What is the Best Order For Exterior Up-Grades On My Home?

August 2nd 2016
What is the Best Order For Exterior Up-Grades On My Home?

Q: I plan to upgrade the windows and siding on my house. The house is about 30 years old, with 2x6 outside walls. I would also like to add extra styrofoam insulation. I would like to add as much as possible, which would be 11/2 inches, but I am not sure if there is an issue with the vapour barrier. What size of styrofoam insulation should I use and will I have to use Tyvek Wrap in addition to the insulation? I am also going to change my wood windows to vinyl double- or triple-pane as we are on a noisy street. The other thing I would like to do is install new vinyl siding myself or have stucco done professionally.

What order would you suggest to do the above upgrades?

A: First, remove all the old siding to the wall sheathing. This allows for a good inspection of the wall structure in and around window and door openings. Clad your home with 60-minute tar paper behind the siding.

At this point you should consider the installation of new windows.  Installation at this point allows a new construction window to be used and the frame opening properly sealed.

Your choice of 11/2-inch rigid foam insulation (24" x 96") is the best, with the shiplap joint applied horizontally up against the window framing material. Consider a pre-stained or pre-painted cement siding product. This siding will give you many years of maintenance-friendly cladding.

If this process is used you will not require any house wrap material unless the rigid foam is going to be exposed to the weather for more than two weeks, and the need for a vapour barrier will not be required.