing and install windows with house wrap ?
Nothing tricky at all .
Buy the time you try to fix the walls get the windows in and get it water proof
then you get to fool with all the window and door jams .
I would just do one wall at a time easy peeze you won’t be sorry .
How long could it take ?
Pull off the siding and add the sheathing one side a day 4 days worth of work and it al good
no fooling around .
 

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I'm getting started on a renovation of a small 80 year old house in Tennessee. When I removed the various interior layers of the walls, I found there was no exterior sheathing - just boards installed like clapboards, and I could see daylight thru the cracks. Found some hornets and such but not as many as I would have expected.

I'm looking for options to make this close to right. Probably will end up with vertical board and batten style vinyl siding. I'm thinking a rain barrier over the clapboards, then strapping that I can shim if needed to straighten things out if needed and then the vinyl siding. I'd really rather not remove the clapboards and put up sheathing, that would cause the house to be open to the weather more than I want. All new windows and doors so wall thickness is not really an issue.

I guess I could install sheathing over the clapboards??

Any suggestions?

Thanks, Bob
Need pictures really bad. This may be structural siding. Yes, there is such a thing. It may be balloon frame. It may be that you need to take it off as mentioned and install something else.

Box and plank house= no studs at all. It consists of horizontal boards on the interior nailed to vertical boards on the exterior. This makes a very strong 1 1/2" thick wall ( or more the older it is) that will withstand tornados. Think modern day SIP construction but with no insulation.

Balloon frame=(at least the "country" way) building the floor frame, then studding it up off of the floor beams instead of the subfloor. ( I feel this is what you actually have but need pics) They build many of these in timber country in the USA right after WWII because of shortage of money and, well, everything else. You can pull the siding off and redo but you will need to fill that void between the floor and the wall with some kind of fireproof insulation. (Did I mention I used to be a HERS rater?) Otherwise, you will have a fire hazard. The wall cavities act like a chimney in a brush/wildland fire and will go between your walls without this fire block. The hornets may be getting in this way from the bottom.

Either way, you can install over it but check these conditions out and go the extra mile.

Vertical is the best way every time. If a tree dies in the woods but doesn't fall down it will not rot much for years or even decades. Once it falls horizontal it will rot in years. Trees (and wood) is not designed by nature to run horizontal. It is designed to run vertical. How many board and batt houses have you seen that were over a hundred years old with no new siding? How many horizontal siding houses have you ever seen the siding that lasted 100 years? I have seen none and believe me, I have actively looked for them.

Best of luck to you.
 

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I'd leave the plank on the outside of studs so long as it's not rotten, cover with OSB sheathing and house wrap, then new siding of your choice.

Vertical is the best way every time. If a tree dies in the woods but doesn't fall down it will not rot much for years or even decades. Once it falls horizontal it will rot in years. Trees (and wood) is not designed by nature to run horizontal. It is designed to run vertical. How many board and batt houses have you seen that were over a hundred years old with no new siding? How many horizontal siding houses have you ever seen the siding that lasted 100 years? I have seen none and believe me, I have actively looked for them.
I don't quite buy in to this theory. Once the wood is processed and cut into planks and used for siding, vertical or horizontal installation won't matter much, either will rot if not protected.
There are literally thousands of old homes and buildings around the country with horizontal wood siding that is still intact, and the reason is because the maintenance (painting & caulking) has been kept up over the years.
 

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I'd leave the plank on the outside of studs so long as it's not rotten, cover with OSB sheathing and house wrap, then new siding of your choice.



I don't quite buy in to this theory. Once the wood is processed and cut into planks and used for siding, vertical or horizontal installation won't matter much, either will rot if not protected.
There are literally thousands of old homes and buildings around the country with horizontal wood siding that is still intact, and the reason is because the maintenance (painting & caulking) has been kept up over the years.
You don't really have to buy it. There is one thing you mentioned. That was regular maintenance and upkeep. I have worked on houses that were over a hundred years old with vertical siding. It has never ever been painted at all. It was grooved and course but not rotted. I live in an area that stays humid and wet all year.
 

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I think vertical wood siding lasts longer , I can’t tell you how many frezze boards I have replaced along with window sills and top trim .
The side trim is allways good .
I sided a house in 19 76 and it has had no maintenance whatsoever it’s been up 45 years and looks good , it’s getting thin on the south side but it was 1” when I put it up and 3/4” now .
I did a house with hemlock in 1984 vertical board and batten it’s still up there
I was nailing down some battens last week it’s a little green but looking ok .
Calk and paint can be a friend or enemy
Just my experience
 

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I would rip it off add sheathing and install windows with house wrap ?
Nothing tricky at all .
Buy the time you try to fix the walls get the windows in and get it water proof
then you get to fool with all the window and door jams .
I would just do one wall at a time easy peeze you won’t be sorry .
How long could it take ?
Pull off the siding and add the sheathing one side a day 4 days worth of work and it al good
no fooling around .
I'm thinking the same. All you really have is Stud Work but redid plenty houses this way.

big rockpile
 
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We rebuilt huge 3 or 4 store houses in a city setting all the time, it’s just a nightmare
trying to add windows and doors in a old building .
We just strip one wall at a time 45’ to the top .
We just have to close up the bottom to keep the crack head out . 👍
 

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O no way , I found the biggest crack head on the block and payed him to watch the site .
they got a 100 a week and a sandwich every day . 👍
some Of the guys turned out to be good workers , I just have to keep them hopped up all day .
 
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