Rotted Siding is Common on Houston Homes
Some people have covered up this siding with aluminum or vinyl siding. To me this is a bit like making a termite sandwich. You may not ever have to paint vinyl siding again (the big selling point) but it does deteriorate over time. Usually it is installed right over the old siding and trim boards. I tried to peek under the vinyl trim board around the window of a house and the old wood underneath just crumbled. Sorry, but I'm not buying a mess like that.
Hardiplank is a fiber cement board that is commonly used for siding now and is expected to last a good 50 years or more when installed properly. When it is installed the old siding is normally removed first and the house is wrapped with Tyvek or a similar house wrap. If you are looking at a house with new siding, ask what is underneath. I have seen some do it yourselfers put hardiplank on top of their old siding.
I have seen 5 year old houses that have Hardiplank siding and rotten trim boards. The builder decided to save a few bucks and only used Hardiplank for the siding, NOT for the trim boards. If they tell you the home has Hardiplank siding, ask if the trim boards are also Hardiplank. People love to leave out these little details.
I have seen homes built in the late 50's with trim boards that had peeling paint, bare spots were visible on the wood and there was no rot. I see 5 year old homes with rotted wood trim. I asked someone how this could be and they explained to me that older wood was much denser and stronger than the wood you buy today. The old trees are gone, they have to use younger trees, the wood will rot faster if it is not maintained. My own house was 5 years old when I bought it and had rot on some of the trim boards. Don't think because a house is fairly new that it has no problems.
Hardiplank will cost somewhere around $5.00 a square foot and up to have installed. So if one side of the house is 50 foot long by 8 foot tall, that would be 400 sq ft. or $2000.00. They don't subtract for the area covered by windows or doors. When deciding how much to pay for a home, you need to know how much it is going to cost to fix it. Add the cost of the repairs to the cost of the house. Could you resell the home for this price? If it is way higher than what you could sell it for after making repairs, perhaps they are asking too much money. Remember it is common practice to offer less than the asking price.
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